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BETA PHOTO: Cloud Tower reaching the skyline on the right, Gin...
An absolutely fabulous route destined for "classic" status. Originally done in seven pitches of excellent steep 5.10 face climbing. The route was later continued a few pitches higher by the late Zack Martin. Zack passed on before I could get any information about his extension, so I will only include the first seven pitches in this description. And hope that somebody will fill in the rest.
The route starts halfway between Ginger Cracks and Power Failure. Find the only big tree in sight and scurry up it till you can reach the 1st bolt.
P1: (130' 5.10) After the tree climb up through a right-facing corner and up left past bolts to a 2-bolt belay.
P2: (150' 5.10) Up and left following bolts to a 2-bolt belay.
P3: (40' 5.10) Climb up to the big ledge via crack and face.
P4: (120' 5.10+) Follow bolts through the roof via the right-facing corner then up and right to a 2-bolt belay.
P5: (80' 5.10+) Steep face past bolts to a 2-bolt belay.
P6: (80' 5.10+) Up the steep face to a 2-bolt belay.
P7: (160' 5.10+) Head up and left toward the top of the pillar.
P8,9,10: (???) This route is steep and sustained and can be cleanly rapped from the top of the seventh pitch.
15 draws and a small rack of stoppers and cams to 2"
Pat on an onsight of the Unimpeachable(pitch 4)
BETA PHOTO: The tree at the start of the climb.
Great climbing on the fifth pitch were the rock be...
MadMan and me On the FA of Unimpeachable Groping. ...
Climbing the tree to start the 1st pitch
The final fun and easy 5.8 pitch to the top of the...
James leading the 1st pitch
Midway up the wall of the very well protected face...
James Tortelli on pitch 3 or 4
Butt shot view of the roof. Ridiculously fun and ...
Alex leading up to the big comfy ledge.
This is the roof pitch. This is what the anchor lo...
Group of three climbers from Durango on the second...
First pitch action. November 2012.
|Comments on Unimpeachable Groping
May 6, 2004
Climbed this great route 5/03/04. If you want to rap the route stop at the belay at the the top of P6. If you want to finish continue past this anchor about 40 feet to a large flat ledge with two bolts. And shade. P7 is 130 feet of solid 5.8 climbing and takes you to the top of Ginger Buttress (single bolt). From there we descended as for Ginger Cracks, one rap to the horseshoe basin above Power Failure and three down that route. We brought TCUs and a set of nuts and placed a total of three pieces. I think if I do it again I will take the orange Metolius TCU and 14 draws. There are a couple of homemade hangers on the wall above the top but it looks pretty serious up there. We felt this climb as good or better than Prince of Darkness in a much more dramatic setting.
|By brent pohlmann|
From: San Francisco, CA
Sep 10, 2004
I am going to Red Rocks to climb this route. On what pitch did you use the "orange metolius TCU"? did you need a buttbag for any of the belays or were there good stances at the belay stations? did you need two ropes to rappel or was one 60 meter enough? Thanx
From: Sacramento, CA
Nov 29, 2004
Climbed 11/27/04. Fantastic route - one of the best in the well-protected, multipitch sportclimb variety. The roof pitch (P4 in Phil's description) is not to be missed!! We brought a full set of nuts and single set of cams to 2" and felt we had way too much (placed a total of 3 or 4 pieces in 6 pitches without having to run it out). Next time I would bring a few nuts and possibly 2 or 3 TCUs, plus draws. Climbing with double ropes allows for an easy descent (3 or 4 raps) from the top of pitch 6. I think the following pitch lengths are a little closer:
P3: 25' (better to combine w/P2)
There is a nice photo of the route with the line drawn in at Eric and Lucie's website.
