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Hard Up Direct 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 170'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
Page Views: 3,654
Submitted By: John Kelbel on Jul 25, 2012

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going through the chimney on the fourth pitch


The Classic route at Maryland Heights. It is recommended to link pitch 2 and 3 together.

1. Climb the left facing corner and face up to the white streak at the bottom of the sign. Step left to a set of bolts with chains. This pitch sometimes contains a little vegetation and is roughly 50 feet.
2. Diagonal up and left along the steep ramp. Step out left around an overhanging block passing the main rappel chains. Clipping or placing gear near the rappel chains may create rope drag if linking pitch 2&3 together. Step up on top of the overhanging block to the base of a vertical crack.
3. Climb the vertical crack for about 10 feet then follow the crack left up a steep right facing ramp to a wide platform. Keep an eye out for loose rock on the next easy part. Move up the wide crack on an outside corner for about 6 feet. Move around left onto the wide low angle face and up to the large bolder covered ledge with a tree.
4. Move up behind the tree into a squeeze chimney for about 8 feet, follow the crack system for another 20 feet passing 2 trees and walk into the wide chimney to find the main rappel chains on the left wall in the back of the chimney.

See Rappel information on the Sign Wall page. 60 meter rope required.


At the top of the trail scramble up a narrow gully directly below the center of the sign this is also left of a large left facing corner. Continue scrambling left up a ramp for 30' to a wide left facing corner.


Standard trad rack. Bolted belay on pitch 1 and 4. Combine pitch 2 and 3 and belay from the tree.

Photos of Hard Up Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On the 2nd / 3rd pitch linkup
On the 2nd / 3rd pitch linkup
Rock Climbing Photo: Hard Up Direct 5.8 Topo
BETA PHOTO: Hard Up Direct 5.8 Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: first moves of the 2nd pitch
first moves of the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Rob Savoye and friends leading Hard-Up (Rob Savoye...
Rob Savoye and friends leading Hard-Up (Rob Savoye...

Comments on Hard Up Direct Add Comment
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By Chris Blanchard
Apr 29, 2013

Don't rap off pitch 3 tree. Its been a long time since I've climbed this but our rope got stuck (twice) and we were stupid ... and stuck. We did this climb in four pitches so I'm not sure if its changed. Our pitch 3 anchor was under the chimney formation on a huge ledge with a tree and it was also the finish to the 5.6 that was on the far left facing the cliff from below.

Its funny that this climb takes place on top of an old Bath Tissue painted billboard.
By Shop tech
From: Golden, CO
Jul 18, 2014

Getting off the ground was the crux for me, with about 10 more feet of super awkward climbing over bulges before I could get established on the climb. Definitely link pitches 2+3. Awkward climbing will lead you to the only vertical section (10 feet?) of rock on the route which can be figured out beforehand, at a generous rest.

Attempted to bypass the chimney on the next pitch by using the crack to the right of it, but couldn't figure out the beta, next time.

Fun climb overall.
By Phil Keffer
Dec 5, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

I believe this route is called Hard Up. From what I understand the "direct" part refers to a alternate pitch #1 on the face to the right of the corner. People rarely climb the alternate bc of a lack of placements on lead. Also, top roping this pitch from the pitch 1 anchor can be dangerous because of the sharp ledge edge.

All that aside, Hard Up is a must do climb with great exposure and rests.
By Torren
Nov 16, 2015

We climbed this yesterday. The first time we did it the same as the route description linking P2/3. We then rapped down to the mid cliff anchors and climbed the top again as one long pitch this time taking the crack variation to the right of the chimney. The crack was way more fun than the chimney but a few grades harder (5.8-5.9ish).

With careful rope management you could climb this route in two pitches by passing up the first belay chains and climbing to the next set of rap chains. You can then get up to the top from those chains. Rope drag was not bad as long as you extend. However, if you blow it on the roof crack variation you will likely hit the ledge with that much rope out.

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