Trip Report
Silk Road to the Karakoram Highway, a Cal Domes mega-classic!!!
Sunday October 28, 2012 5:03pm
Late in August isn't really the time of year when one thinks about climbing at Calaveras Domes, but the weather was holding in the low 90's and that long drive to the Valley just didn't seem too appealing. So we decided to brave the warm weather and try this potential classic link up before the days get too short. Besides, I finally had a partner actually willing to give it a go and we all know finding a good partner is the real crux of any climb, so no hesitation here... It's on!

I've been eyeballing this thing for years now. Big and bad ass looking the whole way stacked with hand cracks, fingers, offwidth, face, liebacks, underclings, crackless corners and all of is fairly sustained, whats not to want?

So we decided to get a super early alpine start (for me) and were racked up and ready to climb by 8:00. I took the first pitch, actually the first two. You can link almost every pitch along the route and being fueled by way too much coffee I was in no mood to stop before the rope ran out anyway.

Really shitty photo attempting to fruitlessly capture the essence that...
Really shitty photo attempting to fruitlessly capture the essence that is the first pitch of Silk Road.
Credit: Salamanizer
Steve down there somewhere trying to get into his shoes and begin the journey of the first two pitches of Silk Road.

Steve took the next three pitches which you can barely link with a 60m rope to make one 200ft pitch of sustained mid 5.10.

Steve about to bust the crux (.10c+) transition into the next ...
Steve about to bust the crux (.10c+) transition into the next sustained corner system.
Credit: Salamanizer

And I mean this thing is sustained! Although it does have a distinct crux, it's only defined by its lack of convenient protection. No worries, you get a bomber bolt just out of reach from where you really start to want one.

Steve cruised right through it as easily as I suspected he would. Steve Curtis is a true under the radar hardman. This guys been up every long route any sane person shouldn't or wouldn't want to climb, though coincidentally has never been up hardly any of the highly trodden (moderate) classics. Want info on the Steck/Salathe, Crest Jewel, Temple Crag... he has no idea. Ask about something like Ribbon Candy, the Black or that place where they use knots for protection and you'll get pitch for pitch beta complete with detailed crux moves, texture of specific holds and lichen counts. Really, he's the kind of climber alot of people his age wish they could still be, and the person younger climbers hope they will be. I mean, when you're pushing 60 and can still climb 5.11 anything, you're doing something right, eh! Round of applause for that...

Looking for gear on the undercling traverse.
Looking for gear on the undercling traverse.
Credit: Salamanizer
Steve high on the pitch tip toeing across the undercling traverse.

Anyway, back onto the route. Next pitch is mine. A stunning 180ft pitch of sustained 5.10b liebacking. This thing makes OZ look and feel like a short little boulder problem. Yeah, it's only .10b you say, but there is hardly any moves easier than 5.10a either. You gotta space your gear, or use my technique and space your head so you forget about placing those pesky little widget thingies. I can only imagine how many people have clawed their way onto that belay ledge, no gear left and their last piece swaying haplessly in the breeze waaay below where they last felt comfortable.

Starting up the perfect fingers and hands lieback.
Starting up the perfect fingers and hands lieback.
Credit: Salamanizer

I'm telling you, this thing keeps on giving the whole way and screams, "I must climb this"!!!

Credit: Salamanizer

Speaking of the belay ledge, this thing is plush. You could have a BBQ up there with six of your friends. Though as soon as I hit the thing, so did the sun and I felt like I was on the menu.

Me, hiding from the sun feeling all Taliban on the Silk Road sporting ...
Me, hiding from the sun feeling all Taliban on the Silk Road sporting my doo-rag.
Credit: Salamanizer

The next two pitches you link into yet another 200ft pitch of what I refer to as the intermission pitch. A nice leisurely stroll with 5.9 fist cracks, liebacks and great pro. Steve had just been commenting on how I didn't really place much pro on the last pitch with raised eyebrows and then Captain Runnout here proceeds to run this next pitch out at least 50ft from the anchor. Yeah, whatever.

Credit: Salamanizer

Now the route switches it up a bit and goes from splitter cracks and liebacks to pure face with thin knobs and smears. Keeps things interesting and gives your shoulders and back a rest from all that liebacking.

Credit: Salamanizer

This pitch is the physical crux of the route and a point of anxiety for many of aspirants. Now I'm no Jonny Woodward, but it's only one or two moves, so if you've made it this far, you've got nothing to worry about. Save that for pitch 7. Just go ass out, feet high and reach for the less than jug like feature.

