Pete's Wicked Route
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Our hero. Photo by Beth Wald. Climbing Issue #110...
Pete deLannoy, the father of Spearfish Canyon climbing, walked up this route after Mike McNeil equipped it, declared it to be 5.11c without breaking a sweat or even chalking his fingertips, and the rest of us mortal plebeians have been trying to follow in his god-like footsteps ever since.
I remember being a below average student in Pete's Black Hills State University chemistry class. I used to daydream about how cool it would be to be him. In addition to being a genius and climber to envy he was a super-nice guy. He would lecture us on the merits of a beer called Pete's Wicked Ale and even used it as an analogy for the principle of enthalpy...something that I just now began to understand. Pete deLannoy was so smart that he never had to pay attention, because attention paid him. When you took a chemistry test from Pete deLannoy all the right answers were, Pete deLannoy.
I have no beta for this route. It's hard as hell. But I am pretty sure that once a year, cancer gets itself checked for Pete deLannoy and before the boogie man goes to sleep at night, he checks under his bed for Pete deLannoy.
Starting this route is like being put on one of those medieval racks and once you get past that nothing else is easy. Many Spearfish Canyon climbers of the next generation were sending 5.12's before they sent Pete's Wicked Climb. Pete deLannoy can't fall down, only up...and that's what makes this route so hard.
Don't be ashamed if you have to call "take" at every bolt on this wicked climb. Pete deLannoy never calls take, take calls him. Soap can only kill about 99% of all germs, the rest can only be killed by Pete deLannoy. Tapeworms give their food to Pete deLannoy and behind his beard there is no chin, just another super-strong finger he can use to hang a mono that will surely rip yours right off.
The route that bears his namesake is only for those who dare to close Pandora's box. Pete deLannoy can kill two stones with one bird. I knew Pete deLannoy, and believe me, you are no Pete deLannoy. You can't handle the truth! Pete deLannoy invented the light spectrum, but allowed Tom Cruise to invent the color pink. Don't leave The Prow without at least trying this route, but don't be too surprised when try is about as far as your gonna get.
Directly to the right of Albert's Arete and directly to the left of Sammy Sosa is your ticket to either immortality or another sandbagging. Get some!
Bring a dozen quickdraws and two anchor draws since this route has closed shut anchors. Who are your kidding? You'll never reach the anchors! Bring a bail beaner instead. In fact bring two, and remember, when Pete deLannoy does push-ups, he isn't pushing himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.
Drink up. This route is about to take you down.
Climber taking down Pete's Wicked Route, 5.11c Spe...
Me during my sucessful redpoint attempt at Pete's ...
Me setting up for that crucial first dynamic move ...
May 18, 2011
Best route description on this website?
Opening move difficulty is possibly height-dependent.