Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Rock Climbing

The following information is a collection of material from my previous websites and is carried over here. All content and topos are my own. I am in the process of reviewing and updating information and will make it available as time permits.

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Upper Mount Scott

Drive to the top of Mount Scott and follow the “One Way” signs to the last parking area before you start heading back downhill. Park here. Hike down the road along the guardrail (watch for oncoming traffic) about 80 yards and watch for a steep and rocky path on your left that heads down to the south end of the cliff. Follow a rock ramp down to some talus and hike another 50 feet down the talus. If done correctly you should be at the base of a slab with a crack going up the middle; this is Atomic Knee Drop.

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Left of Atomic knee drop – Low angle slab climbing – multiple variations exist. Routes unnamed.
1. Atomic Knee Drop [5.6 FA:?] A fun introduction to crack climbs in the Wichitas. Steep beginning with a slabby finish.
2. Pile Driver [5.4 FA: ?] Easy climbing left of large flake.
3. Spinning Back Kick [5.4 FA:?] Easy climbing right of large flake.
4. Down For the Count [5.4 FA:? ] Follow easy crack up.
Note: Several link-up variations exist between Atomic Knee Drop and Down for the Count. Routes unnamed. 
5. The Sleeper [5.6 FA:?] Fun crack with a choice of either direction towards the top.
6. Arm Bar [5.6 FA:?] A good crack climb. Great for practicing pro placements.
7. Foolish [5.6 FA:?] One of the more popular climbs at Mount Scott. Climb a thin crack to make a couple of moves right then head back up and left.
8. Foolish Behavior [5.9+ FA: Terry Andrews, Marion Hutchinson, Duane Raleigh 1982] The most popular climb on Mount Scott. A classic. Awesome crack leads to ever rounding greasy edges up a slab past 2 bolts. Crux is above second bolt. Keep your head as well as your feet above the second bolt; many-a-seasoned climbers have smeared off at this point.
9. Foolish Behavior Direct [5.10 FA: ?] Bypass the crack by climbing the face to the left. Head directly up towards the first bolt.
10. Top Rope Route [5.11 FA: Duane Raleigh, Jim Ratzliff 1982] While most people top- rope this route a few will want to lead it. If you get the chance to watch someone lead it make sure you have your camera handy….because if they peel they’re gonna take one hell-of-a fall! Like a long boulder problem, you’ll want to climb deliberately and precisely. Hang in there, you’ll be happy when you get it. 3 bolts.
11. Frankly Scarlet [5.9 FA: John Frank 1982] Turns out for as odd as this route appears it climbs really well. Needs anchors. 2 bolts.
12. Yee Haw [5.6 FA: ?] Fun crack climb and a good first outing climb for Mount Scott.
13. Hern, Frank Thing [5.10 FA: Jon Frank, Herndon 1982] Done first as a solo, now done on top rope.
14. Mr. Green Slings [5.8 FA: Hill, Johnson 1981] Follow crack up to small roof, surmount the roof by stepping left onto slab. Well traveled and well worth it.
15. Two Trojans [5.8 FA: Hill, Johnson 1981] Located 20 yards right of Mr. Green Slings (not shown on map).

Arm Bar Boulder
Boulder Problem [V2 FA: unknown] Sit down start left, traverse right to hole and straight up.

Boulder Problem [V2 FA: unknown] Sit down start left, traverse right to opposite side of boulder, end on top right corner.
Boulder Problem [V1 FA: unknown] Start low on large ledge, move directly up.
Boulder Problem [V1 FA: unknown] Start low on large ledge, move up and right.

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16. Roof Crack [5.9+ FA: Herndon] Follow obvious crack out the roof.
17. Roof Corner [5.10 FA: Herndon] Follow crack out to corner and directly up.
18. Locomotive Breath [5.10r FA: Egan, Hill] Start on large ledge next to huge boulder. Move straight up face to 1 high bolt.
18a. Wendy’s Salad Bar [5.9 FA: Peter Holcomb, Dray Bullard, year unknown] Not on topo. This route starts on Locomotive Breath and traverses right to Baldylocks Bulge and follows this route up. An inventive and somewhat contrived line by Mr. Holcomb and Mr. Bullard.
19. Baldylocks Bulge [5.11+ FA: Dray Bullard 1996] Start on ground right of large platform. Work up past a horizontal crack to a small bulge. Move up to face and then to an easier crack finish. 2 bolts plus small/medium gear.
20. Simply Red [5.8 FA:?] Wide crack. Sometimes dirty and damp.
21. Kingfish Caravan [5.10+funky FA: Pete Holcomb 1996] Unlike any route I’ve ever seen. Start left of (5.8 double crack), work up to (5.8 double crack) via the diagonal crack. Place one piece on the (5.8 double crack) and turn around to back wall. Work to your right traversing into the chimney after palcing a piece in a thin horizontal crack you are now facing. Wiggle right to a single hidden bolt. After clipping the bolt move straight up the chimney (now getting tighter). Turn back around to the main wall and traverse left towards the 5.8 dihedral. Move straight up to 2 bolt anchor above the dihedral. Super funky but fun.
22. Mild and Wild [5.8 FA:?] It’s two cracks in one! A great climb. Very fun.
23. Inshallah [5.10 FA:?] Start right and climb straight up through tricky face and small seams.