|By brent pohlmann|
From: San Francisco, CA
Dec 1, 2004
Hey i tried this route and had to back out cause of the heat....I am going to be in Vegas from december 11 to January 4th. I live and work in boulder and would be willing to put anyone up this spring/fall/summer if they could find it in their hearts to let me stay with them for any or all of these dates. Plus I could housesit(great with any and all animals and plants) and I have references...if you have friends relatives with such needs.If nothing else, if anyone is interested in climbing this route during the christmas break drop me an email.b.p. email:email@example.com
|By Anthony Anagnostou|
Mar 13, 2005
great route. absolutely great protection. generally, bolts every body length, sometimes less. there are two 'runouts' on the route, but both are on easier climbing, and take decent trad gear. a small selection of nuts and a couple thin to finger-size TCUs, as suggested, will sew the route up.
i dont really think the route is as hard as the beta would suggest. the roof pitch, IMO, is definitely not 5.10+. the second pitch was the hardest for me, technically, and a couple of very steep upper pitches might be the crux for someone with forearms unused to vertical-ish face.
|By Doug Hemken|
Nov 29, 2005
Delicate moves on delicate rock.
One more bolt on the first pitch would be nice, to encourage people to leave the tree alone. The pitch would still go at about 5.10.
There are a couple of points where 24-36" runners alleviate rope drag.
I thought the final pitch was 5.8 when a partner & I did it as the final pitch of Ginger Cracks, last year.
Apr 17, 2006
Good route. I found it to be better than Prince of Darkness. Not sure if I would give it a 10D or 10+ rating like the guide books, however, fun and sustained face climbing for six pitches.
Gear: 15 draws, 1-2 TCUs in the finger-size range. As a side note, we did the route without placing a single piece of gear and never felt run out.
There is a nice ledge at the top of pitch three with a great view.
Easy rap with 2 ropes.
|By Matt McMurray|
From: Castle Rock, CO
Dec 11, 2006
I recently climbed this route, and wanted to add a few points for others to follow:
There are multiple rap anchors on this route at various lengths. On two occasions this led my partner to stop short of the "true anchors."
1) One spot was on pitch 2 where there are two bolts placed vertically less that 2 ft. apart, but if you continue up about 15 more feet you'll see the rap rings.
2) There was another spot on the 4th pitch where you encounter a set of rap rings well before the higher anchor. Presumably these where you rap to if you don't complete the 7th pitch (this is what we did and they were almost right at 60m).
ALSO be sure to knot the ends of your ropes when you rap. From the rap rings shortly above the 4th roof pitch, gravity takes you left of the bolt line. IF you continue past the pitch 2 belay station to the pitch one belay station it will require you to stretch your rope. I weigh 185lbs. and I had to reach out with a runner to clip the anchors below me to make it. Fortunately, I'd knotted my rope ends as they were tight against my belay device. BE CAREFUL! The benefit of this is that we got down in 3 rappels...
This is a fun route (much more enjoyable than POD), and it didn't seem too loose. I would recommend linking pitches 2 and 3, and only bring 20 draws. IMO if you are at all comfortable at this grade you won't feel the need to place any gear. There was only one spot towards the start of pitch 2 that was even remotely runout... but it was easy.
|By Matt McMurray|
From: Castle Rock, CO
Dec 11, 2006
One more thing... when approaching this route you need to keep your eyes peeled for the tree at the start. We passed it on our approach as there is another LARGER pine tree about 100 yards up the gully towards the waterstreak (Power Failure) and you crawl under some shrubbery as you're passing the start of the climb. The start of U.G. truly does climb a tree, that is an arm's length from the wall. It seems like a simple mistake, but it cost us about 30 minutes scouring the wall looking for bolts about 100 yards uphill from where we should have been... DOH!
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 26, 2007
The moves on this route are more interesting and varied than those of POD but the rock is quite a bit more suspect. If not for the overabundance of bolts I would applaud the route more. Overall this route provides a nice jaunt up several nice pitches. I would have to say I agree that the overall rating would be a bit more like .10c but who knows what will be broken the next time someone does it.
I would recommend taking no gear and linking the 2nd and 3rd pitches as stated by others. We also linked the 5th and 6th pitches easily.
Apr 10, 2007
Overall, I agree with Brent Armstrong's comments - particularly about the rock quality, which I think remains somewhat poor throughout the climb. Pretty much every other hold you grab is hollow, and the cruxes seem to come from avoiding certain holds or pulling on them in less-than-ideal ways so as not to rip them off. I did enjoy the exposure and location on this one, but the climbing is a bit generic.
