Betty Barnett, Lance Bischoff onsight. Main picture of "Kindergarten Rock" (Grey Rock/Cathedral) follow the topmost red (summit) line straight down the ridge to left of deep dark chimney. This is the route. Start at the large twin trees half way up and begin in the "waterfall" or find one of two crack systems up to next ledge system. Staying just right of the main descent (trough) puts you on a nicely exposed ridge route with 5.5-5.6 moves all the way to summit. Some sections go steep/vertical, and rope line is critical due to rough edges and narrow troughs. Great view, more interesting than standard ascent (5.0-5.4 at most) and offers lead placements on windy exposure. For warmup, there is also a 5.7-5.8 "Mini-Martian" wall left of the trees easily toproped and about 40 feet high.
Recommended! Fun! And a real lead as opposed to short rope cruise up the standard route. Small pro won't help much, you'll want stoppers, and generous use of runners to string the rope from the ridge (work either side for pro). Enjoy the view, you'll have lots of air around you!
Rack enhanced with numerous runners to flake rope line off ridge, horns, flakes and longer ones for anchoring will work fine. Some pockets, and numerous cracks for stoppers/cams.
Looking up at pitch 1 watergroove, from between th...
Looking up pitch 2. As suggested, we climbed the ...
|By Betty Barnett|
Dec 17, 2003
This is an absolutely awesome climb!!! There is lots of handholds and foot placements. The exposed ridge is very vertical and the rock is right in your face. You can just feel the exposure and the exhileration while climbing. The views are breathtaking and there is plenty of opportunity along the climb to stop and take a moment to just soak in the views. Note: this climb is not for those who are pretty squirmish about heights, due to the air exposure in many places of the climb. This is a very fun climb and highly recommended.
|By John Doryk|
Apr 16, 2006
I concur with Betty! We often climb this route at dawn, before we go to work. Has almost a backcountry, alpine feel to it. Often we'll start at the bottom of south end slabs, trad climb the far left crack and work our way to the base of Shangrila. Fun climb!
|By Rich F.|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 28, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Great views on easy rock. On the first pitch I climbed the ridge immediately right of the watergroove. Never found a place for good protection, but it was easy climbing (maybe 5.4?) so I just ran it out to the belay. Second pitch had better exposure and was protectable with a few cams and some slings over horns. Again, easy climbing (5.5?) but the views were magnificent. In accordance with the route description above, I continued up the same ridge, right of the decent trough and immediately left of the "dark chimney." But, for the last half of the 2nd pitch, I was envious of the ridge to the right of the "dark chimney" -- in places it looked like a sharp, narrow, vertical arete with nothing on the other side but air. Has anyone ever climbed that right ridge? I'm not sure if it can be protected, but it looks climbable. My only caution on both pitches of Shangri La is to watch your rope -- the rock is sharp and looked like it could easily cut a rope on a fall. Overall, the climbing was fun and easy, and my wife loved the views.
From: Colorado Springs
Jun 14, 2010
I went to this route with a rope and a full rack, but ended up soloing it. Like others have mentioned, although the rock is fantastic for holds, it is not so great for setting protection, and really is (I doubted this when I read the other posts) sharp enough to cut the rope. It was so easy to climb that I figured it was safer just to know failure was not an option than to waste time setting up questionable protection.
That arete on the right really does look amazing. We spent some time scoping it out, and although it could be bolted, the same sharp rock issues exist. I'd say that's a better line for a more confident soloist than I am.
If you're looking for an easier, straightforward trad lead on Kindergarten Rocks, I'd stick with New Era.