Upper Mount Scott – Dreamboat Annie Area

Park at the first parking area you come to on Mount Scott. Follow a faint trail down the west side of the mountain keeping an eye out for a rock face that faces north. While this area can be difficult to find it does have a couple of really fun climbs. Each of these climbs can be lead but most of the time they are top roped.

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Lower Mount Scott

Located at the third pullout; 1.4 miles from the Mount Scott entrance gate, the Lower area hosts several bolted face climbs, an incredible 5.8+ dihedral, and a few more popular crack lines. Climbs at the Lower area are longer than those at the Upper area so you’ll get more time on the wall. A 50 meter rope will suffice. The walls here get morning and mid-day sun with shade in the afternoon. Usually the wind is less here than at the Upper area. To approach the climbs park at the third pullout and hike down the trail (beginning at the downhill end of the guardrail) to the edge of the cliffs. At this point you can rappel in via the two bolt anchor or hike down the trail on the left (facing the lake) side of the wall. If you choose to rappel be sure that no one is on the climb beneath you, if someone is, then just hike around.

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1. Triple Roof route (aka Jacob’s Ladder aka Repeat After Me) [5.10+ FA: ?] Zig-zag through three roofs to a face finish. Use a cam before the first bolt. 5  bolts.#1 Camalot. No anchors but could really use them.
2. Final Exit [5.11 FA: ?] A stout undertaking. Difficult to decipher and to climb. Technical face climb. 5 bolts. No anchors.
3. High Anxiety [5.7 FA: Eric Forney] One of the most popular routes at Lower Scott. A runout beginning leads to good pro. Large holds exist until a crack crux move up high. A great route. 2 bolt anchor.
4. Unknown crack [5.7 FA: ?] Good crack leads to easier climbing.
5. Birthday Boy [5.6 FA: ?] Fun crack at the bottom leads to ledges and easier climbing. Beware of loose rock.
6. Unknown crack [5.7 FA: ?] Watch for loose rock, this climb isn’t done that often.
7. Stole Your Face [5.11  FA:?] Start to the right of the arete and move left after clipping the first bolt. Move straight up the face. 4 bolts 1 tri-cam?
8. Mr. Clean [5.8+ ? FA: Eric Forney] A great dihedral route with a small roof to surmount at the top. One of the best dihedrals in the Wichitas.
9. Unknown crack [5.9 ? FA:?] Follow the leaning crack up and right then directly up the wide crack.
10. Teacup arete [5.11 FA:?] Work up leaning crack then traverse left to a hole. Climb straight up past a single bolt to the top. Last couple of moves are exposed.
11. Lay Away plan [5.11 FA: Tony Mayse 199?] Climb small edges past 5 bolts to a two bolt anchor. A good face climb.
12. Blank Check (incomplete) [5.11+ FA: Russell Hooper, Duane Raleigh] Mossy face with old bolts and hangers. An abandoned project. 3 bolts.

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Steak Dinner Bouldering

Location: Drive Highway 49 through the Wichita Mountains and turn left (south) onto Indiahoma road and drive past the Park Ranger’s Headquarters. Drive about 3 miles. You will pass French Lake and Fawn Creek Campground, as well as Bat Mountain (on the right). On your right is a pullout just before a guardrail, park here. Looking southwest through the trees and about 20 yards away, you should see a large boulder. This is the Steak Dinner Boulder.

