Cows in Space
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Kevin L. on the lower slab.
One of the best pitches at Greyrock.
First off, the Northwest Slab topo in the new NC3 guide shows this route to be about 75 feet right (and on a completely different slab) of where it actually is. Cows in Space is more in line with the routes labled #40 and #41. This route was recently retrobolted and there are now six bolts. I know Skip Harper and doubt the coward who retro-bolted his route asked for permission before doubling the bolt count. Bad ethics, bad karma. The big slab below Cow Pie Ledge is obvious, as is the route.
Climb up the large boulder-slab, gain the main slab and follow six bolts up right - the bolts heading out left belong to Doctor Cow (11c) - really good climbing above the fourth bolt gains a horizontal crack. Plug a small cam in the crack then continue up on delicate terrain to gain a sweet little flared seam with a bolt above. Fun climbing leads to one last bolt and a brilliant finish to this awesome route.
Fun climb. A little spicy with the runouts, but not nearly as spicy as it would have been before the bolt count doubled.
I talked to Skip Harper about this route and he confirmed my suspicion that the fool who retro-bolted the route did not ask permission. Skip placed four bolts ON LEAD during the FA - all below the obvious horizontal crack (first gear placement). He also told me how he discovered a fresh cow-pie on the ledge and thus he and Craig pondered how exactly a cow could reach that ledge - Cows in Space?
Big slab below Cow Pie Ledge.
6 bolts total. Some small-medium TCUs, stoppers. Offsets useful.