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To Bolt Or Not To Be S 
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Watts Totts S 
Wedding Day S 

Chain Reaction 

YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Alan Watts, February 1983
Season: spring and fall
Page Views: 16,408
Submitted By: jonah on Jan 24, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (35)
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Kayte showing us all how they roll on the East Coa...

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Description 

You can't miss this arete, just left of Darkness At Noon and Heinous Cling. One of the most fun and photogenic routes at Smith (and maybe the whole U.S.). Four bolts lead up the arete, with funky pinching, scumming, crimping and pocket pulling to get through the technical crux between the second and third bolts. The redpoint crux is the sports action throw over the roof at the top, though.

Protection 

Bolts with anchors at the top.


Photos of Chain Reaction Slideshow Add Photo
The ceremonial victory whipper.  Possibly not the ...
The ceremonial victory whipper. Possibly not the ...
Bryan making the end look nice and casual.
Bryan making the end look nice and casual.
I think this guy goes to UofO, but that's a guess ...
I think this guy goes to UofO, but that's a guess ...
step 1: Hang your way up the most famous climb at ...
step 1: Hang your way up the most famous climb at ...
The barndoor swingin', arete pinchin', foot flaggi...
The barndoor swingin', arete pinchin', foot flaggi...
The sweetest line.
The sweetest line.
See?  UofO.
See? UofO.
Bob Horan on Chain Reaction circa 1987.
Bob Horan on Chain Reaction circa 1987.
not 100% on the exact route but its on the same wa...
not 100% on the exact route but its on the same wa...
My 2nd red point on chain reaction. 8.10.13
My 2nd red point on chain reaction. 8.10.13
Pulling the lip on my redpoint
Pulling the lip on my redpoint
Newsweek Cover shot of Chain Reaction in 1993
Newsweek Cover shot of Chain Reaction in 1993

Comments on Chain Reaction Add Comment
Show which comments
By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jan 24, 2006
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I've fallen off of this route more times than I'd care to admit. I've pulled through the lower crux plenty of times, only to fall off of the dyno over the lip. It's a classic though! One of these days I'll get around to sending it...
By Aron Quiter
Administrator
From: Oakland, CA
Jul 19, 2006

When I was there, there were fixed draws on the route, and only after going up 15 feet to the first draw did I realize just how BAD the draws were. You may want to bring your own, as I'm not sure how many MORE big falls the bolt in the crux can withstand. Above the first crux pulling into the dyno move is a long ways above the bolt protecting the move.

I've pulled through the first crux, and then wanked above it. Then I've cheated through the crux and nailed the dyno, but I just can't seem to link them. ARRRGGGHHH!!! Maybe next time....
By Ryan Palo
From: Bend, oregon
Oct 30, 2006
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Rumor has it that the key dishes on the right face are drilled. I'm trying to find out if this is true.
By Alan watts
Feb 2, 2009

I haven't been on the route in a couple decades, but nothing was drilled on the first ascent (except the bolt holes). I doubt if anyone came back and modified anything later, so chalk this one up as a baseless rumor. The one finger pocket on the right wall just below the roof wasn't discovered until a few years after the first ascent. Maybe that's where the rumor got started.
By Ryan Palo
From: Bend, oregon
Mar 3, 2009
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Alan, I am honored that you responded to my post. Thank you for clearing that up.
By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
May 25, 2009

Cool video
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Mar 22, 2013

The first one day ascent of Chain Reaction was by Geoff Weigand. This sort of distinction was important in the 1990's.
By DesertRat
Dec 5, 2013

Great video featuring a few of the above commenters. Chain Reaction is featured toward the end.
atch.opb.org/video/2365124505/