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Sentinel Spire
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Fast Draw 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Kor
Page Views: 5,273
Submitted By: Matt Bauman on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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Brian Dodek about to set off on the wide pitch @PO...

Description 

P1. Step across the scary little gap and clip the crappy bolts to protect the start.....tips/lieback up hard start (10+) as it opens to a perfect hand crack...steep...then gets fists toward top. Traverse left at fixed pieces (or continue up the grungy crack above, not recommended) and belay at 2 piton belay (scary and uncomfortable).

P2. Go up crack/corner/chimney using big cams and old bolts on wall for pro....sustained chimneying for a pitch to another crappy old double pin belay.

P3. More of the same chimneying with some crappy bolts for pro to the nice summit.

We only had up to #3 Camalot and it was a bit scary....#4 and #5 would be good for pitches 2 and 3.

Descend by making 2 raps (60m rope) to the base of the route (2nd is off the crappy pin and Star-driven bolt and is a double rope rappel).


Protection 

Lots of cams.....especially hand sized and a few large pieces might come in handy for the chimneys.



Photos of Fast Draw Slideshow Add Photo
Fast Draw and the north side of Sentinel Spire.
BETA PHOTO: Fast Draw and the north side of Sentinel Spire.
Rob Rebel on the crux start.
Rob Rebel on the crux start.
The wide part.  1996.
The wide part. 1996.
The awesome handcrack on the first pitch. <br /> <br />Photo:  Janet Conner.
The awesome handcrack on the first pitch.

Photo: ...
1st pitch traverse. 1996.
1st pitch traverse. 1996.
1st pitch. 1996.
1st pitch. 1996.
Three friends on the summit.  1996.
Three friends on the summit. 1996.
Comments on Fast Draw Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 2, 2014
By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Jan 1, 2001

Very Fun route! And, can be done as two, or three pitches (combination of first two pitches, or belay just before the traverse left). Doing it as two pitches adds to the excitement. I thought the hardest part, next to the first pitchs crux crack, was the step into the chimney system after traversing left. Takes a minute to figure out what to do. The best way to approach is by rappelling from the cliffs just below the parking lot. Leave the rope fixed, go climb the route, and then come back and ascend your rope. Obviously use ascenders if you e lucky, or, use a gri-gri and a prusik, or two prusiks...whatever. Just inspect your rope again before ascending, cause tourists can come mess with it. You can approach using the trail to Independance Monument, but, this would be a longer walk, maybe a couple miles? Good route to hit on your way to Ouray for ice climbing, this climb is usually good in winter, and is a desert-type climb...going from this to Ouray, or other Western slope ice in one day is totally wild!!!

By Matt Bauman
Jan 1, 2001

Change that to 2 stars....even in my description I mention crappy bolts, crappy belays, crappy raps.....the climbing is fun but totally north facing and only good in summer.

By Steve Levin
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 1, 2001

In my opinion, this is 2 star climb, and would be a bad choice to do in winter, as it is completely north facing (i.e. no sun) and starts out of a windy, exposed notch. You would have to catch it on an unseasonably warm winter day to not freeze your ass off. Maintain a low profile on the rim with your fixed rope- this is a very popular tourist hangout.

By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 12, 2002

Steve is absolutely right. This is a wee bit cold even in March. There is a big loose block that shifted on the straight up variation (instead of the traverse) on the 2nd pitch that could alter one's anatomy (put your stomach in your mouth) if you pull on it. Don't!

By Anonymous Coward
Oct 21, 2002

This is a traditional climb, Please stop putting in new bolts. Camalots through #4 is all you need. This is the perfect summer route since it is in the shade and summers in this area are extremely hot.

By Troy from Tooele
Feb 26, 2003

Good Route! My wife and I climbed it in August. All the belays are fixed, and sport three bomber angles. There is also new chain on the belay. We did the webster-norden variation (straight up). I would suggest to avoid climbing that way and stick to the original traverse left. All the bolts next to the perfect "3 crack are new also! I understand the historic reason for these bolts, but retro-fixing them isn't needed. People should leave the original Kor bolts there, and place bomber cams next to them. -tda

By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
May 29, 2003

Great route! Doing this as two pitches makes for a sustained and strenuous first pitch; but recommended. The guide books call the route .10a, but I thought it felt harder. We did the traverse and getting into the squeeze *is* tricky. The bolting on this climb is superfluous, though I clipped them all due to a serious pump (wasn't complaining at the time). For only two pitches of climbing, this was a fun little adventure.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 2, 2004

I rapped this route the other day and found that it had many bolts that clearly should have never been placed. The first pitch could be safely lead by a 5.10 climber without clipping a single bolt. The first couple of bolts were fairly new. These bolts are a disgrace to the area. A bolt should never be placed next to a splitter crack. Also you can get down with one rope

By alpinglow
From: city, state
Apr 5, 2004

Nice that you could give this route a grade while "on rappel". While the bolts do seem extraneous (sp?,sry) with modern gear, maybe you should just give Layton a little jingle on the phone and tell him how light he is. Different eras, different tactics.

