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Wind Tower - S Face
Routes Sorted
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Balls of Fire T 
Beluga T 
Blackjack T 
Diffraction T 
Disguise T 
Futile Laments T 
King's X T 
Lion, The T 
Lower Triagonal T 
Metamorphosis, The T 
Muscle Up, The T 
Punter, The T 
Rainbow Wall T,S 
Scotch and Soda T 
SE Chimney T 
Sheer Terror T 
Uplift, The T 
Ur-Ine Trouble T 
Yellow Traverse, The T 

Diffraction 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: [Kyle Copeland and Charlie Fowler]
Fixed Hardware: 1 Lead Bolt [details]
Page Views: 1,875
Submitted By: Bill Wright on Sep 6, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
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Finishing the crux. The old bolt that you can clip...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This route is the best approach route to Metamorphosis, as it is pretty direct and at a similar grade. The climbing is varied and reasonably well protected. The guidebook rates this pitch 10a, but I think the crux move is a bit difficult to onsight, and it took me two tries to redpoint this route, and I normally don't fall on 10a. I've climbed this route five times now. I like it.

It starts near the top of the ramp on the south face, but below the Yellow Traverse. It heads out a small, left-leaning, left-facing dihedral with a small roof at the top (crux). The beta on this roof is to get the left foot as high as possible before trying to step over the roof with the right foot. The holds are not as good as you'd expect.

Protection 

This route protects with single units from stoppers to #2 Camalot. There is a variety of ancient fixed gear on this route (copperhead, RURP, pin, fixed nut, bolt) which can and should be backed up. Addendum: The bolt has been updated. Thanks, Steve & Greg!


Photos of Diffraction Slideshow Add Photo
Placing a good, but hard to see, red Alien that's ...
Placing a good, but hard to see, red Alien that's ...
BETA PHOTO
Approaching the crux.
Approaching the crux.
At the old bolt above the crux. Tiny bashie at my ...
At the old bolt above the crux. Tiny bashie at my ...
Approaching the crux, following. The screamer abov...
Approaching the crux, following. The screamer abov...
Moving left after the crux. The initial Metamomorp...
Moving left after the crux. The initial Metamomorp...
I wonder how old this is...?
BETA PHOTO: I wonder how old this is...?

Comments on Diffraction Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 18, 2014
By Chris Dawson
From: Denver, CO
May 16, 2002

Just wanted to stress the loose rock warning. My partner snapped a jug just past the crux and hit the ledge. Be careful.
By Joe Huggins
From: Grand Junction
Sep 19, 2002

Yeah, Kyle named it Gatorade & Tequila as the aid climb. I walked up as he and Charlie were finishing freeing it. Kyle wanted to rename it as a free climb. I suggested since it's next to Rainbow Wall, why not...
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 17, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Bring a Screamer for the bashie. Easier(?) beta for the roof: Lean left off the slanting handholds. Put both(!) knees on the low angle left facing corner. Step up.
By david goldstein
Jun 28, 2003

Worthwhile as an approach to Metamorphosis and as an historical fixed gear tour.
By kyle lefkoff
Aug 29, 2003

Did this yesterday with Snipes, and found it to be solid 5.10 at the crux, especially in light of the creepy gear. The pin and the bolt are both ca. 1985 and should be replaced with like gear, although the bolt should be placed lower so you can clip from the crux holds.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 8, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The climb has gotten a little easier with the dropping of the big rock above the bashie (Dec 2000?), and now a good right-hand side pull replaces the former crux. The climb still grades 5.10a but is less of a sandbag. I loaded the climb up with gear, although this did include a few dubious pieces, for the most part I felt that it was reasonably well protected. As it dumped rain on me while I was climbing, the route was soaked by the time my partner followed it. The pieces were good/close enough such that: A) my 5'5" partner could aid the route on the gear I had set. B) None of them pulled on rope tension or on aid. Obviously. that's not tha same as a lead fall, but I believe the gear was that good as well. The route is rated 'S' not so much for any [inherent] danger, but more for the effort and trickery required to get so much gear at a reasonable quality.

2 stars, in my book, a fun pitch with unique movement and some puzzling protection options.

5.10a seems fair in the route's present state. I think it was winter of Y2K when the big block (300#) pulled out and the route is easier now.

I don't think that the fixed rurp need be replaced. Down and right of it are some OK placements for clean trad gear and the 'new' piece might not be as good as the old, as the rock may deteriorate or the placement might just not be as good. I'd venture to say leave what is proven for now.
By Steve Levin
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2007

The old bolt has been replaced. Thanks to Greg Hand for coming out to Eldo on such a windy day to...lend a hand.
By Rob Kepley
From: Westminster,CO
Jul 10, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fun climb with interesting moves. 10a seems about right. I felt it protected well where needed.
By Chris Beh
Jul 13, 2007

Thanks for replacing the bolt.
This makes a great first pitch into Metamorphosis. As good as it gets in Eldo, for the grade and a two pitch combo...on the spicy side :-).
By Danny Inman
From: Arvada
Oct 4, 2007
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Pretty cool route and a good approach to Metamorphosis. Clipping the antique gear (RURP, pin, copper-head) adds a little spice to the moves.
By YDPL8S
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Oct 4, 2007

Boy, Forrest copperheads, I remember many placements of those that didn't exactly bring my heart rate down! They had bigger wires than the stoppers of the same size, but the stiffness of those wires could make them pop out if you had rope drag problems. I used to have a picture of a belayer with about 3 of those that slid down the rope to the belayers left hand. He was looking at the sharp end of the rope intensely with that "could you please get something bomber in?" look on his face.
By Johnny D
From: Fort Collins, CO
Nov 4, 2007

Not as spicy as others have said. Found the route quite protectable. Easy climbing for the first 20 ft up the slab to 15 ft of fun 5.10- to 5.9 climbing to the base of Meta.
By AOSR
From: Wherever we park!
Sep 22, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Unlike Metamorphosis, I felt this pitch protected fine. I found good gear and frequently. I didn't place anything behind the hollow flake, it wasn't necessary. Glad that bolt was there further up though!
By Eric Klammer
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 18, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

As someone mentioned above, going knees first over the crux roof/ramp is the way to go. This makes the move significantly easier and less awkward.

Also be aware that there are many wasps buzzing around some of the lower flakes on this climb. Didn't see a nest, but just keep your eyes open.