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Wherever I May Roam S 
Why Art Thou? S 

Wherever I May Roam 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Sport, 5 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Ryan Lawson, Thomas Emde, 2000
Page Views: 18,501
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on May 2, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (171)
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Wherever I May Roam, also well worth the view

Seasonal Raptor Closure 2015 - Monument Area MORE INFO >>>


A good sustained climb at the 5.8/5.9 level that makes for an enjoyable few hours.

Start by climbing Adventurous 9904 which is on a large pillar. From near Asterisk pass the pillar looks partially detached.

Pitch 1: 5.8
Romp up on knobs past several bolts to the top of the Pillar and belay.

Pitch 2: 5.9
Start by leaning over the chimney that separates the main wall and the pillar to clip a bolt then step across. Climb up and left to a belay anchor.

Pitch 3: 5.9
Move up and left to a small ledge just above the belay and make an airy move onto the face. Climb up and left on knobs and pockets, airy and exciting! There is another bolted line that goes straight up a few bolts after stepping across, do not follow it. Belay at the base of an arete after about 60 feet.

Pitch 4: 5.9
Make a few exciting moves up the arete before veering right and following an edge dropping away below your feet. The climbing eases a bit before reaching a belay on a low angled slab.

Pitch 5: 5.8
Race up the slab and then finish on jugs on one final steep section of the headwall and belay.


Adventurous 9904 starts about 100 yards West of Asterisk Pass on a partially separated pillar.




With single 60m rope...

1- Rappel from the perch to the ledge below. Rap to the East. Walk down hill about 50 feet and look for another rappel anchor on the West side.

2- Rap back down to the anchor on the arete at the start of pitch 4

3- Rap down and look for another anchor on a ledge to the right a bit.

4- Rap to the ground.

Photos of Wherever I May Roam Slideshow Add Photo
View down onto Asterisk Pass.
View down onto Asterisk Pass.
Puffy coat cold in August on the top of Wherever I...
Puffy coat cold in August on the top of Wherever I...
Start of the 2nd pitch
BETA PHOTO: Start of the 2nd pitch
Adal Bermann at the top of Wherever I May Roam
Adal Bermann at the top of Wherever I May Roam
Kathryn on pitch 2
Kathryn on pitch 2
Dan leads out from the 2nd belay of Wherever I May...
Dan leads out from the 2nd belay of Wherever I May...
Todd on the 3rd pitch.
Todd on the 3rd pitch.
Andre on Wherever I May Roam
Andre on Wherever I May Roam
Courtney Rein nearing the end of P 2 - July 2012
Courtney Rein nearing the end of P 2 - July 2012
great view from the summit
great view from the summit
Alena in the middle of the 2nd pitch of Wherever I...
Alena in the middle of the 2nd pitch of Wherever I...
at the last belay station of Wherever I May Roam
at the last belay station of Wherever I May Roam
1st pitch, Wherever I May Roam 5.9
1st pitch, Wherever I May Roam 5.9
From the top of Wherever I May Roam
From the top of Wherever I May Roam
Enjoying the view from the top.
Enjoying the view from the top.
Belay station at the top of the 3rd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Belay station at the top of the 3rd pitch.
3rd pitch
3rd pitch
Chris leading the final pitch
Chris leading the final pitch
P3, fun traverse
P3, fun traverse

Comments on Wherever I May Roam Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 4, 2015
By Timmy Deez
From: Portland OR
Jan 20, 2015

Hey Everyone!!!

My buddy and I fixed a pink 9.1 from one of the top rap anchors all the way to about 10 feet off the deck (5.2) down climb for that ten feet. We were trying to link 4 multi-pitch routes and two of them being on this feature we were saving time on the rap. Anyway, I tweaked my ankle after our third route and we were unable to get back up to chop the rope. I didnt want to leave trash but could bareley get back out of the park so we had to leave it. Please feel free to use it, untie it, chop it or whatever, I wont be back for a while to retrieve it as I am in Portland with a sprained ankle, so please help out as I littered :(

Sorry everyone.
By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Nov 2, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

FYI- I saw another party's ropes get stuck in the cracks and on the knobs on the last two rappels, so be cautious as to where your ropes are running.

