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Army Route, The 
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Unsorted Routes:

The Army Route 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a [details]
FA: US Army, 1950s or so
Page Views: 9,833
Submitted By: Julian Smith on Dec 31, 2001
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (61)
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Great topo of the route. Shows the entire army rou...

Description 

This route can be done in three or four pitches. Traverse east on the ledge system that runs beneath the north face of the Pinnacle. The start of the route is an obvious right facing corner system near the east end of the ledge. The first piece of fixed gear is a long way up in the corner.

Pitch 1 - Climb up into the corner, step left at the roof and go up left to an eye-bolt anchor.

Pitch 2 - Step left and go up a left facing corner. At its top, go back to the right and climb up a right facing corner system to a belay anchor up and to the left.

Pitch 3 - Meander up deteriorating rock, aiming for an obvious break in the big roof above. Belay when you run into an anchor or feel comfortable.

Pitch 4 - This pitch can be combined with pitch 3. Head up the choss rock. When all seems lost, a fixed eye bolt will save the day. Delicatlely reach up into an solid under-cling in the roof. Super good holds and fixed gear abound when you traverse to the right and reach over the roof. This section is very classic and on solid rock to boot.

Head up to the big ledge, sit down, and make a Spencer Tracy belay. Someone forgot to put any anchors here. Scramble over the top and down the back side. Descend as described for the Pinacle. See Rock and Ice #95 as a reference. Hope I got all the good parts in. Enjoy!


Protection 

This route is mostly protected by fixed eye-bolts. Bring lots of long runners. If the grade is at your limit, you may want to suppliment your rack with a few stoppers and camming units to medium size.



Photos of The Army Route Slideshow Add Photo
From the north, looking south down at the road, Graduation Boulder, Post-Graduation Boulder, and the Pinnacle.
BETA PHOTO: From the north, looking south down at the road, Gr...
Peter Mead on the summit pitch of the Army Route
Peter Mead on the summit pitch of the Army Route
I've seen worse.  I think this may have been the start of P3?  I think we may have been off route at this point.  Not sure.
BETA PHOTO: I've seen worse. I think this may have been the s...
Jubal Smith on the Army Route.
Jubal Smith on the Army Route.
Peter Mead partway up the Army Route.
Peter Mead partway up the Army Route.
First pitch of The Army Route
First pitch of The Army Route
Memorial for fallen climber at the base of the Army Route (a few years back)
Memorial for fallen climber at the base of the Arm...
Pitch one on lead.
Pitch one on lead.
Leading the 3rd (final) pitch.  It's actually way more solid than it looks. <br /> <br />Photo by Lee Rittenmeyer.
Leading the 3rd (final) pitch. It's actually way ...
Shot from the airy 2nd pitch belay station (if you do this in 3 pitches).  Ken's showing the fun that can be had on a 5.3 (by far the easiest pitch of the climb) with some exposure (relative).
Shot from the airy 2nd pitch belay station (if you...
Tim on P2 ledge
Tim on P2 ledge
Army Route's 3 pitches.
BETA PHOTO: Army Route's 3 pitches.
Butt shot on The Army Route (I think).  :-)
Butt shot on The Army Route (I think). :-)
James halfway up. Free solo.
James halfway up. Free solo.
Nancy topping out the first pitch.
Nancy topping out the first pitch.
You can quickly scramble straight up to the start from the road. The start is in the dihedral, just below an obvious roof, right next to a little tree.
BETA PHOTO: You can quickly scramble straight up to the start ...
James Scott free solos the Army Route/Pinnical. He's up there.
James Scott free solos the Army Route/Pinnical. He...
Lou starting pitch two from the roomy belay ledge. The choss on this pitch would later make him rather unhappy.
Lou starting pitch two from the roomy belay ledge....
Lee Rittenmeyer finishing up the first pitch.
Lee Rittenmeyer finishing up the first pitch.
A look at P1 from below.
A look at P1 from below.
The right angle and framing can make the descent look way scarier than it is ;-)
The right angle and framing can make the descent l...
Comments on The Army Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 12, 2013
By Steve Marr
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 5, 2002

We climbed the first pitch of The Army Route and didn't find many usable fixed eye-bolts mentioned in the R&I Mini Guide to the area. While there were a couple of them, most looked like they had been cut or otherwise rendered useless. We ended up belaying on a platform below and left of the big roof. There are a couple of single eye-bolts there spaced about 10 feet apart. It looked like the second pitch had a couple more. I don't know if we were terribly off route or something, but I would definitely suggest bringing a standard rack on this one.