Steve, crankin through the crux.
Steve, crankin through the crux.
Credit: Salamanizer

Now, it aint over yet. You still gotta traverse the undercling. But no worries, there's a convenient bolt out there in the middle so you don't have to rely on any sort of oldschool mental fortitude or confidence in ones own abilities.

Credit: Salamanizer

Steve gets the next pitch, (pitch 6) my most loathed pitch of the route. You gotta start out smashed together at the hanging belay and somehow start climbing up a flaring 5.10d lieback. The gears all there but rather difficult to place and the whole time your ass is right in your belayers face which by the way is whats going to catch you if you fall. It creates a unique situation, one that you'd rather be over with sooner than later.

Credit: Salamanizer

Now that that's over with, you arrive at yet another premium spacious ledge sitting underneath one of the most aesthetic dihedrals anywhere. Truly world class pitch. This is a pitch truely unique to this route. You don't come across something like this every day. Imagine a perfect dihedral that starts off with locker fingers at about 90 degrees. Then, as you climb higher the fingers start to pinch down and the angle backs off to about 75 degrees just in time. Soon, you get pushed out of the crack and find yourself in full stemming mode. You can't see your next gear and can only imagine that it must be up there somewhere as you're fully splayed out, impossible to reverse and only held up by your relentless body tension as you try and push this dihedral apart.

Credit: Salamanizer

Now, did I mention that when you finally do come across an opening in the corner that will accept protection you're faced with a choice. Do you jamb you fingers in and finally get a much needed rest for your burning calfs, or do you plug in that bomber cam you've been praying for since you left your last one about 10ft back. It's a dilemma, but either way, you're going to eventually have to place that cam and leave it behind if you want any chance in hell of getting up this corner.

Back to relentless stemming...

Credit: Salamanizer

Did I mention this pitch is long???
Like really long and relentless.

Credit: Salamanizer

No worries though, it changes up just in the nick of time and presents a perfect fingers to hands splitter crack that delivers you to yet another great ledge with a view.

Credit: Salamanizer

One more pitch of easy (5.10b) face climbing to the top of the Tibetan tower delivers us to the start of the Karakoram Highway. This is the midway point. Already feeling sorta worked, you make a traverse out on the face left of the towers and around a corner to the beginning of the Karakoram. What is staring at you next is yet another 190ft pitch with nothing but offwidth and fist cracks the whole way.

Credit: Salamanizer
Traversing over to the Karakorams first pitch.

This is a weird offwidth, it's kinda bombay, but not and it leans at a strange angle to force you to climb it facing out. Dubbed the inverted offwidth, awkward is an understatement.

Credit: Salamanizer

Pretty soon you exit the offwidth and are rewarded with a long stretch of perfect #3 hands.

Credit: Salamanizer

Credit: Salamanizer

Credit: Salamanizer

Next up is another world class pitch. A really thin corner that gets thinner and thinner the higher you go until eventually you're pinching the rib of the outside corner and pretty much face climbing at about 5.11c.

Running out of holds.
Running out of holds.
Credit: Salamanizer

Up this high on the wall makes Hammer Dome look like a speed bump.
Credit: Salamanizer

Finishing the pitch with 1/4in fingers.
Finishing the pitch with 1/4in fingers.
Credit: Salamanizer

Looming up at the next pitch, a long sweeping undercling that looks like it hasn't been climbed in 15 years (and probably hasn't) this is the point of no return. You can bail from this point, but if you continue on, you have to finish the next two. And what an adventure they are.

The start of the roof has nice splitter cracks into the undercling. Then you reach a spot where the crack pinched down and protection is not an option. No problem, the climbing is easy for about 12ft, then you're faced with a short two move section of at least 5.10d slab. No gear, big sliding swing, bomber hand jam just out of reach. What do you do? You revert back to that oldschool mental fortitude and self confidence you used to have to climb and pull through the moves that's what.

And you're rewarded by a long stretch of bomber fist jams, sloapers and off hand cracks under a wild huge roof with terrifying exposure lapping at your feet.

Steve, about to pull through the 5.10d slab moves.
Steve, about to pull through the 5.10d slab moves.
Credit: Salamanizer

Awkward widths along this pitch caused for some creative and interesting climbnig moves. We dubbed it, the Ostrich offwidth.
Ostrich jamming.
Ostrich jamming.
Credit: Salamanizer

Credit: Salamanizer

After a hanging gear belay at the end of the roof, you get a look at what's next. A steep crackless corner/roof thing you have to traverse around. It looks absolutely impossible. I was contemplating how I was even going to aid this ugly little thing as that looked equally impossible. However, as soon as I got out there, I found little pods that took good psychological gear which gave me the confidence to step down and try an impossible looking move that featured the only possible looking hold in sight. A few short moves later an I was in bomber jam territory and looking at a 30'x 12' ledge... Safe!

