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Freedom..... - 5.11c

Average Rating = 5.00/5 Average Rating : 5.00 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 0
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (3)
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Gear to 2", bolts
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.11c
  Safety Rating G
  Exposure 5.00/5
  Rock Quality 3.50/5
  Scenery 5.00/5
  Fun Factor 5.00/5


Five pitch route with awesome varied climbing. The only bad pitch is the first pitch. Fairly sustained, with four pitches in the 5.11 range. Great positioning. You could drop a rock a hit your packs from the top of the route. Starts 80 yards right and uphill of the new bolted routes right of "Condor".

Submitted by: david_smithrock on 2006-07-30
Views: 785
Route ID: 78468

3 Ascents Recorded

GoRecord an ascent

  Difficulty 5.11c
  Safety Rating G
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: overthehillclimber on 2011-06-15 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Great route. I did it with my son, Chris.

Ascent style should be "Hangdog." Well, some of the pitches went onsight.

Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left To Lose (5.11c with the “Good Ol’ Variation) is possibly the longest route at Smith Rocks. On the east face of the Smith Rocks formation, it runs to six pitches, counting the short 5.6 junk pitch to get to the very summit. I strategized to draw the softest pitches, but there was no way to avoid leading one of the two 5.11c pitches, without obviously wimping out. I led the first pitch, reasonable 5.10a on bolts.

Pitch 2 was the first of the business pitches, 5.11c on bolts; steep face with some overhang on bulges. Chris onsighted. Beautiful! I hung once on the toprope. This marred the perfection of the ascent, but given what was coming later, it was unlikely to be the only imperfection.

Pitch 3, my first business pitch, relented only slightly, featuring 5.11b on bolts followed by 40 feet or so of 5.8 trad. I hung once on the 5.11b part. Not perfect, but then I don’t claim to be a Smith Rocks 5.11b climber.

Pitch 4 of Freedom is a 5.12b aręte, but we had planned from the beginning to do the alternate Good Ol’ Variation pitch at 5.11b. Again Chris onsighted. Again I hung once on top rope. A pattern seemed to be developing.

Pitch 5, my last pitch, was 5.11c, comprising a 5.11c trad diagonal crack followed by 5.11c steep face on bolts. I hung once on the trad and twice on the bolts, but I made it! Chris hung as much or more than I did on the TR, making me feel ever so much better. By the time Chris arrived, I was borderline hypothermic from the cold wind, and he was cold too. Our windbreakers were in the pack which was at the previous belay, so we elected to forego the summit 5.6 junk pitch in favor of getting down to our jackets.

We had towed an extra rope to allow us to rappel the route. It can be done with a single 70 meter rope, but we had only a 60. So, tie the ropes together and get down to that pack. Ahh, some measure of warmth! After the next rappel, I committed a blunder that could have resulted in an epic. We had both arrived at the lower belay ledge and tied in and I let go of the ropes—not deliberately, but casually, forgetting that a) we weren’t quite straight below the upper rappel anchors, having traversed slightly rightward, and b) the wind was blowing strongly from the right. Both ends promptly blew out about 10 feet left and hung there, just out of reach. After abject apologies on my part, we set about to see what could be done to avoid having to call in a rescue while still maintaining safety. Chris was on 4-foot slings and I on 2-foot. He leaned as far left as possible, but was six or eight feet short of the ropes. We strung together several webs and draws and hung several biners on the end. He leaned out as far as possible again and swung the biners toward the rope. After a half-dozen or so tries, they wrapped nicely around the ropes and he pulled them to us. Whew! Saved! We had considerable additional resources, as we thought about it later, that could have been drawn on if plan A hadn’t been sufficient. We had 20 feet or so of cordelette in the pack. I also thought later that if we had chained together the half dozen or so cams on our rack, they would have provided something like a grappling hook to provide a better chance of catching the rope. The rest of the rappels were routine, and we were so tired when we got to the ground that we gave away nearly three hours of daylight in favor of finding dinner and a motel.

Added: 2011-06-30

  Difficulty 5.11c
  Safety Rating G
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: A-Bowl on 2010-07-07 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Bad rock but great route...

Needs more ascents but there are some great moves on this thing. The 11c seam way up high on the route is amazing... steep and really sporty and way off the ground. So cool... I think we made the mistake of going straight up after that pitch for a not so great final pitch... I think we were supposed to cut hard right to the arete and finish on a crack (a little gear) to sport finish. Would have made the route even better. Anyway... enjoy

Added: 2011-04-12

Onsight Onsight ascent by: david_smithrock on 2006-04-30 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

Great route, with one bad pitch (the first). Don't let that stop you!

Witnessed by: Tomas, Mike
Added: 2006-04-30