|West Buttress - South
The striking and enjoyable arÍte just left of the classic Shock and Awe is, in my opinion, just as classic due to the position and crux moves. But then again, I'm a huge fan of arÍtes and airy, exposed climbing. If you're like me in that respect, you're sure to enjoy this fine line.
From the same big ledge belay for Shock and Awe, head slightly down and left to get to the start of the arÍte. Clip a couple of bolts from good holds to a small roof/bulge. Figure out how best to pull this bulge and then clamber up the tiny dihedral past a few more bolts to a good ledge below the obvious arÍte crux above.
Slap and heel hook the arÍte and pull through a few committing moves to the great clip hold above the crux allowing you to get established in the huge hueco just right of the arÍte. Take a moment to enjoy the airy and exposed position before making the final moves to the anchor.
According to Bingham's book, the 5.11c crux can be avoided by going far right of the huge hueco near the crux. I didn't try this and think that would be quite a pendulum swing if you didn't make it. The crux moves are cool and well protected so you might as well keep it real on the arÍte.
Just left of Shock and Awe is this obvious bolted arÍte.
10 bolts to a two-bolt anchor. Bingham's book description suggests medium cams for the cracks in the tiny dihedral about half way but I didn't feel the gear necessary. Note that a 70m rope won't get you all the way back down to terra firma from the big ledge below the start of these routes. With a 70m rope you can lower your partner all the way down (just barely) but the last person will have to downclimb in the corner below this route.
|By dave bingham|
Oct 13, 2011
I recently repeated this route and felt bad for giving it only 2 stars in my Castle Rocks guidebook. Contrary to Mike's comment,staying on the arete is the obvious line, and doing so makes "Claim Jumper" one of the best arete climbs at Castles/City. If you climb via the hueco (like I did on my first go), you know you are wimping out and missing the best part!
From: SL UT
Jun 30, 2014
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Yes, incredible position on the upper arete and awesome climbing. Skirting the crux requires climbing wayyy right of the arete, so I don't feel the finish is contrived. However, whoever bolted this line totally punted in two locations. The first is the runout above the second bolt where you get established under the roof- big nasty fall potential here (although unlikely)- and completely unnecessary. The second, and worse blunder of the two is the upper crux section- after clipping a really high bolt off a ledge, committing and bouldery moves do lead to a clipping stance with the bolt at your sternum. On lead without pre-clipped draws one could very easily blow these crux moves or the clip, and fall 12 feet or so- smashing onto the un-even ledge right below the crux. Ugly. The first bolt off the ledge should have been placed lower, with another bolt placed a bit higher (than the current high one) and this potential trauma would have been totally avoided. What a pity to tarnish a line so awesome. Optional cams for the handcrack at 3/4 height.