Big Horn is a gently overhanging pitch featuring monster holds and thuggy moves. It climbs like a gym route, and is quite enjoyable, with nice position above the deep gully separating Mary's Bust from the Left Buttress. It ascends the left headwall of Mary's Bust's upper west face. There are several hard spots, all about the same level of difficulty.
It's easy to tack on this pitch at the end of the day after doing a frontside route to the top. It's also pretty neat all on its own. If you find yourself in The Golden Hall during a light rain shower, realize that this route, save its final moves, stays dry.
Caution: at some point in the next 1000 years, the big flake between bolts 2 and 3 (counting down from the top as you rappel in) may separate from the wall and take a big ride into the void. I think it's solid at the moment, though you should inspect it on your way down and decide for yourself. My advice is to avoid the upper right portion of the flake (marked in the topo), and be cautious in general as you reef on other portions of the flake.
Big Horn is located on the Mary's Bust side of The Golden Hall, opposite GBD et al; one must rappel into it. Hike to the saddle behind Mary's Bust, and scramble up toward its summit, looking for bolts and chains on a ledge with a couple small cedars. It's best to go up the center of the slabs, and then traverse an easy ledge right, rather than taking a direct line to the bolts (death fall potential should you slip). It's easy to locate on the hike off from a frontside route.
Once at the bolts, rappel 70 feet to a good ledge and clip into a belay bolt, which can be backed up with the first protection bolt. If you are worried about being able to climb back out, bring another rope to fix to the upper anchors. Another option for a forced retreat is to rappel 50 feet from the belay ledge (you'll have to supply the bail biners) into the gully below, from which you can bushwhack to the top (and then retrieve your biners with the comfort of a top rope).
Bring #1 and #2 Camalots to supplement 6 bolts. You'll also need a couple biners for the belay bolts at the base of the pitch.
|By Bernard Gillett|
Jul 23, 2010
The #2 Camalot protects an easier stretch between the final two bolts; it's a funky placement in a shallow horizontal crack. I could imagine popping in a bolt in that location if folks dislike the current set up.