Linking P2 and P3 is the way to go, however be aware that at present one of the hangers is missing from one of the bolts from the belay on the ledge(below roof). The bolt itself is still sticking out of the rock - bring a stopper.
On the roof pitch, skip the first set of anchors - there is another belay just above.
|By Dr. Evil|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 25, 2007
I found this climb to be quite enjoyable, with lots of fun face climbing. However, I agree with some of the other posters that there is a fair bit of not-well-attached rock on the climb. (I broke off a hold, and I'm not super large.)
In my opinion the climb is no harder than 10a.
We took some gear on the climb and used none of it: I would suggest climbing with 12 quickdraws & anchor material if you are comfortable with the occasional runout on 7-8 moves. The 9-10a moves are well protected with lots of bolts.
We chose to do the Ginger cracks descent down and left from the summit block as Drederek described - this requires fewer rappels on a cleaner face, which we thought would lessen the chance of getting the ropes stuck while rappeling. This worked well.
Dec 2, 2007
Sounds like a really sweet route and am actually planning on climbing it this December. A recent poster said that one of the hangers is missing from one of the bolts on the ledge. Does anyone know if it has been replaced? Also, has anyone made the descent with a single 70m rope. Thanks!
|By Pete Bresciani|
Apr 12, 2008
The Cat and I climbed this route today, April 12, 2008. We had a great time. The rock quality wasn't as horrible as we were anticipating and the weather was perfect. It's too bad the initial poster for this used Roxanne's guidebook as a reference because the description is poor. Here is what we found:
Pitch 1: Chimney tree and wall to first bolt. I guess the idea is to sling some branches on the way up. :-) After 120' there is a bolted station at a stance just above two very close bolts. Although I didn't take gear on this pitch, an orange Metolius TCU would have been nice. 120 feet, 5.10a.
Pitch 2: Follow bolts, passing one belay station to a HUGE ledge below a roof. No gear needed. 160 feet, 5.10a.
Pitch 3: Climb out the roof on big jugs and continue to the next anchor. I did use a red Metolius TCU on this pitch. 120 feet, 5.10a.
Pitch 4: Follow 12 bolts to an anchor. No gear needed. 80 feet, 5.10a.
Pitch 5: Follow 6 more bolts to an anchor, but pass this and continue to another HUGE ledge with two bolts and rap slings. The first half of this pitch is 5.10a, but then it backs way off. The second half climbing is easy (5.8 then 5.6 and easier), but you might want gear since the bolts end at that first anchor. Not exactly sure of the length, but it was definitely more than 80' as stated in the guidebooks. It felt more like 110' or 120'.
Pitch 6: This looks like a lichen covered mess but turns out to be very fun climbing on bomber rock to the top of the pillar (amazing view) following lot's more bolts. You may be able to find some gear at one slightly runout place, but the climbing is easy and the rock is bullet proof compared with the rest of the climb so you probably won't think twice about any small runout. 160', 5.8.
From the top, make a tiny (8') rap west from 2 widely spaced bolts with slings, to the next ledge where you'll see slings around a wedged block (Ginger Cracks descent). From here make another rap (we used a single 70 meter) into the bowl. Scramble down to the lip of the bowl where you'll find rappel bolts to rappel Power Failure with two ropes (3 raps or we did two since one of our ropes was a 70 meter. This descent is fast and ropes are not prone to catch on the face.
Another note: If you are going to combine pitches 4 and 5 of this description, you'll need 24 quickdraws! 20 for protection and 2 at each belay. Plan accordingly. On the day we did this climb, there were no missing hangers at any belay.
We are both tall and felt no move was harder than 5.10a although if you combine those upper pitches you'll have the weight of 2 full ropes dragging you down and this might make things feel harder than they are. We had a great time.
|By Will S|
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 25, 2008
The climbing is enjoyable enough, but the hardware could use some work. Spinners, extra belays, and a missing hanger/nut on a stud you could remove by hand at the belay below the roof. Brock topo lengths are way off, as usual. P3 is confusing when you reach two closely spaced bolts (a foot apart) near the end of the pitch which are not the belay that is actually 10' or so higher and just out of sight over a bulge.