By Anonymous Coward
Jul 18, 2002

A standard rack is now needed. I believe the first pitch has one, maybe two bolts left (someone should count the number of chopped bolts still scarring the rock).

I believe Steve found the correct spot to end the first pitch. Be wary that the description lists the first pitch ending after you step left around a roof. This roof is located about 10 meters below the HUGE roof (complete with aid route) and has a chopped pin on the left face. Climb left up over that chopped pin. If you head right across the slab you will find pro which may lead you to think that you are on route. Climbing the small break in the roof may indeed get you up to the P3 belay, but is certainly well above the 5.5 rating. As Steve noted there are not multiple eyebolts in close vicinity so use your trad rack to backup an eyebolt for a belay.

P2 is mostly bolted (and hence easy to stay on route). Similar to P1 you'll need to backup a bolt with your trad gear when convenient. P3 is very low angle with a few bolts but may be a good time to practice your gear placements as the route is covered in gravel (even in good rock areas). Whether you finish at the summit or on the ledge a few feet below you'll need the trad gear to set an anchor.

I wish I had paid more attention to route length but i'd guess the pitches to be 35-40 meters, 25-30 meters and perhaps 30 meters. Though the length is not that long bring your double and triple runners to lower rope drag.

By Hill
Jul 31, 2002

Pitch 3"Castles made of sand melt into the sea, eventually" Jimi Hendrix

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 12, 2002

Agree with the comments about a rack. The bolts are sawed off, and only two remain, on another route. There is also a single eyebolt (Bill Parmenter can describe better for you as he strung it for our semi-hanging belay a little lower). I saw one solitary ancient piton enroute. And counted five sawed off rebar-ish bolts. Good placements for stoppers and mid to small cams. 5.5 to 5.6 is fair rating, and runners will be needed to keep your pro in line. Also, if going up to eyebolt 90 feet or so up, you'll need two ropes to rap back down (bolts gone-reminder) or pitch on up to finish the route.

By Bill Parmenter
Aug 13, 2002

As well described in comments above, fixed protection is scarce at best. Single rebar eyebolt for P1 belay is 5 to 10 meters directly above double anchors for "Wartime". Can be suplemented with a #2 and #3 camalot to make a solid anchor. However to lower from this point you must either leave gear, lower to "Wartime" anchors, or rappel from the single eybolt (none of which should be considered acceptable options). Also, requires two ropes to rappel from this point. I would strongly discourage doing this pitch only. Plan enough time to do the route in its entirety.

By Bill Parmenter
Sep 19, 2002

Exercise caution on chossy section below roof on Pitch 3. There is at least one medium sized block that when weighted moved significantly. Suspect there are others. When this block separates it will be unpleasant for the climber, possibly worse for the belayer. Advise climbing solid rock to the left of this section then traversing right to the roof move. This approach is perhaps a bit more difficult technically but definitely safer. If you choose to ignore this and climb the chossy section, remember to shout "Rock!".

By Anonymous Coward
Sep 22, 2002

Edited clarification: Anony. Coward on 7/18 has nice summary. P1 could conceivably be anchored left of small roof area adjacent to mini-arete. A one-bolt anchor is there to enhance with additional TRAD backup and medium to long runners to get back over "arete" to belay the rope line for second. Or rig ridiculously long runners into more secure bolts further left on the ledge where P2 starts. P2 still has some fixed pro, but you're gonna need a rack to safely lead. With the chossy loose stuff on final section, be ready to get zinged with gravel from your leader, and per Bill, be wary of larger loose rock. A 9-foot downclimb SSW is necessary to get to the saddle, 4th-5th class, but quite doable.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 30, 2003

I did the route and I have to say I think it is harder than a 5.6. I would say there are several 5.8 moves on the route. Even if someone wants to disagree with my rating, I think it should be stressed that this is a potentially dangerous climb with sections of very shoddy placement..

By Larry Shaw
Nov 29, 2003
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b

I must have gone off route on the second pitch. From the eyebolts we steped around the corner to the left and went up a left facing dihedral for about 30-40ft. There were no bolts and the chossy nature of the gravel made the last pitch look solid. Is the second pitch supposed to angle back to the right or go up this dihedral?