By DonJuan
From: Boulder, CO
May 21, 2007

Great route to practice rope maintenance and multi-pitches at Smith, and to get away from the crowds of the main wall. There's quite a few routes in the same area now, so watch your bolt line (the first time I climbed it I ended up at a rap station for another route and had to down climb around the corner--atop pitch 3 I think?).

By Peter Franzen
From: Phoenix, AZ
Aug 18, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I did this route this morning. Some thoughts:

We took 2 60m ropes with us and while it made the rappels a bit easier you can definitely get by with just one. Don't rap back down the route-- we heard that some people have been doing this for some reason. Rap off the opposite side that you came up, then find the chains 10m or so to the climber's left of the route and rap down there. There are anchors everywhere on this wall so it's pretty easy to get down.

I was suckered in to going straight up the line of bolts towards the end of the 3rd pitch, and I wouldn't recommend it. I didn't have any problem downclimbing 20ft. or so to get back on route, but remember that it keeps traversing left.

The belay at the 5th pitch is really cool, and makes for a great picture if the leader has a camera.

Overall this was a lot of fun. Do it in the morning if you want it in the shade. It's a great route to teach someone the ins and outs of multi-pitch climbing.
By Seth Adams
Nov 13, 2008

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this route, I did it with two new climbers and it turned out to be an enjoyable few hours in the afternoon sun.
TONS of bolts (the way sport climbing ought to be). I think I took about 16 draws and slings and used them all (including for anchors). A few long slings is nice.
By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 13, 2008

"TONS of bolts (the way sport climbing ought to be)"

if you don't get crap for that comment then the Smith locals have gone soft since I was last there...
By apeman e
Jul 2, 2009

If you have two 70 m ropes you can do the rap from the ledge (just below the summit) to the ground.
By Tod Bloxham
Sep 8, 2009

Great climb. I would recommend linking pitches 2-3 and linking 4-5. The pitches are short otherwise and you definitely get more continuous climbing out of each pitch; there is little to no rope drag when linking. By linking you may also help speed up the line of people behind you that wants to climb (on busy weekends).

P2-3 is 55-60 meters (or shorter) and takes 19 draws if you clip every bolt, though many bolts are so close that you can easily reach back clean many bolts from the next one.

P4-5 is even shorter (40-50 meters?) and takes much less bolts, particularly since you can skip or back clean many of the bolts (yes, they are really close to each other).
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Sep 30, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Ok route. P3 is definitely the best.
By Nate Ball
From: Taipei, TW
Jan 31, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A 60m rope will NOT get you from rappel anchor 2 to rappel anchor 3. You HAVE to use the anchor on the route (top of pitch 3). Otherwise you run the risk of downclimbing some gnar or hanging from a bolt like we did or swinging to some other anchors. All of this after I had already climbed the route twice. Our rope was a year-and-some old and had recently been washed, which is perhaps why it wasn't long enough...?
By celerystick
From: Riverton
Sep 26, 2011

To add to the above comment.. (Nate Ball) On rap #2, make sure you veer climbers right to the chains(belay station). Do not stop at the set of double bolts. If you try to rap from the bolts that do not have chains, you'll end up short of the next set of chains and you'll be stuck hanging.
By Deling Ren
Apr 24, 2012

Interesting moderate sport route. The name soon starts to make sense once you are on P3. Towards the end of P4, you need to climb over a bulge. You can't see the bolts from below and would wonder where the route goes. You just need to have some faith.

The rating is a bit soft, at least for the last pitch.
By Nick_Cov
From: Truckee, CA
Jun 21, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

This route is well protected and super exposed. Definitely will get your heart racing even if you are a confident 5.10 leader. A must do at Smith. Started early and made made it to top of P3 by the time anyone else had showed up at the base. Might be able to link P4 and P5 with a 70M. We didn't have enough QD's to try it but it looks like it might go.
By Bryan Hall
From: Bend, Oregon
Jun 10, 2013
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Nice route but the description needs a bit of an update...

