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Shield
Routes Sorted
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 

The Odyssey 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 300', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Gary Hicks
Season: August to February (due to closure)
Page Views: 1,312
Submitted By: George Perkins on Oct 26, 2007

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Following the 5.7R slab pitch variation that takes...
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  • Description 

    This 5-pitch climb finds a proud clean face and striking arete on the top of the Shield. However, a loose exit pitch detracts from the overall quality and may be horrifying for those not expecting it.

    It's a good finish to the Procrastination/ ChopSuey routes too, if you've got time and motivation when you reach the upper reaches of the Shield.

    Pitch 1: A short and dirty right facing dihedral 5.8 with some of your own gear for pro. If starting from Procrastination, from the belay at the base of the black wall, angle up and right 5.7R directly to the top of the first pitch. If you approached by rappel, it's probably best to just skip this pitch and start with pitch 2.

    Pitch 2: Move up and right a few feet from the belay, clip bolt, then fixed pin, then angle up and left on thin 5.10a traverse to the arete (crux). 15' of easier arete to 2-bolt belay. No rack needed, all bolts and pins. Quality.

    Pitch 3: Awesome 5.8 arete with jugs to a 2-bolt anchor just left of the arete. Excellent climbing, no rack needed. You can easily link p2 & p3 with a 60m rope, if you have lots of draws.

    Pitch 4: "The Eiger pitch" Cracks, flakes, and fins, protected by continuous fixed pins close together. Not as loose as the name suggests, but still heads-up for knocking stuff down (5.9). Stop at a 2-bolt anchor.

    Pitch 5: Move right around the corner and continue up dubious blocks, keeping an eye out for fixed pitons, which are sometimes hard to find among the many blocks and cracks they could be in (5.8). I thought this was scary because of sketchy blocks. All pro is fixed on this pitch too. A fixed pin is present as a directional at the top. Pitches 4 & 5 can be linked with a 60m rope and lots of draws.


    Location 

    The striking arete left of the Cyclops Eye is the goal of this route. You can get here by climbing Procrastination or adjacent routes to the Speed Bumps.
    Alternatively, you can rap the route in from the top, single 60m rope probably ok. Make sure you're over the Odyssey when you start the raps. You'll need to leave stuff at the 2-bolt anchors, but you can pick it up on the way back out. Static line might help to tie off a tree at the top to set the first rappel.

    Rappel-in approach details, Courtesy of Lee B.
    To find where to rap in. As you hike along the trail at the top of the Shield heading NW, when the trail comes into an clearing and there is a slightly twisted mostly dead tree about 10-15' tall at about 10 o'clock, I also placed a 10' long dead log perpendicular to the trail on the left at this point, head off the trail towards this tree then down to the top of the cliff. This should put you at a small healthy tree about 6' tall and about 10' from the edge of the cliff on a section that sticks out slightly further than the rest. If you look to your left you should be able to see the steep blocky stuff that Escape from the Cyclops traverse through and looking to your right you will notice that the wall is more broken and less steep. Using the young healthy tree or a larger tree about 30'+ back you can either rap to your left which runs down a nice little ramp into a dihedral and has a pin on what would be the left wall of the dihedral as you are looking down and at about shoulder height if you are standing at the bottom of the little ramp, which is Cowboys Delight. Or rap to your right which should be The Odyssey. All rights and lefts are as you are looking out off the top of the cliff.


    Protection 

    All pro is fixed pitons and bolts for the top 4 pitches, so you'll need only runners/draws. 12 is plenty if not combining pitches, if linking you'll need more (like 18?), or skip pitons/backclean sometimes. The first pitch would require a few small to mid size cams or nuts, but if rappelling in, it is recommended to skip this dirty first pitch anyway and start with p2. If you climbed up to get to this route, you've got enough stuff.



    Photos of The Odyssey Slideshow Add Photo
    Climbing the awesome steeper-than-it-looks-in-this-photo arete on pitch two of The Odyssey.  The face right of the arete is very clean and begging for an FA.
    Climbing the awesome steeper-than-it-looks-in-this...
    The Legendary Davito Hammack on the sweet arete during our link up with Slipping Into Darkness. We linked pitches on Odyssey. This allowed us to only rope up on 4 pitches total during the link up; free soloing the rest. We passed Paul Johnson and Benny Abruzzo atop pitch 4 of SID
    The Legendary Davito Hammack on the sweet arete du...
    Comments on The Odyssey Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Alam
    Feb 26, 2008

    P2, P3 and P4 are great.

    I just wanted to add a warning. We ran P4 and P5 together racing a thunderstorm this last summer. Somewhere in the middle of following P5 I took a large rock to the helmet - obviously the rope knocked it lose. We had gone straight up from the last 2 bolt anchor and stumbled into a LOT of lose stuff - probably best to angle right. Heads up.

    Also - we ended up rappelling in a little off target and rap through "Cowboys Delight". Not pretty - luckily someone had added a new bolt to the 2nd rappel station down. Avoid this rappel. Make sure you are rapping directly on the arete that makes up the "The Odyssey"

    By Jason J Patton
    Aug 5, 2008

    Pretty easy to get your ropes stuck here. Rap in direct but watch your knot!

    By LeeAB
    Administrator
    From: ABQ, NM
    Sep 14, 2008

    To find where to rap in. As you hike along the trail at the top of the Shield heading NW, when the trail comes into an clearing and there is a slightly twisted mostly dead tree about 10-15' tall at about 10 o'clock, I also paced a 10' long dead log perpendicular to the trail on the left at this point, head off the trail towards this tree then down to the top of the cliff. This should put you at a small healthy tree about 6' tall and about 10' from the edge of the cliff on a section that sticks out slightly further than the rest. If you look to your left you should be able to see the steep blocky stuff that Escape from the Cyclops traverse through and looking to your right you will notice that the wall is more broken and less steep. Using the young healthy tree or a larger tree about 30'+ back you can either rap to your left which runs down a nice little ramp into a dihedral and has a pin on what would be the left wall of the dihedral as you are looking down and at about shoulder height if you are standing at the bottom of the little ramp, which is Cowboys Delight. Or rap to your right which should be The Odyssey. All rights and lefts are as you are looking out off the top of the cliff.

    OH and John, you can have Cowboy's Delight.