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Lightline 5.6R

Lightline 5.6R

Lightline 5.6R

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.59315°N / 107.38969°W

Object Title: Lightline 5.6R

Route Type: Trad Climbing, Mixed, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.6 (YDS)

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: Liba Kopeckova

Created/Edited: Aug 30, 2010 / Aug 30, 2010

Object ID: 655407

Hits: 5097 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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parking lot below
Lightline is 5.6R, 1,200ft long (=364 meters) climb located just above the town of Ouray, in western Colorado. It is a nice and easy scramble/climb with amazing views.

Beware that the routes have the potential of dislodging rocks onto either the parking area and/or the highway. There are several routes on this wall, but Lighline is by far the most climbed route on this wall. The rock gets better the higher you go, but still is very loose.
Ouray is a great ice climbing destination, rock climbing is not the best. Most of the rock is rotten and loose.

Getting There

view towards Red Mountain
Drive south on Hwy 550 from Ouray. After going through the tunnel, past Bear Creek and Horsetail falls, then park where the Engineer Pass and the Alpine Loop exit Hwy 550 on the left. Hike about 100 meters up the Engineer Pass road, and ascend a gully/drainage to the base of the climb. The turn off for Engineer Pass loop is very well marked.

Approach to the climb: you take the first gully up - see the photo on the right. And continue scrambling up the gully until the beginning of the climb.

Route Description

under a small roof
 moving fast
Mostly a ridge scrambling up a prominent arete. Many possible routes, expect some loose rock and a lot of easy climbing. Start just above the toe of the buttress on the right side, seems to be the best. Most parties will rope for a first few pitches until the upper slabs are reached and then continue climbing un-roped. Use your own judgement here.
San Juan Mountain guides supposedly use this route as their training for Matterhorn, and climb it with mountain boots. This route follows the prominent buttress from bottom up - plenty of possibilities to make it slightly easier or slightly more challenging.
Never really felt like 5.6, more like a lower class 5.

Essential Gear

rappel via non-locking biners
finished and
60 meter rope, harness and belay device, and a small rack if you want to place gear, or creating anchors en route.
As I mentioned above, not a bad place to free solo - pretty easy climb.
Consider taking more comfortable shoes for the descent, since there is some hiking involved.

I carried way too much gear, and would not bring gear on this climb next time.

They were two fixed ropes for rappel (probably set up by San Juan Mountain guides), but that is not sufficient for the whole rappel, and down climbing would be slow and painful.

The Descent

Scramble down the gully
Overview of the gully
From the top, hike off to the right and downhill a drainage (not real trail, at some sections deer trail), one cairn pointing the way. Hike down and towards the south for about 10 min. Go downhill towards the cliffs edge. There should be an open area with trees. The first rappel will from a tree with slings on it. Go down over loose rock and bushes to another tree with several slings on it. The 3rd rappel goes over the edge of the ramp into a steeper wall and to bolts in an upside down V shaped feature with a ledge. The 4th rappel takes you into the gully. The rappels can be done with one 60 m rope.

playing with i-movie

video of rappel