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Lotta Balls, 5.8, 3 Pitches

Lotta Balls, 5.8, 3 Pitches

Lotta Balls, 5.8, 3 Pitches

Page Type: Route

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Object Title: Lotta Balls, 5.8, 3 Pitches

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.8 (YDS)

Difficulty: II 5.8 PG

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
 - 4 Votes


Page By: rpc

Created/Edited: Jan 25, 2003 / Dec 1, 2009

Object ID: 157660

Hits: 4596 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Follow the directions given on main page to get to the beginning of First Creek Canyon. From here you should be looking for a seemingly smooth, 400-foot (a mere speck compared to the mountain as a whole), inclined wall (the Lotta Balls Wall). The wall has a brown/black bottom half and a light tan top half. Both Swain's and Urioste's guidebooks contain good route overview photos (one each) - however Swain also provides a "long distance" shot that greatly aids in finding the route (and a route topo that Urioste does not).

The key is to stay on the trail on the left side of the wash (i.e. closer to Indecision Peak than Mt. Wilson) until the route is sighted. Once the route is in sight, stay on the main trail until a faint climbers' trail is spotted forking off to the left (almost directly below the Lotta Balls Wall). Take this climbers' trail which will bring you to the start of the climb. This should be a quick scramble (~10-15 minutes). You are looking for what Swain calls "stacked slabs" - the route starts on the left side of the slabs. The slabs (about 6 feet wide and 40 feet tall) actually look like stacked flakes with a vertical crack (the route) on their left and a recessed face capped by a small roof (about 50 feet off the ground) on their right.

Route Description

The route is named for the pimple like holds on pitch two (see photos) and not for the extraordinary amount of courage required to climb it. Both Swain and Urioste describe this route as a three pitch route, however we had to break up the topmost pitch. The route proper does not top out on summit of Indecision Peak (only top of Lotta Balls Wall). It is unclear whether any established routes continue to the summit from top of the wall. Such a route would seem to invlove lots of 3rd and 4th class scrambling.

Pitch 1: 5.6 (Swain) or 5.8 (1 move, Supertopo), 100 feet. Climb the crack on the left side of the stacked blocks. Move right once you near the small roof and move into the small left facing corner. Follow the crack in the corner and then catch the edge of a huge white flake. Follow it up and right to a triply bolted belay stance (8 inch wide "ledge") - spacious enough for two people. Nice overview shot of P1 and the 5.8 face start to P2 can be found here.

Pitch 2: 5.8 PG, 150 feet. Climb the ball studded face for 40 feet past two bomber bolts. The bolts are about 20 feet above the belay stance only a few feet apart. Enter the right facing corner (or open book) above the face portion and climb it up to a great belay "balcony". The corner portion of the pitch is relatively easy - approx. 5.5 to 5.6 (or 5.7 acc. to Supertopo).

Pitch 3: 5.5 (Swain) or 5.6 (Urioste) or 5.8 (1 move, Supertopo), 165 feet. Continue up the corner to a roof 75 feet above the balcony. Step up and left and continue up along wide parallel cracks until you run out of rope. Book claims you should be able to reach the tree ledge. If you run out of rope, there are several decent belay spots allowing you to break up the final pitch. The tree ledge is the top of the Lotta Balls Wall.

Walk toward the wall (c. 20 feet) and rappel down a left trending gully (you should see rappel slings). This is a single rope rappel. Scramble a few feet until you see more rap slings. Do another single rope rappel. More scrambling follows and the last single rope rappel (rap slings around a tree) completes most of the descent. A bit more down scrambling brings you back to your starting point. Total descent time is about 30 minutes.

Essential Gear

Standard rack. A set of wired nuts; a set of SLCD's - midsizes mostly but used a blue (tiny) Alien (on pitch 1) and got to use the #5 Friend (not necessary but felt great when placed on upper portions of pitch two!).

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


Sarah Working....Shirley displaying the battle...Shirley seconding pitch three...Looking down from the...Looking up at the dihedral...Leading pitch one (5.6) of...Looking up at pitch one of...
Maintaining Composure...Sarah Stylin\'.....Shirley starting up the lead...