|27,160 page views|
|Type: ||Trad, Sport, 9 pitches, 700 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.11b/c [details]|
|FA: ||Jorge and Joanne Urioste/FFA:John Long, Lynn Hill & Joanne Urioste|
|Submitted By: ||justin dubois on Feb 14, 2003|
Unknown climber on pitch 1 of Levitation 29.
This route is considered by many to be the BEST route at Red Rocks. Lynn Hill calls it her favorite route of all time, hard to believe it's better than the free Nose, but to each her own.
It is located up on the Eagle wall, high above Oak Creek Canyon. The approach follows the creek bed to the back of this canyon then turns right and up a steep but walkable slab/ramp to the base of the Eagle Wall. Allow 1-3 hrs for the hike in. The route can be identified by locating the Eagle made of varnished rock, flying west about 1/4 up the wall. Levitation climbs through the tail of this big birdie. Another landmark is the crux headwall on pitch 5, with what appears to be a splitter crack in it. Aim for this.
Pitch 1:locate a nicely varnished and smooth corner system with about 4 bolts near the right side of the Eagle Wall. Climb this awesome pitch to a bolt anchor 100' 5.10
Pitch 2: step right from the belay and gain an open corner. Head up steep but juggy flakes, clipping bolts where gear would work. Aim for the big roof above. Make incredibly fun and exciting moves out this roof with bolts well above your head the whole way, to another bolted anchor. I was tempted to skip some clips exiting the roof as they are 2 ft apart, but clipping them for your 2nd is a nice gesture. 90' 5.11
Pitch 3: Follow a left-trending crack system till it ends, then face climb back right towards a left facing corner. climb up this corner to yet another bolted anchor. there is more gear on this pitch than it looks from below. 100' 5.8
Ptch 4: Climb a line of bolts straight up from the belay passing an awkward bulge, into a crack system. follow this to the base of the headwall with a crack in it. 110' 5.10
Pitch 5: The business. Head up the steep CRACK, with lots of BOLTS next to it. A great exposed pitch. The crux is about 20 ft off the belay, where fist jams and hand jams and finger locks gain a shallow dihedral. fight the pump and it's on to another bolted stance. 90' 5.11 13 bolts.
Pitch 6: Continue with the same crack system but at a less extreme angle to....you guessed it a bolted anchor. 5.10 80'
Pitch 7:Follow a left facing corner to some pumpy liebacking around a bulge. 90'5.10
From here most people rap with two ropes. there are two more pitches, I have not done them or seen them, they are 5.9 and 5.8. You can walk off from th top of the wall, but rapping is casual. I don't know the details of the walk off.
At least 13 draws, bring more and you can link pitches 5&6. A single rack to #3 Camalot will suffice.
Nate A. sniffing out the second pitch.
Jason Seaver entering the technical corner of the ...
BETA PHOTO: Jeremiah heading into the crux on the second 5.11 ...
BETA PHOTO: Checking out the crux on the gorgeous second pitch...
BETA PHOTO: Andrew Gomoll styles the opening pitch of Levitati...
Pitch five is steep!
Just below the 11b crux on pitch two
Chris leads picth 5 on levitation 29. 11c
Taken from atop pitch 5
Oak Creek Canyon's Eagle Wall. Photo: Bob Horan Co...
Bob Horan heading up Levitation 29.
John Baldwin seconding the upper pitches on levita...
Julien Laurent leading pitch 8 on Levitation 29.
Climber from 11/14/09 pulling the roof on pitch 2.
The crux pitch is extremely well protected.
Unknown climber cruxin on Leav. Taken from P5 of ...
Top of the route
Moving toward the 4th class descent on the traditi...
lookin down pitch 2
|Comments on Levitation 29
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 15, 2004
Grade III? Yikes, you must be speedy, Justin! In the Urioste "Red Book", this is Grade V! But this assumes going over the top ...
|By phil broscovak|
From: Boo-older, Co.
Mar 15, 2004
definitely not a grade III
|By justin dubois|
From: Estes Park
Mar 15, 2004
OK I did not go over the top, nor did I even do the two pitches after the crux.........I suck. But in my opinion, when it comes to a commitment grade, if EVERY pitch has a huge bolted anchor, just how commited are you? If the Scenic Cruise in the Black is grade V, this can't be more than a III, right?the appraoch should get a V...
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 16, 2004
I would argue that the presence of rap anchors does not change the grade of the entire climb at all; however, it does make it easier to shorten the route by rapping off early. Heck if you just want to do the first pitch this could be grade I (well, maybe not considering the approach). The grade should be for doing the entire climb plus normal descent, in my opinion. It is true that most people these days don't do the last few pitches, and I agree done this way it is not a grade V. I don't think any less of you for rapping after the crux, I haven't done the route and doubt I could even get up pitch 2. There are no rules here!
