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South Side, Big Enchilada
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 65'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 326
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Jan 21, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: Unnamed offwidth/chimney (5.8), The
Big Enchilada...


Blocky climbing at the base leads to a short, clean, arching offwidth, into which it is difficult to gain entry. Past the offwidth, to the right, a chimney leads to the top.
This route is described and pictured by Beverly (2006:200-201) as Route #2. It is also apparently route #1 in the Chen/Wehner on-line guide. Jackson (2006) doesn't list any routes this far left on the crag (although he has a photo covering this area on page 186).


Near the far left (western) end of the south face of the Big E. The route ascends the left wall of a large right-facing corner. Go left of the pinon tree that marks the bottom of the Dihedral climb. Even though we're on the south face of the Big E, this climb gets early PM shade thanks to the big left wall.


At least one #6 Friend or C4 will be needed, or the equivalent. Multiples of biggies would probably be desirable so you don't have to walk up your first big placement.
Build a gear anchor on top. Beverly says to TR it, but it might be difficult to toprope because it traverses so much.

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By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Jan 21, 2009

I got schooled here. I couldn't even get into the bottom of the offwidth proper, and had to do the downclimb of shame, so I haven't led this whole thing. My 5.8 rating is from the guide books.

A #6 WC Friend was just barely big enough to span the bottom of the OW section, but it looks like it stays a consistent width all the way up.
Has anyone here led this wooly bugger? Left side in?

By Robin
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 9, 2009

Now that I have a #6 Cam I'll be attempting to avoid the "downclimb of shame" on this lovely offwidth!!

By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Jan 17, 2011

Tried this again last weekend. This time we were loaded for bear. And again, I got totally shut down at the same high point, trying to enter the OW.
Has anyone ever actually led this thing?

By Steven Reneau
Jan 17, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b

Id been curious about what the 5.8 offwidth was like after belaying Chris on this route, twice, and watching him have to downclimb both times. So yesterday I set a TR on it to check it out (not at the top of the climb as shown in Beverly and the beta photo, but over the top of the tower above the climb and the offwidth portion). With much persistence and rope assist, I was eventually able to get into the offwidth, right-side in, shimmy up it, and exit left. I cant imagine doing it clean. My partner, who also likes to try offwidth challenges, gave up. If any climb deserves the name 5.8 My Ass, this is it. Like Chris, I have no good idea how to rate it, but Ill call it a 5.10 for now.

Be warned that if you want to check it out, there is a stacked set of large blocks of uncertain stability right where you are trying to get into the offwidth, another reason to be wary of this route.

By Daniel Trugman
From: Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Jan 18, 2011

I gave this one a try last month and backed off at the base of the OW when I realized my #6 was too small. The route definitely looks tough but interesting if you have bigger gear or feel like setting up a TR (and are in to OWs).