Land of the Earth-born Spirit
THE NORTH SIDE
North East: Bug Squad, Maxilash, Captain Nemo, Nemo’s Nemesis, Auto Supply, Horticulture, Cannonball and other exceptional climbs are located here.
North Central: Mainly the Cool Hand Luke Area and the Tongue Depressor. YES, that’s someone rapping off of the “tongue” !!
North West: Upper and Lower Slot, Hairlip, Cornelius, Nitrogen Narcosis and other climbs are found here. You can also see part of the West End (not shown completely yet). This is where Finally, Drunken Redneck Rapellers and a westerly view of Ted’s Trot Block is found.
Autumn brings about a changing scene around the Nautilus.
1.) Grand Traverse 10c 2 pitches (1st = 10a) Just to the right of the Right Torpedo Tube under a huge capstone. Start up a fairly continuous hand crack splitting a blocky face. It will jog slightly right about 2/3rds of the way up to the capstone. Do the ‘Grand Traverse’ under the capstone (at the arrow) and come to a set of belay/rap anchors. Rap off here or do the second pitch. The second pitch ascends the fist-sized crack over a bulge (10c crux). Descend the MPSpace raps (ne top, see Prow topos) or walk off to the west.
2.) Max Factor 11c Finger stickin’ good. Stylish finger jamming with good feet and good pro. Best and memorable at its grade. Anchors at top (rap off) or continue up 2nd pitch of #1. Short rack of small cams and all wires. Photo is Steve Bechtel ‘doing it right’ up near the bulge.
3.) Bug Squad 11d Barndoor’sville. (2 fixed pins) Go ahead, see what happens after the first pin (think about putting gear in below it!). Use small wires and cams above the second pin. It’s thin, devious and very technical. Anchors at top.
4.) Baalbek 9 Challenging for the 9 leader and better than it looks. It starts out a wide vertical gutter with teeth (naturally), but gradually narrows to the big chockstone. Above this, there are surprisingly balancy moves that take skill to protect with small cams or wires. Can traverse to the Bug Squad anchors to rap off.
5.) Maxilash 11a So you think you are an 11 leader? Height dependent, ability dependent, ‘threshold for pain’ dependent. Pure sandbagaroni. And IF you make it past the bulge, you’ve got a long jamfest to go, bro. Double up on medium cams (up to 3.5″).
6.) Octagon (unrated) Just do it – and let everyone know. You will become part of the legend, its been tried by the best. Here are two shots of Tom Painter setting up (No. 1) and going for (No. 2) the critical micro-jam about 5′ up the primary crack. Just couldn’t stick it long enough to get ‘feet’. Apparently, no one can.
7.) Vault 10a This foreshortened finger picker should go on for 100′, but doesn’t. Strange exits, either up or straight ‘south’, yes south through the rock to H & H Grunt.
8.) Captain Nemo 10d 2 pitches: The 1st is a neat 5.8 hand crack and the 2nd is a traverse with ‘imaginary’ feet. Shares top anchors with #9.
9.) Nemo’s Nemesis 11d/12a *New route. The old captain had a grudge, salty old dude. A hardnosed, stemmy start followed by very sustained crystal pinching – ouch! Actually refined and dance like moves, yet arduous at the grade. Bolted (12 bolts) and fixed anchors up top. A 60 M will get you down (not 10,000 leagues).
THE HORTICULTURE ANNEX (Can use Nemo’s Rap to get down – 60 M rope)
Another topo, routes 1 – 8
10.) Automotive Supply House 11b A jammin mama with at least two cruxes, probably 3. Tape up. Lots of grade controversy here. Belay on gear.
11.) In The Groove 10b Easier version of #10 – finish on it.
12.) Burning Spear 11b Yes, thin.
13.) Horticulture 6 Usually 2 pitches with a belay after the first right-slanting crack (before going up and left – at arrow on topo), or use good rope engineering if you do it in one pitch. The photo is of Nate Jorgenson from UWyo on the follow of this cool climb on a cool, cloudy day.
14.) Cannonball 10a Usually 2 pitches. You’ll crunch up like a cannonball for the crux with no feet. You might even get shot right out. If you don’t know what a ‘chicken wing’ is now, you will after this (not something to eat!). See the first photo topo for location, about 80 feet right (west) of the Horticulture Annex. Sometimes slings are at top of P2 (rap), or long walkoff to the right (W).
1.) The Parabolic Slab.
2.) Outrider 10a A three bolt face climb is found here.