By Dan Russell
Dec 8, 2003

Larry-

There are a billion variations to this route and it wanders, as you discovered. That said... At the start of P2, move left as you did and then go up through a bolt or two close together. But instead of going up 30-40 ft make it only 10-15 ft, something like that, then move up and right around the corner and straight up again. This stretch is mostly just unprotected though for 30 feet or so, but fortunately only 5.3 or so, no biggie. In general, the best rock is the 1st pitch for sure, but the only really chossy section (if you're on route) is on the final tower, a band of grit about 30 feet below the summit.

By Front Range Mountain Guides
Jun 12, 2004

I first climbed this route in 1980. The quality of the rock varies. It goes through phases year to year, with some years appearing to be clean rock for the most part, other years a bit chossy or some loose blocks appearing. In the early 80's there actually were nicely constructed topos etched in metal plaques that were placed on display below this formation(as well as others in Cheyenne Canyon) by the road that clearly showed this and other routes on the rock. Plaques showed the route, the belay stances and even the grade. No need for any guidebook!There was actually paint on the rock to show the line of the climb! The plaques were removed because(as it was told to me)of too many non-technical climbers scrambling up and getting hurt in the canyon.

By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
Jan 5, 2008

I climbed what I thought was the 'Army Route' today; however, it was very different than all descriptions listed. We began near what appeared to be a water-filled 6x6x4ft. hole on the eastish face of the Pinnacle. Meandering up to a higher ledge led to one very rusted and one orange bolt anchor. Directly above this anchor were at least three orange bolts/coldshuts. About 15 ft. right of this line was a right-angling, semi-crescent shaped crack underneath an overhang. We took this crack and found it to be a pretty intense 5.5. There was a piton at the base of the crack and two ancient rings higher in the crack. At the top of this crack were another two orange coldshuts for anchors. Now about 20 feet above us and 20 feet to the right were several gigantic eyebolts. This wasn't the 'Army Route,' was it? Any help would be great!

By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
Jan 5, 2008

...apparently it was the aptly named 'Crescent Crack.'

By Dave G
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 24, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

Had a great time climbing The Army Route today. As relatively new trad climbers, my partner and I climbed it in 3 pitches with a standard rack and had no problems. I think our start on the 2nd pitch, straight up from the large eye-bolt, was wrong as this was the only section we climbed that was clearly tougher than 5.5. There were good bolts at our two belay stations, but we used plenty of cams to protect. The end of the last pitch is a blast on great rock with some bomber holds.

By Derek W
Jun 10, 2009

There are now 2 large hangers at the top of P1 belay ledge. Most of P2 was bolted. I'm not sure we found the proper belay ledge for P2 so we improvised. watch for loose rock on P3.

By England
From: ?
Jul 23, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

The two bolts at the first belay have been removed. It is ILLEGAL to place bolts in the canon without the proper authority to do so. The Army Route is Cheyenne Canon's original route, and is a TRAD route.

By Stewart M. Green
Jul 23, 2009

Sorry England. There is no proper authority to place bolts in North Cheyenne Canon. There is no law or rule against it either. It is not ILLEGAL. Bolting is not encouraged but it is not ILLEGAL. The city of Colorado Springs is not in the business of legislating climber safety. It is up to climbers to reach a consensus as to placing bolts...or removing them. Chopping bolts ends up damaging the rock more than leaving them.

If anyone wishes to place bolts in the Canon...or remove them...they could talk to me or Brian Shelton. We have a good relationship with the city of Colorado Springs Park & Rec Dept. and could certainly advise if it's a good idea or not rather than go and indiscriminately slam in bolts...or chop them.

The top of the first pitch of the Army Route has had fixed bolts, formerly pieces of rebar bended with eyes for clipping, since the early 1960s. Ditto for all of pitch 2...Pieces of rebar pounded into cracks.

I think it would be community service replacing those jingus bits of rebar, which aren't designed for the kinds of uses they are subjected to, with proper modern stainless steel bolts and hangers. Preferably with chains and links to facilitate rappelling. A lot of folks climb only the first pitch because it is such a great beginner gear lead. The upper pitches....choss.


Also, the Army Route is not North Cheyenne Canon's original route. Many others were climbed before it was done. Harvey Carter did not do the first ascent of this route either. Duh, why is it called The Army Route? Because Army climbers stationed at Camp Carson in World War II and part of the famed 10th Mountain Division did the first ascent of The Army Route...as well as West Point Crack and Montezuma Tower in the Garden of the Gods.

