A Thing of Beauty
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This great crack pitch is on the Northwest side of Blair II. It splits the wall and is impossible to miss. A thin face move gets you up into the crack. It starts with easy but nice hand jams up to a convenient rest. At this point, the crack goes into a beautiful green colored right facing dihedral. Getting off the rest ledge is difficult, as the jams are a little flaring. After a few moves, the jams get better but soon turn into strenous fists and a few moves of offwidth. After another nice rest ledge, you must navigate the final 25 feet of squeeze chimney, a full body workout on this one!
This is a splitter crack that doesn't quite come all the way to the ground, starts thin, and goes wide. It is easy to find in the middle of the North West face of Blair II. Start with an easy traverse from right to left to get into the crack or start up the face directly in front of a large pine tree. I did the direct start up the face and slung a branch on the pine for pro which worked well. I also used the pine for a couple of chimney and stem moves to make it easier.
Yellow TCU through #4 Camalot. The bolts on top of the route Medium Cool
can be used to belay, they are about 15 feet to the North. For the rappel, scramble to the Northeast to some cold shut anchors that are the finish to a new bolted slab route that went in just North of Dead Man's Glove. A single 60m rope is plenty to get down from these anchors.
By Jason Funk
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 6, 2009
Beautiful looking crack from the ground... this thing is not exactly what it seems to be. Be prepared for deep and flaring jams and all out burliness. You could make this more exciting by only bringing one #4 camalot but it would be wise to at least pack a #5 and/or #6.
By Ray Lovestead
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 9, 2010
I dislocated my shoulder on this one in the squeeze. Blew out the labrum and stretched out everything else. Surgery, recovery, I'll be back.
By Skip Harper
Nov 12, 2014
'A Thing of Beauty' was climbed free by Jim Brink and Skip Harper starting on the nearly blank 5.11b runout face in '93. Protection of the daunting, steep first pitch was accomplished by using a sling girth-hitched to a branch coming from the large tree. We initially split it into 3 pitches: 1.) the steep start, 2.) the crackline up to 3.) the offwidth exit. We were so pumped after finishing it, we downclimbed and, swapping leads, did it again. This was most likely the FFA of the climb, especially keeping to the natural line. If not, please speak up. The FA was first done on aid by Hurley, Rearick and Hollis in '75.