Credit: Salamanizer
Credit: Salamanizer

The day was wearing on and we only had one more 5.11 pitch ahead of us. I'm feeling pretty worked at this point so suck down some cliff shots and a few Mojo bars to get a little motivation back. This one says 5.11a dihedral with some 5.10a R at the start. How hard could that be, so I shoot up there and am stopped cold. First of all, it's not 5.10a, it's easily 5.10c but on the bright side, it's not really R either. It's just so damn thin and fiddly you have to contort yourself into awkward insecure positions to be able to work in some micro nuts. After placing a large nest of Rp's and a purple C3 (none of which I feel overly confident about) I work out a very sustained and thin, overhanging 5.10c section to find myself in a corner plugged with a shagg carpet of moss.

Steve contimplating the steep 5.10 section.
Steve contimplating the steep 5.10 section.
Credit: Salamanizer
5.10a my ass!!!
5.10a my ass!!!
Credit: Salamanizer

Back into the dihedral I went to battle with carpets of moss that luckily pulled out easily leaving a nice clean crack behind in what turned out to be a solid hour of clinging on to a sustained 5.11 corner and using every last piece of gear I had. After arriving at a good flake/ledge at the end of the corner and building an anchor I had ZERO gear left. Not too often something works out so perfectly gear wise. Glad I took everything I had with me.

Cant beat that view either.
Credit: Salamanizer
It gets harder, not easier as you approach the belay.
It gets harder, not easier as you approach the belay.
Credit: Salamanizer

The last pitch is supposed to be easy 5.7. NOT!
It's nothing like the last pitch, and maybe if it weren't crusted with lichen it would be 5.7 but sure felt like solid 5.9 to us.

Here, I'll let the pictures do the talk.
Credit: Salamanizer
Credit: Salamanizer

Well, we reached the top of Cal Dome at dusk, totally worked having put 15 pitches (7 mid to hard 5.10, 2 at 5.9, and 5 at solid to hard 5.11) most pitches being 160ft to 190ft full value pitches behind us. Now all we needed to do was find the rappel anchors and begin a long series of 9 rappels down the wall in the pitch dark back to our bags.

Steve topping out on Cal Dome.
Steve topping out on Cal Dome.
Credit: Salamanizer

Having climbed other long classic routes like Astroman, Reg NW face of Half Dome and Steve having done several routes in the Black, we both agreed that this route is definitely physically harder than Astroman and takes longer than the RNWF of Half Dome. The free climbing is as good as anything, it's very long, never has traffic on it and is definitely one of the most classic, sustained and attainable by mortals free routes in North America.

If you haven't climbed Silk Road to the Karakoram,(and I'm sure next to no one has) you're missing out on one of the best routes of it's grade anywhere.

  Trip Report Views: 10,857
About the Author
Salamanizer is a trad climber from Vacaville Ca,.


Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Oct 28, 2012 - 05:17pm PT
Wow! I'm tired just looking at the pictures.

I think you were off route for about 5 feet and should rename the entire thing "High Times".

  Oct 28, 2012 - 05:22pm PT
Right on - sweeeeeeet!!

I love Calaveras Dome. Use to climb there a fair bit but haven't been there in years....

Nicely done!!


Trad climber
Nor Cal
  Oct 28, 2012 - 05:23pm PT
Thanks- awesome report on a great climb,

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Oct 28, 2012 - 05:33pm PT

Good story and photos.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  Oct 28, 2012 - 05:54pm PT
Calaveras is SO damn good!
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Oct 28, 2012 - 06:10pm PT
Great TR! Makes me miss that place!

The Granite State.
  Oct 28, 2012 - 06:16pm PT
This TR just ruined my onsight.


  Oct 28, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Never heard of this spot or climb but thanks to your fantastic TR I now do. Thanks! Looks amazing, you freakin' 'fornians are so damn lucky with all that clean granite. Nice climbing!

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:25pm PT

Excellent writing, storytelling and all. Your TRs always leave me feeling I wish I were climbing a grade (or two) harder. Very nice! Always time well spent to read about your adventures. TFPU!

