Direct North Face
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The Direct North Face is a spicy route that provides quick access to the Crow's Nest and the start of the West Overhang route on The Maiden. The 1999 Rossiter Flatiron guide breaks the climb into two pitches (the first belay being on top of the huge P1 flake) but seems best climbed as one continuous line 120'or so to the Crows Nest. I'll explain it as two pitches, as the first pitch can be climbed and then top roped (short), as well as allowing a top rope of Cunning Stunt (11a), an overhanging crack on the left side of the flake. Rapping from the top of the P1 flake would require leaving gear. No escape but the Crows Nest!
Find the Direct North Face on the north side of the Maiden, below and slightly west of the Crows Nest, the obvious shelf below the outrageous West Overhang and landing zone for a rap off the summit. The start begins along the right margin of a very large flake peeling away from the north wall.
P1: Climb the right side of the flake with great gear and fun lie backs for about 40' (8). Create a belay on top of the flake, with good hand sized cracks behind the flake on the right side. If you would like to top rope Cunning Stunt, move left and place your anchor on the left side of the flake. If continuing on to combine P1 and 2, make sure this gear is great behind the flake; it will be your last for a while.
P2: Move to the left side of the flake and step up and left up to a right leaning diagonal break. Follow this break up and right with zero pro. The crux is an unprotected 5.9 hand traverse sequence with terrible feet 25' above and left of your gear in the flake. Keep moving through to a piton. Clip this and continue right along easier ground up through a double set of small overhangs. Follow the break left above the second roof to the ridge line. Use a directional at the ridge top and move left 30' to a belay at the Crows Nest.
Rap from the eyebolt on the south side of the Crows Nest (one 60m is sufficient) or continue on with the third pitch of the North Face route or the West Overhang route.
On the approach, Maiden in center, Devil's Thumb o...
Sylvia raps from the back of the Maiden. Photo by...