ApproachFollow the directions on the main page for Owl Rock under Getting There. Once at the trailhead, hike the road back about 50 yards and then cut 100 yards cross country toward the base of the Owl. You'll be climbing roughly the SW face of the formation.
Route DescriptionThe route bears the name of its first ascentionist, Ron Olevsky, who free soloed the first ascent (although only one guidebook refers to this route by his name; most others just call it The Owl). The route reaches the summit of this spire in one and a half pitches. The first pitch follows a steep crack system in the SW face (steeper than it looks from the base). The "second pitch" scrambles to the top via 4th class moves. The route receives sun from about noon till dusk. Supertopo's guidebook gives this route a 5.9 rating; all other guidebooks rate it at 5.8 (probably more realistic). The rock on the route - despite its appearance - is solid and the first pitch eats up cams. According to the Supertopo, it is the presence of huge jugs that keeps the rating down. Indeed the route feels steep but great holds or great hand jams appear just where they're most needed.
Pitch 1: 5.8, 90 feet. Steep but awfully fun! Climb up the low angle terrain for about 15 feet to reach the start of the steeper portion of the face. Follow a roundish crack system straight up. The crux comes about 2/3rds of the way up as you pull over some bulges with poor feet. Pro and rock quality are consistently good here! Belay from fixed anchors 20 feet below summit. Reason not to link the upper mini pitch is most likely due to the rock wear over the summit dome.
Pitch 2: 4th class, 25 feet. From belay, move right and then up and left over low angle slabs to the summit. Belay from 2 pitons on the summit. Note the rope grooves on the summit dome. Please do your best to try and not add to the damage. Note from benjohnson: As of March 2007, there are no longer pins on the summit of Owl. There is still one halfway between the belay ledge and the summit, though.
Descent: Downclimb to top of pitch 1. Don't rap this short, easy section! Do one (single if you got a 60 meter rope; probably double for a 50 meter) rappel back down to the base where you started.