American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Nevada, Rainbow Wall, The Big Payback

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

Rainbow Wall, The Big Payback. Tony Sartin, Dave Evans, and I started The Big Payback (5.10 A3, 11 pitches) in April, 1997. We climbed four pitches of the route, then came back the following year (1998) to finish, which we did in April. The route follows the most obvious feature on the wall, a left-to-right giant flaring comer system, through a roof, then follows an obvious drainage system to the top of the wall.

The route climbs the first pitch of Sergeant Slaughter, traverses directly right for about 100 feet to an anchor (established by Danny Meyers, who had tried this route, a 150-foot straight-in beak seam, three times, reaching three different high points and backing off each time). It climbs through the roof, then up two pitches of good climbing through a mossy flaring drainage to a super big bivy ledge. From there, the route continues through loose blocks through another roof, then ascends two more pitches up more right-leaning funky drainage systems to a notch, then one chimney pitch to the top. It has great flaring chimney pitches, which might be why no one has climbed it. I’ve climbed most of the routes on the wall and it’s as good or better than the rest—good adventure climbing, and super exciting. Bring a modern aid rack, with as many big cams as you can find.

Kevin Daniels, unaffiliated

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.