Another not so hidden gem on the West Ridge. It looks like a crack, but does not climb like a crack. First off, the pro is good over the roof, but pumpy to place. Once through the sketchy corner and over the roof, you end up doing these pinch moves, layaways, I dyno'ed to get through the crux and into the flare. Short but sweet...Eldo crack climbing at its best.
[The gear is adequate but very pumpy to place (and hard to see at the crux) with a long fall potential at the crux move]
Once on the upper slab, its gets really dicey getting over to the anchor above Parallels...A 2-bolt anchor would be perfect for this route and Crazy Fingers just to the right.
sm/med nuts, .4"-1.25" cams for the main route, .5"+2" cams to get to the anchor *This route and the route to its right (Crazy Fingers) are in DIRE need of a 2-bolt anchor to share*
While I usually find Eldo grades to be pretty standard (or even soft at times), Foxtrot felt like a sandbag to me. This route felt much more strenous and technical than any 11+ I have done on gear. This felt as hard as some of the 12a or 12b bolted routes I have done in Eldo, except you have to place gear from funky stances.
By Joe Collins Mar 8, 2005 rating: 5.11+7a24VIII24E4 6a PG13
I think this is probably my favorite pitch on the West Ridge. The gear is tricky and strenuous to place, so it would be a very difficult onsight lead... but the gear is good throughout. I agree with the comments about the route's difficulty. I would think of the guidebook grade of 11d as more of an 11+ rating, if you know what I mean.
By Joseph P. Crotty From: Broomfield, CO Sep 21, 2007 rating: 5.11d7a24VIII25E5 6a PG13
Short and sweet. I highly commend anyone that can onsight as some of the gear and moves are tricky. If not comfortable at the grade, be cautious just after the start above the ledge which has sparse pro.
By Rob Kepley From: Westminster,CO Oct 1, 2007 rating: 5.11d7a24VIII25E5 6a
Mega classic, Mega good! I feel this route doesn't deserve an R. It has plenty of great gear throughout. Just be careful with your feet coming off the ledge at the start. I've never been a big fan of the "PG13" tacked on behind a grade. I feel R and X are plenty.
The gear just before the crux is solid and really easy to place. One of the best Eldo has to offer. 5 STARS!!!
I proposed a 2-bolt anchor above Foxtrot/Crazy Fingers in 2001, and (if I remember correctly) it was approved by the FHRC in June of that year. Due to events out of my control I never followed up on the proposal, and after some thought, decided against pursuing it further. I agree that the current set-up is inconvenient, but Foxtrot is getting a lot of ascents, and the current anchor is, at least, workable. There are many examples in the canyon where a 2-bolt anchor is necessary. Is this one of them? I don't know. I should come clean and say that part of my rationale for the anchor was to make an easier staging point to climb the (in 2001) unclimbed corner above Foxtrot, which thankfully was done without the anchor by Wayne Crill (2007) and named Tango. As an interesting aside, the Tango corner has been on the radar since (at least) July 1982, when Alec Sharp's article "Bolder Boulder" was printed in issue 86 of the British climbing rag MOUNTAIN. To quote: "The bouldering attitude appears clearly in routes that he (i.e. Skip Guerin) and (Bob) Horan did up on the West Ridge, the parallel cracks of Foxtrot and Parallels, where obvious second pitches continued up from where those routes end. To Guerin and Horan, though, the interesting climbing ended at this point." I beg to differ.
By Steven Lucarelli From: Moab, UT Feb 2, 2009 rating: 5.11d7a24VIII25E5 6a PG13
An anchor would be nice but at some point you need to draw the line between convenience and necessity. If you're able to climb this route, then the traverse to the anchor shouldn't really be that big of an issue. And there is adequate gear to protect the initial moves into the traverse so that kind of cancels out any argument for the anchor as a safety measure IMO.
I've used the existing anchor to set up topropes on "Foxtrot" and "Crazy Fingers" with directionals in place and never had any issues. I've also cleaned both of these routes after leading them with a little help from my belayer, and it wasn't too difficult. I can fully understand the argument for an additional anchor, but convenience just isn't a good enough reason, especially in Eldo.
I did the first lead of Foxtrot with Skip and I named it after the musical group Genesis's album, "Foxtrot". A lead that took small wires and RPs to lead. This was before the days of the smaller, "Alien" cams.
"I did the first lead of Foxtrot with Skip and I named it after the musical group Genesis's album, "Foxtrot". A lead that took small wires and RPs to lead. This was before the days of the smaller, "Alien" cams. [Bob Horan]"