East Face of the Duck
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This route offered great climbing on all of the pitches which we were "on route" for. There are a series of right-facing corners at the right end of the base. Begin in the furthest left of these corners which has an offwidth crack in it. I was a bit worried looking up at this pitch because the biggest piece we had hiked in with was a #4 Camalot. However good small pro was found in the crack to the left of corner, and I was able to sew it up when tackling the crux roof in the middle of the pitch. Above is a steep section of fists where you will want a #3 or #4. Belay at the nice ledge to the left of the corner or continue up a low angle groove.
Above this initial corner is a bunch of dirty ledges. I led up a wide crack past a bush to reach a horrible squeeze chimney in a left facing corner. This is not the correct way and has some of the most rotten granite I've ever encountered.
After climbing a short steep crack at C1, I was back on-route in the correct left-facing corner. Above this was an intimidating looking headwall that is gently overhanging. The rock here is quite good and takes excellent pro, making for an enjoyable 40 feet of steep 5.10 jamming and liebacking. Above this is a small sloping stance and a 5.9 offwidth crack which you will want a #4 Camalot to protect. This leads you to a sloping belay ledge near the summit of the first tower.
Traverse the ridge, passing another tower and then climb to the summit up some nice exposed cracks on the east face of the summit tower. There is no place to build an anchor so just take a good seated stance, straddling the top of the formation.
To descend, downclimb a few feet and then make a short rappel off of a good horn/flake. 3rd class ledges head to the southwest off of the formation, then hang a left and descend the loose sandy scree field back to the base of The Duck.
Pro to "4
BETA PHOTO: East Face of the Duck
|Comments on East Face of the Duck
|By Michael Ybarra|
From: on the road
Sep 28, 2011
This is a fun route. We got on it without knowing anything about it after the line at the Hulk turned us away. We took the squeeze chimney variation, which was a little thuggy but not horrible--although unprotected for 50 feet or so. The corner system to the right looked really rotten, but maybe we didn't go far enough. The chimney ends at an overhang, which we passed via a horizontal fist crack to the left, onto a slab (old bolt), then up a crack to the right. This took us to P4, which is the reason to do the route--the super clean splitter corner. We didn't have any #4s but found decent small gear when needed.