A fun climb, not overly classic, but a cool summit. Have done it both ways on first pitch, prefer to traverse left.

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 7, 2004

Judging a routes quality w/o having climbed it or knowing it's history is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

By Chris Perkins
From: Avon, Colorado
Apr 22, 2006
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

In case you haven't noticed the Desert Rock III guide by Bjornstad gives a quite different route description for Fast Draw. The crux is right off the ground. The book says the crux is the 2nd pitch finger crack. No finger crack on the route except for the one finger jam at the start move. The Colorado guide book by Stewart Green is much more accurate. There are some new bolts where there shouldn't be any, (1st pitch), C'mon bolting a crack? Was this before the invention of cams or what? Anyway it was a good climb. I need more practice on squeeze chimneys cause that was a hard ass looking 5.8. I backed off and went straight up instead. Not recommended. Smile often and climb well. CP

By Airbiscuit
Jan 8, 2007

Good for a quick half day, One pitch with a seventy if you have the runners, make things easy on yourself and rap it in two. Without two ropes, you will have trouble getting off if you are even a hair short. Both variations are of quality, I prefer to go straight up I don't think that things are that loose or maybe that big block has been trundled. If doing things in two, keep going till you hit the big ledge with the triple chains. I wouldn't hang my hat off those ancient ring angles below the roof. But they're good for history sake so reminisce and keep moving. Three fixed angles on the upper part, these moves are aquard (sic) so I don't even bother to bring any gear I just clip and go, a bit run out, but you're in there, right?.

All of the main anchors and a few other mystery bolts have been replaced/added since the first memo on this page, though I do think they did get a little carried away is a perfectly good/solid crack system there.

By tharlow
Apr 2, 2007

Just climbed Fast Draw this weekend. All bolts except for 1 on first pitch have been replaced. Most bolts not neccessary anyway as crack is easily protectable. The anchors on summit and at beginning of final pitch are bomber. I climbed straight up from the piton into the large crack/chimney to make it a 2 pitch climb, and found it to be pretty worthwhile. Watch for loose rocks in that section.

By Graham Rogers
Mar 24, 2009

Some good news: all bolts on the first pitch hand crack have been chopped and so have many on the second half. So, a little updated gear advice, especially if you'd like to climb this in modern style with wide gear, foregoing some pitons or bolts. At the top of the first pitch we traversed left, passed 3-4 pitons, and belayed in the wide notch. A #0.75 Camalot was nice to have in the belay tucked in behind the maybe one good part of a crumbly block. Starting out the 2nd pitch, the said "fingercrack" seemed to offer only a very wide piece (5+) or you'd be in for some sketchiness. I don't *think* a 5 would suffice. Further up, the climb had various classic bolts and pitons you could choose to clip or not. If not, you'll need almost all wider gear. For comfort, we stopped at the chain anchor at the ledge not far up and set up for a 3rd pitch. One bolt on this last pitch was noticeably new and unnecessary. All of the climbing we found to be great, especially the varied off-width and chimney work of the second half.

By tazlina
Mar 29, 2009

If I catch Mr. Mystery bolter up there adding anything to or taking anything out of a climb that is not an FA. I am goning to make you a very very sorry person!!!!!! Leave that B#!!$#!T on the east side you wanker!!!!!!!!!

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 17, 2009

So this "good news"...I have a qeustion....the bolts that were chopped were some of these placed on the FA(and then later replaced with modern bolts)?
I understand and support the removal of retro bolts....but chopping the ones from the FA(regardless of condition) is not "good news".

It sounds like this climb would have been an excellent candidate for leaving the original bolts, in their orginal condition, for histories sake.

josh

By Graham Rogers
May 4, 2009

Yep, that's what some others said above anyway. I only meant "some good news" (for me) because the shiny new bolts along the splitter crack were chopped, not the Kor originals. Sounds like there's a chance that the last chopper took one or more original bolt too, unless I didn't see it on the first pitch.

By rick gardiner
From: Grand Junction, CO,
Nov 5, 2010

One 60m rope will get you down in 2 raps.

By martinharris
From: Glenwood Springs CO
Mar 31, 2012

Got on this today. The anchors for the first pitch are gone.
Not a single bolt from the deck into the chimney or in the first 20 feet of the chimney. At this point, we decided to bail on some pins. And I would say if you want to continue up the chimneys, you will definitely want to take a six. My 5 was way too small to protect the first offwidth.

By martinharris
From: Glenwood Springs CO
Mar 31, 2012

And take at least 3 gold Camalots. I was crappin' myself with a huge runout just before the pins. And I was probably safe from groundfall, but it would have been close.

By Mickey Guziak
From: Grand Junction
May 2, 2014
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Just to add a recent comment, the bolts keep being reinstalled and then chopped. In one section, there is at least 4 old bolt holes with 2 brand new hangers next to them, which is next to a perfect spot for a 5. For the chimney, make sure to bring a 6. The pitons on the traverse are still good, all the anchors are great, adding you link the first and second pitch with good rope management. One 60m rope will also get you down in 2 raps.