BETA PHOTO: James Polk following Gemini Crack back in the day.
Climb the easy looking crack in the obtuse dihedral. Abandon the crack for nice plates to the left near the top. The gear is less than ideal so this is not a great first gear lead. Rappel from bolted anchors or a chain around a boulder to the left above Tuff Noogies.
Variation: Climb the scary and dangerous crack above to the summit 5.9+ R.
Whittleton Branch Area
This is a small area, just two climbs and a variation, but they are good beginner climbs if somewhat removed. The wall faces more or less south but gets some shade from large evergreens in the area. This area is on Forest Service land but was approved in 1998 for development.
From Whittleton Campground take the Whittleton Branch Trail (Sheltowee Trace). Follow it for a while until you reach the Whittleton Arch split. There will be a wooden bridge on the right. From the arch trail splits from the main trail you’ll climb up away from the creek and then back down, then cross a small drainage coming in from the left, once again climb away from the creek and return and before you reach a large boulder on the left or cross another stream look for a good sized cliff band on the left. When you near the large boulder on the left head straight up the hill and look for a deep cave with an obtuse dihedral to the left.
Alternate approach: Park where Tunnel Ridge Road meets highway 15. Follow the Whittleton Branch Trail west toward Natural Bridge State Park. After about 15 minutes the trail will have descended to the valley floor and you will cross a small stream coming in from the right. Immediately after the crossing you will see a large chossy boulder on the right. Just after the boulder hike straight up the hill looking for the cave mentioned above.
Both approaches involve approximately the same amount of time.
Small to medium cams and stoppers work best.
|By Chris Chaney|
From: Arvada, Colorado
Sep 28, 2006
Just for fun, if you do this route check out the loose block just under the red sling in the photo. It rocks!