3.) Right Parallel Space 5 Actually the start of two climbs, this one begins here. Be prepared for a ‘wide one’ at a low grade, almost considered a chimney with teeth and no pro except what you bring – very big stuff. You might find two very old bolts along your journey…. to clip or not to clip?? Use anchors atop the huge detached flake to its west side (also used for Middle Parallel Space and Air Travel With Report). (Westlund, Heath and Sublett, ’70)
4.) Vulture 10a Aptly named, it’s a big one waiting to devour you. Use the same start as #3 except bear right into the hand crack. Also, there is a more direct start to Vulture (‘Vulture Direct’) immediately to the right of the previous start. It is ready to spit you out unless you can somehow avoid it. Bring lots of pro!! (Hollis and Fowler, early 70’s)
Check out what some of the seasoned hard guys have to say about this end of the Nautilus, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, but always informative ….. GO HERE.
5.) Left Torpedo Tube 10d Here’s a gaping chasm for the aspiring offwidther. The crux is overhanging and strenuous, however, if you make it, the rest of it backs off gradually to 5.8. Bring pro up to 16″. (Jardine, early 70’s)
6.) Right Torpedo Tube 11d So you think you can you climb hard off width? Here’s your chance to prove it. One thing you can count on, its not graded this way for nothing. This climb is the subject of some great tales. Threatening and difficult. (ffa ?)
7.) Gravity’s Rainbow 11c A very difficult way to circumvent the hard start of #6. Really? There is definitely not a pot of gold where this arching crack line and undercling ends, in the Right Torpedo Tube. (ffa Levin, ’78)
8.) Grand Traverse 10c (in the shade on photo topo above) Described on Nautilus N E End.
9.) A new bolted route, details later.
DESCENTS: Rap off 2 sets of anchors on NE end as indicated on topo.
NAUTILUS North Central
THE “COOL HAND LUKE” AREA
“What we got here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week – another night in the box – which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it – that Cool Hand Luke.”
Buried in the depths of a dense forest, approximately midway along the base of the lower tier on the northeast side of the Nautilus, one finds the Cool Hand Luke Area. It can be approached from either direction, ie around the Prow (NE) end of the formation or directly from the parking lot on the southwest end. The descriptions of these approaches can be tedious. If you’re coming from the SW end, just keep heading (NE) along the base of the formation past climbs that are easily identified like ‘Slot’, ‘Mother #1’, ‘Cornelius’, and so on. You will find a trail that drops down into a miniature valley and soon you will see a gigantic roof called the ‘Tongue Depressor’ looming overhead. You’re almost there. ‘Cool Hand’ is about 50 yards further along, just before a large, 15′ high flake is seen leaning against the main formation. Coming from the Prow (NE) end, you’ll just have to bushwhack it on beyond the Horticulture Annex and past Cannonball (about 100 yards further), staying within sight of the base of the formation. Find the large flake leaning against the main wall with a large space (almost a cave) behind it and you are essentially there.
Is all the work worth it? Probably so. There are at least 5 climbs associated with the area, each of which is a ‘different ride’. It is always shady here, so ‘cool hands’ is the name of the game, especially in the mornings. ‘Cool Hand’ is also a great escape from the mid-summer heat, but there can be mosquitos, so be forewarned.
BELAYS are on gear. (** Hmmm, seems like someone put up at least one set of RAP ANCHORS in the late nineties.) DESCENTS via gear or anchors for the next climb – or lengthy walk down to the right.
1.) A Failure to Communicate 10a Follows a discontinuous crackline through 3 minor ledges to a large flake, and on to a crack that leads to the top. Short rack. (G. Waterman et al., ?). Surely Kelman et al., climbed it early on.
2.) Dragline’s Demise 10a *NEW ROUTE – indicated with blue-green line. Begins up a blocky face, over minor ledges to an overhanging bulge (crux – arrow). Continue up a finger and hand lieback crack to the top. Short rack. (Harper and Diamond, ’93) *NOTE: Overlooked in newer guides Kelman,’04 and Orenczak, ’03 and ’11. TOO BAD, it’s a cool climb.
3.) Cool Hand Luke 10d Piana’s astute contribution, a direct, somewhat flaring crackline leads to a bulging crux (arrow). Short rack. (P. Piana + D. Arnold, ’83)
Routes Near the Tongue Depressor (approx. 50 yards right / west)
4.) Devil’s Food 9 Found where the Tongue Depressor meets the main wall on its left side. Climb the crack ending in offwidth. Short rack + 1 large cam. (P. Piana et al., ’79)
5.) I’m Spartacus 11b A flaring crack with a thin seam is found squarely under the Tongue Depressor leading to a ledge under the huge roof. Short rack + extra small wires. (P. Piana et al., ’83) [ You can climb #4 from here. ]
THE TOPOS 2
1.) Baldwin’s Chimney 5.4 or maybe 5.5 A big chimney at the west side of the ‘Potato Chip’. Head into the declivity and find a large chockstone above you. Climb up towards it and beyond. Not much good pro, so don’t pass any up. (FA: Horn and Button, ’61)
2.) Mother #1 7+ Classic…… go for it ! Just to the right of Baldwin’s Chimney. Wide at the bottom and goes to hands. Belay at top chocstones. (FA: Hoff and Frisby, ’66)
3.) Father #1 11a Harder version of MOTHER about 8 feet right of Mother. Hands to fingers with a face exit. BEWARE, sparse pro above the piton near the top. (FFA: Piana and Shassburger, ?)