We placed maybe two pieces of gear, and one of those was for the first move out of the tree about 2' below the first bolt. Next time I'd just take a single finger sized cam and draws. While you can rap the route with two ropes (we did) the first pull is jacked, probably better to use the Ginger Cracks descent. Crux? Who knows, my partner and I both thought it was different spots, neither of which were the supposed cruxes. Very soft for 10d, even for Red Rock.
|By Kristian A|
Apr 12, 2009
My girlfriend and I were in Red Rocks a few weeks ago. I was up Unimpeachable a few years ago (with two 60m ropes for the descent). We only had one 70m with us this time, and saw in the guide book that two 60s would be required. But based on the ~120ft pitch lengths and the few intermediate anchors I remembered since last time, we figured we'd try it anyway. In case we'd run short on rope on any pitch, we were planning to downclimb that pitch and go home.
It turns out already the first pitch went ~15ft beyond the middle marker of our 70m. With rope stretch, and a rappel taking the direct route down, the rope was enough to get down from the first set of anchors though without resorting to any acrobatics :-).
I wanted to post this info here as an answer to the question above about one 70m being enough for the route. I don't know for sure if that'll work with pitch #2 or later. But if you intend to give it a try, I would recommend ensuring your leader is comfortable downclimbing if that would turn out to be necessary.
|By Chris Hannes|
Nov 26, 2009
Blah blah, no commitment, blah blah too many bolts. 1980 called and and they want their self important comments back. If you think there are too many bolts don't clip all of them.
This is a cool route for a sport climber wanting to do multi pitch. While it was fun I can't think of any part of the climb that made anyone in our group say wow.
I do hope to see more long sport routes like this.
It is long and sustained. Don't fall for the sandbagger comments. If you plan on leading every pitch you should be tapping 11's on single pitch sport routes, and your second should be a solid 10 climber. There is no real crux pitch just continuous mid 10 climbing with hanging belays. The third (2nd) pitch ledge is huge and both hangers were there.
Do link pitch 2 and 3, and if you are going to the top don't stop at the first belay on pitch 5, we did and found the anchor on the ledge later, it would have been nice. Linking 4 and 5 would be a good idea but you do need 24 draws, we didn't. The climbing is easier here but steeper. The final pitch is unlike any of the others, easier but slabby if you have any energy left here you may want to place a nut or two, or just run it out, the rock is solid.
I placed one piece of gear on the first pitch i think it was a BD .5. It was on easy ground but the rock was suspect. We had one HUGE hold hold break off on the fifth pitch. Given a few more years this route may live up to the 10d or 10plus rating as more holds break.
We did the 8 foot rap down to the block, it was dark so we did a double rope rap directly to the top of the bowl for the Power Failure rap. We had two 70m ropes and could do the rest in two raps, all the pulls are clean here and the rings were easy to find in the dark.
Oak Creek parking looks much closer. I don't know for sure we didn't park there.
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 2, 2010
Did the first 3 pitches of this route on 2/1/2010. I think we were the first people to do it since the big storm and we were postholing a bit through the snow on the approach. We had hoped to get an early start and do most of it while in the sun, but a hot craps table the night before foiled our plan. The sun disappeared during the first pitch, and at the top of the second it was more like unimpeachable shivering and so we bailed. I thought the climbing was excellent and sustained. No single move harder than 5.9 or 5.9+ but it just doesn't let up.
I wanted to add some rappel beta: We didn't want to bring another rope, because it looked like a 70m would get you down without too many shenanagins. For the first three pitches we found 1) the first pitch can be rappelled with a 70m, with about 1 foot to spare, which puts it right around 120 feet. 2) The second pitch would not make it with a 70m. We did a single rope rappel and biased the middle marker about 10 ft down, and then attached 10 extended slings for a pull cord. Thus I would guess this pitch is about 125-135 ft. 3) about the third pitch: there are no rap anchors, and one of the 2 bolts looks like you could pull it out with your hand (I tried and all I could do is wiggle it around) so we ended up leaving an old locker and rapping off the single bolt, which was bomber.
