Location, location, location! This amazing climb ranks among one of, if not, THE best routes in the area. The designation of mega-classic would not be a far stretch for this line since it is on an amazing high quality granite spire that overlooks the valley and provides an optimal view of the Diamond face of Longs Peak. Truly amazing climbing on good rock, the view is only an added treat.
This route was first free climbed by Laurence Stuemke and climbs the left side of the Altar, the name given to this clean detached spire of rock halfway down on the right side of the Vestibule.
Getting here is not too difficult, and has already been well outline in another route page by Jeff Fox
. It will take about an hour an a half from Denver and about fortyfive minutes from Boulder to get to the Monastery.
One you have parked, walk a little further up the road and follow the obvious climbers trail. Follow this until the first major rock formation you come to, (The Guardian.) Continue straight ahead, (heading south-west towards Longs Peak) and you will see the obvious granite spire that is the Altar. Scramble down some rocks to get to the base of the Altar where the ground is flat to set up a good belay spot.
The granite spire, called the Altar, stands out amazingly in the Vestibule area.
The beginning of the route.
At the top getting ready to clip the anchors.
There are 8 bolts to a two bolt anchor. Climb the left line which is balancy and continuous. A very technique oriented climb, make sure to focus on footwork to get up the thin holds. After the 5th bolt, the climbing eases up to 10a with some larger holds and ledges.
Once at the top enjoy the view! The anchors are the same for 'Stolen Land' (5.11c) to the right of 'Tabula Rasa' and can be used to top-rope the line if you are not up to leading.
Good crimps and good feet midway on the route.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. Bring enough quickdraws for the bolts and anchors. A 60 meter rope will suffice. I don't think this route warants a helmet, the rock quality is extremely good and there is no chance of a bad fall or swing. Be safe though and wear one if you feel you need to. A good belayer that can give encouragement and some chalk are also good things to have on this line.
Mountain Project page for Tabula Rasa