The mighty Bartizan, from the Spires

The Bartizan is an oft overlooked gem. It flanks the Cathedral Spires on the West, and because it sits slightly lower and isn’t pointy, people walk on by it without a second glance. It does, however, sport several features of interest to climbers. I could tell you about a quaint little 5.7 on the North end, or the truly horrible chimney and off-width right next to it. However, I am a snob trained by snobs, so I will only talk about the two best routes on the rock.

After the 5.0 approach up the gully, The Crack…

The Crack of Earthly Delights is a crack, but it is so much more. It is a lie-back, a face climb, an alpine rock climb and a stemming problem. It is also potentially dangerous. The crux comes low on the route, just after stepping off a little pedestal. If you piece it together properly, after the fact you’ll be able to say, “I can see how you could call that 5.9.” But if you put the right hand where the left should be or disregard the improbable-looking holds out to the left, you’ll be faced with a frightening lie-back which takes you far enough above your last gear to risk dynamic re-acquaintance with the top of the little pedestal should you fall.

So this is how steep the crux really is.

The remainder of the climbing in the corner is safe and fun. A hard left turn before the crack ends takes you to an exciting run -out to the anchors on a pinnacle to the left of a small gully.

Looking up toward the roof

Kevizan goes from the base right up the middle of the formation. The first pitch is an off-width with an overhanging section.

Looking SE from the belay ledge

The second pitch continues the off-width for a few, desperate feet, then eases up before turning a roof.

From the top

A key, hidden flake on the right takes you past the overhang to some of the best finger locks and hand jams in the Needles – if you have the sauce left to stick to them.


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2 thoughts on “Bartizan

  1. The Landy says:

    Thanks, enjoyed reading….makes you want to get back out there!

  2. Nineteenfifteen says:

    I would love to crush out there.

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