Gym climber
  Oct 28, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
Stout and BEAUTIFUL. Wow. Thanks.

  Oct 28, 2012 - 07:12pm PT
Great photos! I've only climbed Silk Road and loved it. That K.H. finish makes me wonder why on earth we didn't do it. Ugh. Next time.

Thanks for sharing.

Bob J.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 28, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Awesome report. Thank you for posting.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:15pm PT

Hearing you say things like "better than this/that" lets me know you were cruising a classic.

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
Holy Crapoli!!!!!! What a fantastic looking climb!! That's a feather in yer cap, for sure.
Stewart Johnson

Gym climber
top lake
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:35pm PT
cheers to proper climbing content: ive done silk road,
now i have to go back! thanks!
Tim Camuti

Trad climber
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
Thanks for the very detailed account of something that you did MONTHS ago. So impressed at the climbing and thankful for the tremendous pictures and beta in the report. The times help a lot for those of us contemplating a future attempt. Glad to climb with you, maybe soon Ill be up to doing stuff this hard! Thanks for sharing Chad!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
Stellar job
That was the real deal!

Oakland, CA
  Oct 28, 2012 - 11:16pm PT
That dihedral...

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 29, 2012 - 12:33am PT
thx so much for this!

stoke material for sure.

Maybe some day...

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
  Oct 29, 2012 - 02:08am PT
WOW!!! I recently climbed at Cal Dome and rapped down the Silk Road. I remember thinking how intense that climb looked. Very impressed - great work guys! Thanks for the great TR.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Oct 29, 2012 - 04:39am PT
Great report and photos! Thanks for sharing.
Nice work on an unsung testpiece.
Steve's definitely a great partner and really gets around - I can see the smile on his face. :-)

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Oct 29, 2012 - 06:16am PT
Fabulous! What a stunning route! Trip reports like this are what makes ST the fantastic resource it is.

  Oct 29, 2012 - 07:55am PT
Wow, that was an unrelenting TR. Sounds like quite an adventure!

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Oct 29, 2012 - 09:37am PT
Dude, I need to hit the gym to get my strength up for this! Stellar TR.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 29, 2012 - 09:53am PT
Wow that looks like a really great route.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Oct 29, 2012 - 10:30am PT
Very, very nice! 5.10c.+.....certainly sounds like a sand bag rating to me.
dave goodwin

carson city, nv
  Oct 29, 2012 - 10:45am PT
Awesome report!! I have done Silk Road and your report was spot on. Have not done KH, it looks like full on Cal Dome adventure. Great TR!!!

Trad climber
  Oct 29, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Rapped passed some of the primo pitches on this thing a year ago or so. It is spectacular! Shame that it doesn't get done more as it appeared to be fairly dirty but some of those dihedrals are the stuff of dreams. Thanks for an awesome trip report of this off the beaten path gem.

  Oct 29, 2012 - 01:56pm PT

Sonoma County
  Oct 29, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
whoo hoo!!

Great writeup and pics Sal.
Not bad getting Steve as a partner for this thing.

Well done guys.

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  Oct 29, 2012 - 02:23pm PT
Those are some of the most stellar looking pitches a person could dream of. WOW.. Stout. Need to get off my butt and get back in shape again.

Inspiring, exactly what a TR should be.
J Wells

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
  Oct 29, 2012 - 04:06pm PT

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
  Oct 29, 2012 - 05:29pm PT
Spectacular route! Cheers, Roy

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Oct 29, 2012 - 05:38pm PT
Looks hard.
Nice work

Trad climber
Pine Grove
  Nov 1, 2012 - 01:10am PT
Holy Crap! Nice work dude. You've been talking about that one for a while now.
Having spoken with Cottrell about the route, I get the impression yours is probably the first time this route has ever been done in it's entirety from the ground up. Cottrell was vague as usual, but that's the vibe I got without a strait answer.


Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
  Nov 1, 2012 - 02:24am PT
nice work dude...and nice TR

Trad climber
Starlite, California
  Nov 1, 2012 - 06:56am PT
Damn! I thought you were referring to http://silkroadvb5piz3t.onion

But the route, the climbers on the route, and the photos of the climbers on the route are superb.
David Wilson

  Nov 1, 2012 - 10:15am PT
Great TR. Thanks for posting

Do you happen to have an overall pic of that wall - just wondering how it looks in its entirety?

  Nov 1, 2012 - 10:55am PT
Wow, that looks pretty fricking amazing and just stoked me up for when I get done working in the flatlands of the south!

