West Horizon Pass
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|Submitted By: ||J C Wilks on May 9, 2009|
There are several clusters of routes on high quality rock near this pass between Twin Rocks Mt. and Granite Mt. This is not an area recommended for inexperienced climbers on their own. There is no maintained trail. The chance encounters with wildlife can be sudden and at times dangerous. There are many boulder pits off the recommended route. Descents to many of the routes can be 4th to easy 5th class. Rescue from this relatively remote pass would be difficult, so use extra caution.
The Wintergarden Wall and Outland face south and are sheltered from the north winds which make it an ideal winter destination. Cochise Rocks, and La Mano De Mickey are north facing so they are a nice relief from the summer sun.
The following description is the easiest way in to West Horizon Pass. You should not have to do any difficult boulder hopping or end up mired in brush. From the Treasure Lake (south) parking lot, look to the northwest horizon. The tallest peak is Twin Rocks Mountain. To its south is Granite Mountain. West Horizon is the pass between the two peaks.
Take the left-most trail that goes north from the parking lot. Watch for a black waterstreak on granite slabs about 300 paces from the parking lot across the creek on your left. There is a small westward drainage that drops down then another across the creek which flows to Post Oak Lake. Climb up the black waterstreak on these slabs and follow the drainage up till it levels out. Turn right, facing north. From here there may be a series of cairns marking the route to the saddle of the pass if vandals haven't destroyed them. Look for some low angle slabs to the north, a split boulder on the horizon and a large oak in the immediate area beyond the slabs lower down. Traverse the slabs and walk left of the large oak, then follow the next intermittent creek uphill, generally northwest until it begins to fan out near the split boulder. Go up a small granite ramp. From its top, go left and continue in a northwesterly direction through this increasingly indistinct creek drainage.
As you hike through short scrubby trees, look for the "7" boulder among large rocks on your left. Keep heading west to a point about 70 yards north of the "7", where a grassy clearing leads to an easy passage north then west through the small boulders and scrub. From here the pass is in view to the west.
Walk uphill a short way then drop down slightly to a small north-facing wall. Continue along past its base and go up. Maintain this general elevation through this area. The trick is to connect the grassy meadows with game trails, cutting across three distinct north-flowing drainages. Look for a clam-shaped, 9 foot tall boulder by itself in a meadow. From here the Cochise Rocks will be visible, high on your left on the north side of Granite Mountain. To get to the Cochise group, walk up the east side of the 4th gully and cross it just before the base of the climbs. Travel time to Cochise rocks is about thirty minutes, forty-five to the Wintergarden Wall.
The Upper Wintergarden Wall is reached by continuing over the saddle of West Horizon Pass. Generally trend downhill for about 100 yards from the saddle until you come to a small arching tree, then cross the westward flowing creek that separates Granite and Twin Rocks Mountains. A little easy boulder hopping is required here. Once on the Twin Rocks side of the drainage, there is a series of ramps across low angle slabs which lead you into view of the upper Wintergarden Wall. Scramble up to the right end of the wall via 3rd class slabs and cracks to a large rocky shelf to get to the base of the climbs.
To find La Mano De Mickey from upper Wintergarden Wall, look south across the valley, La Mano De Mickey is located just below and slightly left of the highest point on Granite Mountain. To reach this formation from the pass, stay on the left side of the creek and walk diagonally uphill from the arching tree. The lower Wintergarden Wall (Soul of the Heartland, Trickster Coyote & Changeling) and The Outland is reached by continuing even further down the creek, and crossing north just before the climbs.
Weather station 1.7 miles from here
4 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For West Horizon Pass
Changeling 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b OK
: Wichita Wildlife Refuge
: ... : Wintergarden Wall
Changeling is located just to the right of Trickster Coyote and is very similar in character. It is more sustained than Coyote, and felt a little harder than the 5.7 rating. Start up a face that quickly brings you to a small, shallow dihedral. There are some awkward, twisting moves through the dihedral. The crux is about half way up and involves thin face moves over thin gear. There is a small tricam pocket just above the crux and a couple of good Alien placements. As the route begins to m...[more] Browse More Classics in OK
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