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Cajun Capers 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b R

   
Type: Trad, 6 pitches, 1100', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: [Chip Salaun & Aaron Walters, 1979]
Page Views: 1,805
Submitted By: Errett Allen on Jun 30, 2002
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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One way to start P3. Fortunately, it's lower angl...

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Description 

Hike way up beyond Eumenides dihedral until nearly at the end of Sundance.

P1. Start directly under the far left end of a large, long roof that is about 100 feet off the ground. Climb up and slightly right, back left to a bush and up right again to a belay ledge directly underneath the left end of the large roof -- 5.5.

P2. Go straight left to a shallow, right-facing dihedral. Follow the dihedral as it becomes larger up perfect 5.5 rock to a huge ledge.

P3. Climb up into a short, right-facing dihedral that peters out below an obvious flake/overhang (only about 60 ft above the ledge) that shoots far across the face to left. Don't go to the top of the dihedral but traverse left on an easy ledge that leads to a shallow flared crack that approaches the flake/overhang. The flake/overhang offers a good crack for protection but don't follow it directly. Instead piece together small ledges and sections of friction below that allow you to approach the crack occasionally to plug in pro. Belay on a good ledge in an area of dark rock. Long pitch, a bit runout, 5.6.

P4. Continue traversing up and left to a large ledge with a big obvious pine tree. 5.5. From here, you can follow a huge crack/dihedral system directly above the ledge -- 5.easy -- this is a route called Last Gasp, however a MUCH BETTER way is as follows.

P5. Climb a short, left-facing dihedral, traverse up and right on runout face to a small ledge (pro here) then traverse straight right to a shallow, left-facing dihedral. (Fixed pin hidden from below). Follow the dihedral for 30 easy feet to a sloping ledge and go right 10 feet to a good belay nook. Great 5.7.

P6. Climb back left to the dihedral which is now larger and has changed directions to right facing. Follow the obvious crack for 50-60 feet to an obvious roof. Turn the roof with huge jugs on the left wall -- spectacular 5.7, and continue on easy ground to the summit.

To descend, climb up and over the summit of a huge rock to the west and down a long, tree-filled, loose gully visible from most of the route. When the gully branches at a small pinnacle, be sure and go to the right (skier's right).


Protection 

Standard rack from small stoppers to #3.5 Camalot.



Photos of Cajun Capers Slideshow Add Photo
Passing the small overhang to get into the right facing dihedral on pitch 2.
Passing the small overhang to get into the right f...
Gary Cale seconding the first pitch.
Gary Cale seconding the first pitch.
One way to start P1.
BETA PHOTO: One way to start P1.
P5 merging with Last Gasp.
P5 merging with Last Gasp.
Comments on Cajun Capers Add Comment
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By Doug Dakins
Jul 1, 2002

I have done this route several times and it is always fun. We have started pitch 1 just beyond the large roof. Maybe 10 feet left of end of the roof/black cavity is a small roof/step with a crack in it. The roof is maybe 10 feet off the ground. Climb this until the crack fades. Head left up easy rock towards another roof. After maybe 20 feet head right than up into the roof. Turn the roof using a great finger crack. Go up easy rock and belay. This pitch feels like easy 5.7. I also have done pitch 5 slightly different. I once went right from the top of the pillar as indicated by the Rossiter topo and I could never piece together what looked like a reasonable route. Maybe I was already to high? Also, I have never belayed at the pine tree. Usually I set the belay at the base of the small pillar/LF dihedral (you will climb this as part of pitch 5) on a good ledge. Climb the LF dihedral to the top of the pillar. Set pro. There is good protection here, and this is the last pro for a while. Head up and left. I remember up 10 feet or so than a left trending climb until you find a sea of knobs. Climb straight up these for 10 feet or so than head right on good knobs into the dihedral. If all goes well you will be at a fixed pin. I had to girth hitch the pin as I could not work a biner through it. I seem to remember 30 or so feet of climbing with little pro; however it is mostly 5.5, with a bit of 5.6. Also, a good alternative to the pitch 3 and 4 is to head left (climber's left) on Limber Pine Ledge to Last Gasp. This is a hike. So take the rope off until you get over to Last Gasp area. Climb shallow cracks and flakes right of the Last Gasp dihedral. This will get you to top of pitch 4 on Cajun Capers. The cracks are mostly 5.6 with a couple of sections of easy 5.7.

For the descent take doubles or twin ropes. With two ropes you can make two raps back to Limber Pine Ledge than hike down to the base. Without two ropes, it is a long hike to the west saddle and back to your pack. It also would be a long way to go if you headed to the east saddle. Hope this is helpful.

By Errett Allen
Jul 2, 2002

Yes, some thin webbing is useful to tie off the pin since you cannot clip a biner.

By Jim McGuire
Sep 23, 2003

I agree agree with the above mentioned option of side-stepping pitches 3 and 4 for the traverse to Last Gasp. The first two Cajun pitches are especially fine and the first two of LG are phffff. Plus, the S rating on Cajun Capers is well deserved, I think it's downright scary, unless you're a solid 5.9-5.10 leader. The remaining pitches of LG are very good, not a hike, but enough 5.6 to keep it interesting and without the protection problems.

By Doug Dakins
Jan 12, 2004

Pitch 3 and 4 are good pitches and it is [definitely] recommended (IMO) to finish with Cajun rather than [Last Gasp].

By Aaron Martinuzzi
Jun 20, 2009

Having climbed Cajun Capers recently (with my non-climber girlfriend), I'm going to throw out a couple suggestions. Jim's comment that you need to lead 9 or 10 to climb this route is a bit of an exaggeration, I think, but I would not recommend leading this route if 5.7 is your limit and you don't have any runout mileage under your belt. The R rating applies not only to P3, but also P5. The climbing isn't hard, but the leader and the follower need to have their heads screwed on pretty tightly, particularly for the P3 traverse. Also, there are a number of hollow flakes and loose blocks on the pitches and at a couple belays that are very tempting to put gear behind, but might not hold if loaded. All in all, the gear is tricky. Good, obvious placements can be few and far between - be prepared to get creative with pro and/or run it out.

In short, this isn't a date climb, despite the non-sustained nature of the pitches. I think this route is best reserved for an easy day out with your regular partner - some run-outs to keep it interesting at a low grade, with some really good climbing on the last two pitches. The standard Sundance rapping off the summit into the East Gully isn't too much of a hassle. I'd rather do that than lug two ropes out there.