Nor Cal
  Nov 1, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
bump cause this TR kicks arse, is off the beaten track and the politard threads are resurfacing...

Half Dome Village
  Nov 1, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Do you happen to have an overall pic of that wall - just wondering how it looks in its entirety?

Here's one I found on this site. I believe the route they did is located slightly to the left of the blue line, and then continues up and left going all the way to the summit?

Such a sick looking route on such a beautiful dome. I think if Cal Dome was in Tuolumne, it would be the best dome in Tuolumne. I've ticked off three of the easiest routes on the thing and they were all pretty burly.

Gym climber
Marathon, FL
  Nov 1, 2012 - 08:41pm PT
Nice job you guys, looks awesome, I would love get on this.
Would you like to get on this thing again next year Salmanizer? If you do let me know. I climb with Steve too, he told me about the climb and said it was great, but im not sure he wants to do it again? Nice job on the TR, well done.

Trad climber
  Nov 1, 2012 - 08:45pm PT
great tr. lots of left facing dihedrals.

obviously a socialist route.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Nov 1, 2012 - 08:51pm PT
Great work guys! Really enjoyed the pictures and narrative. Love those dihedrals!

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Nov 1, 2012 - 08:58pm PT
My left calf cramped just reading that. Nice work fellas. Way to rip it!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Nov 1, 2012 - 09:21pm PT
Wow, I got worn out imagining myself in some of those positions. It makes me want to climb harder to try it.

Trad climber
  Nov 1, 2012 - 09:33pm PT

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Nov 1, 2012 - 10:03pm PT
wow, way awesome-thanks!!!! Inspired!

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Author's Reply  Nov 1, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
Thanks guys, the route was alot of fun. It's a very natural line and flows pretty smoothly without any sort of contrived linkups. It was meant to be, so get out there and get on it. What's to be afraid of, that you might have to rappel back to your bags short of your goal and come back and have to climb those awesome pitches again?

I will definitely climb it again.

Rob, I don't know if we were the first to link it from the bottom to top. Don't know anyone else who's climbed above Silk Road/High Times besides Cottrell. Would be a pretty cool score if we were.

Here's an overlay of the route and belays shown in red. The green line is the rappel line. We used two 70m ropes but I think it's set up so you can barely pull it off with two 60's.


Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Nov 1, 2012 - 10:28pm PT
It is an area I always wanted to check out...Great TR!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
  Nov 2, 2012 - 12:41am PT
Wow, had to chalk up just to get to the end of the TR - it really got my hands sweating. What a gem.

Loved Calaveras the only time I ever climbed there. It was a cool fall day and all the oaks were in color. Can't remember what we climbed on the main wall, but only went up 5 pitches or so then rapped off. Hope to get back some day.
Dumpster Diver

  Nov 4, 2012 - 12:09pm PT
Keep in mind there are lots of folks that climb here quietly. Nice work braving the August heat and the dirty, physical cracks but I know others who have done this link up.

  Nov 4, 2012 - 01:31pm PT
Nice Chad, looks like a fantastic route!
Jerry Dodrill

  Nov 4, 2012 - 01:43pm PT
Awesome report Chad. Its always great to climb with Steve. We were up on St. Helena yesterday and had a fun day.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
  Nov 4, 2012 - 11:25pm PT
Chad you are the best chronicler of routes out there. Excellent trip report. By the way,i know a little about the lower section of the climb to the faceclimbing pitch, having done those pitches on their first ascent with Jay Smith in '79 i believe.

Social climber
Truckee, CA
  Nov 5, 2012 - 02:40pm PT
Looks amazing, Silk Road has been on my list but I had never seen photos - wow, those dihedrals make me drool. For a shorter less-committing day one can rappel earlier as well, right? How is the pro at the 11c when the corner pitches down?

Your writing is stellar, too, thanks again for psyching the rest of us/making us dream, this is what this forum is all about!
gonzo chemist

the east coast, for now.
  Nov 5, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
I have only one response:


Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Nov 5, 2012 - 08:02pm PT

Social climber
San Francisco
  Nov 7, 2012 - 05:06pm PT
Damn! Awesome report! Thanks for all the details and pictures! Definitely interested in trying this now even more. What's the best way to get some beta for the area? Is the approach straight-forward? Rack?

  Dec 5, 2012 - 11:55pm PT
Bump for climbing

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Dec 6, 2012 - 10:56am PT
cheers to another rad TR!


