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Bill on Big Ben
Cruise up the jet black basalt blocky start to enter the big 'V' feature. Stem your way up the V to the reddish orange rock to find the crux and very sustained climbing for about 30 feet. There is a great rest before the angle slackens and the bolts spread apart. Smaller edges and tetchy climbing deposit you on top of the Island. Perhaps the longest single pitch at the Island.
This climb was originally established by Ben Franklin, a Cody local back in the 80's and early 90's. Ben installed this route circa 1993, with several bolts and perhaps janky gear placements as was the method in that era. After being berrated by another local climber for putting up a dangerous route, Ben removed the bolts but left the anchor and thus erased the route. I remember this route as it was there the year I started climbing and then randomly disappeared sometime shortly after. I learned to rappel and ascend a fixed line on the remaining anchor. Recently I returned to inspect the line for climbing and found perfect rock up high and hollow blocks in the basalt section down low. I pried off the hollow/loose stuff, scrubbed it clean and installed bolts to create a modern sport climb of super high quality. I named it Big Ben in honor of Mr. Franklins find so long ago.
On the centrally located plug of granite known as the Island. This route is just right of Blackwall. It begins on the blocky black basalt rock stepping off the slanted hillside. There is/was a rock plaque with the name and grade at the base of the route.
10 bolts and chain anchor.
|By Mike Snyder|
Feb 4, 2013
Bill that forearm is lookin swol!