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Sunday Wall
Mountain/Rock

Sunday Wall

 
Sunday Wall

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.81871°N / 108.60681°W

Object Title: Sunday Wall

Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope

 

Page By: Liba Kopeckova

Created/Edited: Mar 1, 2012 / Mar 21, 2013

Object ID: 779037

Hits: 1578 

Page Score: 84.27%  - 18 Votes 

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Overview

The Sunday Wall is Unaweep’s most popular and famous wall. While Unaweep Canyon page creator Liba Kopeckova did a good job covering the Sunday Wall in the main canyon page, this is an attempt to cover this popular section a little more closely.

The Sunday Wall is a large granite wall in the heart of inner Unaweep Canyon. The granite here is considered the same formation as that in the Black Canyon, but the erosional pattern and infusions of metamorphic layers render a very different landscape than the Black. The Sunday Wall’s popularity likely comes from its wide variety of climbing in terms of difficulty, length, and style. There are single-pitch, beginner-friendly trad routes such as Don Juan (5.6), Beginner’s Luck (5.7), or Three’s Company (5.8+) and difficult bolted face climbs like Simple Mind (5.11-), Bridge of Air (5.12-), and Monkey Gone to Heaven (5.12). The Sunday Wall is also home to some of the canyon’s best and most popular multi-pitch routes like Sweet Sunday Serenade (3 pitches, 5.9), Napa Valley (5 pitches, 5.11), and Echoes (6 pitches, 5.12c). Everything from first time leads to committing, difficult grade III. Something for everyone….

Sunday Wall
 
And Now the off-width...
 
Beginner s Luck (5.7)
 
Don Juan
 
Approaching the Sunday Wall
 

Getting There

From Grand Junction head southeast on Highway 50 towards Delta. After about 9 miles turn west (right) on Highway 141 at Whitewater. Follow Highway 141 for fourteen miles to the turnoff for Divide Road and measure from this point. The turnoff and Access Fund trail access is 2.3 miles farther down the road on the right (north) side. From the parking, following the well-defined trail for about 15 minutes with some mild elevation gain to the wall.

The Climbing

The climbing on the Sunday Wall breaks nicely into four main sections: upper, main area, sport area, and lower.

Sunday Wall Overview
The Sunday Wall
Sunday Wall Topo
Topo of the Sunday Wall


Upper Area

From where the Access Fund meets the cliffs (at the base of Bandito and Don Juan) turn left and contour uphill along the cliffs past the Napa arête. The leftmost (farthest) developed route is Beginner’s Luck, a popular and high quality 5.7. (UPDATE: in October 2012 there was a sign asking climbers not to access this area. Private ownership issues are a constant fact of life in Unaweep, don't jeopardize access for everyone by not respecting signs such as this. The Access Fund is hard at work to resolve this issue and hopefully these climbs will be open again soon.) Here are the routes from left to right:

Map NumberNameTypeDifficultyLocation/Description
1Beginner’s LuckTrad/single pitch5.7One of the easier climbs on the Sunday Wall but high quality for the grade. Follow a curved, slabby crack to a two-bolt anchor. Walk off or rappel down.
2Fearless FirstSport/single pitch5.8Fearless First climbs the face just to the right of Beginner's Luck. Some call it contrived, but there is a sweet pinch on a beautiful crystal about 2/3rds of the way up that makes it all worthwhile to me. Bolt protection, maybe a light rack to supplement moderate runouts.
3UnknownTrad/single pitch5.11c A trad climb with a couple of bolts for support. Identified by the red hangers on the bolts.
4Napa ValleyTrad/multi-pitchIII 5.11-A five-pitch climb up the distinct buttress feature on the left (west) side of the Sunday Wall. One of several challenging grade III climbs on the Sunday Wall.


