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Nuggernaut 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 900', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Some old school dogs.
New Route: Yes
Season: Spring through fall.
Page Views: 3,558
Submitted By: Jaaron Mankins on Jan 17, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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BETA PHOTO: The Nuggernaut follows the left-facing dihedral.

Description 

This is a nice, long moderate with excellent belay stances and fun, varied climbing. It is one of the more continuous lines in the area. An old pin was recently found about 750' up this climb at the bottom of a nice dihedral variation.

Location 

The route faces northeast, and follows giant, left-facing diherdral for the entire climb. Start at the bottom of the dihedral and get it on. To get down, find bolted anchor at the top of the tower on the south side. A combination of double and single rope rappels will drop you right back to your packs. The rap line is climber's left of route and alternates between bolted stations and natural anchors.

Protection 

A double set of cams with one #4 Camalot plus nuts. Trad anchors for most belays. Rap off combination of bolts, nuts, and trees for descent.


Photos of Nuggernaut Slideshow Add Photo
Looking up at pitch 4... many different options.
Looking up at pitch 4... many different options.
Andy Albosta on the traverse pitch 3.
Andy Albosta on the traverse pitch 3.
Local climber looking down pitch 5.  The dude is truly on the edge.
Local climber looking down pitch 5. The dude is t...
Dan on pitch 2 traverse.
Dan on pitch 2 traverse.
Nuggernaut topo. By Ian Allison.
BETA PHOTO: Nuggernaut topo. By Ian Allison.

Comments on Nuggernaut Add Comment
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By bryant
Oct 2, 2012

Really great for beginners to multi-pitch and trad. Straightforward route with the exception of the traverse left at the second pitch...which is pretty obvious now since you read it. Posted a short description and video here - takeslack.com/nuggernaut/.
By Gary N
From: Durango, CO
Apr 24, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A fun route. I prefer this route over No Country For Old Men. The Nuggernaut offers what I believe to be a more direct line/route finding and more sustained climbing at about the 5.7-5.8 level. Five good pitches of more technical climbing vs. 3 pitches and some scrambling.

A little descent beta: follow cairns from the summit south-east-ish to a bolted rap anchor. Make one single rope rap to a large tree with webbing. From here, make a double rope rap to a small, singular tree with webbing. Another double rope rap will get you to a bolt and fixed nut (webbing/cord could use an update). From here, make a double rope rap to a large terrace with a two bolt anchor. One more double rope rap will get you to the base of the Nuggernaut.
By S.Mckinna
From: Durango, CO
Jun 4, 2013

Rap info was nice to have. The rap to the smaller, singular tree is 200+. If your rope is shortened much, you might have an easy, super short downclimb. We used a single rope with a tag line (Reepschnur rappel), it worked well, but I definitely had to pull hard! Rap stations get a good amount of sun, so the tat gets faded. Bring good amount of webbing just in case.
By spicyjam
From: durango, Colorado
Aug 17, 2013

So climbed this yesterday, at least part of the route, and really think there should be more beta on the climb before saying this climb is for beginners. First, I want to say before planning to climb this make sure you give yourself ALL day for this climb. The approach is one hell of a steep approach. From hiking on loose boulders to difficult trail finding, there are a few rock pillars guiding, but I found they only helped a little bit. So this said, you don't want to find yourself walking down the approach after dark! The difficult trail finding becomes even more difficult at night, and it's pretty dangerous hiking down a boulderfield at night. Also it's easy to find yourself bluffed out! So make sure you have a headlamp or, better yet, leave yourself at least and hour of light to get the approach.
So now to the climb! The rock was pretty bomber and for the most part well-protected, but I'm not sure about the route finding? So this is what we did:

P1) What we did was climb the start of Nauggernaut with the prominent, left-facing dihedral that follows a well-protected crack up to a belay ledge that is inside an alcove (160-170 ft, 5.8).
P2) You keep following up the same crack above the alcove, and you will pass 2 rap stations: one is a piece of webbing blocked in a crack with a rock (this rap needs to be replaced soon!); and the second rap I just replaced, and it's a large sling over rock which should hopefully last a while. So we climbed up past the second rap to another large ledge right under a large cave (70 ft, 5.8).
P3) This is when I think we lost the route. We traversed left on a prominent ledge to anther large ledge that had several cracks leading up (50ft).
P4) We climbed a crack that was on the left face of this wall, and it looks like a well-protected, short crack that's next to a small, right-facing dihedral that you can sort of smear on. This crack was really dirty and made us think it's probably never been climbed before. At the top of this pitch is another large ledge and nice tree to belay.(5.9+/5.10a dirty, 50ft).
P5) Start this pitch by slowly ascending up really easy 5.2 climbing to a really prominent crack. Here you can face climb and protect with the crack on your right side. Well-protected! Climb up and belay at a huge tree at the top (110 ft, 5.7).
This is where our journey ended due to light constraint, but there are definitely more options to the top!
To descend, just rap down the same path you went up. There is at least 2 double rope raps, so make sure you bring 2 ropes.

Hope this information helps the next person that climbs this route!
And if you have climbed it, feel welcome to add more beta, thanks.
By S.Mckinna
From: Durango, CO
Aug 22, 2013

Reads like you missed the P2 traverse. The start of that pitch is pictured above with Andy traversing and the topo posted is accurate also. The raps described by GaryN are spot on as well. There is definitely many ways up this thing. If you make it to the top, follow Gary's description down.
By Nate Hathaway
From: Durango, CO
Jun 15, 2014

I found a pair of shoes near the base of Nugg. Make-model-size and you can have them back.
By Kevin Frederick
Jul 18, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Nice climb. You can climb many different minor variations, and if you're confident on 5.8. The faces next to the dihedral are lovely and offer just enough protection. A standard trad rack was fine. Tri-cams were most useful.

Approach: about 1.5 hours total. After leaving the valley trail at Indian Creek, follow cairns as much as possible; they mark about about two-thirds of the ascent. From the valley to the base of the climb is almost exactly 1000 feet and took us about an hour at a plodding pace, nursing a bad ankle and bad knee. I would bring trekking poles next time! In lieu of trekking poles, we used sticks to help with balance on the steep terrain.

Descent: as Gary N. noted above, follow cairns to a double-bolt anchor with chains next to a large tree. Make a single rope rap to another set of bolts with chains. Make a double-rope rap from there, past another set of bolts, to another double-bolt anchor with chains. Repeat. Nice double bolts with chains all the way down. The bolt-and-fixed-nut station mentioned above now has two bolts. Possibly rappable with a single rope, but I wasn't paying enough attention to be sure and some of the intermediate stations have nylon tat.

To the nice guy at Gardenswartz Outdoors, we did remove your stuck BD nut. Email me if you're dying to have it back. :-)