The Human Experiment

The first pitch climbs an easy slab to a 50 foot vertical wall, with some powerful pulls and reaches (5.12a), to a belay atop a broken/blocky area. The second pitch climbs up to a diagonaling weakness (“the sidewalk”), which is followed for a long traverse leftwards, and features barndoor layback/undercling maneuvers. It then pulls an overhang, which is the crux (5.12). The route continues leftward on a red colored slab. Finally it heads straight to the top (which would be just below the standard East Ridge route) via some more slab climbing (5.11).


A description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type [traditional or bolted], and approximate distance between routes (a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s) is also required);

The closest route to “The Human Experiment” is “Warlocks” (5.12a), a traditional route, which starts about 50 feet to the left (west), and ends about 40 feet below the “sidewalk” portion of the proposed route. Another 25 feet west of “Warlocks” is the “Lower South Face” (5.11d A0) route, another traditional route. Much further west (hundreds of feet) along the south face are the routes “Direct Start South Face” (5.11a) and South Face (5.6).  There are more routes on the Matron on the north and west faces, though they are far from the proposed route.

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. Include photographs of the approach.);

From the Jason Haas guidebook, “hike the Shadow Canyon Trail/Road. After 40 minutes, reach a point directly below the east face and a sharp right-hand bend in the trail/road.  Follow a faint climber’s trail straight uphill (400 ft. and many huge boulders) to the west to reach the base of The Matron. “


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.);

The descent would require two rappels. One from the top of this proposed route to the belay/rappel atop Warlocks. From here there is a 70 foot rappel to the ground.  We propose replacing/upgrading this Warlocks anchor if needed (we have not scoped it out).  Otherwise, it would be possible to climb from the top of the second pitch to the summit, with 5.6 or 5.7 climbing.

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.);

Near the base of this climb, there is a thin, traversing trail with compacted soil. It leads up to the base of the East Ridge route and other routes on the north face.  We are proposing staging on this trail, then walking 15 feet west to the start of the climb, and then beginning the route on the hueco’d slab leading up to the vertical section. This staging area is durable rock (trail) and is only moderately effected by erosion.


Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?

Yes. We are confident that the route will go free, and clean, at 5.12. All moves but a few have been free climbed on top rope.

Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock?  Is it extremely overhanging?

The route has been top-toped and the loose rock is minimal. The general angle is about 90 degrees, though there are brief sections of overhanging rock.

7 replies
  1. Joseph Crotty
    Joseph Crotty says:

    Looks awesome. In general my answer is yes on the application. However, when I see apps that involve existing routes and anchors such as the one atop Warlocks I prefer that applicant do the upgrade work prior to submitting said application as opposed to quid pro quid.


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