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The Routes: (original rating given, however, keep in mind these are the old school ratings…”V scale” ratings are difficult to apply to these problems)

A) Rat Crack: 5.10 (First climbed by Bill Thomas in 1978.) This was the first route on this boulder. It follows the obvious overhanging crack directly up the North face. A boulder buried in the ground beneath it could mean big trouble if you slip out of the crack up high.
B) IF: 5.10 (First climbed by Duane Raleigh in 1979.) On the northwest edge of the boulder follow the slab up on ok holds and finish with a difficult top-out.
C) Sticky Fingers: B1 (First climbed by Duane Raleigh in 1979, sounds like it was a good year for Duane.) For those of you that have been to Steak Dinner, have you heard of this one? Start left of the Steak Dinner Route, yes, on those really shitty holds, and just try to get to the top of this one. If you are not familiar with B1, here is a lesson in humility.
D) Steak Dinner Route: B1, 5.12…my rating (Another Raleigh route, 1979.) Starting where it looks like a good flake hold broke off (probably was the best on the wall) head straight up. Getting started can be the most difficult part, however, the top can be very scary. The good thing about this problem is that there is plenty of room for a crash pad.
E) The Hole: 5.10 (Climbed by Duane Raleigh in 1979, go figure.) On the south end of the boulder you will find this delightful problem, I say that sarcastically. For those of you that have tried this one you will understand why. Jump to a “large” hole. And finish on several other pockets.
F) Someone sent me some beta on this line but I can’t seem to find it. If you know the name and rating please let me know.

Descent for all problems is via the tree.

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Echo Dome

The story: Echo Dome is unique for its short approach, its well protected climbing, and the thin flakes that echo when you knock on them. The key to climbing on the dome and prolonging the stature of the routes is to climb by the adage: “pull down, not out.” Some of the routes, such as Frosted Flakes, have flakes that are less than an inch thick, yet still support body-weight. Worm Hole has a flake section that is 20 feet long and requires balancy moves and delicate pulling. All of the routes are long for Wichita’s standards; around 80 feet, and all offer bolted belays for safe descents down. Location: Echo Dome is located near the center of Charons Gardens, just northwest of Tiny Bubbles and East of Crab Eyes.

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Approach: To reach Echo Dome, park at the Sunset parking area and hike the trail west, as if you were headed to Lost Dome or Crab Eyes. After about 1/4 of a mile you will reach a fork in the trail just before a large stream bed. The left trail leads to the Boulder field and then on to Pear and Apple, do not take this trail. Go straight across the stream bed and continue onwards for another 1/2 mile. You will hike up over a small plateau and then down a short rocky section, at the bottom is a small gully and a well-traveled trail that forks left into the trees. Follow this trail down a rocky stream bed which eventually opens into a clearing. On the left, and rising high, you will see Echo Dome. Follow the trail until you are even with the center of the dome then turn left (off the trail) and head directly upwards towards the dome. There is minimal rock scrambling and the trail is faint, but the general idea is stay to the left as you are heading up, then cut back right when you are even with the base of the rock face.

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A–Ladybugs and Gentlemen (5.10; 6 bolts, 2 bolt anchor; FA: Aaron Gibson, Jason Magness) Starts on the far left side of the wall down low. Follow a three bolt line up a steep face to a platform. Follow up thin sidepulls to a tricky finish.

B–Crack Pipe (5.10; gear, 1 bolt on face, use anchor on Frosted Flakes; FA: Aaron Gibson, Jason Magness) Gain the crack by climbing the beginning of Ladybugs or Frosted flakes. The crack starts out wide and changes to very thin. An awesome jug finishes out the thin section and allows you to place a number 3 Camalot before moving right onto the face. A single bolt protects the face moves and the last move to the “toupee” flake. Use anchors on Frosted Flakes.

C–Frosted Flakes (5.9+; 8 bolts, 2 bolt anchor; FA: unknown) An awesome face routes with a bridge-like flake that you can stand on and see behind. A classic line.

D–Little Sherman Creature Crack (aka Little Creature Crack) (5.9; gear, use anchor on Worm Hole; FA: Jason Magness, Aaron Gibson) A killer crack route with awesome gear placements and a tricky traverse move up high.

E–Worm Hole (5.8+; 7 bolts, 2 bolt anchor; FA: Aaron Gibson, Jason Magness) Follow the left-leaning ridge up (5.0) to gain a featured face. Cruise up the face to a bridge of rock which you can hand-traverse up or tip-toe up. The top follows an extremely thin flake system for 25 more feet of climbing and a couple of slabs move to the anchors.

F–Freestyle (5.11+, top-rope; Project) Delicate footwork and balancey moves make this steep slab a gem. After the initial steep face there is a hollow expandable flake that rests like a shell over more solid rock. Move to the left of this and through a couple more hard moves to gain a higher, less vertical slab.

G–The Hive (not shown on map) (5.10; 4 bolts, 1 bolt anchor; FA: unknown) Called “The Hive” because of the wasps that inhabit the dead tree at the top of this route. Climb a tricky face section to a ledge and a slightly overhanging wall. Make a couple of harder moves to a huge jug and finish just below the wasp-infested tree.

H–On the formation just down and to the right of the main Echo Dome is another bolted line (5.7?) and other lines that have been TR’d but not formally established or documented.

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