Anyway I wouldn't suggest sleeping in and starting the approach at 10 AM for this route, even if you are just planning to go through the pumpfest pitch. The approach is a monster!
|By Chad Stebbins|
Mar 22, 2004
Some additional beta on the approach: Follow the river bed up the canyon until it splits. Take the right fork and follow this drainage until you encounter 2 giant pine trees, one on either side of the drainage. The trees are very obvious when you see them. Follow 3rd class ramps back and up to the right towards the wall. Scramble down an approximate 60 ft. gully (3rd - 4th class) before continuing up again to the base of the wall. This approach took us 2 hours exactly.
We only did the first 6 pitches, but all were of high quality. The first pitch felt a tad awkward and very different from the pitches above, very fun though. The second pitch roof is easy if you climb in a gym at all. I felt some of the climbing prior to the roof to be more difficult. The fifth pitch is not over once you pull through the jams, very fun and technical.
May 25, 2004
What's up with all this favorite climb crap? How much climbing have you done? Isn't every climb and experience different?! Why all the hype about this or any other climb? People just like to talk, talk, talk!!!
|By jeff m giddings|
Apr 10, 2005
Awesome route! Maybe not the best route at Red Rocks, but it rates pretty high. Much harder than 11a in my estimation.
Apr 17, 2005
Have done this climb twice now and still prefer Epinephrine. The thin section above the jambs was the crux for me and "power liebacking" pitch with 18 bolts (p6?) was my favorite. This formation has the easiest walkoff of any long climbs at Red Rocks and is almost as scenic as Mt Wilson. Doing the last couple pitches is a small price to pay for such an easy, scenic descent. You just wander back along the ridge toward the drainage (pretty much level) and around the backside of a large red mound (well defined trail) then head right down the smooth, brushfree slabs to the pines and over to your packs. From there there is a much easier descent (and ascent on the way in) which basically goes down to an 8' diameter boulder and then winds around slabs slightly updrainage to the stream. I would highly recommend descending this route before trying to ascend it but once you've done it you'll not go the other way.
Jan 8, 2006
I felt a little cheated by the bolts. Easily half of them could have been removed and good gear could be placed.
If this route were in Eldo, there would be 4 total bolts and 3 bent over pitons.
I guess I can't bring my trad ethic on vacation with me.
Sep 10, 2006
I totally agree its overbolted, but remember no one made you clip them.
and oh...eldo schmeldo.
Oct 29, 2006
Great Route!! Favorite pitches are pitch two and the very pumpy and very long lie back pitch. I only had 10 quickdraws so the 18bolt pitch became a little more exciting.
PS. I have done the climb twice, the first time was a couple days after a big rain storm and the gully was roaring with water, the approach took 3 hours and my partner found himself almost swimming in one of the pools.
|By Kyle vH|
Dec 1, 2006
Does anyone know if you can rappel this with 1 70m rope?
From: Albuquerque, NM
Dec 5, 2006
I did this route over Thanksgiving break. We rappelled the route with 1 70 m no problem, it was only close for 1 pitch edit: (don't remember which actual pitch this was, post below says pitch 4). For a rack we took quite a bit to link together pitches, Pitch 1&2 and 8&9. I believe we used the #2, but the #3 wasn't necessary unless you want to aid the crux. I also don't remember using any micro cams or wires. Pitch 7 now has something like 18 bolts, but many are easily skippable or back cleanable. Overbolted but feels good on the awful rock of that pitch.
|By Luke Stefurak|
From: Mountain View, CA
Nov 5, 2007
More beta for rapping with a 70m Rope
We climbed the route on 11/3 and rapped with a 70m rope. It is really close on the rap from the top of pitch 4(the belay below the crux pitch) to the pitch 3 anchors. The ends of the ropes hang just inches below the next set of rap rings without any weight on the rope. We extended our belay devices and with a bit of stretch had no problem with the rap. We had a brand new rope so the amount of rope stretch should not be an issue. Do BE CAREFUL though since it is very very close.
All other pitches reached easily with a 70m rope with many feet to spare.
We easily linked 1&2 and 8&9. The biggest issue was rope drag for both of these links. Make sure to use a long slings at the P1 anchor and before and after the P8 anchor.
|By Jonas Wiklund|
Dec 28, 2007
Whatever Disturbing the Peace says, if you do this route without any small slcds or wires you pretty much have to solo the 5.8 pitch.
|By Brad G|
From: Yosemite and else where
Jan 1, 2008
It would be cool to lead this climb without useing the bolts. There seems to be just enough cracks. Very runout and scary though.
