This is another great wall. The biggest piece of granite in the Boulder area. This is the main attraction for climbers in Upper Dream Canyon. There is a mix of bolted and trad moderate climbs here; however, the predominant protection is currently bolts. The rock is fairly big and finding your exact route can take a bit of effort. Routes range from 1 to 5 pitches here. Some of the starts can become trickier during the spring runoff.
This one is the [third] farthest left route on Zen Garden Wall, the far left and upper part of Lost Angel. Scramble down gully to large tree with 2 bolt anchor opposite the tree. Cruise up the perfect hand/finger crack as it gets smaller and turns to seam above...then to blank face with 2 bolts until you reach anchor (~60 feet). You can TR 5 other cracks to the right of this one from the anchor...fun area to practice jamming and slabs.......[more]Browse More Classics in CO
It's not a big deal, but there are too many climbs here under Lost Angel. It would be nice to separate them out under sub-crags. For example, it is not easy now to find all the climbs on the Zen Garden Wall, or Wake Up Wall. These two areas are both under Lost Angel although they are probably nearly 1/4 mile apart!
Navigation to the base of these climbs is complex and confusing. But that is part of the fun of Dream Canyon! The map above is a great help, although there is room for improvement.
I have a complaint/ warning to others. Yesterday the weather was cloudy, misting, and light rain all day, so I figured instead of letting the weather shut me down like it has for about 2 weeks now I would go aid China Doll. Seeing as I have never been to Dream Canyon, this was probably a bad idea. We missed the correct approach and basically ended up right in the middle of the canyon below upper and above lower.
The problem was that we had no idea what we were on top of at the top and there is a ton of spur trails. The tops of the cliffs didn't present any distinct land marks to navigate from (we didn't know what cliff was which as you can't see the face from above) and it was unclear which drainage was the correct one to descend. We went way too far east in an attempt to find a for sure safe way down. The problem was we didn't want to slip on top of a big dome or slab of rock and end up at the bottom dead, or get cliffed out by taking the wrong way down. So, we just took the obvious main trail down to the bottom. Up the creek we went, crossing like 5 times I was sure glad I left my pack up top...not.
We arrived at the Lost Angel super exhausted not to mention running out of time, only had time to link the first 2 pitches and lower/back clean. I didn't climb at all, just a horrendous walk in a soaked canyon. with extra warm clothes and tons of gear for nothing! I guess at least my friend got some more aid experience, but at what price?
We came back up the ramp and saw another option we were considering for descent earlier, definitely cliffed out but was probably less then 100 yards from the ramp. For some reason we thought that deadly option was the dream dome descent but actually we were atop midnight instead of the LA. I hope I can find the ramp next time as there wasn't much that was really distinct about where we popped out.
So, the lesson, expect to waste a day (or maybe just part of the day if you start early enough) just finding the formation/route you want to climb here as navigation can suck. Probably good practice for descending into the black canyon on a smaller scale.
How many others have been lost here? I bet I'm not the first by a long-shot. Studying the contour of the river (in relation to the map in your guidebook) seemed helpful after the fact. We figured that out while we were lost in the bottom wondering where we were.
Yep, I got lost, too. Don't go here for the first time if you are under any time constraint. It'll likely take a bit to find your bearings, but once you understand the canyon, it shouldn't be too difficult to find your way around.