And it is not a Trad/Solo route as you claim. A hell of a lot of people have been climbing this route before you were even born...I did it first when I was 12 in 1965 and the thing was sewn up with Army funk bolts. First pitch is a gear pitch...the second pitch has almost no good gear and was always protected with the old bits of rebar...the third pitch can be protected with some gear. Very few folks besides my old climbing pal Jimmy Dunn, who has soloed the thing a thousand times, ever solo The Army Route.

Whew!

By England
From: ?
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

Sorry Stewart-
All due respect, but the bolts were improperly placed, and dangerous. Also, the same rules apply to Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks, and Cheyenne Canyon. Is just anyone allowed to go slam in bolts at the Garden/Red Rocks? You apply for the same permit to climb in these areas. Im sorry you felt the need to post on this, but I'm also good friends with the rangers of the Canon, and have my own authority on certain things. No new hardware is needed on this route. Sorry I got the FA wrong, but your right I wasn't around in those days as you have eluded to, but I know you were. Perhaps you need to get with the times, and stop thinking your the only one with authority in the area.

EDIT: A lot more people solo the route than what you are aware of.

By slim
Administrator
Jul 24, 2009

england, are you on crack? i imagine stewart is a lot more 'with the times' than you are? nice job semi-backpedaling on your earlier statements and then trying to go on the attack again...

By Stewart M. Green
Jul 24, 2009

Well, I don't have authority in the area. I do have a relationship with the city, however, that I have worked to foster so that we can climb and continue to climb without beauracratic interference.

Yes, there is no law or rule against placing bolts at either the Garden or North Cheyenne Canon. Red Rock Canyon is a different matter because it was late on the scene and the master plan allows only for measured and controlled development of climbing routes. I have city ordinance 9.9.104 in front of me right now and nowhere does it talk about fixed protection or placing bolts or anything resembling that.

There is a lot of misinformation about climbing being passed around by city and park and rec employees right now. Bob Hostetler, the climbing rep on the board, and I are dealing with that issue right now at the Garden of the Gods since the volunteer ranger crew has been hassling climbers lately that are simply accessing routes via Tourist Gully and other places, but they are calling the police and such because they say the climbers are not on "designated routes." Again there is no language in the ordinance specifying designated routes.

The point is that we as climbers have certain rights and freedoms here that need to be protected. We do not need the city telling us where we can and cannot climb, nor that we can or can not place hardware or update old hardware to properly protect ourselves and other climbers from injury. There are limitations where we can climb, yes, particularly at the GofG, but climbers have an extraordinary amount of freedom in the Colo Springs city parklands.

That said, if the hardware needs to be replaced or chopped on area routes, particularly historic and classic routes like The Army Route, then what happens should be arrived at by a Colorado Springs climbing community consensus. Not some oddball going out and slamming in new anchors on The Pinnacle because they wanted too, nor another one going out and chopping them and further scarring and damaging the rock.

We have this forum here on MP where various COS climbers can weigh in and debate whether or not the hardware on The Pinnacle needs to be upgraded. After a consensus is reached, then we could proceed and say yea or nay.

I agree with you that the previous fixed gear, although old, on The Army Route was fine. There hasn't been a problem with it at all, and most of it could be backed up anyway. The problem is that some guy with a drill decided to unilaterally go out and put new anchors in on a classic route without asking around first to see if that is okay.

I don't know what he placed but I take your word for it that it was probably jingus. If the anchors were replaced they should probably be glue-in stainless steel bolts made to last 100 years. But you also made a unilateral decision to go up and chop those anchors without asking around, Hey, these new bolts are bad, they need to be chopped, is it all right for me to do that?

The last thing we need in the Springs is for people to be going around placing bolts randomly or chopping them. That will get the attention of the city fast and make them think that they is a problem and that the resource is getting damaged.

So really buddy, I'm with the times. I just don't want our climbing areas limited nor our climbing freedoms taking away.