Mar 22, 2008
a great route. I enjoyed the approach a lot 'cause it's fun jumping trough the river bad. You can easily skip the last part of the creek by walkong up rightwards slabs to a boulder and then scramble up an arete and walk down (40m) to the start. You absolutely NEED small wires for the third 5.8 pitch unless you are suicidal. Holds can break here!!
We rappeled after the 6. pitch, every pitch was fun...
We rapped with a seventy meter rope, and it was ok.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 10, 2008
good route- very rewarding. went to the top- then rappelled the route with a single 70m line (new sterling 9.5mm) with no problem- that rap from 4 to 3 is super close- its exactly 35m between bolts (maybe 36m).
for a rack, if i were going to do it again, i'd take a single set of nuts and gear to a #1 camalot- i think both the number 2 and 3 camalots are totally optional.
oh, and i'll call this one a solid grade IV if you go to the top.
|By Karsten Delap|
From: North Carolina
Mar 8, 2009
Use caution with the 70m rope. Our rope (an older Mammut); and another party's rope (Maxim?) did not reach. The other party had extended the rappel devices; rapped to the knots and had to clip in 3 or so feet above the belay. Our rope didn't even come close. 10 ft short?
|By Anthony Anagnostou|
Mar 11, 2009
you can get to the base of the eagle wall in a little over an hour from oak creek parking. see direct approach beta on the main eagle wall page.
|By Joe Stern|
Apr 26, 2009
Did the route yesterday (4/25/09)...as fantastic as advertised. I agree with vegastradguy's rack: single set of nuts (being about 4 med-large size) and up to #1 cam (with nuts, probably just a .75 and 1 would be fine). Rapped with single 70m no problem. The last 2 pitches are worth doing once - fun movement on hollow flakes, certainly not mega classic but entertaining enough. Highly recommend the crux pitch extension if you still have a few draws left at the top of the 11c...not only a fun pumpy linkup but you get to skip a hanging belay!
Dec 11, 2009
With a 70, you can link 3&4 5&6 8&9. GREAT LINKUPS!!!!!!!!!!!
PS. The walk off is a must, not bad at all, takes about the same amount of time a rapping (maybe just a little longer).
|By Daniel Trugman|
From: Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Jan 1, 2010
Awesome route on an awesome wall. No one else in the canyon the whole day, but we were greeted by two bighorn sheep on approach! Walk off was fun but a bit icy this time of year. I would rate the pitches as follows (and by the way, I would say grade IV if you top out, but no one asked me...):
1: 5.10c. Fun but tricky.
2: 5.11a. Tricky stemming to a great jug crux.
3: 5.8. Very fun for the grade.
4: 5.10a. Cool edging.
5: 5.11c. Outstanding face and crack climbing; the money pitch.
6: 5.10d. Technical edging leads to easier crack climbing.
7: 5.11a. A sustained and pumpy pitch. Great climbing but soft rock.
8: 5.10a. Crux move off the belay to 5.9 slabbing on soft rock.
9: 5.8/5.9. Soft rock, not great but you're almost at the top!
10: 5.5. Easy, link this with 9.
|By Monica Jones|
Apr 4, 2010
Onsighted the first 11a, 10b, and linked the last two pitches (bad rope drag). Rapped the route, the walk off looked and sounded nightmarish. We bivied a half hour from the route the night before and got the route done with by 1pm. Beautiful route.
|By Kirk L|
Oct 16, 2010
Is it possible to safely lead the crack sections on gear? hows the rock quality?
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 17, 2010
Sure- the rock quality is better than most routes in red rock- but while I'd say the route has a fair number of bolts that protect a crack, it's not an overwhelming number. The route is what it is, and the fact that you can hike up there with 6 cams and 18 draws and fire that route casually is pretty nice.
