Ace Of Spades
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|Bastille - M-F closures. Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>|
This route lies on Upper Peanuts Wall. Begin the Route as for Gravity's Angel. Hike up to and past Lower Peanuts Wall to Upper Peanuts wall. Follow the base of the crag, watching carefully as you go for a line of bolts that ascends upward, then to the right, then upward again. This is Gravity's Angel.
Start Ace Of Spades as for Gravity's Angel, clipping the first two bolts of that climb.
The book beta says that a 2" cam can be placed between the two bolts, but this is no longer true. There is no placement there, but there is plenty of broken rock as of ??? I was there on Saturday, 6/14/02 and the rock was on the ground. I hope that nobody was injured. As an end result, the climbing is actually slightly easier in that spot and does not require a placement. Even most 5.10 leaders will feel comfortable getting to the second bolt.
From the second bolt, climb up into an under-cling on the left of the two hanging flakes that form a slot-like A-shaped roof at the top. A 2.5" cam will fit up into the under-cling. This is a red or yellow camalot, or something between- I used a red HB quadcam. This piece is reasonably solid protection and should hold a substantial fall if necessary. From the under-cling use body-english and interesting footwork to get over into a sidepull/lieback in the A-shaped slot and work your fingers into the crack on the right side. If you have the power/endurance to do so, you can slip a small TCU (1/2 inch, give or take) into this little fingery section.
From there, use deviously elusive pinches and clings on the left to advance your position upward past the slot and onward. This is the crux. After the crux, there is little or no pro for the next 40' Or at least nothing good. The climbing eases off to 5.8/5.9, but is dirty and on poor rock. Climb up and to the right to the tree and belay or be lowered as for Gravity's Angel. The slings should be replaced soon- a few of them are old and nibbled on.
The moves to and under the roof are good and fun, but after that point, one would prefer to abort the climb than to bother risking life and limb climbing through dirty and questionable rock.
One Star? Well, there is no box to check for "2 star moves below some -1 star rock" so I gave it one overall. A good and healthy compromise would be to simply TR it from the anchors after doing Gravity's Angel.
A few bolts, a 2.5-inch cam, a 3/8-5/8" TCO and a few nuts. Tiny brass nuts may be useful too, if you would bother in the easier areas of the climb, but I thought they'd break out anyway.