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Northwest Face
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Direct Northwest Face 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 520'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b [details]
FA: FFA: Mark and Beverly Powell, 1962
Page Views: 4,323
Submitted By: Nick Stayner on Jun 6, 2007
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Near the beginning of the crux pitch

Description 

An awesome crack route that is generally well-protected. Very memorable views and climbing.
3rd class up (about 150') to the base of the most obvious cracks on the NW Face and build a belay.
p1- Climb a great crack to a 5.9 overlap. Pull the overlap. Book says to stop here. We continued through the next great 5.8 crack section and stopped on a roomy ledge. Right at the end of the 60m, but we could've third-classed in higher from the ground. 5.9, 200'.
p2- Climb great 5.8 fingers to a .10a hands section. The book says to belay here at a small ledge. W/ a 60, it's easy to gun it through the .10c thin crack to a good ledge. Belay here where the crack peters out. Have some smaller nuts to back up the piton with. 5.10c, 170'.
p3- Work up to the top of the flake off the belay ledge and piece together a route through the face to the crack above and right. 5.9, 50'.
NOTE- w/ a 70, you might be able to link pitches two and three in a marathon pitch.


Location 

Walk off the back side down the obvious low-angle route.


Protection 

I took doubles from the .1 camalot to a #2 camalot, with a single three.



Photos of Direct Northwest Face Slideshow Add Photo
Some of the great views you encounter on this route.
Some of the great views you encounter on this rout...
Pulling through the 10a section before the 5.9 slab finish on pitch 3.
Pulling through the 10a section before the 5.9 sla...
Patrick Smithson following the 2nd pitch (5.10b?).
Patrick Smithson following the 2nd pitch (5.10b?)....
Lukas getting into the business on pitch two.
Lukas getting into the business on pitch two.
Eric pulls through the P2 crux.
Eric pulls through the P2 crux.
My good friend Keith Hancock having fun on the Direct Northwest Face
My good friend Keith Hancock having fun on the Dir...
Comments on Direct Northwest Face Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 12, 2013
By Sirius
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 25, 2007

A quality route, not at all sustained, good protection at the two crux moves, great route to push your limit.

By Greg DeMatteo
From: W. Lebanon, NH
Apr 7, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b

Definitely a gimmie for the grade. Still a worthy route to spend some time on.

By 426
Apr 14, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

Super fun with a few cranks.

By Nick Stayner
From: The Magic City
Apr 19, 2008

To echo everyone else...this thing was WAY easy for the grade, especially compared to something like Lunatic Fringe in the Valley (another 10c thin crack).

By Dennis
Jul 2, 2008

The thin crux was tenuous but short. As of 6/30 there was a fixed nut at the crux within reach of 6 ft+ people.

The whole route can, and should, be done in 2 pitches with a 70m rope.

By Nick Stayner
From: The Magic City
Aug 2, 2008

Actually it can be linked in two pitches with a 60m also. You are holding all the remaining slack in your hand when the leader finishes, so be careful if you have a shortened rope or expect to simul a couple feet.

Pitch one: After scrambling up to where the face steepens, build a belay. Lead up past the roof to the highest ledge with some shrubby trees on it, below the 5.8 fingers.
Pitch two: Do the rest of the route and stop at a ledge just below where the angle of the face kicks way back. Scramble to the top from here.

By peachy spohn
Sep 4, 2008

You can definitely link pitches 1 and 2 together as well as 3 and 4 with a 70m. Make sure to use runners for drag.

By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Sep 12, 2008

The crux is definite .10c, but is very short and has good pro. Definitely give it a go! Fun route!

By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Jun 16, 2009

the potential problem with linking the upper two pitches is that with a lot of rope out you are going to get a lot of stretch in the rope if you blow the crux, and there's a big flat ledge right beneath you.

i agree with n.stayner's pitch beta, with a 60. the trick is, as he says, to climb up as far as you are comfortable before belaying the first pitch.

By Pat C
From: Honolulu
Jul 16, 2009

The 10a hands section was more difficult and frightening to get out of than anything on the 10c crux. We did this in two full on 70 meter pitches. I was lucky enough to enjoy leading both of the hard parts.

