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BETA PHOTO: View of surrealistic pillar
This excellent route ascends the entire length of the Lower Buttress, bringing you up out of the giant forest below and high enough so you think you're way the hell up. Then you top out, and realize that the main wall of Lover's Leap hovers over you, and that you're a mere peon in between the giant walls of horizontal dykes.
For a 5.7, this has an excellent variety of terrian for only 3 pitches.
Accessing the route is easy: Walking up to the Lower Buttress, walk right until you find the first set of bolts. Then walk a little more to the second set of bolts, which is Pillar of Society (.12a). The next crack is the Direct Start of Surrealistic Pillar (.10a), and finally you'll be on a tier with a flat face and a couple of large horns about 15 - 20 feet off the ground. You're here.
Pitch 1: Climb up to the horns, and continue up and left to a well protected crack system to a wide (4") left facing crack.
Pitch 2: Follow this crack up for about 4 dykes, where you need to cross to a large horn. Follow this around the arete, where you can belay from a ledge.
Pitch 3: Simple. Go up the face with large jugs and belay from something suitable up top.
A full rack, and slings. A 4" or greater piece will make the first belay more comfortable. Slings of a wide variety are also always useful at the Leap.
Unknown climbers on Surrealistic pillar
"Surrealistic Pillar". 1970s.
Photo by Blitzo.
leading the 1st pitch
First pitch of Surrealistic Pillar.
Yeah, the final pitch is runout (but easy).
Joe L. coming up the wide crack section.
With stunning views taken in on many of the leap c...
Surrealistic Pillar direct on the left 5.10B and S...
The view from the top of Surrealistic Pillar. Ici...
|Comments on Surrealistic Pillar
Sep 8, 2006
One of the best 5.7s anywhere! Fun free solo!
From: Oakland CA
Jan 23, 2007
Much better to do this one in 2 pitches, no problem with a 60m rope. Belay at a good stance just above the wide crack. Then, up 25', make the traverse, and up until you top out.
|By W. Spaller|
From: Estes Park
May 18, 2008
The occasional striaght in jam is very useful on this route. Awesome route with steep rock and big holds. Do corrugation after for an awesome day.
|By Tom Johnson|
From: Colorado Springs, or Santa Fe
Aug 6, 2008
I agree that this route could/should be done in two pitches. It is straight enough that rope drag isn't much of an issue. It is a bit intimidating for a new 5.7 trad leader!
Sep 18, 2008
I found the start to be a little bouldery. Some of the traverses get you pretty far from your gear so it could be a little intimidating for a new leader. It seems to do it in two pitches would make communication difficult. The third pitch is like a solo, very little if any gear, easy climbing on big rails though.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 31, 2009
The first pitch is really beautiful. However, the wide crack you encounter at the end of p1 doesn't take a #4 Cam; it is way too wide. A #5 Camalot should fit, although I didn't have one. The crack appeared it would take the #4 a lot higher up, but the route doesn't continue up that way, I believe, unless you do the 5.8 variation, so carrying a 4 was just dead weight for me.
If you are solid at the grade, you can put in a couple so-so tiny cams on the face opposite the wide crack until you get to a big pin about 20-30 feet up and can clip it. However, the pin was definitely put in by a tall climber; there is a big ledge to stand on under it, but I couldn't reach it from this secure stance, so I had to plug a tiny Alien in a questionable flaring pod, make the move, and then clip the pin. If you are breaking into 5.7 leading, I would just bring a #5 and use it in the wide crack instead so you will have no worries.
|By Joe Ludlow|
From: Denver, Colorado
Jun 9, 2010
Hey Aerili! I went back and led that second pitch. I would say that you probably need at least a #6 to protect it down low but you can get an amazing jam in it with your foot and if your shoulder is too small, just fold your forearm in front of your chest to get a nice bit of chest/arm camming action! Then just face climb with your left hand/foot. I found it to be very comfortable.
When the crack starts pinching down on you and becomes awkward, if you search inside the crack you can place two amazing nuts (with a nice long sling) to protect the traverse or do the 5.8 lay back and continue up the crack.
A 200' rope BARELY reaches the top. Your partner may have to stand on his/her tippy toes. Bring lots of long slings to avoid rope drag. The 5.5 "runnout" is more like 4th class stair stepping and isn't worth stressing out about.
|By J. Albers|
Jul 6, 2010
You shouldn't need wide gear for the second pitch 5.8 variation. There are good nuts to be found in constrictions inside the wide crack. I thought it to be a fun and secure way to go. Also, I'm not sure about the #4 for the 1st pitch anchor...I seem to remember two #2 Camalots being the ticket. Great route.
|By Chris D|
From: the couch
Oct 23, 2011
Supertopo (and some here) suggest a 4" or larger piece for this route. I'd say you might want one if you're going straight up the corner on P2, otherwise, anything larger than a #3 camalot is overkill.
|By Daniel Hottinger|
Jul 5, 2012
A #5 works for protecting the wide crack at the end of P1, even at the lowest point.
|By Dusty Cams|
Sep 4, 2012
Doable in 1 pitch w/ a 70m rope if you're willing to do ~30 ft of simul climbing off the deck--easy if you're solid at the grade and willing to run it out a bit. Great route.