This is an excellent pitch; one of the finest face climbs in Eldorado!
Begin in the first gully formed by the two fins on the left when facing the crag. The first bolt is 40' up on the left wall of the gully. The route more or less follows a direct line up the face. Start by climbing up to a left-angling hand traverse 30' up (#3 Camalot) and traverse left on good holds to a stance 20' below the first bolt. Crank up to the first bolt on pretty runout 5.8, and crank out cool less-than-vertical balance and edging moves up to some good holds from which you can clip the second bolt. Crank straight up to a third bolt, and do some judicious route finding to find a fourth bolt 40' above you.
This is not a sport climb; gear is very useful for this next section, perhaps a #0.75 or #1 Camalot will work, otherwise it is a 40' runout with a 5.8 mantle at the end. Clip the fourth bolt and wander up on 10- moves to the base of a flared crack. This crack looks like it takes small Stoppers in some places, however I was out of gear that would fit anything at this point and just traversed left and followed the 5.6 arete to the belay for another 40' runout. The regular route continues up this crack to an obvious bolt, then to the belay. The crack is 9+. This route is fairly safe with the right gear; it wasn't too well bolted though. Expect to run it out a healthy distance on 5.8 climbing.
A double-rope rap off the top brings you to the ground.
There are five bolts in 180'; bring some gear. A #3 Camalot is helpful in the beginning, otherwise bring a selection of small-to-midrange Stoppers and TCUs. A #4 Camalot can be placed 20' after the fourth bolt. Bring some longer runners to alleviate rope drag.
|By Ken Leiden|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 11, 2001
I agree it is an excellent pitch of sustained slab climbing. The 9+ crack/seam at the top does take wires and small cams, but the gear placements take some work. Also, do *not* fall on the 5.8 moves up to the first bolt. This would be a bad pendulum that would slam you into a slab.
|By Stan Lanzano|
Nov 12, 2001
Exquisite face climbing on incredibly featured, gritty stone for 180 feet! Enjoy the views of the Divide as you shake out and try to figure out the moves (and the gear) on the .10c section half way up. Bring lots of small Aliens and double ropes for the rappel. One of Eldorado's best face climbs.
|By Gary Stetler|
Apr 5, 2002
The ground-fall potential on this route prior to clipping the first bolt is pretty high and I found it more comfortable to lead this by climbing the shallow dihedral just right of the face moves to the bolt, placing pro in the dihedral's crack and then traversing almost directly left to the bolt. The rest of the pitch is one of the nicest face pitches around, with good pro.
|By Brian Milhaupt|
From: Golden, CO
Aug 25, 2002
With a 70m you can reach the tree for a second rappel, or easy downclimb.
|By Bob Gobell|
Sep 17, 2003
A few Aliens / Camalots to .75 supplemented the bolts nicely. Double ropes eliminate any rope drag.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Feb 23, 2005
After climbing Highway of Diamonds it's hard to think this isn't a wee bit contrived.
Jun 21, 2005
Contrived runout getting to the first bolt, but otherwise an enjoyable pitch of good-quality face climbing. Seemed a little soft for 11a.
|By Brian Sorden|
Sep 25, 2005
I agree with Gary, the shallow dihedral is a perfectly acceptable way to avoid the serious face move to the first bolt, and should be considered a variation for the quality of the left-traversing moves. I love this route. The anchor bolts should be moved to the solid block three feet above to avoid the sharp, loose edge. A 60m rope is sufficient to reach the tree between the 2nd and 3rd fin, and will get you almost all the way to the belay tree for Ichiban with an easy five-foot downclimb.
|By Roger Linfield|
Nov 16, 2005
The previous info was very helpful, and I'll just add a few comments. Near the start, I climbed up to the top of the shallow, left-facing dihedral, placed protection (with a long runner), climbed back down, and then went directly up to the first bolt. Even with the gear in the dihedral, a #3 Camalot in a pocket below the bolt (with a double length sling) was welcome. The slot for the #4 Camalot was between the third and fourth bolt, and shortened the long runout getting up to the fourth bolt. This is a great route.
|By Jim Amidon|
Jul 6, 2007
Pretty standard Eldo route, spicy, runout, nice long pitch. Keeps you on your toes
Enjoy it, it's a nice route
|By D. Shaw|
Sep 3, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c PG13
Fabulous, long pitch. The upper "crack" is not 9+. Ichiban Arete, which we did just before is rated 10b (maybe 10a). The incipient crack above the 10c move is continuous/harder than any move on Ichiban Arete; it is difficult to lead while protecting safely, especially if you put the gear in the few places you might have gotten a finger lock. You want to be solid at placing gear and leading about 10b for this bit, or you need to bail out to the left and up the arete, as some have done (9+ S, maybe). Also, the guys above are quite right: the safest way to do the traverse moves to bolt #1 is how they describe, with trad. gear up and right in the dihedral. Finally, 60 m rope indeed gets you about 10 feet above the belay tree, with 5.4 downclimb to it.
|By FC John|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 25, 2010
Made the same mistakes as Gregg Russo.
Clipped the first three bolts and while staring into the sun climbed up past the 4th bolt while following the natural line of gear placements. Pulled over the two bulges(10-) and then traversed right back to bolt 4 or 5 but encountered heinous rope drag. Climbed back to the arete and ran it out over moderate (but run out) terrain to the bolted anchor. Keeping true to the route would have trended up and right more than seems logical from the 3rd bolt.
I'm sure we weren't the first to make this mistake and so thought a logical name to this variation is Land of Diamonds.
Rapping from the bolted anchors with a 60m rope left us with about a 8 ft down climb to the tree...be careful!
Oct 11, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b
This is a great, sustained route! However, the crux is one move max, and I don't think that it is a 5.11a move. I may be biased though because I am taller, but the move was over before you knew it. That being said, the route doesn't let up at any point. Be on your game for this one because you really have to go for it and navigating wasn't easy. The seam up top takes some wire (I slotted a #9 and was PSYCHED) and microcams. Control yourself in the beginning so you don't have rope drag with will f%$k you at the end of the route. The SMC bolts add a bit of spice into the equation as well. All said, what a great route. Get on it!