By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 20, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b

Sweet stuff. We did it in three pitches, and I would do it again that way. The crux is right off a ledge - and although short - it is seemed stout in my opinion. With any rope stretch, you'd be guaranteed to hit the ledge. For P1, we belayed a little too low and had to simul climb about 25'.

The climbing is quite different between each pitch - P1 is delicate slabbing with pin scars, P2 is a sweet hand crack, and P3 is fingers with a bonus slab move.

Standard rack worked for us. Double set of cams + nuts.

By Cory
From: Boise, ID
Sep 8, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

Really fun route with mostly good pro. The .10a crux on P2 isn't too bad, it's long reaches to good hand jams. I fell once at the 5.10b finger crack and can verify that the pro is good and the fall is clean. The scariest part for me was actually the 5.9 slab move after the crux on pitch 3. While it's not the hardest of moves, you'd hit the ledge if you fell off . . .

By Souljah
From: Northern NM
Feb 1, 2010
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII E2 5b

Worthy route.

As I stood below the crux pondering the moves above clad in a pair of full-length Levis [knee pads?], rugby shirt , wreath of 1" tubular webbing....and carrying a 30lb rack overflowing with biners , hexes , wireds , cams , figure eight etc....a climber suddenly appeared from below and politely asked if he could climb-through. Grateful for the delay and a chance to snatch the beta , I leaned my load to the right and watched as this man moved effortlessly towards the horizon....wearing only a pair of gym shorts , chalk bag , suntan , and a shock of blond hair.

Thank you JB.

By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jul 15, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b

Offset nuts (DMM Walnuts + new DMM HB offsets) are the ticket on P1. They go into the pin scars perfectly.

By gregory huey
From: Riverside, CA
Sep 12, 2010

Onsighted Sep-4-2010. The crux - though very short & easy to protect - seems 10c to me. It felt very tenuous - harder than Bombs Over Tokyo. My partner wanted to hike the day after Oz, but when he got back late afternoon Saturday I suggested we do a quick run up DNWF of Lembert. We linked the first two pitches, but did the last two separately - probably a good thing, as rope drag on the 10c finger crack crux, or the 5.9 slab at the top would not have been fun. I think we did the route in something like 2.5hrs. Not a record to be sure, but it fit in nicely at the end of a rest day.

By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Sep 27, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

Did the whole route in two pitches with a 70m rope. The crux pitch (2nd pitch) has two short and distinct cruxes, one short .10a lieback move and a few .10b moves in the finger crack above. Both cruxes finish with a move to a jug. One 5.9 psychological crux near the top of p2, an unprotected 5.9 slab move, a fall from here would result in hitting the ledge below. Can (sort of) be protected with a micro nut in a tiny crack.

No need for offset cams or nuts.

By Del
Nov 9, 2010
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b

woooo took my first whipper on gear on the crux. great climb, especially once you are up high baking in the alpenglow

By slim
Administrator
Jul 13, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

surprisingly easy for the grade. my wife lead the 10a pitch, and i actually thought that was about as difficult as the crux pitch. both 5.10 pitches are basically one move. the final slab part of the crux pitch was also surprisingly friendly, with good gear (although you sometimes couldn't see the next gear options from below). i was happy for this as '5.9 slab' has a "broad" interpretation/definition.

the first real pitch was quite long, a lot longer than i thought it would be. great pitch with sustained intricate climbing for the grade.

really fun route, i would probably do it again.

By Tommy L-D
Jul 31, 2011

2 Pitches w/ 60m is the way to go!

By Mike McL
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jun 28, 2012

Great route. 3 nice pitches of splitter cracks.

The 5.9 slab move near the top is a bit heads up. I found that a orange/red mastercam offset protects the move very well in a pin scar just to the right of the move. It takes the ledge fall potential out of the scenario. So if you've got one, it's worth bringing.

Offset nuts aren't mandatory, but they work great on the pinscars on P1. Same goes for offset cams.

By aaron hope
From: Walnut Creek, CA
Aug 12, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b

Good beta elsewhere on here. Just want to reiterate that the orange/red offset master cam protects the 5.9 slab very well. I was surprised how bomber the offset felt in that pin scar. If you don't have offsets, then at least know that the 5.9 slab move is much easier than any of the other 5.9 moves on the route.