Branching Out/Lipshitz 5.9 to 5.11-
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This is a two pitch route with lots of options up the NE face of Branching Out Crag. The views of the San Pedro Valley are great. From the left side of the ledge, head up and right to the first bolt (has old bail slings visible). Clip the second and place good gear, then head up the corner above. Either continue past a loose, scaly, steep section (5.9 sandbag) or do a cool hand traverse left to the arete and climb fun moderate plates to an old two bolt anchor. The latter will require one of three things: (1) running out the arete; (2) double ropes; or (3) devising a more direct path to the arete from lower down. Aside from this annoyance, the climbing is fun on this pitch.
Above are four options: (1) rightmost is a wide 5.9 crack above an obvious tree; (2) 2nd from right is a thin hands crack over a roof which was filled with birds and their excrement [edit: after climbing this route for a second time, you can start up the 5.9 but above the tree, do a cool traverse from the wide crack to the really nice hand crack on the left, above all the birds and their shit. About 5.9 or maybe 9+ for the traverse];(3) 3rd from right is a thin seam with an old piton, 5.11. We opted for (4), "Lipshitz." Head up the ramp to the left and around a corner to find a cool overhanging corner crack (optional belay at the base of the crack). Climb it (felt like at least 5.11-) to a fun, run out plate section and the top of the rock.
contour down around Branching Out crag, hugging the wall and traversing out on a sloping ledge below the east face. go to the right end of the ledge and scramble or rope up a short easy section to reach another ledge where the harder climbing starts on the left side. look for an old bolt with bail slings.
standard rack, #3-4 friends are helpful on the rightmost variations on P2. the lead and anchor bolts are old and untrustworthy, but the anchor can be backed up with a 2.5 or 3 friend about 5 feet above.
|Comments on Branching Out/Lipshitz 5.9 to 5.11-
By Andy Bennett
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 31, 2010
Thanks for adding this fossil, Charles. I would recommend moving the belay to the bottom of the Lipshitz crack before doing it, or face drag around rope-cutting sharp edges.
I should add that the belay bolts on this are of the old, rusty 1/4" flavor. Backing them up would be a good move.