Main Area

These climbs are the first encountered from the Access trail. They are mostly moderate and popular:

Topo NumberRouteTypeDifficultyLocation/Description
5Don JuanTrad/single pitch5.6Located just to the left of where the Access Fund trail meets the wall. Don Juan is an easy climb and often a first lead. Pull a tricky move off the ground to scale a small pinnacle and follow the disjunct, ledgy crack system to a two-bolt anchor.
6Banditotrad/single pitch5.8+Located just to the right of where the Access Fund trail meets the cliff. A tricky move off the ground and some runnout moves make this a spicy 5.8 trad climb. People often top rope this. The anchors can be accessed via a series of ledges from the anchors for Don Juan.
Unknowntrad or TR/single pitch5.11+/5.12-?This climb and the one to the right share their own anchor. They are not listed in Baum's guide or on any climbing website (that I am aware of). They are both runnout and usually done as top-ropes. Pull an awkward roof on bad holds and follow a thin, runnout crack to the anchors.
Unknowntrad or TR/single pitch5.9Start to the right of the mini-cave (the roof on the climb to the left). Follow a slabby, disjunct seam with tricky face holds to a two-bolt anchor.
7Three's Companytrad/single pitch5.8+Start in a short but perfect left facing 5.7 dihedral, mantle a ledge and work through an awkward off-width to a hands/cupped hands crack to a two-bolt anchor (5.8+). A #4 camalot comes in handy for the OW.
8Bomb's Awaytrad/multi-pitchIII 5.9 A1An infrequently climbed grade III. Climb six pitches with some minimal aid.
9Echoestrad/multi pitchIII 5.12cA hard 6-pitch route with several pitches of 5.12+. One of the harder and better long climbs of the grade in the canyon. This route is part of more recent development.





Sport Area

Yes, Unaweep does have quality and challenging sport routes, some of which are found here at the Sunday Wall. These climbs are on the bolted face to the right of where the trail meets the cliffbase. Just past these sport climbs are other single and multi-pitch trad climbs that ascend the impressive center of the wall.

Topo NumberRouteTypeDifficultyLocation/Description
10Bridge of AirSport/single pitch5.12aOne of the harder sport climbs at the Sunday Wall and one of the best. Climb a thin slab with technical moves and pull a roof crux before the anchors.
11Simple MindSport/single pitch5.11-A short, 5-bolt sport pitch. Start up the middle of block and gain a ledge. New anchor thanks to ASCA.
12Optical IllusionsSport/aid/single pitch5.11bJust to the right of Simple Mind. A thin, technical face climb past six bolts. Shares anchors with Simple Mind.
13Monkey Gone to HeavenSport/single pitch5.12+One of the hardest of the Sunday Wall sport routes and infrequently climbed. Face climb with tricky moves past 9 bolts to a roof and a ledge with the anchor.
14Burnt BeauticianSport/single pitch5.12-A long climb. Face climb along a seam system past 9 bolts to a two-bolt anchor. Rap with two ropes.
15Project (Hairdresser on Fire)Sport/single pitch5.13?A partially bolted and (to my knowledge) un-sent route that is very difficult.
16Silent Line trad/multi pitchIII 5.11+ RBegin just to the right of the sport climbs. Follow two pitches to big ledge. Traverse left to the base of a good handcrack, and climb two pitches in a corner system to the top. Walk east and rap down Sweet Sunday Serenade.
17Antlers on SundayTrad/single pitch5.10Climb a left-facing dihedral past a roof to the anchors.
18People are Poodles Tootrad/single or multi pitch5.10- A0 or 5.10- (single pitch)A five-pitch route that tours this portion of the Sunday Wall. Climb a 5.10 dihedral to a ledge with a pinyon tree. Do an easy traverse left to a short dihedral and ledge. Walk left along the large ledge and climb three more meandering pitches to the top. Most only climb the first pitch.
19No Name Routetrad/multi pitchIII 5.10 A0Climb the same first pitch as People are Poodles Too then follow a straighter path for 3 or 4 pitches to the summit. Walk east and rappel off Sun Dancer.


Sweet Sunday Area

The three-pitch Sweet Sunday Serenade is possibly Unaweep's most famous climb. When people travel any significant distance to get to Unaweep it seems that this is the tick they all seek. Sweet Sunday has several variations, and there other other good trad climbs on this part of the wall.