|By Alex Shainman|
From: Portland, OR
Nov 22, 2010
Great memories of this route! Did it once with Raleigh Collins (RIP) in 1996. After a late drive from his hang in JTree, we crashed at a lady friend of his' house in Vegas. The plan was to get up super early and hike in to do a couple routes including L29. While I slept, Raleigh and said lady friend partied it up with lots of alcohol and some funny stuff and much crazy sexual exploits which I learned about later...Anyways, my alarm woke me up to the low hum of some music from the bedroom. I banged on the door and after a "Yo dude!!!" or two, RC comes to the doorway looking like, haha, well he looked like he had quite the evening! After half sleeping in the car and excitedly telling me some details of the night, we got to the trailhead. Part way up the hike, Raleigh hurls and painfully continues for a few minutes. At this point, I don't feel sorry for him but I do ask if we should continue. Anyone who knew him would know his pride. We continued to the base and after he puked again, we started up the route. I led every pitch and he followed clean. It's not a particularly difficult route but in his condition, that's like a different situation. I remember him really trying to hold back another hurl-episode while I was leading...lots of muffled coughing until I got to an anchor up high...then he released more bile in a convulsion of sorts-Yikes! We topped out, gave a high-five and proceeded on the descent. I told him that even though we were only doing one route, unlike we had planned, I was still psyched and proud of him for trooping up there and keeping it together. Raleigh was a proud man, in my eyes. Even though I did know of some of his personal troubles, I never knew what really ate away at his core. It really rocked me when I heard of his death in 2006, which appeared to be suicide. Raleigh was a great friend to me, I still miss him!
Apr 27, 2011
Great, really superb! One of the best!
We were afraid by reading the expected times for climbing and aproach but did it in 7 hours, car to car in the end.
|By Mark SLC|
Jul 25, 2011
Deserves every bit of the hype it gets. Pitch after pitch of amazing climbing, great exposure and a remote feeling. We walked off and found it extremely straightforward - the last 5.9 pitch was a little gritty but still good fun. Views were awesome. If you commit to the approach finish the route and walk off it's worth it.
|By Rob DeZonia|
Sep 4, 2011
This was one of my first roped climbs in Red Rocks. I remember being really disapointed. We had just done a trip to the Black Canyon and I was expecting a little bit more of an adventure. The first pitch was great. The rest seemed mediocre. This is a feel good route and great for someone new to 5.11. I climbed aross some really sandy 5.10 that I didn't expect on an ultra classic. I think you can clip three bolts from one stance next to a fist sized crack on the crux pitch. I've never gotten over that first impression.
My friends think I'm crazy for not liking it. After climbing a couple routes in Red Rocks, I can look back and remember a good route.
|By Grant Gerhard|
From: Fort collins co
Oct 11, 2011
At what grade should a trad leader be confident at to do this climb? Are the 10c moves on the first pitch protected by gear or the 4 or so bolts? thanks
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 11, 2011
You'll want to be a solid 5.10 trad leader, especially for the first two pitches. I remember everything hard is protected well by bolts (except the second pitch for some reason- still protects well, and the bolts are there for the crux).
That said, don't underestimate this climb- its well bolted, but its also solid 5.11 climbing. I had an easier time on the Rainbow Wall 5.11 pitches than I did on the crux of this beast.
|By Josh Janes|
Nov 29, 2011
Beta for solid climbers:
Bring a lot of draws/slings (15-18), green through orange Aliens, no wires, and a 70m rope. With this rack, you'll have to be careful on the first pitch, and you'll have to run out the third 5.8 pitch significantly, but neither are unreasonable. After P3 you need no more trad gear.
Link 1 & 2 (awesome mega-pitch)
Link 3 & 4 with 5-10' simulclimbing
Link 5 (crux) & 6 to avoid a hanging belay
Link 7 & 8
Link 9 & 10 to the top
Skip bolts, back clean, and use runners well to avoid rope drag on all these linkups.
The rap down P4 is very tight... exercise exteme caution. All other raps are fine with a 70m.
|By Garrett Bales|
From: Lake City, CO
Feb 14, 2012
Just further confirming you can rap with a single 70m rope, as stated P4 rap is very close
|By Spencer Weiler|
From: SLC, UT
Feb 22, 2012
Fun climb. Enjoyed all the pitches except 7 as that soft white rock just isn't my favorite. Very insecure. However pitches 1 and 2 were some of my favorite red rock pitches I've done. Loved topping out. I personally didn't mind the tight bolt spacing of pitch 5 as I am a certified wimp. Definitely more of a sport climb than trad climb, but almost every pitch requires at least one gear placement. I brought the #2 but no #3 camalot and thought that was appropriate. It took us around 6.5 hours to climb all 9+ pitches of this sucker with no linkups. As for belay ledges(an enjoyable and important aspect of a climb for me), here is a brief synopsis:
pitch 1-semi decent slanting scoop flake ledge thing, can stand on it unsupported
2-borderline crappy, a small ledge
3-2nd best of route, ok ledge
4-hanging belay on slab, not cool
5-full on hanging belay, sucky!
6-best of climb, small, but you can actually sit down!