By DaVeP
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c

I'd like to start by saying that a friend and I are responsible for installing the new anchors atop the first pitch of the Army Route. We certainly did not intend to cause all this drama, we simply wanted to make the belay station safer.
England, I'm confused by your statement that the anchors were improperly placed as we installed them just a few feet above the originals...not changing the route at all. Additionally, those anchors were not unsafe and certainly much safer than the existing piton and rebar setup. We used stainless, 3.5", Powerstud bolts and Metolius Rap Hangers, drilled in solid rock. I'm also confused by the statement you made to me the other day when you said, "we going to get a bunch of top-ropers up here [because of those anchors]". Someone still has to lead that route trad/solo to put it up.
Stewart, we aren't oddballs randomly bolting and we certainly aren't on a mission to rebolt the entire canyon. We simply wanted to provide a nice safe belay for climbers and yes, some anchors if people wanted to top-rope the first pitch (for beginners).
We had no idea that there were any groups to appeal to in this situation for permission to simply retro the anchors. In the future we'll be sure to attempt to gain some sort of consensus (on this site) before proceeding.
Stewart, thanks for all the information.

By Stewart M. Green
Jul 24, 2009

Thanks for the update on your anchors. It makes sense to me. I wasn't specifically referring to you as oddballs cause I don't know you, but in a generic sense. The park and rec tends to think of climbers sometimes as renegades and oddballs and we certainly don't want to be perceived that way because it leads to regulation...

Anyway, whether there are new anchors up there or not will not lead to a lot of top-ropers coming along and hogging the first pitch of The Army Route. I mean the thing is 5.5 for gawd's sake! And one pitch at that. The swarms will not descend on it. That pitch along with other ones along the nearby wall are sometimes used by guiding services, but that's a rare day.

There is a loosely knit group...Pikes Peak Climber's Alliance...that is headed by Bob Hostetler, who is the climber rep on the park board. It is registered with the Access Fund. Whenever issues have to be addressed with the COS park and rec, US Forest Service, BLM, or other land managers, it is important to have a legit group. They would much rather deal with a group of concerned user then a bunch of people. More clout too.

Anyway, I appreciate you stepping forward and relating what you did and what you used. It sounds like you used good hardware, had good intentions, and are willing to have a productive conversation about this.

By Brandon Schirm
From: colorado springs, co
Jul 24, 2009

first off the new now coped bolts were not unsafe (that is a fact). second everyone has his or her own thoughts on bolting or replacing old gear. i think that climbing should be for everyone, and if you want to top rope,aid,sportclimb,tradclimb or whatever. if the pro is not in the way leave it alone. as far as illegal i thought littering was illegal in the canyon as well. but england seems to think its ok to litter so whats up with that.

By England
From: ?
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

I went up to the anchors to inspect the installation. The placement was not in solid rock as thought. There is a reason the old anchors are rebar driven deep into the rock, and reinforced with concrete. There are very few solid pieces of rock to be found on the pinnacle. I removed the bolts to test the studs, and found that two "taps" of the hammer sent the studs back, and completely recessed within the wall. The holes drilled as stated were twice the depth needed. The hardware used was legit, and saved as requested. As for your claims of me being a litterer. I weekly take a bag of trash/cigarette butts away from the crag, as well as around the Graduation boulder, and people who know me know that I do this. I can guarantee you that the trash you are referring to is not mine.

EDIT: By the way Brandon... I cleaned up your friends massive chalk spill at the base of the climb that I witnessed myself along with some climbing partners.

By DaVeP
Jul 29, 2009
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c

England, in all honesty, you know you went up there to remove the hangers regardless of how safe YOU deemed them…not to “inspect” them as you stated. You told me this the day before. Also, let’s not exaggerate, those holes were only 1/2”-3/4” deeper than the bolt…not “twice the depth needed.” Not only does the bolt manufacturer recommend that depth, I double-checked with bolters possessing decades of experience and it’s a common practice. In the case that the bolt doesn’t catch and spins it can be tapped all the way in the hole (as you found out) and no further damage has to be done to the rock by chopping the bolt off. Regardless, it does not affect the strength of the bolt and both of those anchors were torqued down perfectly with a torque wrench. Additionally, one of those experienced bolters went up to check out the location and said that you only tapped them flush and the rock they were in was solid. I doubt you even checked the surrounding rock.

The bottom line is that all the reasons you gave me for taking down those new anchors the other day are false: It’s not illegal to bolt, it’s not a Harvey Carter route, it’s not an original trad route (as there are several rebar bolts throughout the route), and the anchors were not unsafe. I wish you would admit that the real reason you took them down is because YOU, and your park ranger friend, didn’t want them up there for your own personal reasons. You don’t like that we put them there…and I don’t agree with you taking them down, but you’re entitled to your opinion…JUST MAN UP AND OWN IT. It seems like you’re trying to save some face in this situation, after all your other reasons were exposed as BS, by claiming the anchors were misplaced and dangerous…which is totally false, gutless and OFFENSIVE. You've shown your true colors...I’ve said all I have to say.

