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Echo Rock - South Face
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Swept Away 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 170'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Dave Evans and Randy Vogel, November 1977
Page Views: 5,686
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 5, 2002

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Climber topping out on Swept Away. photo by bob g...

Description 

Swept Away takes a striking line up the prominent buttress that defines the south end of Echo Rock. Two great pitches mark this climb that goes at a much easier grade than appearances might suggest.

P1) Start at the toe of the slabby buttress (right skyline as seen from the parking area) and climb up towards a roof (this first bit is the same as T.S. Special). At the roof turn the corner to the left and climb improbable face past 3 bolts to a bolted hanging belay. P2) Steep smears lead off the belay to a bolt, after which comes the crux- a balancy move to a right facing flake. Continue up the flake past a fixed pin and some gear placements to a bolted anchor/rap.

Although possible to do in a single pitch if mindful of rope drag, this is best done in two. A hanging belay midway allows one to enjoy the desert from a unique perspective and contemplate the wild-looking crux pitch above. A single rope rap (100') from the top with a 60 meter rope will get you back to terra firma.

Protection 

Bolts, pro to 2", bolted belays/rap. All bolts are 3/8".


Photos of Swept Away Slideshow Add Photo
The stance from which you can place a (very) small...
The stance from which you can place a (very) small...
John and Diana on pitch 2.  photo by bob gaines
John and Diana on pitch 2. photo by bob gaines
Swept Away (5.11a), Joshua Tree NP
BETA PHOTO: Swept Away (5.11a), Joshua Tree NP
At the bolt on Pitch 2. Photo by T. Tennessee
At the bolt on Pitch 2. Photo by T. Tennessee
Rob Mulligan leading the first pitch mid 80's.
Rob Mulligan leading the first pitch mid 80's.
Passing the TS Special Roof on Pitch 1
Passing the TS Special Roof on Pitch 1
Vern at the crux of the route. You can also see St...
Vern at the crux of the route. You can also see St...
Fred Batliner on the flake, P2 as Chris Owen belay...
Fred Batliner on the flake, P2 as Chris Owen belay...
Rob Mulligan coming up the second pitch mid 80's.
Rob Mulligan coming up the second pitch mid 80's.
"Swept Away". Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "Swept Away". Photo by Blitzo.
John and Diana on the finish to Swept Away.  photo...
John and Diana on the finish to Swept Away. photo...
Me eyeing the crux mid 80's. Photo by Rob Mulligan
Me eyeing the crux mid 80's. Photo by Rob Mulligan
Swept Away
BETA PHOTO: Swept Away
On the flake. Was a windy day, had to time this in...
On the flake. Was a windy day, had to time this in...
Mid 80s. Photo: M. Stewart
Mid 80s. Photo: M. Stewart

Comments on Swept Away Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mike Kidner
Oct 31, 2002

Rope drag is hell if done in one pitch. Definitely split it into two. A manky old bolt proects the very delicate slab moves to gain the crack on the second pitch. So it's as much a psycological challenge as a physical one. Rap from the top on a single rope.
By C Miller
Administrator
Oct 31, 2002

The bolt is solid and 3/8" but is paired with an older hanger which should probably be replaced.
By Tom Keefer
Dec 20, 2002

Did this route yesterday.. the bolt before the crux (and it seems all the rest of them) have been replaced (thanks to whoever!!). For the descent you can make it to the ground with one 60m rope from the top out anchors. We did it in one pitch and it is great at the end of the day since the rock is much warmer than the air!
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Jan 5, 2003
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Another gift from Dave Evans.

A route which seems to just hang there, in full view of everyone, yet I have hardly ever seen anyone climbing it.

I found the crux to be just after leaving the hanging belay, a tricky face move. Being tall the flake above went okay, with small pro if I remember well. very exposed at this position.

Killer!!

Has position, intimidation and quality.

5.11a
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Nov 6, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I went out to shoot this route (photo) and to hopefully find some folks on it (or even TS Special) but never did see anyone on it. Now that I think about it, over the last 14 years, I can only rememeber a half dozens sightings of climbers on this route. Maybe we'll sandbag it as a 10c, and it would see more traffic.Very nice route (and view).
By Steven Powers
Nov 10, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

i dont know if calling it 5.10c is really sand bagging it, its really the truth the most gimme 5.11 ive done in the park.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 8, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

This climb ROCKS!

Both pitches are quality, and the position is superb.

I found the crux moving slightly left and up after clipping the bolt on the 2nd pitch (but before reaching the flake).

I fiddled with gear at the extreme base of the flake (from a stance just left of the bolt) for about 10 minutes, only to get rewarded with a small RP that promptly fell out as I made one move upwards. Bonus excitement.

There may be better gear at the base of the flake, but with my height of 5'9 I couldn't reach a much better looking spot to protect about 6 inches higher.

The first few flake moves are strenuous but not technically difficult - though I wasn't interested in stopping to place gear and instead just motored to a great rest 4-5 feet higher.

From the flake rest, just place a bomber cam and then enjoy the moderate but exposed climbing to the top!

One of the best imo.
By Mar' Himmerich
From: Santa Fe, NM
Aug 26, 2008

Lead on a blistering, HOT day in June (we covered ourselves in chalk for sunblock). Nobody was in the Park. Malcolm did the crux after an interminable delay. I had to remind him that he hadn't fallen yet so he should "Go 'till you blow"! So he sent it, and we scurried off into a cave. He was beside himself for HOURS. Very high quality crux section!
By Randy
Jan 12, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

On Friday, January 11, 2013, Italian actress Mariangela Melato who starred with Giancarlo Giannini in the 1974 film Swept Away -- which inspired this route name -- passed away. She also appeared in several other films directed by the renown Lina Wertmuller, including "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Love and Anarchy." The full title of the film is "Swept Away...by an unusual destiny in the blue sea of August."
By Roy Suggett
Nov 9, 2014

One of my favorite all time leads! Back in the day, there were bolts w/o hangers. Had to bolo tie wires and hope for the best.