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Shield
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L to R R to L Alpha
Chicken Chop Suey T 
Knife Edge T 
Odyssey, The T 
Once In A Blue Moon T 
Procrastination T 
Promise Land, The T 
Purple Haze  T 
Rainbow Dancer T 
Route 2 T 
Route 6 T 
Slipping Into Darkness T 
Smorgasbord T 
Standard S Route T 

Slipping Into Darkness 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1000', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Ron Beauchamp, Gary Hicks, 6/18/1976 FFA: Hans Brede, Peter Prandoni
Season: August to February (due to closure)
Page Views: 1,560
Submitted By: George Perkins on Oct 26, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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This is the beautiful, clean corner-to-roof third ...
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  • Description 

    The cleanest line on the SW buttress of the Shield, with a couple of very memorable pitches around a giant roof.
    Note: Sandia Rock gives this route an 'R', but its topo only shows an 'R' for 5.8 pitches shared with Procrastination; the 5.10 leads protect adequately if you're comfortable with small pro.

    Pitch 1: Start as for Procrastination with a 5.8 boulder problem behind the aspen trees and the only giant boulder. Traverse left and angle up a 5.4 ramp to a 2-bolt belay. Other options on this start exist also.

    Pitch 2: Move left 10' pull through a steep section (5.8). Move left to the arete and around the corner (5.8), or continue up the blocky prow and move left later on. A 2-bolt belay is reached below the clean open book. [According to the Hill guide, a 5.10 direct start could be used to reach the same point, probably in 2 pitches also]

    Pitch 3: Follow 5.9 corner with stemming/chimney moves with one memorable bush to the corner below the roof, and set a hanging belay or link into the next pitch (watch for rope drag!).

    Pitch 4: Traverse right just below the 20' roof, finding good pro underneath, turn the biggest 5.10 roof in the Sandias on the right (fun, .10c). Move up 10', just enough pro, swing left on a big hold to a bolt (.10c) or continue up the thin stemming corner (tiny nuts) to a good ledge. You can combine this with the previous pitch or the next pitch, but watch out for rope drag if linking pitches.

    Pitch 5: Stem/lieback up thin corner (.10c) with enough good rests but small gear for pro to the biggest bush/tree visible, then traverse right along a ledge to the giant "bivi ledge" atop Chicken Chop Suey or Procrastination. Slider nuts supposedly are nice to have on this lead. [In Hills' book, it suggests the original route moves left near the top of this pitch, and follows an independent 6th pitch of mid 5th class, joining Procrastination at the top of that pitch rather than at the bivi ledge.]

    Pitches 6-11: Finish as for Procrastination, with a few options to choose from based on motivation and ability. The Odyssey is recommended and is a reasonable choice for those able to send the 5.10 on Slipping Into Darkness.


    Location 

    This climb seeks out the open book on the prow left of the big offwidth crack in the Chicken Chop Suey dihedral and begins as for Procrastination and CCS.

    Start behind the boulder in the aspen grove at the base of the talus slope. A water streak marks the beginning.


    Protection 

    1 set nuts, including micros. Cams: 2 each from 0.5" (#0 TCU) to 1.5" (red camalot), 1 hand size cam, one #00 TCU or Black alien; slider nuts also are reportedly useful, but I didn't own any to bring.



    Photos of Slipping Into Darkness Slideshow Add Photo
    Davito Hammack following the finger crack variation on pitch 4
    Davito Hammack following the finger crack variatio...
    Exposed and thin traverse moves on the second pitch of Slipping Into Darkness. Note that we went high up the blunt arete before moving left to the belay which, I believe, is more difficult. The easier way to tackle this pitch is to move left into the gully sooner and then go up to the belay bolts.
    Exposed and thin traverse moves on the second pitc...
    Davito Hammack following pitch 4. We did a variation up the finger splitter left of SID. Around 5.11.
    Davito Hammack following pitch 4. We did a variati...
    Davito Hammack nearing the end of pitch 2. We only roped up for 4 pitches during our link up with the Odyssey.
    Davito Hammack nearing the end of pitch 2. We only...
    Davito Hammack up high on SID where it meets Procrastination during our link up with The Odyssey.
    Davito Hammack up high on SID where it meets Procr...
    Comments on Slipping Into Darkness Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Monomaniac
    Administrator
    From: Morrison, CO
    Oct 27, 2007

    Its been many years since I did this, so my memory is hazy, but my impression was that this "10c" was quite a bit easier than other Sandia 10c's such as Mountain Momma or Great Escape. I think this might be due to the fact that 'Slipping' is less steep, and so, is less physical. Also, it seems Mountain Momma is much more sustained at the grade. 'Slipping" is basically 5.8 with one 5.10 pitch (and even that pitch isn't terribly sustained).

    By Jason Halladay
    Administrator
    From: Los Alamos, NM
    Oct 27, 2007
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Very interesting, Mono (Mike?). My partner on this one said that the crux on Mt. Momma is less difficult than the harder parts of this one. Sounds like I better get on Mt. Momma soon for some first-hand verification!
    Nonetheless, I would agree that the crux sections on this route are over quickly and the angle is generally laid back.

    By mtnrobb
    Oct 26, 2012

    Felt harder than Mountain Momma to me... Not sure how you can really climb the lower section in as few pitches as mentioned... I climbed well past the first pitch anchors to start, and could not have made the bolted anchors mentioned as the to finish pitch 2 without a ton of rope drag.