Welcome to Look Out! Danger! This shows the first anchor off the ground, supposedly ALL hooks! The next pitch was rated A6+, with a supposed potential ground-fall from more than 150 feet up!
Called “The hardest aid climb in the world” by Climb, an online climbing magazine, the real story is now known, and it’s not pretty.
On this site you can follow the progress of the second ascent (SA), which I completed in early July of 2012. I posted ongoing reports and pictures during the ascent, which you can see in the list of articles in the right sidebar (highest are newest).
Climbing Magazine, in its online version, questions the unprecedented A6+ rating (as even an A6 rating has never been confirmed for any route), but it acknowledges the probable severe nature of the route.
The Titan in the Fisher Towers of Southeastern Utah. Scene of the route, “Look Out! Danger!” This is 1200 feet of vertical mud!
Everything about the unprecedented rating was based up the team’s earlier ascent of Intifada, also in the Fisher Towers, which had been rated A6 by the solo first-ascentionist. The “Look out; Danger!” team claimed that it is harder than Intifada.
However, when Mark Smith and I did the second ascent of Intifada, we found only a fairly short section of severe climbing and down-rated the entire route from A6 to A4+, shocking the climbing community. Subsequent American teams found that section a bit harder than we did, and the route settled in at a hard but not uncommon rating of A5.
The Spanish team responsible for “Look Out; Danger!” based their rating on the obsolete Intifada rating of A6, apparently unaware of the more than 18-year-old history of that route. Not only was Intifada not what the FA team of “Look Out” thought it was, it turns out that “Look Out” isn’t even close to as hard as Intifada!
And, as you can see in the many articles on the right sidebar, I carefully documented what I found on the SA of the route. Pictures don’t lie, and, as the climbing community knows, neither do I.
In a nutshell….
The FA of “Look Out! Danger!” was an EPIC BOTCH job, and on this site I will carefully demonstrate the facts to support that claim. Not only was this route nothing close to “the hardest aid climb in the world,” it wasn’t even “hard” at all, not even close to Intifada!
And, unlike Intifada, “Look Out” doesn’t even follow a “line” at all. It was instead a completely manufactured “route,” with virtually every placement requiring drilling. The “route” as I found it was essentially an unsustainable bashie-ladder, with huge holes drilled about every 18 to 24 inches. The “hardest” natural sections were very short (30 feet or less), and I rated them A3 only because “A2+” is a ridiculous rating; these sections were not even really A3, but the placements are a bit more “technical” than I think A2 really captures. So, being generous, some short sections of the “route” are A3.
The “hook anchor” was deeply drilled, and even included huge, deep holes fore and aft into which I was able to sink baby angles. And, worse yet, the “hook anchor” isn’t even necessary. It is placed in the middle of a normal-length pitch, so I just bypassed it entirely during the SA and instead anchored in a good crack higher up. So, even the “hook anchor” (the basis of the A6+ rating) is manufactured, unnecessary, and clearly used TO prop up the huge rating.
The route turned out to be an easy bashie-ladder, done in the poorest possible “style,” and to denote the reality of the “route,” I have renamed it: Look Out! Weak Sauce!