Big Rock

Map Files (GPX | KML)

Corrections:

  • No One Nose 5.11b: FA: David Marra

BIG ROCK AREA

(2020)

New Routes:

  • Candy Mountain 5.10a (gear)
  • Warthog 5.11b (sport)

Candy Mountain 5.10a 105m  FA: Matt Reynolds

Big Rock Overview

This is a new 4 Pitch route on Big Rock starting right of the massive roof in the central area. The route starts
about 15m right of a 5.11 sport route on a pretty blank vertical grey wall. This route was put
up by Dana Ruddy. There is another sport route about 10m right of the start that pushes
through an overlap(Chocolate Nemesis, 5.12a). It was put up by
Layne Seabrook. The first pitch of Candy Mountain is close to another
possible route that may have been a project or else a very impressive run out ascent on hard
climbing. A single bolt was found mid pitch on a slightly more difficult variation of this first pitch
and a fixed piton is found at the top of the pitch. Don’t know the history of this one, but
suspect it was an unfinished project. After
the first pitch the climbing generally trends left the whole way. The route finding can be quite
tricky, but it generally follows just left of a prow next to a hidden gully feature on the wall. (can’t
see the gully from the bottom of the cliff) The belay stations at the top of pitch 2-4 are all on the
prow with the climbing left of the prow on better quality rock. The prow itself often has easier
climbing but it is quite loose and not recommended. Rap anchors are at each station with each
pitch less than 30m. It’s possible to rap off the route you came up, but quite tricky as the route
trends left making each rappel a challenge to make it back to the previous anchor. It can work
to rappel down hitting ledges and scrambling up diagonally to make the stations, but not ideal
with loose rock off of the climbing line and lots of sharp edges making it easy to gets ropes
stuck or cut if you’re not careful. It is also possible to join another rappel line by trending pretty
far climbers left onto the face at the top. This project has anchors established at 20-30m
intervals so getting off with a 60 works. The third rappel requires rapping into space below the
next anchor and when you can reach the rock again climb up and right traversing on a ledge
for 7m to get to the next station. There is a trail down the open treed ridge to walk off,
which is a great option. Bring a healthy rack of cams up to size 4 and a set of nuts to go with
what it takes to launch out on gear on this wall. Particularly on pitch 2. It’s
all there with better gear than it looks, but can be intimidating for some. Bigger cams are helpful for the
upper pitches.

Pitch 1: 30m 5.10a

(mixed with 7 bolts – mostly bolts)
Start left of the crack clipping a bolt low down to get through the initial steep section. After the
first bolt the crack offers some decent gear. Once you clip the second bolt briefly move left to
easier ground and then ignore the single bolt straight above you and instead traverse hard right
towards a very shallow corner feature halfway up the pitch. From here follow the bolts up and
right towards a small tree. Climb up left past the tree to a ledge where a piton helps as a
directional. From the piton traverse left 5m on the ledge to the anchor.

Pitch 2: 25m 5.10a

(mixed with 4 bolts – mostly gear)
Clip the bolt just up and left of the anchor and traverse left past 2 small trees. Once past the
trees it’s easiest to climb down and left gaining low angled terrain and eventually aiming for the
prow. Look for a bolt left of the white chossy looking stone. Continue left after clipping the bolt
to gain better rock and good gear. Keep trending far left on ledgy terrain where a hidden bolt
can be found getting through a short steep section in the choss. Good gear can be found on
the ledge below the crux where you want to trend back right towards the prow. There is
another bolt through the steep crux that is tough to see when you’re climbing but can be seen
faintly from the belay. The bolt is further left than you might think keeping to the better quality
rock left of the prow. Continue up to the anchor next to the small tree on the prow. Watch for
rope-drag on this pitch.

Pitch 3: 25m 5.9

(mixed with 2 bolts – takes lots of good gear)
Follow cracks up and left past a bolt. Keep trending up and left looking for a second bolt
leading through a steep section of rock with a cool undercling feature. The anchor is straight
above the second bolt. Continue straight up for another 10m on good gear sticking to the
steeper rock and avoiding the loose blocks on easier terrain closer to the prow. The next
station is at another tree on the prow. Big cams come in handy on this pitch.

Pitch 4: 25m 5.9

(mixed with 2 bolts – takes lots of gear)
Make a move directly above the anchor and move left passing a bolt onto easier ground. Once
on easier ground step across down and left onto the steeper more solid rock avoiding the
loose ridge. Above this first steeper section trend right back to the prow until just below the last
steep wall. Some steep moves on white chossy rock gives access to a beautiful finish past the
final bolt before the anchor on a large ledge. A horn can be slung at the top for a directional, as
the anchor is 3m left of where you top out.
To walk off. a short 10m easy 5th class pitch must be climbed to gain the descent trail. Several
small trees at the top can be joined together to make a reasonable anchor.

Simon Beland on the first pitch of ”Candy mountain”

First pitch of candy mountain

Simon Beland near the top of ” Candy Mountain”

20200623_145752

Warthog 5.11b 100m   FA: Matt Reynolds

Gear needed: 12 quickdraws + 2 alpine draws

These sturdy hogs are not among the world’s most aesthetically pleasing animals—their large,
flat heads are covered with “warts,” which are actually protective bumps. Warthogs also sport
four sharp tusks.

4 Pitch bolted sport route on Big Rock starting just right of the big roof in the central area. This
route is an impressively steep line with all 4 pitches providing challenging steep climbing in
outstanding positions. “It kind of feels like I’m walking the plank here” was a fantastic quote at
the start of the second pitch on the first ascent. The third pitch may well be one of the best
pitches of climbing in the Rockies. The nature of the rock in this area can be intimidating and
loose. Rest assured, it’s worth the journey!

Pitch 1 : 25m 5.10d

Start up a slab with some delicate moves. Forge ahead into steep face climbing on better rock
than it looks. Traverse left for 10m at the top to get to the anchor station which sits on the right
side of the big ledge above the roof.

Pitch 2 : 30m 5.11b

Walk the plank to an impressive sustained pitch with crux after crux after crux after crux. The
above description of the ‘Warthog’ aptly describes this pitch of climbing as well. Buckle up!!
Trend left off the ledge watching for rope drag on the first few bolts (1st and 3rd bolt). A combination of burly
moves is intermixed with delicate and committing moves that doesn’t really let up until the top.
Consider the pull on the belayer in case of a fall, as the pitch does traverse a good distance at
the bottom. A redirect off the anchor may be a good consideration, particularly when the
climber is lower down on this pitch.

Pitch 3 : 20m 5.10c

Pure joy! It just doesn’t get any better than this. Great position on big positive holds all the way
to the top.

Pitch 4: 25m 5.10a

Another spectacular pitch meanders up to a nice ledge at the top of the face.

Descent:

Although the route is set up for rappel, the third rappel to get back onto the ledge is a tricky
one. It is possible to rappel fall line and just before hitting space it works to swing back to the
rock and traverse right on the ledge 10m back to the anchor. This requires a rappel setup that
allows you to go hands free and a backup knot feels pretty good here too. Alternatively the first
to rappel can clip some directionals on the way down to make the walk over to the ledge a bit
easier and then fix the ropes to the anchor at the top of pitch 1 essentially making a tramway
for the next person who would have to unclip the directionals on their way down.
Their is also a trail down the ridge that makes for an easy walk off descent.
P.S. Warthog is also a most excellent beer made by Big Rock. Enjoy one at the top. You’ll have
earned it!