This is a stunning and amazing line in the Garden and considered by many to be the best. A gorgeous discontinuous crack with face climbing makes this a worthy and fun lead. Originally put up as an aid route by Layton Kor, and later freed by Jim Dunn, this route is not often crowded even though it is relatively popular. Lots of variety and really pumpy climbing on a gorgeous rock that is as good as it gets in Colorado to desert crack climbing. Highly recomended!
Many people, like Larissa, expereince this sort of elation once at the top of 'Anaconda' since it is such and amazing line.
It is extremely easy to get here. Go to the Garden of the Gods and park in the main lot slightly to the North of North Gateway Rock. From here find a climbers path to skirt around the north side of the rock and find the path of least resistance to the ledge at the base of the obvious chalked up crack.
Placing the first piece of pro on 'Anaconda'.
Follow the obvous crack (5.9) that is discontinuous and eventually peters out. Place pro where needed. Once you clip the fixed pin, move to the climbers left onto the face and follow the line of pitons.
The lower crack of 'Anaconda'.
I highly recomend climbing up to clip the first piton on the face and then downclimbing back to the ledge for the traverse. Move on some decent faceholds and back into a crack system (5.10b) that ranges from hands to fingers. Follow the crack and move to the right of the anchors on large flakes and face holds. There are new chain anchors as of 2006 placed in conjunction with Petzl and Rock&Ice. Thanks guys!
Out of the crack and onto face climbing after a short traverse.
If you wish to continue climbing, clip the anchors and move on for a realtively short but pumpy and tecnical 5.11c crack to another set of anchors. From here the rap is 100'.
Black X's mark pitons and blue X's mark suggested pro placement. Double black X's are the chain anchors.
It is also possible to continue climbing two more pitchs, one being a 5.10a, slightly overhung offwidth crack, and the other being 5.10b runout on faceholds to the summit. Do two double rope rappels off the east side of North Gateway, eventually ending up just south of the main lot. I hope to have more detail on the last two pitches soon, after I climb them.
Larissa stemming on 'Anaconda'.
This route can be down with fairly little pro. Since I was uncomfortable and wanted some extra security, I stiched the first crack which readily accepts smaller cams (yellow, grey, red Aliens) as well as small passive pro. I placed a few intermediates along the way as well inbetween fixed pitons to ease my mind. I would recomend bringing a few cams and nuts and about 9-10 draws.
Essential gear also includes a great attitude, which Larissa always remembers to pack. Here she starts the beginning of 'Anaconda'.