4.) The Postman 10b A relatively new mixed route that needs some prior planning. An interesting line with varied techniques. Sneak out a ledge to the right of FATHER and find a bolt line over buldges to the top/north side of the ‘Potato Chip’ and find top anchors. Route author did NOT plan ahead, so take two 60’s to get down. Otherwise, you will rap off the end of your rope – OR find rap anchors about 20 feet off the ground making it a 2 pitch rap. Awkward descent. (Griffith and Flicek, ’99)
5.) Hair Lip 9+ Found on the wall to the immediate left of Easy Jam, a right-leaning large crack with a book page in the middle. The crack line leads past two shelves. It’s a Vedauwoo jamorama with an awkward start and it eats pro. Exit after the second shelf by crawling off to the right (you have just passed the crux). Can be seen in the photo at top to the upper left of the belayer. More strenuous than it looks. (FFA in question)
6.) Easy Jam 4 Easy to find, it’s just a wide grovel between Hair Lip and Cornelius. Popular for some odd reason. Practice for placing big pro. (FFA: anybody claim this? Might be embarrassing,)
7.) Cornelius 5 Seen in photo at top of page. One fine little climb at the grade using mostly fingers and some hands. Great practice for placing pro. I think someone put in anchors at the top, but the big boulder takes pro (for the belay) as well.
8.) Nitrogen Narcosis 11a Challenging at the grade. Think you’ve “got it”?? Go for the crux near the end on this one and find out if you ‘have it’ …. or get the ‘bends’ and fall off. It ain’t a cruise for sure. Anchors at top. (FFA: Doug Cairnes, ?)
9.) Ted’s Trot 7 Find a chimney below and left of Ted Trot’s Block. Head up a wide gap to an obvious hand crack. Exit moves are the crux. (FA: Way, Doody, Nast and Ryan, ’56)
10.) Lower Slot Left 7 Mostly hands at a modest grade.
11.) Lower Slot Right 8- There are teeth in this moderate off width. Tape recommended.
12.) A Little On The Ugly Side 10a Move up an awkward off width and head across into the scoop. There are two bolts here. Finish on the ledge above.
13.) Upper Slot Left 10b Fairly difficult OW start and dumbs down into stemming.
14.) Upper Slot 8- Gotta do it…… everybody else does. Perhaps the most sought after OW at it’s grade. Bring a couple of big cams for sure. Afterward, you can join the multitudes that either support or dispute the grade to the point of retardation. Unbelievable.
15.) Stand and Deliver 10a Follow a line of three bolts to stand and deliver the finish. A little runout.
DESCENTS: There is a wide chimney with easy access up or down about 15 feet to the west/right of Nitrogen Narcosis. Also, several routes have top anchors. You can also access the South Side of the formation by downclimbing to the rap anchors on the Practice Slab.
NORTH WEST END
THE “OLD EYEFUL” AREA
1.) Old Eyeful 7 Climb an easy finger crack to a ledge with a big block above. Find an interesting ending towards the south.
2.) Dual 9 This one has two parts. First a short hand crack (about 5.7) to a ledge and belay (only about 30′). Then go back into the declivity and continue up on jamming and stemming (about 5.9) to the top.
3.) Humper 8 Wallow up the chimney to the right of ‘Dual’ to a shelf and hump up the ‘left’ off width, stemming near the top.
4.) Hello Stupid 10b About ten yards right/west from ‘Dual’ and ‘Humper’ is another wide declivity. The leftmost line you find starts as an off width with a short traverse, over a bulge and finish in the right leaning crack.
5.) Kiai 8 A deep slot with a flake within is found to the immediate left of ‘Baldwin’s Chimney’. Take the left side of the ‘flake’.
B.) Baldwin’s Chimney 5.4 This is the large ‘chimney’ adjacent (left of) to the ‘potato chip block’. Do what you have to and grovel to the top. (FA: probably Horn and Button, ’61)
F.) Father #1 Described above…….
M.) Mother #1 Described above…….
DESCENT: There are two sets of rap anchors on the top of the ‘block’.
For More Information