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BETA PHOTO: The Owls West face routes.
Leave the pitons at home for this one! Located between West Owl Direct and Rattler. This beautiful crack has gone free at 5.13c, but for the rest of us mere mortals it's still C1. Anaconda is a classic clean aid climb with some overhanging and exposed rock. A must for the aspiring [Lumpy] aid climber. If you want to try your hand at freeing some of this crack, the second half of the initial crack leading to the roof supposedly goes at 5.10c but looks more [like] 5.ll. and the third pitch (a beautiful roof crack) goes at 5.11 also.
If aid climbing bring a couple hooks and a standard clean aid rack with extra stoppers and mid range TCUs. The 1st pitch can either end at a fixed piton about 80 feet up or make it a full 60m (?) pitch ending below the roof.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Sep 22, 2003
As an aid climb, this route is all about Aliens. Doubles of blue through red will make it very secure and faster. There are enough good nut and larger cam placements for protection that you can keep backcleaning the Aliens with ease. The first 40 feet is way overhung, then the crack eases off to vertical to slightly overhung. The older A3 rating must have had something to do with the use of hard to place pins in the deep, flared crack. With the Aliens (or equivalent), this is all bomber C1, although you will have to do one or two free climbing moves or a hook move off the deck to get the first really good cam placement. We needed no other hooks up to the roof. If you follow the crack all the way to the roof, be prepared for 20 feet of what "looked" to be fairly easy free climbing to the right to gain the roof crack, or perhaps a tension traverse. We did not do the roof since it was getting late and we didn't bring headlamps for the descent. One rap from the final anchor below the roof on two 60m ropes easily got us back to the [Roosting Ramp]. We found all ancient fixed pin anchors backed up with nuts, which could be further backed up if desired quite easily. Two sets of nuts and doubles of Aliens through #4 Camalot is probably fine for this route. The roof crack may take wider pro and we did bring a #4.5 just in case. We only used one #4 Camalot up to the roof and that wasn't essential. Be ready for full on hanging belays.
|By Ivan Rezucha|
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 2, 2003
Since Boulder was encased in ice, I self-belayed this yesterday. It was mid 30s, very windy, with snow flurries. I'd call this C2 due to the overhanging nature, and due to a few funky placements. This is an old style aid rating, where A1 meant bomber--can take a big leader fall, and overhanging meant A2 due to strenuousness.
I climbed to about 30' below the roof to the highest of 3 funky fixed anchors. The lowest anchor was a rat's nest, and I didn't pay much attention. Above this the rock deteriorates for a while, and there are a couple of flared placements.
The next anchor is two beefy chains, each attached to one medium-sized wired nut. There seemed to be a mismatch between the beefy chains and the skinny wires.
The third and highest anchor was three pins. One of those was hanging in space on a sling. The other I could lift out, but it was cammed on a barely perceptible ridge. The third pin seemed OK. I left a nut and some new webbing, and bounce tested each piece individually before rapping, but I was still pretty gripped when I committed to the rap.
So, if you're not going to the top, bring some leaver nuts and webbing.
Hint: If you back clean, don't backclean 2 or more pieces in a row like I did. It makes it real hard to clean, since you're hanging way out from the wall.
Nov 4, 2003
Just to clarify - Ivan stopped 30 feet below the roof. But that is not the highest anchor - there is a higher one, at the end of the main crack before the traverse to the roof crack. That anchor and webbing seemed solid and should require no backups if you decide to rap from there. Ivan is right about backcleaning on that first overhung section, which is why there is a short "rats nest" belay - so you can get your gear back before continuing upward. It looks ratty, but the pieces are quite solid.