Crack a Smile
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I have mixed feelings about this pitch. The crux section provides 4m of high quality, engrossing technical crack climbing; however, it is also poorly bolted with the 5th bolt located completely unnecessarily smack in the middle of the crux, at a terrible clip position from which you will almost certainly crater into a ledge if you blow said clip. What's worse is that there are many obvious possible gear placements throughout the crux from which placing is much easier than clipping the 5th bolt. Rolofson's guide says nothing about gear advised which just salts the wound. Note: there is a bomber #2 Rock placement in the middle of the crux, at a spot where it is possible to hang and place; while this placement is not very far above the 4th bolt, it is enough to allow one to safely complete the crux sequence before clipping the 5th bolt.
The starting moves on this pitch are somewhat interesting as is the finish. Rolofson indicates the direct finish (obvious, recommended) is 5.11, but it is much easier than the crux.
This is about 10m right of Weather Report at a 6m long, right-facing corner leading to a ledge and crack.
9 bolts. Sane people will probably want a supplemental piece (small nut) between bolts 4 & 5.
|Comments on Crack a Smile
|By Charles Cundiff|
Jul 26, 2010
A #0.4 Camalot works nicely mid crux. A #0.75 can go in the slab above but isn't necessary.
|By Mark Rolofson|
May 14, 2013
I repeated this route in early February 2013 with Angus Wiessner and in November 2010 with John Welchands. I don't agree that you need supplemental gear. First off the 4th bolt is a ways above the ledge. Secondly, I clip the 5th bolt off a good hand jam. I use a long Petzl draw as to minimize the amount of rope I have to pull out. You are not very far above the 4th bolt when you are clipping the draw. Yes there is ledge fall potential if you fell with slack out while clipping. If you're really worried about this, then place a long sling on the bolt so you won't have to pull much slack. Then clip a shorter draw after that if you desire higher protection.
As for calling the upper half of the pitch 5.11, I agree it is easier. I would call it 5.10d. My guidebook does call this section 5.10a if you climb it indirectly by climbing right then traversing back left. Going straight up is not obvious, fun and closely protected.