|Lower Grotto Wall
This is a wonderful journey across and up the Lower Grotto Wall. The belay after the 2nd pitch is one of my favorites on the Pass, and the 3rd pitch will have you smiling from beginning to end!
P1: Climb the awkward, often wet, chimney to the slab above and traverse left into the corner. Make a gear belay here. This pitch is forgettable and can easily be skipped by walking around to the right and traversing back left on the slab to the same belay. 5.8.
P2: Climb up the short corner and across the ledge to a sloping dihedral crux (5.8). Be sure to protect your 2nd after completing these crux moves. Traverse hard left and up to a 2-bolt belay on a small ledge.
P3: Walk right across the "diving board" and then up steep but juggy terrain into a right-facing corner. Go above this traverse right and into a left-facing corner to a 2-bolt belay at the top of the cliff. Incredible pitch!
Descent: Your best option is to walk off to the west (climber's left). Two 70 meter ropes will reach the ground as 1 rappel, but because of the overhanging nature of this section of cliff, multiple raps with shorter ropes is not possible.
From Cryogenics, walk right along the base of the cliff past the smooth shield of rock. The first pitch chimney starts just after the trail turns steeply uphill.
The airy 3rd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Grotto Wall Traverse, 3 pitch 5.8.
|By Rob Scrivner|
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 days ago
What a fun route. We went ahead and tried the first pitch, and sure enough it was "forgettable" as mentioned. Just skip it, walk out on the easy slab and find a good belay ledge, lower down than you'd expect. Look for a nice easy chimney with some good hand-sized placements. We built our anchor in a totally wrong place, and when I started up P2, I was clipping bolts on what I believe to be Stand By Your Van. Someone else had already bailed from one of those bolts, so I threaded their quicklink, came back down, and found the right way.
P2 was a blast. Fun jamming, and an easy to protect traverse.
P3 was the definite crux pitch but absolutely phenomenal climbing. Big, scary moves on good terrain takes you to a fantastic little hand/finger crack with fun jamming. Another cool traverse takes you to one last awesome crack then the summit.
Really easy, basic descent to the west. Two 70m ropes would probably get you down from the chains, but the drag would be pretty miserable I imagine.