Approach as for ToeJam or Judas and look up and to the right. You will see a upward and left-rising "near-horizontal flake" coming into from the far right side of the East Face slab of the Old Woman. Above this feature there is a single bolt in the relatively short and blank section of rock between the horizontal and a vertical jam crack. Only the vertical handcrack system is visible in the attached photo.
To climb this route, scramble up and to the right onto a group of boulders, as for Spider Line. This is approximately half way between Geranimo and Toe Jam. Traverse out left to reach the good horizontal/flake, and continue on that flake, placing a cam in it if you so desire. The pro is not textbook, but the climbing here is only 5.8. (but pumpy if you hang out much) Climb to the left hand end of the horizontal and clip a good bolt. This will be your pro for the crux and it seems to be quite trust-worthy. Make a big 5.10c move into the handcrack to the left. This can be done one of a few ways- dyno into a handjam, or pull a balancy lay-back type move. Both felt somewhat difficult. After getting a good jam (better for wide hands), make one more move to establish a good position from which to place gear. From there go up the crack a way (5.8) and when it peters out, move over just a few feet left to a second crack. Climb this to a set of rap anchors on top (Shared with Chongo Bolt Route).
This climb has a overhanging jug-traverse with a few spots where you can get in a cam, a crux protected by a single good bolt, and the rest of the climb is a vertical jam crack protected by hand-sized cams.
Take a rack with a set of cams from meduim TCU's (1") to large-hands (3") plus a few nuts along.
This is an extremely height-dependent route. Shorter climbers will probably find this route to be more like 5.11+ while taller climbers (I'm 6' and had no problem) will think mid-5.10 is about right. A 5'8-9" friend of mine who onsights hard-11/easy-12 cracks simply could not do the traverse moves at all on TR, while he easily TR-flashed Spider Line (sandbag 11c).
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Aug 10, 2002
I'd have to respectfully disagree with you, Joe. Traversing into the crack certainly is a stretch, but at 5'6", I was able to reach it without incident (albeit, on TR).
im 5'9 and climb 5.ll pretty solid and i couldn't even touch the move getting into the crack, also remind your belayer to anchor in my buddy didnt and when i pitchedhe slid off from where he was sitting and he broke his foot on a pile of rocks below the traverse and almost dropping me onto the painful looking block below the crux.
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Nov 25, 2002
Joe - I can't remember!! I know I got the move, and I can remember a long reach, but I can't remember the specific details. I'll have to put this one on my list of routes to repeat. Then, maybe I'll have a better answer.
There is no way this move is 5.11 or impossible for a 5'9" climber. Maybe you're missing the move - it's awkward yes, but my regular climbing partner is 5'4" and flashed the climb (albeit on TR, I had led it). Her best trad lead is 10b and her best crack follow/TR is 11a, so it's not like it's trivial for her, it's at the upper end of her climbing ability. She pulled like a fiend and dynoed a little to catch the edge and then had to go the lieback route as she was too extended to really work a good jam or bring a second jam over... I reach over to a jam then reach a second jam before taking my heel off the flake but I'm 6' even.
By Art Morimitsu From: Huntington Beach, Ca Jan 27, 2003 rating: 5.10c6b20VIIE2 5b
I just led this route and I'm only 5'3" tall. After falling and hanging about 3 times someone offered me some friendly beta on a key edge for the left foot that allowed me to get a bomber handjam with a static move.
Would agree with the fact that the taller you are for this climb, the easier it will be for ya. However, there's definitely a move to it (that I found successful) to get to the key constriction for the [Bomber] Hand Jam. Would be happy to give ya the beta.
One need not even get a hand jam from the hand traverse/heel hook; make sure you have crossed your right hand over your left to last good section of handrail, just get a solid layback with your left, bring the right leg over to edge of crack, then left foot flagged way left (on side edge), and then reach through with right hand for the hand jam. Certainly a 1.5 move wonder and no harder than 10c. Hard to believe someone could do Spider Line and not Bearded Cabbage... but then again watching OJ driving down the LA freeways, or the Supreme Court electing Bush, was pretty hard to beleive too...
As Randy describes the crux is the way I reffered to and did successfully as the "balancy lay-back type move." It still felt hard for 5.10c, but I think it was my second route ever at Josh. Maybe I wasn't confident of the friction yet. My partner did the same & felt the same.
By C Miller Administrator Jan 10, 2004 rating: 5.10c6b20VIIE2 5b
This climb should be done just for the sheer novelty of it.
For those who do not want to run it out to the bolt with no pro, you can protect the entry move onto the traverse with a smaller cam. I hate to admit this, but once I got onto the traverse I was able to pretty much lay down on it and place a good #3 Camalot about half way across the traverse.
I got the crux with a layback. I am 5'9 and I stemmed a left foot out onto the crack and then spanned from the hand traverse with my left grabbing a layback and my right into still on the hand traverse. I kept my left foot on the crack and kinda dropknee flagged with my right foot when I reached up for the jam with my right.
I fell twice and ripped my hand up a bit trying to jam the crux before I tried the layback.
If you are cursing the climb for being "height-dependent", then you are missing the sequence. There are actually a couple ways of doing it, all being height-independent. Whichever way you do it requires moving your right hand as far to the left side of the rail as you can before cranking it. I've always pro'd the rail with a #3 Camelot or similar sized piece. Seems like a bad fall it you blew it before the bolt unprotected.
Well, I'm 5'5" and found the move hard, but not impossible. What caused me much greater difficulty than my lack of reach was a lack of strength once I had gotten my left hand in... This crux is a great motivator to boulder more and lose some weight!
Just did it the other day for the first time and loved it. Super well protected and fun as hell. I'm 5'9" and found the move challenging, but totally doable (I was on lead.) Real 5.10c. Don't miss this one.
gear anchor available in horizontal crack down and right from common bolted rap anchor (used by multiple other routes), esp if multiple persons will follow/TR. easy terrain btwn gear anchor and bolted rap anchor