I brought a single set blue through red aliens and we used 1 on each pitch.
the holds did seem a little hollow, but nothing more than usual sandstone in my experience. we didn't pull anything off.
|By bryan felkoski|
Sep 24, 2010
just climbed first 3 (2) pitches of UG. there is a missing hanger at the top of pitch 3. and the other bolt next to it is loose.
very enjoyable climbing despite the hollow rock and flexing flakes.
ran out of time and couldn't finish because i'm scared of the dark. can't wait to go back.
|By Ryan s Nelson|
Mar 4, 2011
Great route for intro to sustained multi pitch, The roof was very fun and the hardest pitch seemed to be the move that lead to the first set of anchors, this climb was very consistent and sustained, there was no actual point at which the climb held characteristics of a 10b, but the continual sustained face makes the grade. The best thing about the climb to me was the exposure.
|By vanishing spy|
May 2, 2011
70m rappel beta: Don't do it.
We rapped off a carabiner atop the tower, as there are no rap rings at this 2 bolt anchor. You can not rap the 2nd pitch with a 70m rope. It'd be a stretch to get to the 1st bolt on that pitch. We had to leave a locker and rap off a single bolt. The rope can get stuck on the featured rock and I think we were lucky overall and planned this rappel ahead of time. I'm glad we did not top out the route. I think it would have been a grave error.
We did not need any trad gear though we brought a light rack. There is a run out at the top (5.4) terrain leading to the final pitch. The bolts are close enough and right where you need them the rest of the route. We linked the 2nd/3rd pitch easily and the 4th/5th. The most difficult climbing was getting on to the 1st belay or possibly somewhere in the 2nd pitch. The opening moves would be quite hard if you didn't have the tree to back step.
Though some holds feel thin and hollow they are all solid, even the one someone marked with an X.
May 6, 2011
Climbed this route again, 8 years after the first time. We thought the p1 & 2 were harder than we remembered and the rest easier. We also rapped it with a seventy meter rope without leaving any gear or any shenanigans. P 2 used all of the rope for sure but we both clipped the anchors from above the knot. We didn't try to rap past the p4 (roof pitch) anchor to the intermediate set but this may have allowed us to skip the huge ledge on the way down and do the whole thing in 5 raps from the p6 anchors. Sounds like VS' rope is a bit less than 70m or ours is a bit longer. Either way we wouldn't have tried it without some bail gear. Didn't score the locker they left either darnit!
|By Daniel Winder|
Oct 17, 2011
Topped out just as it got dark. One double rope rap put us comfortably in the bowl and three more double raps down power failure to the ground. Bring 2 ropes! The power failure raps are down a smooth face with little risk of hangups. The route itself is exposed and vertical for its entire length, very cool.
|By Blake M|
Dec 19, 2011
Did this route on 12/17/2011, its an excellent route with some great climbing on it and would recommend it.
Firstly on the gear we took a single set of nuts and did not place any. There were a couple 25ish? foot run outs however I felt that they were no harder than 5.8, far easier than the rest of the route.
I felt that the first and the fourth (the roof) pitch were the hardest parts.
If I was to do it again I would bring a few extra draws and link the 2nd and 3rd pitches. The third pitch is only three bolts and could be easily linked.
The anchor at the ledge (top of 3rd pitch)is missing a bolt but someone has made a makeshift anchor with the bolt above and some cordage.
Also after pulling the roof you will clip a few bolts and come to another anchor, keep going, the 4th pitch anchor is further up. I am guessing that this is a rap anchor so you don't have to swing into the ledge when rapping the route.
The last pitches were straight forward. The top of the 7th pitch has two bolts for a anchor. We rapped from this anchor down into the the bowl above Power Failure and scrambled down to its anchor. The anchor was easy to find, its pretty much located at the lowest point in the bowl; but a little sketchy to get to as there is a lot of loose dirt and rock right up to the the rounded cliff edge. Once you find the Power Failure anchor the rest of the decent is pretty straight forward, just 3 double rope raps down to terra firma.
