Lower Cow, 5.8-5.12d

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
California, United States, North America
Activities:
Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Season:
Spring, Fall, Winter
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Lower Cow, 5.8-5.12d
Created On: Feb 16, 2018
Last Edited On: Feb 16, 2018

Overview/Approach

Mad Cow Disease, 5.10b*
Dow on Mad Cow Disease, 5.10b*
Sacred Cow, 5.10a*
Dow leading Sacred Cow, 5.10a*

Upper and Lower Cow offer the best “remote like” setting in Real Hidden Valley. Real Hidden Valley can harbor as many tourists (climbing and otherwise) as the Hidden Valley Campground itself on any given day. But Upper and Lower Cow stretch out into the northwest end beyond the loop trail, high above the wash below offering serenity.

Upper Cow enjoys a beautiful ledge perched below the majority of its routes and features several sport climbs that rival the more classic bolted lines that are popular due to easier access: Udder Chaos, 5.10c** and Hollywood and Bovine, 5.10d**.  Lower Cow is located directly below this larger upper wall and features two interesting trad lines:  Mad Cow Disease, 5.10b* and Sacred Cow, 5.10a* along with one top rope route.  There are also two stragglers included in the guide with the Lower Cow wall that are actually not on it:  Prime Real Estate, 5.12d*** (way to the left) and Savwafare 1st Everywhere, 5.8** (across the wash).  There is no fixed rap atop Lower Cow wall.  Scramble down climber's right.

You can take a left or right on the main loop trail.  At the opposite end of the canyon from where you first intersect the loop trail is a wash that travels out of the canyon to the northwest.  As you leave the loop and enter the wash, you pass the Brown Wall on your right and then a varnished wall rising out of the wash where Savwafare 1st Everywhere, 5.8**, is located.  Although this route is included with the Lower Cow formation routes in the guide, it is not on the Lower Cow Wall.  Rather look up high above the canyon floor on your left (north facing) and you will locate the Lower and Upper Cow Walls (photos).  The Upper Cow Wall is stacked above the Lower Cow Wall.  There is no discernible traffic up from the wash.  Access to the Upper Cow is best approached from the right (west) vs left.  Lower Cow Wall is easier to access regardless of which direction you go.

Route Descriptions, Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Lower Cow Wall (North Facing)

  • Prime Real Estate- 50’-5.12d***
  • Mad Cow Disease- 80’-5.10b*/ Full gear route. Chossy hand rail traverse from right to left to get started in the crack proper on a route that sees little to any attention, but the hands roof is worth the trip up it if you are there to climb Sacred Cow which is a stellar lead at the same grade.  Gear anchor, scramble down back and climbers right for descent.  Dow
  • Sacred Cow- 80’-5.10a*/ Full gear route.  Guide states “thin crack line” but there are plenty of hands as well.  A well protected  climb with mostly 5.9 climbing.  The crux is one finger crack move below getting hands again, about half way up. I like this climb, if closer to the parking lot and therefore well trafficked and cleaned up, this would be a two star route for sure.  Gear anchor at the top left of the route. Scramble down back and climbers right to return to the base.  Standard rack, C4#3 is helpful for the gear anchor.  Dow
  • Devine Bovine- 80'-5.10b*/ Top Rope
  •  Savwafare 1st Everywhere- 70’-5.8**/ Found just above the wash directly across from Lower Cow wall.  Full gear route on an obvious wall (photo).  A bit of Red Rock in Jtree? Unique varnished crack that gives up a cool crux finger pocket move up and left to finish. Walk off climbers right.  Dow