Scott Norris on the 5.10+ third pitch of Stardust. Photo by Jeff Achey
Jeff Achey and Scott Norris have added another long route to the Mud Wall (a.k.a. Grizzly Creek Wall), the towering cliff visible from Glenwood Canyon that was first explored by Layton Kor in the 1960s. The new route, Stardust (5.11+), takes a direct line up the steepest section of the cliff for six pitches, all 5.9+ or harder, with the crux on the last pitch. Achey and Norris completed the route in September.
Sector Fantissimo (left to right): Horse and Pony Show (5.12a), Behind the Curtain (5.12b), Stardust (5.11+), and Mudwall (5.11). Courtesy of Jeff Achey
“This one’s the best yet, I think,” Achey said. “The belays are bolted, as are some of the cruxes, and the trad protection is good throughout. The route overhangs the entire way. The rock is pretty good, but with the typical Mudwall grit and the occasional loose block.”
Achey, who’s been putting up new routes in Eldorado Canyon, Canyonlands, and elsewhere since the late ’70s, has spearheaded a renaissance at the Grizzly Creek Wall. During the 1960s, Kor had completed two routes on the Grizzly Creek Wall: the Original Route (5.9 A2), with Bob Culp; and Bear Paw (5.10 A3), with Larry Dalke. But then about four decades went by until anyone else got interested.
In 2007, Achey and Tony Angelis completed a route that Kor had attempted twice, with Bob LaGrange and Huntley Ingalls (The Mudwall, now 5.11, six pitches). “Kor wanted to call the route the Cima Fantissimo, after its imaginary likeness to something in the Dolomites, but Huntley Ingalls called it the Mudwall, which of course stuck,” Achey said. Thus, he explained, he calls this part of cliff the Fantissimo Sector. … Continue Reading