Finally there are a lot of loose nuts on this route someone should take a wrench up and do a little tightening
|By Chris Burton|
Aug 20, 2012
fwiw, the first pitch has been done (at least once) without the tree. Bill Lyons and I did shortly after Jorge & Mike finished it. We got some basic approach beta from Jorge and went looking for it. When we found the route I was surprised to see how high that first bolt was, but figured that it must be easy to that point as climbing the tree would eventually kill it...so we tried to start from the right of the tree, but that seemed awfully hard, so we tried the left side, which got us to the first bolt, which I was immensely relieved to clip. I saw Jorge & Mike at Mike's Thanksgiving party a month later and they had a great laugh when I relayed our outing.
|By Patrick Mulligan|
Oct 1, 2012
Been wanting to get on this since Chris Burton told me about it a decade ago. While I thought there were more pumpy pitches, I found the pitch 2-3 combo to be the crux. Its a long pitch climbed this way and there are a lot of delicate and balancy moves that were far less obvious than the steeper pitches. I could see the roof on pitch four being really tough for shorter folks - and at 6' I found it to be dynamic. I broke a foothold on pitch two and there is a lot of loose stuff on that pitch especially. At times you look up a line of good holds just outside of the bolt line only to realize that there are 6' sections of wall that are hollow and ring like a gong.
I know this is a sport climb, but this is climb is still a big day. Its a good hike in and out with close to 1000' of steep elevation gain/loss with roughly 850' of technical climbing.
|By T.J. Esposito|
From: San Diego, CA
Oct 28, 2012
If you are tall and have a long reach, this fun climb feels significantly easier (10b I'd say, at 6'1" with a +5 ape index). There are a ton of spinners. The final ramp to the summit felt a bit harder than 5.8 in my opinion. Also, make sure to not knock any rocks when heading down the gully if you rap the water streak, as they bounce down and then go sailing over the edge. Wouldn't be pleasant for people on Power Failure or rapping.
Nov 17, 2012
No need to climb the tree, you can go strait for the bolt on the wall, maybe 5.10c but fits perfect to the route and is kind of more clean :-)
We had only runners with us, did not miss any gear.
|By jason sartor|
Nov 28, 2012
I'd like to echo sentiments mentioned here and in the comments for Power Failure and Ginger Cracks.
If you're going to rap the water streak through Power failure, be warned that there is so much loose rock above just waiting to be freed and sent over the edge. I won't be going anywhere near Power Failure until I know conditions have changed.
I climbed Ginger Cracks on November 24th, 2012, and feel that it is nearly impossible NOT to send rocks down that chute and over the edge.
|By chris morgan|
Dec 1, 2012
There is no need for any trad gear. There is also no need to use the tree...5.10b route...using the tree is cheating. Man up and climb the wall. amazing route. Id recommended comfy shoes for the belay at the top of the first pitch...gets a little uncomfortable lol
|By Zachary W|
Feb 6, 2013
Really no need to use the tree at the start. Both of us freed it with little trouble, and the first bolt isn't that high off the ground. If you can do the moves on the rest of the route, you can do that start.
|By Will Hummel|
Mar 23, 2013
When (if ever) is Groping in the shade? And is it feasible to rap with a single rope? The consensus from the comments seems to be that double ropes are better/easier, but would it be possible to do it with one? Thanks!
From: Riverside, Ca
Apr 17, 2013
Topped out the route this past Saturday April 13 and rapped Power Failure anchors with two 60m ropes. Be very careful rapping down cause there is A LOT of loose rock up there above power failure.
rack only consisted of draws, no gear was placed.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 19, 2013
the anchor situation on the ledge has gotten worse in the last few years. one bolt is completely missing now. also, a hanger is missing off a bolt on the first pitch (last bolt, it's the one that's super close to the one below). a fair number of the studs look iffy. this route could use some heavy maintenance.
also, keep your helmets on while in the gully at the base of the climb. some knuckleheads cut loose a bunch of rock off the top of power failure and it shot down the route and bounced down the gully. got winged by some shrapnel while sitting near the base of the climb packing up.