A girdle traverse begins on the furthest route on one side of the crag, traverses the formation neither touching the ground nor the summit, and ultimately tops out on the furthest route on the opposite side of the crag.
The Dome Girdle is a great tour of some of the best climbing The Dome has to offer and is a fun diversion after you've climbed everything else. The crux comes early and the pitches shared with Evening Stroll
make it both technically challenging and a bit spicy.
At an area like The Dome with its proximity to Boulder and 50+ years of climbing history chances are this has been done, most likely by one of those crusty old dudes we see in Eldo quietly soloing 5.9 in high tops and tube socks.
Regardless, here is the Dome Girdle as climbed by Greg Albrechtsen and myself 3-11-2008:
P1: Climb the first pitch of Evening Stroll
. 5.10a S 60'
P2: Climb the crux traverse of the second pitch of Evening Stroll
to the descent gully dihedral. Traverse right to a belay on the shoulder near Left Edge
staying above the ledge in the descent gully. 5.10d 100'
P3: Traverse below Gorilla's Delight
and the A-Frame roof of Super Squeeze
and build a belay somewhere below The Umph Slot
, 5.7 100'
P4: Traverse right and up to make the move on chickenheads around the arete as for The Owl
and continue up to where it is possible to step right from the handcrack of The Owl
to the left edge of the Cozyhang
Roof. Traverse the Cozyhang
Roof from left to right and belay at the base of the East Chimney. 5.7 120'
P5: Traverse up and right across the East Slab
, East Slabs East
and finish on the rightmost exit crack. Continue to the summit. 5.7 120'
It would certainly be possible to do this in fewer pitches. We kept the pitches short to keep the rope drag down around the many corners and to make it easier to communicate.
For partial credit, skip the first two pitches and instead begin on Left Edge
to make this a moderate outing at 5.7.
For (hopefully) obvious reasons, doing a girdle traverse on a busy day would be lame.