Two of the more popular moderate trad climbs at Vedauwoo, Friday the 13th, 5.10a****, and Middle Parallel Space, 5.9****, are located side by side at the northeast end of the most popular formation in the park, the Nautilus. With such little approach from the road and many beginner/guided climbs on the west face, the Nautilus is the last place you want to be on the weekend unless you are of the Boulder ilk, where trying to hook up romantically, along with dog humping (pun intended), becomes the primary objective of your travels. However, if you get up reasonably early on a weekday you might get these two gems to yourselves, or at least we did. Plan these climbs on a Monday and you might even collect a few stuck cams (typical for anywhere on the Nautilus).
Both of the before mentioned climbs are well protected stellar corner leads for the budding 5.9 leader. Friday felt no more difficult than many 5.9’s at Vedauwoo even though it draws a 5.10a grade in the guide. Middle Parallel is written in the guide as two pitches but can easily be led as one by the accomplished trad leader with plenty of extension on the 2nd pitch’s rightward traverse. I included Right Parallel Space, 5.5***, in the Recess area vs the Torpedo Tubes on the north end of the Nautilus because it can be a quick solo up the right (north) side of the same detached pillar that creates Middle Parallel Space on its left side. They share the same anchor.
As soon as the pavement ends (at the main campground) and the forest road begins, there is a significant parking area on the left complete with restrooms. Park here and circumvent the Nautilus on its right (east) side. As you near the north end, Friday’s Recess will appear on your left with an obvious (stellar) corner capped by a roof, this is Friday the 13th. Its fixed anchors are visible at the top of the left facing corner with a large roof above. Middle Parallel is just a few more meters to the north climbing the left facing corner formed by a detached pillar. Right Parallel climbs the opposite side of this pillar to the same fixed anchor.
War Zone- 150’-5.11b PG***/
Deception- 150’- 5.9**/
H&H Grunt- 80’-5.5*/
Friday the Thirteenth- 80’-5.10a****/ One of the few 5.10- routes at Vedauwoo that feels more 5.9 than 5.10. Straight forward left facing corner crack with mostly hands the whole way to a fixed rap. Stem off the deck via fingers and ring locks into hands. The hands vary via constrictions from tight to normal. The rock is polished compared to most routes at the Voo as this is a heavily climbed route. Friday is more straight forward and easier to lead for the trad leader at his/her limit than its four star neighbor, Middle Parallel Space (which requires more variety of skills through two pitches of climbing). Single to C4#3. Double from C4 #1 to C4#3. Dow
Hesitation Blues- 150’-5.1b**/
Middle Parallel Space- 120’-5.9****/ Perhaps the finest 5.9 trad lead at Vedauwoo. The obvious large left facing corner just meters to the right of Friday the 13th, at the base of a detached pillar. A wide and cruxy start leads through sustained climbing at the grade to a relatively easy chimney section with a hand crack on the main wall. Belay at the top of the tower (pitch one in the guide ) or continue in one long pitch. If you combine these pitches, it is imperative that you extend many of your placements as rope drag will hit you hard on a traverse at the end of the final 30’ up the main wall. The 2nd pitch is also stellar albeit short. Stem across the void (exposure) between the tower and main wall and re-enter the hand crack that was at the back of the chimney. Climb it up to the horizontal and traverse right to one final athletic mantel at the grade (exposed but protected with a C4#3 hidden pocket). Continue up the low angled summit to a fixed rap. Single to C4#5. Double from C4#2 to C4#4. Dow
Air Travel with Support- 90’-5.12b PG-R/
Right Parallel Space- 80’-5.5***/ A fun and secure solo but is equipped with two bolts if you want to lead it. Mostly easy chimney technique with plenty of features. Guide has it listed with a single bolt, but it has two as of 2018. Gets you to the top of the tower on Middle Parallel Space where you can rap down its fixed rap. Has a 5.8 variation taking a right at the Y which leads to a slung rap nest. Dow