7-eh, not so good but ok. small but adequate
8-pretty good, hanging on moderate slab, better than 4
9-if rappeling, anchor spot not good, if walking down link to top tree, lie down on top with gear sprawled across time and space
Apr 2, 2012
mannn.. you guys are funny
|By FC John|
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 4, 2012
We parked at the old Oak Creek Campground, took the creek to the pine trees, then directly up the slabs. Took us about 3 hours. We took a few wrong turns at various forks in the trail coming from the road which caused us to zig zag back and forth through the wash. I figured that we could have shaved off at least 30 minutes if we parked on the loop road and knew the trail. The route had fantastic position, but honestly didn't live up to the hype. Pitch 2 was fun movement, but chossy.... Happy with a rack of cams .3,.4,.5,.75, #1, #2 & a few stoppers....
Apr 9, 2012
Fun route. Super long approach that is easy to make longer than necessary if you delineate from the path. It's a pretty linear approach and impossible not to spot the wall but it is very possible to find yourself zig zagging from one side of the wash to the other. From what I have gathered from many other parties the best way to approach is to go the long way up the 3rd class approach. You definitely do not want to get caught doing the 4th class approach in the dark.
What surprised me about this route was the poor quality of rock on pitch 2. Super fun movement but pitch 2 might not exist in a few years. Exercise caution at the crux and DO NOT touch that hanging fang. It's apparent that people have been using it for feet and maybe a hand but that thing will rip if you were to give it a nice kick. Sorry for the beta spoiler but throw a heel hook on the jug below it to avoid the fang. Don't kill your belayer and the 10 parties that are probably waiting below you.
From: Livonia, MI
May 25, 2012
70 meter rope worked great for us for 4th pitch rappel. Extending rappel device helped make it work smoothly.
Sep 28, 2012
Can you rap this route if you top out? Or is it easier at this point to just hike the descent?
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 28, 2012
Its probably a toss-up between descending via the Chicken Lips descent (see that info on the Upper Painted Bowl page) and rappelling the route. You can get back to the last anchor, but its kind of exposed 4th class to do so. My partner topped out to check the view while I waited at the last anchor (I had been to the summit before) and then I belayed him back and we rapped down.
The last bolted anchor is at the top of the technical climbing- to top out, you 4th class up about 100'-150' to the top of the wall and walk off.
|By Joe Stern|
Apr 3, 2013
As noted by DisturbingThePeace, pitch 7 now has 16 good bolts (plus one vintage). Sure, you can skip a couple or back-clean, but the rock on this pitch is so-so and the pitch is kind of pumpy. So, maybe you want 13 draws, or 16, or 18, or some other random number of your choosing (depending on how far you're going, whether you're linking pitches, and if you're skipping/back-cleaning bolts).
Carried 4 med-large stoppers and a set of camalots #.3 to 1, which is exactly what I'll take next time, too. Fun climbing in an awesome position...love it!
May 2, 2013
Pitches 5 and especially 7 are stellar, but what makes the route a Favorite in my opinion is the variability of the climbing (from fingers to fists, from balancy, delicate face to overhanging jugs) paired with the consistently high quality. Thanks Lynn.
|By Nelson Day|
From: Victorville, CA
May 10, 2013
Don't let the approach scare you too much. We parked at the Oak Creek pullout on the loop and hiked in. We took a couple breaks and hiked casually, and got to the base of the climb in 2 1/2 hours. Approach beta we used: pretty much just follow the trail until it breaks down into the wash (don't go into the wash too early), head up the wash until you see two really large pine trees, and head up following cairns directly right of the large pine tree on the right. There are several pretty slick areas where you traverse across slab in the wash as the canyon narrows, but the traverses aren't too bad if you are careful. The traverses aren't exposed, just really slippery. There really isn't a reason to bivy at the base of the route. Pack light and just hike the approach the day of your climb. I took 4 liters of water and was dry just before we got back to the car.
We were back at the car 12 hours from the time we left it with plenty of daylight left, following the same route on the way out as the approach in. And I hiked out with a sprained ankle. I sprained it at the base of the climb looking up at the first pitch and not paying attention to the trail! Ugh... Still managed to lead pitches 2, 5, 6 & 7. My foot started to really swell up badly on the rappel. Hobbling out was the hardest part of the day for me. The pitch 7 crux is short, but the rest of the pitch is extremely sustained .10+ climbing. Get ready for the pump! The pitches are all pretty short, and go quickly as long as you don't dog up them.
The hanging belays sucked on the rap. We used a single 70m and just made the before mentioned rap with very little rope to spare. I would take twins next time I do this just to shorten the number of rappels. Or a 60m with a tag line.