Devil's Spiral Variation
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BETA PHOTO: MaryKay following the direct line to the summit bl...
This climb is a variation to the traditional Devil's Thumb Spiral Route, and because the climbing is so nice through the final moves, it deserves its own description.
From the notch north of the Devil's Thumb, begin climbing north, north-east from the notch as per the Devil's Spiral Route. After 40 feet, when you effectively reach a ramp band that spirals along the east face of the thumb (the Spiral Route continues this way), head straight up to the summit for approximately 60-70 feet following crack systems the whole way.
20 feet from the summit block proper, you will encounter three choices to the summit. We took what I wagered as technically the easiest line, straight up a 5.5-5.6 hand crack which diagonals up and left. The foot work is great, and the crux protects with pieces ranging from 0.75--1.5 inches (I used a hex here).
Although the crux is relatively short, the line is direct, aesthetic, and generates very little rope drag. It should be done in 1 pitch from the notch. Moreover, it allows the leader to watch the second all the way to the summit block.
DESCENT: Rappel from slings around the summit block. One 60 meter rope is required here. Bring a 4-6 foot sling to back the old ones up.
Arrive at the notch north of the Devil's Thumb as described in the Spiral Route. We climbed the class 4 gully to the north of the Thumb in 1 pitch; then we down climbed class 3/4 to the notch for the second pitch.
Small rack required. I used mainly small to mid sized nuts. Through the crux, I placed a BD #8 hex and 1.5 inch (approximately) Metolius Cam.
BETA PHOTO: The route sans the first 20 feet from the notch (b...
BETA PHOTO: This was our "second" pitch traversing to the notc...
Our victory shot. The notch is visible in the back...