On the Edge
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When viewing Wigwam Dome from the south there is an obvious tower on the left side ("Tee Pee Tower") and a broad slabby tall section on the right. The righthand side is broken by a couple of arches one lower and much smaller and the upper being much larger and more obvious in that it starts as a right-leaning dihedral and arches into a roof.The roof that this arch forms is perhaps a 25 to 30 foot ceiling.This arch is clearly visible in "Hill's" picture of Wigwam on this site.
This exciting, exposed, very scary face route finds it way out to and right along the lip of the huge roof and then up.
Approach pitch: Refer to Trout or Hubbel's guide on info for a first pitch to reach the two bolt anchor that is exactly at the base of the giant arch.
P1. 10b. This pitch is VERY SCARY to lead or follow. Clip the first 3 or 4 bolts on El Supremo and then head out right to the leaning arete that forms the lip of the huge roof then along the lip to the 2 bolt belay. The climbing on this pitch is runout and sustained at the 10a level and has a crux out toward the two bolt anchor that is probably 10b and is a mix of Wigwam's smearing, edging and crystal pulling. It is obvious that a fall at certain points for either the leader or follower would leave them dangling in space and they would no longer be "On the Edge", they would be over the Edge. I personally find the prospect of a 10 or 15 foot fall down a slab and then flying into space above a 35 ft roof terrifying, (I have yet to fall on this) but I actually know some people who like this kind of thing. Anyay both leader and follower should be capable of getting themselves out of this situation should this occur :-) I liked leading this pitch better as you tend to clip the bolt and then to the hard move wheras seconding you tend to unclip the bolt and then do the hard move.
P2 11b Up the very sustained slab past bolts and runouts on very sustained calfburning friction, edges, and pebbles kind of stuff to the bolt anchor.
Continue with El Supremo or Ramblin' Rose etc. or rappel.Two ropes are necessary for most of the rappels on this cliff.
Super cool scary route on a pristine wilderness crag with some of the best rock anywhere. Have fun ;-)
This climb is QD's only however a rack is necessary for the approach pitch and any upper finishing pitches.
By Ray Snead
Jun 2, 2004
This superb route is my favorite in all of the S'Platte. Traversing the lip of the arch is reminicent of Velvet Elvis, but harder, more insecure, and way more run out. Very intimidating. I actually led this pitch with triple nines, feeling, perhaps irrationally, that the more rope available the better if an escape had to be engineered after falling. The 11b pitch seemed trivial after this much pucker.
The routes on either side, El Supremo and Ramblin' Rose, are also stellar.
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Nov 23, 2008
Very accurate description. Think of the first pitch as 5.11 enduro, with sandbag 5.9 on the most run sections. Sorry I left it unfinished on the topo in my book! I followed both pitches once but could not remember how many bolts are on the crux and so left it off. Truly a mind-eraser climb, Baker and Prandoni's best effort in the Platte. They called it Over The Edge.
Needs all new bolts bad. I don't hate my toes enough to ever try it again.