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Ready for a challenging off width experience? Bell Crack will probably ring your chimes. The only place it goes as thin as 'hands' is below the roof (crux), most of the climb is above it. First, TAPE UP! Then begin on the Center Coke Bottle at #1 (on the photo-topo) and instead of traversing left as described for #1 (Boardwalk), go straight out, up and over the bulging roof on strenuous, rattly fists. Once you round the roof, start placing the big pro bro (see the shot). Then enter a gaping, 30' high flaring maw, stem up and protect it at the back if you want to take the time. Set another wide piece at the top of this nasty gash and begin heel and toe-ing up a vertical 35' gutter full of feldspar crystals - good friction! Belay on gear at the rounded top as indicated (B) on the topo for route # 1. Your second will curse at you all the way to the top.
Minimum gear: Cams (Camalots) 2 each from #1 up to #2 1/2; at least 3 #3's; at least 2 #3 1/2's and/or 3 #2 Big Bros. Also several medium to large wires. (You'll need a couple of medium cams and wires for the belay at top.)
Luebben placing BIG BRO pro after pulling the roof...
Sep 3, 2002
Alternative gear list: Camalots #.75, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, Big Bro #2, long slings. Plan on sliding the #4 and #5 Camalots along in places. As of 09-01-02 there is a fixed wire at the crux roof that is easy to clip your aider into. It would be unwise to climb this with any skin exposed below neck level. Regarding the moves, if you are able to lock off on a painful hand jam, let both feet dangle, and then rock onto a tenuous toe jam while simultaneously turning your left shoulder towards the crack and throwing for a tight fist jam, the climb should feel easy, or even 5.11b.
P.S. The suggested gear list is rather spartan, and is mentioned solely because carrying any more gear would make the initial crux roof close to impossible, at least for those of us lacking simian genes.
From: Near Joshua Tree
Sep 27, 2009
FA Henry Barber.