Route: Cosmic Wall, Mt Hubris (CA)

Submitted by Jason Hardrath… on Tue, 11/13/2018 - 02:09pm
California, US
6.3 mi

Jason Hardrath submitted this route which combines running and scrambling to YDS 5.6:

The "Cosmic Wall" 5.6R on Mt.Hubris in Castle Crags, California is perhaps the most highly rated (Classic) 5.6 in California (outside of Yosemite). I found it only natural that this line should be a Car-to-Summit and Car-to-Car effort. I did project climb the route 3 times before my first attempt C2C. Before attempting this route do plenty of research on Mountain Project and/or to be sure you understand the route...there are also some great videos on youtube "Cosmic Wall Castle Crags".

The basics:
Start at the Edge of the Vista Point lot at the Castle Dome Trail.
follow this first fairly flat trail for a quarter mile before taking a left turn uphill still following signs for Castle Dome.
there are three more intersections, you go generally "straight" through all of them, keep following the signs for Castle Dome.
Mile 2.41, when you are almost up to the saddle where you would follow the trail right to climb the Dome break left up what looks to be a run off gully which will turn into a series of very tiny climbers trails through the manzanita 
from mile 2.45 - 2.76 is on these very thin climbers is painful...don't wear clothing you are particularly fond of, plan to be bleeding a bit.
at 2.76 is where the climbing shoes go on
climb some friendly but occasionally exposed 5.6 for 800' on the "Cosmic Wall" of Mt.Hubris
reach the anchors, Either downclimb what you came up or rappel on a 60m rope to the rings next to the tree below you and then again to the ravine floor.
once back on the ground reverse the .31-.4 miles of painful narrow trail following
Once out of the bramble haul ass for 2.4 miles back to the Vista Point Parking Lot.

For Clarity on the "Car to Car", 
- Unsupported is obviously you carrying anything you use for the climb and to come back down as per usual.
- if you are going as an unsupported team to simul-climb with some protection your partner must start the run with you
- if your partner goes ahead and meets you at the climb then it would be "supported"
- and as would be the norm, if you took anything in yourself or fixed your rappel line yourself before hand "self-supported"
It is a scary route, and I want people to feel safe but accurate.

Added June 2019:   A local guide who leads rock trips let me know that he regularly does laps with no rope and that there is a downclimb to the climber's right or descender's left of the rappel chains, so I decided to go give it a blast and just onsight the downclimb. It is there seems like there are a few viable options.

GPS Track


WOW, super impressive, especially considering the bushwacking doesn't let you go that fast. You don't have any splits do you? I'm just curious how long the actual climb took you. 


Just saw this!

20:43 was my time up the formal “cosmic wall” route, feet on ground to feet on top, during this effort.

I went casually up to the route once and climbed it hard in 18:05.



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Yesterday (4-10-21), I was super stoke to see someone give this another car-car burn!

Harrison Keene went 2:11:46, which is the second fastest known time ever (and he had the same rappel problems I did on my first go!)

He offered up this beta and write up on his Strava (which I think is solid for this route)

"I was happy to see so many people out hiking in the state park, there were so many people that I luckily got the last parking spot at the Vista View Parking area. It was a beautiful spring day, and I figured I would give Cosmic Wall my heart by sacrificing my energy. I ran in my broken in Scarpa Gecko Approach shoes, (my favs) with my harness around my waist without my leg loops. On my back I had a 30 meter 8 mill rope with 30 meter 5mill pull cord for the rappels. No water no food.
I put in my earbuds and was jamming Thievery Corporation Radio Retaliation album. I was feeling good on the approach, raw, and primal are two adjectives that come to mind. When I am doing this style of movement, it feels like I am hunt. This gives me a lot of energy to move fast on approach. When I got to the base I put my leg loops on and transitioned my mindset from fast pace to slow, yin/yang stuff.
I've climbed cosmic maybe 4 times, once without a rope, my climbing partner Travis and I were doing a lot of soloing in Joshua Tree, so I felt like I have a pretty good headspace right now. I did not bring climbing shoes, and felt secure enough with my Approach shoes. I didn't see anybody on the route until 2 pitches from the top, I had to pass two parties and there was one party on the first rappel. I waited 5 minutes or so on the summit, then they offered permission to pass. I fed my rope through the chains with a carabiner block on the 8mill rope and rapped with my grigri, (would use atc next time). The first rap went smooth, but on the second when I was feeding the rap line through the rap rings, the 5mill pull cord got super tangled up in the 8 mill rope, it took me 20 minutes or so untangling the mess of spaghetti. I got to the ground safely, switched up the tunes to some party house music and tried to go as fast as possible down, ill admit I did have some pretty hairball lines!
I just downloaded strava to get more motivation to run, and keep track of times, I am pretty impressed with my splits, and I was super surprised with my time. The way to do it faster would be without a rope, and do the downclimb, which I have never done before. I grew up in Mt Shasta and my parents still live here, so ill be pouring more of my energy into this mountain in the future! This is a pretty classic line, good job Jason with the FKT of 1:44! Stoked I scored some booty! And probably wont go for an FKT on a weekend!"

Love it! Mad Props Harrision!!! I am inspired. I should get back out on this again!  I genuinely think someone can take the ascent on this under the 1hr mark. and that the complete round trip should go in around 90 minutes!!! Excited to see what you do as you get more rehearsals!