Topo NumberRouteTypeDifficultyLocation/Description
20 Standard Routetrad/single pitch5.7A long pitch that can be combined with Sun Dancer to make the easiest way to get to the top of the Sunday Wall. Climb a long (160') pitch to a ledge and build an anchor. Belay up your second and traverse up a diagonal ledge and either continue up Sun Dancer to the top, or find a two bolt anchor and rappel to the ground.
21Black DynamiteTrad/single pitch5.10cStarts to the right of the Standard Route. Pull a hard bulge off the ground and climb a nice handcrack. Meet with Standard route, belay, and traverse right to anchors for a long (145') rappel.
22Sweet Sunday Serenadetrad/multi pitchII 5.9A Unaweep classic! Especially at the moderate grade. Climb two pitches with possible variations to the Sun Deck, a large ledge 2/3rds of the way up. Climb either the standard finish or the popular Sun Dancer route to the top. 3 pitches.
23Catch a Wavetrad and sport/single pitch5.11aA long climb. Start in a good handcrack and clip several bolts to the anchors. Some small cams can alleviate a runnout above the crux.
24Motion Fascinationtrad/single pitch5.11cA challenging pitch that is mostly bolt protected. Climb a crack system with two tough mantels followed by face climbing to the anchor.
25Trash Can Alleytrad/single pitch5.9Not a very good pitch
26Dreams of Far Away Placestrad/multi pitchIII 5.10-Climb the Standard Route. Traverse slightly left and climb two pitches to the summit.
27Eagle's Pathtrad/multi pitchII 5.11cClimb the Standard Route to the ledge and traverse slightly left to this route's base. Climb two pitches of tough face and crack (5.11) to the summit.
28Satisfaction Guaranteedtrad/multi pitch5.9This is really just a variation on the second pitch of SSS. It has become the standard route in a sense. Climb the first pitch of Sweet Sunday Serenade. Partway up pitch two, veer right into an excellent crack with layback moves. Finish on SSS or Sun Dancer and rap down.
29High Exposuretrad/multi pitch5.8+After the second pitch of SSS traverse left past the usual route and do this high quality final pitch.
30Sun Dancertrad/multi pitch5.8The easiest and most direct way to top out from the Sun Deck. Climb the first two pitches of SSS (or any other route to the Sun Deck) and climb the dihedral to the top. Rap from the anchor here back to the Sun Deck, downclimb to another two-bolt anchor and rap with two ropes to the to an area behind a pillar where you can downclimb to the ground.
31The Gargoyletrad/multi pitch5.10bA more difficult way to top out from the Sun Deck ledge. Start up Sun Dancer but veer right into a fingercrack with a challenging roof.




Sweet Sunday Serenade 5.9
The beginning of Sweet Sunday Serenade
Sunday Wall
The Sweet Sunday area

Red Tape

The cliffs in Unaweep are vast, and it seems like the potential for future development is almost limitless. However, the main issue barring Unaweep's full potential from being tapped is private property. The Access Fund has been active in Unaweep, purchasing land and gaining easements to access some of the best cliffs. Still, however, many of the most promising Unaweep monoliths require a private property approach. In the name of preserving and furthering cooperation with land owners, it is not recommended that you trespass in order to climb at Unaweep. Instead, stick to the walls that have been opened for now and we'll all collectively work towards opening more of this granite wonderland for the future.

Fortunately the Sunday Wall was part of the Access Fund's efforts and an excellent and legal trail exists to bring you to its base. Anytime you climb in Unaweep, you should adhere to No-Trace outdoor ethic. Please carry out all waste that you might generate (including human).

Camping

There are several places to camp in the Unaweep area, but DO NOT camp in the private property at the canyon's bottom! The most popular areas to camp are found off Divide Road on BLM land. There is also BLM land in the bouldering area on Nine Mile Hill before you get to the main granite canyon.

External Links

Unaweep Canyon on summitpost- Liba Kopeckova's excellent and informative page that covers Unaweep and the Sunday Wall

The Sunday Wall on mountainproject.com- more information about the Sunday Wall.

Grand Junction Rock: Rock Climbs of Unaweep Canyon and Adjacent Areas by K.C. Baum. If you are going to head to Unaweep to go climb, you should pick up a copy of this book at a climbing shop or online such as here on Chessler Books

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