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Crack Land
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Ancient Fright S 
Ancient Light T,S 
Ancient Sight T 
Art Of War, The S 
Blade T 
Crack Love T 
Crack Love II T 
Crack Love III T 
Enemy Within, The T 
Ghost Ship T 
Mystery Ship S 
Mystery Tour T 
Resurrection T 
Ship of Fools T 
Thus Us T 
War Horse T,S 

Blade 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter and Pebby Johns, July 2006
New Route: Yes
Season: Not Winter
Page Views: 2,740
Submitted By: Richard Rossiter on Jul 15, 2006

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Joan "Pebby" Johns beginning the second pitch of A...
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Description 

Blade ascends the blatant, overhanging, right-facing dihedral just left of Dragon Slayer and is a link between the second pitch of Ancient Light and the final corner of Dragon Slayer. Good jams on the left with the opportunity for daring stems all the way up. The crux is the last 20 feet before joining Dragon Slayer. Good rock and good pro all the way.

Blade makes an interesting circuit. Begin with the first pitch of Ancient Light and belay at the rings above the big ledge. Climb the second pitch to the right side of Penis Envy Pillar, but don't climb the pillar. One can belay here, just right of the PE Pillar, which reduces rope drag and keeps the belayer in touch with the leader (though I have not done this). Pull through a small roof and ascend the obvious right-facing, right arching dihedral. Join Dragon Slayer and lower off from the 2-ring anchor at the top (the anchor is 3 feet above a final roof). Arrive at the belay tree for Dragon Slayer. Rappel 90 feet from slings with rings around the tree (down the Crack Land Dihedral - Mystery Ship, Ship of Fools and Mystery Tour) to the trail maybe 100 feet west from the start to Ancient Light.


Location 

Blade begins with the first 40 feet of the second pitch of Ancient Light and becomes an independent line at the right side of Penis Envy Pillar. The pitch is 90 feet long and finishes at the ring anchors atop Dragon Slayer.


Protection 

Ancient Light (P2) and the last bit of Dragon Slayer each require a couple of draws. Recommendation: clip only the second bolt on Ancient Light P2, then back-clean the draw when it is easy to pull right around the arete. The subsequent dihedral (Blade) is strictly gear from 0.25 inch to 3 inches. Plan on maybe 5 to 8 placements. Ring anchors at the top. Lower off to the belay tree for Dragon Slayer, which is the tree at the top of the Crack Land Dihedral, Ship of Fools and Ghost Ship.



Photos of Blade Slideshow Add Photo
Pebby jamming the excellent finger, hand and fist crack on the FA of Blade.  She is shown here in the lower part of the dihedral.
Pebby jamming the excellent finger, hand and fist ...
Pebby with crossed jams seeking divine guidance in the thick of Blade.
Pebby with crossed jams seeking divine guidance in...
This photo shows most of Crack Land and all of the existing ring anchors, Tier 3. The new route BLADE is marked in pale green. Note:  The ring anchors above War Horse (not shown here) are in.
BETA PHOTO: This photo shows most of Crack Land and all of the...
This shows the overhanging, right-facing dihedral of Blade, Pebby Johns following on the FA.
This shows the overhanging, right-facing dihedral ...
Joan Johns contemplates the inevitable move out right beneath the roof and out of the "security" of the "comfy" corner.
Joan Johns contemplates the inevitable move out ri...
Comments on Blade Add Comment
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By Pebby Johns
From: Boulder, Colorado
Sep 4, 2006

There are crack climbers out there who would love this consistently demanding crack line. The climb is highly physical as well as intellectually challenging. The question they should be asking themselves is: Why haven't I done Blade yet?

After revisiting this climb yesterday, it is very deserving of four stars. There are several roofs included in this line...one especially that sucks you into the corner...so beware and think it through.
Pebby Johns

By david goldstein
Jul 8, 2007
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

My partner and I both thought that the hardest move on this was about the same difficulty as hardest move of Ancient Light pitch 1, though Blade is overall much more sustained. Two star climbing plus add another for being in control of one's own destiny as far as protecting goes.

By Jason Haas
From: Broomfield, CO
Jun 20, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I could ignore the bat guano but not the three high bolts, each of which are less than a foot away from a crack that swallows up gear. Maybe it's cleaned up a bit and the crack didn't look protectable? Perhaps also explains why I thought it was so much easier than the first ascent party?

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 20, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The guano is not terrible, but also not completely avoidable, so it is a detractor to an otherwise good corner. The bolts are on the route 'Dragon Slayer' which was put up a year before Blade was cleaned and is a sport-climb from the bottom up, so I understand how they got there.
But the fact that Blade now runs right through the upper part of that route does lend one to the conclusion that perhaps the bolting on 'Dragon Slayer' was a little short-sighted. Blade is the better route.
Consistent stemming and some really pretty cool holds solve out each crux on this climb. A few of the jams are a little pebbly, but not sharp- just a wee bit uncomfortable.

By Richard Rossiter
Nov 26, 2008

Looking back on Dragon Slayer, it is true that all of the cracks on the Third Tier were pretty clogged as was the entire crag when I started working out the climbs in 1996. But hindsight is always 20-20 and I would say now that much of my work on Avalon and Sleeping Beauty was a little "sport sighted." Maybe next season I can return and remove some of the unnecessary bolts.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Mar 30, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Richard,
I am not saying that you shoulde remove the bolts. There are bolts that I get ruffled over, but I don't think these qualify. They were not placed in an unreasonable way, not retros, etc.
Having been there since before the adjacent crack was climabable, I can see the arguiement to leave them unless you can see from the ground that they are gone. Since they predate the crack & are expected to be there by people, removing them doesn't serve much if they are not obviously gone. Regardless, I'm not invested in either point of view.
Perhaps this is a time when you can chalk one up to the "whoops" column and leave it, keeping a mental note about it in the future if you start on a line that apprears to have a servicable crack nearby or rather, one that could become serviceable with some cleaning.
Meanwhile, I think your civil tone, flexibility, and honest reflection on the matter is befitting a gentleman....