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YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 450', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Scott Baxter and Karl Karlstrom, 1973
Season: Warm, but not hot
Page Views: 2,901
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Nov 13, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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Nick coming up the final traverse bit on pitch 3. ...

Falcon closures. MORE INFO >>>


This is a great line that links some prominent features up the steep section left of the Great Roof. This line gives a taste of everything. Technical stemming, splitter jamming, exposed face wandering, and a cruiser giant corner at the top.

Pitch 1. Scramble up and into a left facing dihedral via cracks and ramps to belay on perch.

Pitch 2. The gear on this pitch is small maybe PG13. Technical (burly) stemming and some thin gear will take you up to a point just below a roof, gear belay. This pitch felt hard, as all the 5.10s here do.

Pitch 3. Cruise up the crack to where it ends and traverse left to a small ledge and a bolt. When we were on the thing that was all there was. Would be nice to update that sections a bit with belay bolts.

Pitch 4. Climb up past bolt and shelf working left moving past occasional gear placements, heading towards the big break above. Move left some more and scramble up to the base of the large dihedral. This pitch gets 5.9. Very exposed, exciting pitch.

Pitch 5. Work your way past large features in the corner to the top. A fun pitch and a great way to finish a spectacular route.


Middle o' the middle section.


Standard plus small wires and brass.

Photos of Kingpin Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Nick, near the topout of Kingpin.  Another great p...
Nick, near the topout of Kingpin. Another great p...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hugo on pitch 1
Hugo on pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Heather Hayes follows the crux pitch of Kingpin (i...
Heather Hayes follows the crux pitch of Kingpin (i...
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux stemming corner on pitch 2.
The crux stemming corner on pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nick hitting the jug on the spicy face pitch(4).  ...
Nick hitting the jug on the spicy face pitch(4). ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just through the stemming corner and onto the thug...
Just through the stemming corner and onto the thug...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hopefully helpful to see the whole route for folks...
Hopefully helpful to see the whole route for folks...

Comments on Kingpin Add Comment
Show which comments
By phil broscovak
Jun 25, 2007

In 1976/77 I did this wild route with Stan Mish. I remember it being really stiff but harder mentally than physically. I also remember being glad that Stan led what I considered the run out crux pitch. The "pro" on that face (pre springs and micro gear)was mostly humorous in a not funny kind of way. The only retreat from that lead would have been a screamer. That was a stressful belay but a beautiful lead. Stan had that goofy grin and those nerves of steel. Stan thought we might be doing a 2nd ascent and that gave the climb a mysterious feel. Very cool climb.
By Larry Coats
Sep 2, 2007

A historical tidbit: Karl led the crux pitch on the FFA (impressive as he's a big guy and had a rep as fat crack climber).
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Nov 5, 2009
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

As of a few weeks ago, there were bats hanging out in the flake above the belay on the 4th (face) pitch. I heard them and was nervous about shoving my fingers in there- my belayer said once I moved past, 5 flew out. Just a heads up.

Also- with micro camming units and micro stoppers the crux stemming pitch protects well. I would say the PG-13 would be on the face pitch- if you blow the crux reach move your last pro is a long way down and to the side. A fall here might bounce you off the sloping belay ledge- I don't know for sure and don't want to find out either!

Also, linking the crux corner with the pitch above is doable and recommended
By jayci
From: Flagstaff
Nov 30, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Great climb! I give it a star for every pitch. Link pitches one and two so the belayer wont have the leader land on their head.
By Tim H.
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Oct 25, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Does anyone know if there are 1 or 2 bolts at the belay on top of pitch 3 and what kind of shape they are in?
By Bobby Treadwell
From: Prescott, AZ
Oct 27, 2013

There are 3 bolts. One is new and in good shape, the other two are old and junk. There is also some oldish-cordelette-tat in the form of american-death-x connecting them. It's good to go!
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix, AZ
Aug 23, 2015

A most excellent route indeed! Great idea to link p1 with 2 (will have to try next time!) and the bats stayed put above the bolts (though they're still there). 3 bolts, 2 are good, didn't have a knife to remove the tat. The falcon poop at the start of the last pitch is the only "hindrance" now, but at least they're in great shape and not offended at all by us climbing up there. In fact, one landed on the ledge about 20 feet below me at the top just to say hello and not even yell and scream. Very, very cool to have them so healthy and unperturbed.

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