The climb isn't sustained at 5.8/5.9. There is typically a crux move on each pitch and then it eases back quite a bit afterwards.

Pitch 2 DOES NOT have a separate line of bolts on it. Pitch 2 goes up and left and is very clear.

Pitch 3 DOES HAVE 2 lines of bolts leading you away from the mainline. Keep driving left and up whenever possible! When you reach the belay, build your anchor off the bolts, not rings to keep them open for people on rappel.

A few people at the cliff have told me there is a walk off for this route. I didn't get the beta but it would be good to have posted here.

The rappels can be done with a single 60 meter rope but there is one snafu. The 3rd rappel from the anchor at the top of pitch 3 can be extremely bogged down if there are a lot of people on route. I was stuck hanging on rappel waiting for people to climb through... If you have a 70 meter rope and quick links to add to the bolt anchor left and up from here you MIGHT be able to make it to the next set and skip that station.
By S. Eppes
From: Bend , OR
Jul 27, 2013
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

The walk off is actually pretty cool and easy. Rap to the east from the top and head south up 2nd/3rd class. Follow the cairns and trail, going from the east to the west side of the ridge, always heading generally south. After one last exposed 3rd class move, the ridge mellows out and turns into a climbers trail which drops down a drainage to the west and curves back around to the base. Be careful not to drop down too soon as the first drainage that you encounter after the ridge turns to dirt cliffs out. Stay on the use trail until you can see the bottom.
By Obi
From: Portland, OR
Sep 22, 2013
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Just a few extra bits of beta-

Some of the larger holds right at the start of P3 are a bit loose and hollow. Easily avoided and some of my partners never even realized this, but still something to mentally note.

The start of P2 is a step across a gap per the route description, but it might be a mentally committing move to do for a new leader despite it being quite easy.

This all being said, the starting moves of P2 were fun and P3 was by far my favorite of the entire route. A great overall multipitch sport route!
By SamandHam
From: Bend, OR
Aug 28, 2014

While most people and the guide book suggest that people rappel for the descent there is an easy walk off with only a couple 3rd class moves and little exposure. It is worth noting that the rappel route is prone to stuck ropes and will certainly take you longer than walking no matter how good you are with rope management.

Depending on your comfort level you can either traverse right from the top-out around the back side of a gendarme on crumbly rock to the top of the gully, OR rap into the gully and hike up. Go around the right side of lost arrow spire (see Watts guide/the spire hidden behind the Platform from the main area, a couple third class moves with minimal exposure) and cross the top of the huge gully on what is actually just 2nd class to join the climbers trail.

Note that this descent works for anything topping out on the Platform or Sky Ridge, including Sky Chimney, White Satin/Lycra, etc. although for those routes you are looking at a longer walk around.
By Sergey Shevelev
From: Bellevue, Washington
Sep 11, 2014

We were able to rappel from the bolts of the 2nd pitch with a single 60m rope, though ends of the rope were ~4ft from the ground, so it's barely enough.
By Andrew G
Oct 16, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Most of pitch 3 seems hollow, a few head-scratcher bolt placements, and uninspiring climbing movement left me wondering why I climbed this route. Views of the Smith formations lit up by the setting sun answered my question. In summary: less than impressive climbing to very impressive views.
By loose overhang 2000
Nov 8, 2014

We did the route a couple of days ago. Some of the bolts are away from the easiest climbing, so on a few clips we had to reach down and across. I highly recommend walking off rather than rapping. Previous posters have detailed this. One bonus of going that way is you can bag Sunset Slab on the way back around to the base.
By Tony Litke
From: La Crosse, Wisconsin
Mar 4, 2015
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I've always walked off of this one... Beautiful climb with great exposure on pitch 3 (if I remember correctly).
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