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Chicken Chop Suey
The start is the same as for the first two pitches of Procrastination
. Likely, there are several variations of the start, but once you gain the OW crack the route is pretty straight forward.
P1: V0 to 5.4 Start with a technical overhanging pull that pros well with some small gear. Mantle up onto a very easy and gentle slab to a 2BA.
P2: 5.8 Another technical start with a high-stepping layback that is well protected leads to stemming as you veer left and away from the ease of Procrastination. Large gear (purple big bro and #4 Camalot) takes you to a partial hanging belay stance before the OW goes near vertical. Unless you plan to run it out with an 80m rope, stop to set a belay here.
P3: Crux 5.9R Re-rack the big pro and continue up one of the best OW cracks in the Sandias. There are several ways to climb this pitch, all of which are "legal." Have fun and don't fall.
P4: 5.6 This is somewhat of a open-to-interpretation pitch. You can meander up through the trees for 45-55m to the left - or - 5.8 take the black layback section to the right with less brush 5.8.
P5: If taking the left variation of P4, climb a short face section that pros well and climbs even better to avoid the gully farther left. This takes you to easier blocky terrain (no pro needed) for another 30-35m to a belay stance below a darkened patina face that is reminiscent of basalt.
P6: Deceivingly good rock abounds and you can make up your own way (5.6-5.7) on this pitch to gain the open book 30 feet up from the belay. This will lead to a gentle right angling course towards a 2BA and great views of not only the Rainbows, but also of The Odyssey
(the very exposed arete climb to the right. This variation is not the original line, but one that was put up by Andy ? (6'9") and is remarkably better than taking the left ramp out from the large pine tree to the left of this variation. You can also finish to the right in a left facing dihedral (just left of the Odyssey) for those pitches as well.
p7: From the 2BA, step up and master the slab moves to a bolt. The secure feeling of having clipped the bolt, and the easier terrain for the remaining fun face climbing should be a memorable experience.
Generally, this climb is done in 10 pitches. But with a 70m rope, some bigger gear, and a little perseverance, you can knock this out in about 7 pitches and 4-5 hours of climbing time. I've done this climb in January in good weather conditions.
From second pitch of Procrastination, veer slightly left into the first dihedral. The off-width fun will become apparent quickly.
#5 Camalot and purple and green Big Bros are nice. Bring some big gear for sure and rack small wires, a set of TCUs as well. 8-10 slings, 5 QDs, 70m rope is nice...or two 50m ropes. You will leave gear if you have to bail - high commitment grade - check the weather before you go.
BETA PHOTO: Did I lead us right? I'm belaying at the middle of...
BETA PHOTO: Pay attention here! We opted for the route in red ...
BETA PHOTO: On pitch 6. Although Robb looks like he is doing w...
The famous "bivy ledge" on pitch 5 (our ...
BETA PHOTO: PITCH 3: Cranking Skills or Hospital Bills. Robb M...
BETA PHOTO: Belay station after pitch 2 1/2, on a 70m rope. Th...
BETA PHOTO: 2 #4, 2 #5 (could get away with one) and 2 #6 Cama...
By Clark Gray
Jan 31, 2008
Just wanted to say Charlie Ware was realy neglected in the history and guide books of the Sandias. Glad this your favorite route.
By Steven VanSickle
From: Ouray, Co
Jul 10, 2008
How gnarly is the 3rd pitch? how long is it, and can you get a knee in it?
From: Santa Fe NM
Aug 30, 2008
would a #6 camalot work well in the OW? I ask cause I don't know the BigBro sizing.
Dec 3, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
We did this in 8 pitches - 5 of them 65M or so. 3 pitches to the ledge at pitch 5 on Procrastination. 2#6, 1#5 and 2#4 camalots would probably be enough big stuff. Personally wouldn't want less than that. Great climbing through the off-width and well protected if you bring big stuff - it doesn't climb like a hard-core off-width pitch (no super heinous groveling, hand-fist stacks, etc.) We finished on the Perkins(?) var. at the top unwittingly... at the second to last belay I climbed up to the mantel (not knowin I was on this variation) and couldn't see any pro opportunities above, and so did an entirely unprotected rightward traverse for 25 feet before heading up and back left to the anchors that I finally spotted. Not recommended. Of note, I have also climbed off route from that same belay up and left to the tree belay marked "10" in the Schein book on the original finish - pretty spicy and also not recommended. Not sure how I got so off-route both times!
By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Nov 3, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
This has to be one of the longest, and most sustained wide cracks in the Sandias.
The wide pitches protect adequately with 2 ea. cams from #4-#6; the crux section is #6-sized. A bold leader with considerable experience on 5.9+ OW might be okay with 1 of each size cam and thoughtful back-cleaning.
We did 4 pitches to the grassy 'bivi ledge', as the books suggest, which seemed to make sense to us (this is listed as 3 pitches above); belaying at the bolted anchors after p1 and p2, then at a stance a bit below the obvious crux OW roof. After rejoining Procrastination at the grassy ledge after p4, the rest of the climb is much less sustained and goes quickly.
The general chossiness of the Shield, along with the funky 5.8 on Procrastination's 1st pitch, warrant attentiveness. Probably the best climb I've done here that I'm unlikely to repeat because of the long approach, short season, and requisite rack.