Route Name: Skunked
Rock Formation: Ridge One, Skunk Canyon
Number of bolts to be placed: 12-14 lead bolts, 2 bolt anchor, 4-5 fixed draws to help with cleaning
Route Difficulty: 5.14
Skunked climbs a very overhanging corner system in the middle of the west face of the summit tower of Ridge 1/Stairway to Heaven in Skunk Canyon. It begins with big moves in hueco pockets before a hard-looking boulder problem leads into a series of faint corners leading up the middle of the wall. At the top it moves slightly left onto an undercling feature out a hanging arête, and will finish just over the arête, at the lip of the wall. The route looks continuous, difficult, and bouldery, with small crack, layback, flake, crimp, and undercling features at a continuous 30-degree-overhanging angle. It is about 90 feet long and looks to be 5.14.
The intended route name is just a play off of Skunk Canyon, and the slang term for when something goes wrong in life or out climbing: “We got skunked!”
A description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type, and approximate distance between routes (a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s) is also required):
This route begins where the new route God’s Kingdom on Earth begins. When God’s Kingdom traverses right, Skunked continues straight up. There is an existing trad route, Like Hell It Is 5.11, on the NW corner of the formation about 50’ to the left. About 25’ right of this line is a trad route called Sidereal 5.10x which traverses hard right as soon as leaving the ground and doesn’t come near this proposed route again. Further right is a trad route named Seventh Inning Stretch 5.11d, then the route Boot Hill 5.8x. There is one final trad route on this section of the ridge, In God We Trust 5.10x (probably not x since the 1 bolt was upgraded). The existing traditional multi-pitch/traditional climb Stairway to Heaven (5.2) takes the spine of the formation, along its south/southeast ridge, to finish at the summit of the Ridge One formation above this wall.
A description of the approach (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails leading to the climb and condition of the trail, and state whether there is a durable surface, such as rock.
The approach is via NCAR. Take the Mallory Cave Trail west to the Mesa Trail; head north to where the Mesa Trail traverses across Skunk Canyon. Head west into Skunk Canyon on the climber’s approach trail, then head due north up the gully east of Hillbilly Rock to reach the south then west side of Hillbilly Rock on an existing climber’s trail. From here, you can continue on the Stairway to Heaven (Ridge 1) descent trail to a shoulder just north of the wall, then drop down the gully to the climbing (~100 feet).
If different from the approach, a description of the descent, (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails, a description of the trail condition and whether there is a durable surface, such as rock. Include photographs of the descent.):
Descent from the climb is to lower back to the staging area and hiking out on the same trail as the approach.
A description of the area at the base of the climb (include existing levels of soil compaction, existence of a durable surface such as rock, and existing soil erosion. Include photographs of the area at the base of the climb.):
The staging area is compact dirt and rock with very little existing vegetation.
Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?
The route has been inspected on rappel, and visually from the base on multiple occasions. There is no way to toprope the line—it is 30 degrees overhanging with no directional gear and large trees in the gully behind it, making it unsafe to attempt until bolts/directional bolts are installed.
Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock? Is it extremely overhanging?
The route has not been toproped: There is no way to toprope the line—it is 30 degrees overhanging with no directional gear and large trees in the gully behind it, making it unsafe to attempt until bolts/directional bolts are installed. The route has a few loose flakes in spots that will need to be removed, but overall the rock is very solid. It is extremely overhanging—30 degrees. The route has also been inspected multiple times from the base, from all available angles.
Any additional notes:
Looks cool, yes!
Yup! Looks like an amazing line. I approve
I’ve checked out this line a lot and it looks pretty amazing. I vote yes.
Looks sweet. I vote yes
Heck yeah! Another steep, proud line. Go for it!
Very steep routes, albeit short, are impossible to preview and are a bit of like trying to catch lighting in a bottle when applying for an application. Many thanks to the applicants vision and future work. And a heart felt yes vote that their labors bear fruit.