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This route goes up the middle of the center tombstone. It is a super aesthetic climb (esp. P3) and has some great exposure. It can be a little noisy when all the jeeps and dirt bikes are crusin' around. This route has gone free, and there is a lot of chalk up there.
Pitch 1 (5.7 or 5.10d): Two ways to go. A goofy 5.7 chimney pitch starts far to the climbers left of the P1 anchor. Begin up a sandy slot, a couple very easy stem moves puts you on a ledge, traverse a few feet right and climb up the 5.7 crack/slot to a ledge, passing a drilled angle. Once on the ledge, walk/scramble to your right for a long way, it's kinda funky. Watch for loose rocks, I almost killed my dog on this pitch. Rope drag can suck. All of this can be avoided by a 5.10d direct start, which begins directly below the pitch one anchors.
Pitch 2 (C2): Easy traverse up and right to the crack. Begin with C1,pass some bolt holes for an old anchor after about 60 feet and continue up steep C2 to a three bolt sling belay below a tiny roof. Airy belay spot.
Pitch 3(C2): Begin up the beautiful,airy,thin right facing diherdral. At the top of the corner,the crack goes from really thin to wide. Continue up the wide crack to a bolted belay.
Pitch 4 (C2):Follow and open book to the top, steep.
Route climbs the center tombstone. Park and hike as you would for corner route. It should be obvious where 1st pitches start.
Standard clean aid rack w/ extra small gear, and a #4 camalot or two.
BETA PHOTO: The climb from the base.
BETA PHOTO: pitch three dihedral
The view from the second belay
Clean/Solo back in '99.
Looking down... nice!
|Comments on Playing Hooky
|By Joe Forrester|
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Jan 20, 2007
I found a talon hook to be usefull to hook past old drilled angle holes on the last pitch. Also, the first rap from the top was super sticky on the ropes, it is easier to do just a single rope rap first, then you can double it up and fly down that thing. A killer climb though, whether you free it or aid it.
|By Chris O'Connor|
From: bouldertown, co
Mar 1, 2007
There is an article about this route in the March 2007 Rock and Ice
|By Luke Malatesta|
From: Moab Utah
Oct 23, 2007
Pitch 4 is .12- i think.... rock turns to sugar in some places. The route is normially done in 4 long pitches.
|By Hank Caylor|
From: Golden, CO
Apr 15, 2009
Watch for falling BASE jumpers. This is the most jumped cliff in America!
|By Bob Dobalina|
Jun 7, 2009
Nice "mini-wall" climb. I recommend doing the direct 5.10 first pitch. The 5.7 gully is rather awful. Hiking down is tricky until you get on the right path. Trend right at the top to find the way down the descent gully. It comes out by the large dirt parking area.
Jul 31, 2010
watch out, the guide book says P1 is 75ft... We found this to not be true in the morning when we came up 20ft short on rapp. the pitch is actually about 120ft
as far as timing, don't attempt it in the middle of july, the death ray takes its toll.
Mar 22, 2011
Rack suggestions for styled-out aid rack:
- master cams (grey: 1, purple: 2, blue: 2, yellow: 4, orange: 4, red: 4, offset blue/yellow: 1(not required, but nice))
- double set of aluminum offset nuts
- single set of brassie offset nuts
- triple set of .75-3 camalots, (double set okay, triple set is faster), 2 #4s, 1 #5 and 1 #6 (5 and 6 are not required, but could be good if you're learning)
- red tri-cam. More colors if you want, but this was my option instead of hooking at the crux
- Other gear thoughts: Bring your longest arms, no ball nuts, no other tricams, no hooks, no pins and don't forget those offset nuts (you can leave the BD nuts at home)
Grade suggestions with this rack:
P1 5.7 - This is a fun pitch, what's everyone complaining about? The 10d is also very nice.
P2 C1 - I'll give you C1+ if you feel strongly that I'm wrong.
P3 C1 - I didn't lead this pitch, but it's pretty straightforward. Again, maybe C1+. Maybe.
P4 C2 - Definitely the crux, placing gear behind a crumbly, suspicious looking block that is probably not very attached
Pitch four overhangs and traverses a bit, so it could be tricky to get back to the anchor (in the wind for us it would have been impossible.) So here's a trick: Leave one of your ropes attached to the anchor at the top of pitch three. From the anchors at the top of pitch four, have the first person single-rope rappel on the second rope, using a transom on the fixed line to get to the anchor.
From the top of pitch 3 to the top of pitch 1 is about 60m. Pitch 1 to the ground is, like PatrickJames said, about 120'. 3 raps total brings you to the ground.
Apr 29, 2013
Great route up an incredible formation. I'll add a few additional thoughts based on our ascent:
1 - cams: we brought a triple set of .3 through #3 camalots, two #4's and one #5, plus a double set of small offset cams. We rarely used the offset cams (one set would be plenty, nuts worked better) and while we placed the #5 a few times, it didn't seem necessary. The wide section on P3 is about 25 feet long and constricts in a few places to take some smaller gear. Two #4's would work, 3 would have made it a little easier.
2 - nuts: we brought one set of offset brassies and 2 sets of aluminum offsets. We used these a lot
3 - we brought a few tri-cams and hooks but never used them
4 - in late April the sun didn't hit the wall until around noon. From then on it sits baking in the sun until 8pm.
5 - there were 7 separate BASE jumpers while we were on the climb. Very cool to see from that perspective, but I peed my pants each time thinking we were hearing rockfall. P.S. those guys are insane.
6 - P1: we climbed the direct start as it seemed a more aesthetic line directly up the formation. The way we did it I'd call it 5.7 C1+. The rock is not as solid on P1 and I was able to rip out a few cams by just pulling on them in the softer rock. The 5.7 chimney variation would certainly be a faster way to get to the meat of the climbing on the upper pitches.
7 - descent: There is a mid-way anchor on P4 just before the crack trends to climbers right about half-way up the pitch. We used this to get back to the P3 anchor. From the P3 anchor, 60m ropes just BARELY reach the P1 anchor with full rope-stretch. In addition, the route overhangs slightly which leaves you rappelling into space. Be VERY careful on this rappel and make sure to knot the ends of your rope. Getting off the ends of the rope and back onto the wall was a little tricky.
From: the mountains
Oct 17, 2013
BASE jumpers walk up the back side in 30 minutes from the parking lot. Hiking down the back and around is way faster and safer than rapping. The final rappel can stick your rope pretty good, too. Beware