Trad climber
Mountain View
  Dec 14, 2012 - 03:48pm PT
Such a sick TR. We need more reports like this!!! Don't hold back!

Does this route get any sun in the winter time? Would at least be fun to do the first half of your link-up.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Dec 14, 2012 - 04:06pm PT
Thanks for that! Looks amazing!



Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  Dec 14, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
Nice TR!

Thank you


Trad climber
Boston, MA
  May 5, 2013 - 10:46pm PT
Amazing! Thanks for the great TR.

A long way from where I started
  May 5, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
Damn! If I wasn't old and feeble, I'd be on the next plane south!

Trad climber
New River, AZ
  May 6, 2013 - 12:06am PT
A superb little gem of a TR to have stumbled upon. Bravo !!

Trad climber
Sacto, CA
  May 6, 2013 - 01:53pm PT

Rob, I don't know if we were the first to link it from the bottom to top. Don't know anyone else who's climbed above Silk Road/High Times besides Cottrell. Would be a pretty cool score if we were.

No, sorry you were not the first, Will Cottrell and John Robinson did both routes - bottom to top in one day many years ago.

When I started climbing at Cal Dome even a mention of the name on the interenet would bring death treats.

A true hidden gem.

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  May 11, 2013 - 03:58pm PT
Thank you for this TR- definitely inspirational, and I would not have otherwise even known that this route existed. I climbed the first 8 pitches yesterday before getting smacked down by a thunder storm.


The pitch 8 face climbing scared me, but its early season for me. Not the 5.11 part, there are beefy bolts there. But the techy 10d with rusty quarter inchers and button heads and nasty ledge fall potential... maybe I just suck at face climbing :)

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  May 11, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
bump. that looks like a really nice climb!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  May 11, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Now THAT is a route to dream on for a while...

Always wanted to travel the Silk Road.

Thanks for sharing and nice job with the camera!

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  May 11, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Thank you for sharing a great adventure.

I'll deal with my nightmares about it tonight.

Social climber
San Francisco
  May 24, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
By the way, apparently I have some pretty awesome Cattrell topos. No idea where I got them from - probably downloaded them on the internets 6-7 years ago, but now I can't find them on the net any more. If anyone is interested let me know.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 28, 2014 - 05:51pm PT
BUMP for a great link up!!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Jan 28, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
I wanna go. Not sure if I am good enough but that looks like one great rock.

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jan 28, 2014 - 11:19pm PT
Totally awesome . . . you are stoked.

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jan 28, 2014 - 11:39pm PT
"But no worries, there's a convenient bolt out there in the middle so you don't have to rely on any sort of oldschool mental fortitude or confidence in ones own abilities."

 aint that the truth!

Boulder climber
  Jan 29, 2014 - 02:51am PT
... there are lots of folks that climb here quietly.
I know others who have done this link up.
Translation (for OP): STFU.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 29, 2014 - 04:56am PT
Nope, nope, nope!

Too much hard, not enough easy, tra la la la laaaa!!

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
  Jan 29, 2014 - 09:24am PT
holy shitballs, how did i miss this the first time around? thanky you kindly, sir.
M Carville

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
  Jun 3, 2014 - 06:36pm PT
Awesome link up - nice work! Gotta get on Karakoram this fall. I think that Jay and Paul linked it too.

Trad climber
Golden, Co
  Nov 1, 2014 - 03:57pm PT
Cal bump
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
  Nov 1, 2014 - 04:17pm PT
swat kick... ding ?? wack smack ????LEts try
steven Curtis

Trad climber
  Nov 1, 2014 - 04:31pm PT
After I did this with Chad, I asked Strom about it.

"Oh Yea, Katherine and I went to the end of the major traverse about 10 years ago. At the beginning of the traverse (10D R slab ), Katherine took a major tumbler seconding, but said she was OK. She was slow for the next two pitches and I took a good look at her arm. It was broken, and we bailed."

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Apr 20, 2016 - 08:42pm PT
Bump for a classic TR. Let the spring climbing season stoke take you!

Trad climber
Red Rock
  Apr 21, 2016 - 05:44am PT
Tfpu!!! Awesome TR.... beautiful granite in a spectacular setting

Oakland, CA
  Feb 13, 2017 - 10:59am PT
I'm curious, harder than Astroman then? Consensus on that?
Oso Flaco

Gym climber
Atascadero, CA
  Feb 13, 2017 - 11:02am PT
Bump...I may not be ready for this one this season but sure looks like a fantastic goal to have on the tick-list. Thanks for the great TR.