By erik rieger
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 18, 2011

This is a classic Cheyenne Canyon route, great for taking up friends and beers on a leisurely day. Bring a few nuts and cams.

As far as the bolting conversation...there are plenty of old bolts on this route, most of which are highly unnecessary as this route could have gone entirely clean, yet this is understandable given the time and nature of the first ascent. I would suggest that the piton/bolt anchor atop P1 is more than adequate and that in all honesty the Army Route should stay as is. Like Stewart said, it's 5.5 for gawd sakes! This route's old hardwear and the variable nature of the rock are what give this climb its classic and unique charisma, much like many routes in the Garden. Placing/chopping bolts on this route and others on the Pinnacle without reaching a consensus among the climbing community here in the Springs is bound to cause some well deserved upset.

And as far as the rock on the Pinnacle is concerned, there's PLENTY of solid rock to be found contrary to what England suggests.

By Harry Dorcy
From: Denver, CO
Mar 20, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a PG13

A note for first-timers (from a one-timer, so take that for what it's worth): if you think you've gone about as far as you should and are about to build a trad anchor, climb 20 more feet. This happened to us twice, and we found bolts and (better) ledges just above us. We got tricked by all the bolt-chopping talk into thinking that the belay anchors we were shooting for no longer existed.

We pulled up just short of the top of P1. The picture here (with the bolt and the lost arrow piton) is good; it's still there and you can't miss it.

We also went off-route at the top of P2. When the crack peters out, keep heading up and right. We went for a very comfy ledge to the left (right above the second, deeper crack that runs just left off the route on P2). It was a nice place for some sun and a snack, but we found our bolts 15' higher up.

By Mike Smyth
From: Spartanburg, SC
Apr 2, 2012

Went to climb this today. Got to the top of P1 before the wind was getting a touch too strong for our liking, so we called it good and rapped off. Didn't get a good look at the rest of the route, but counted 5 or 6 chopped bolts on P1. It is completely trad with the exception of the bent rebar and piton at the top of P1 for an anchor. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to go back soon and get 'er done.

By Ken Pischke
Jul 7, 2013

Just climbed this today for the first time but have done the first pitch twice now. Had a medium-sized backpack on (Mammut Guide 45+7) and did it without much of a problem. The pack did get in the way at one part on the first pitch when it caught on the overhanging rock just above me, as I was trying to pull myself up onto a slanted ledge but wasn't bad as there were awesome handholds and good footing.

From what I could see, there were two places you could set up the first pitch...at the rebar and piton after you pull yourself over a fairly flat ledge or if you keep going (traversing) about 6 or 7 feet farther, you can set up on a comfy ledge with more rebar (only one...you can back it up with trad). I found the second option to be simpler and more comfortable.

As for the second pitch, I found it to be VERY well protected for how easy the climbing was...I only used quickdraws for this whole pitch and had no problem with rope drag. It was a bit run out in places, but it was very easy climbing, so I was comfortable with it. If you stop to belay your partner up the second pitch and you are not on a HUGE flat ledge...you haven't gone far enough. You will know when you get there. If you find the right ledge, it's more comfortable to belay from there than the ground! Where you anchor though, you'll have to back up the rebar with trad if you want a redundant anchor.

Third pitch...I wouldn't go all the way to the summit to belay the second up on the last pitch...not much to anchor yourself on if you belay off your harness and if you belay off your anchor, there isn't really much to make an anchor with up there. A LARGE flat ledge just before topping out is perfect for the last belay. From there, it is REALLY easy climbing anyway...more like scrambling.

The only time I used any trad was on the first pitch and backing up anchors...I was noticing that people said they were backing up the bolts/rebars with trad, but they seemed pretty solid to me. Also, for the guys who are reading this and who are doing this for the first time...on the third pitch, test out a handhold before yanking too hard on it. There was at least one good-size rock (probably about 25 lbs or so) that moved when I tested it out.

By Andy Nelson
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Aug 12, 2013

Eh, I did the first pitch (supposedly the best one) a few weeks ago, I kept thinking "what a pile of crap", and this is coming from a guy who grew up pulling (down) on choss in Missouri.