Ghosts of the Past
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BETA PHOTO: The start January 2010
Originally rated 5.8 R in the Kerry guidebook, this is now a safe and wonderful route that is little-travelled.
There were definitely sections where the climbing seemed much harder than 5.8 (but what else is new in the Stronghold!).
Pitch 1: Climb a fairly vertical bolted face with good features up higher. Surmount these jugs and make a run on easier terrain toward the bolted anchors up slightly left. 90 ft 5.9/9+
Pitch 2: Consistent slab moves continue to take you in a left-angling direction. The crux comes at a bolt in the middle of a brown, super-polished waterstreak: very slippery and lacks any reassuring handholds on the smooth, white dike just above the bolt. Continue angling left, placing pro in intermittent crack opportunities as they appear. Head for a huge ledge. Traverse this ledge left around a corner and belay on beefy rap anchors. Perhaps 180 ft 5.9
Pitch 3: Climb straight up from the anchor via a curving, small crack, then commit to the steep slab face to a bolt. Enter the crux: harder (but well protected) slab moves take you up and right from the bolt to a large crack. Continue up the crack to another steep bolted face. More hard moves that don't let up angle up right on the face to a bolted anchor. 80-90ish ft 5.10a/b
Pitch 4: Climb a cruxy, steep move directly off the belay up the bolted face. A short run of alternating easy slab, hard slab, easy slab leads to 5.8/8+ crack climbing (somewhat exfoliating and dirty due to lack of traffic). After 30ish feet, look for a bolt line up the face right. The face offers more consistent, thought-provoking steep slab moves to the last bolted anchor at the summit. 100ish ft 5.10a
To descend, this is what we did: to make pulling our rope clean, the second on the last pitch was belayed from the summit down to a neighboring route's nearby anchor (20-30 ft away west). From there, the pitch leader threaded the GotP summit anchor and was lowered by the second to the route's previous anchor at the top of p3. Then the second pulled the rope from the GotP summit anchor and rapped from the neighboring anchor. This should allow the rope to pull as cleanly as possible.
From the top of GotP p3, another single-rope rap takes you down to the top of its p2 anchor on the big ledge. One more single-rope rap directly below this anchor takes you to the gully floor below. Scramble down west and then south around Mt Chaktar to the route's base.
This route provides a most excellent outing with lots of sustained climbing and little to no company on the busy Sheepshead side.
Located on the southwest face of Mt Chaktar (more west than south I believe). The crux of the route is just finding it.
One 60 m rope
10-12 draws: bring a mixture of extendable alpine draws and short sporties
Single rack up to #3 Cam. A selection of micro-cams are useful to protect the start of pitch 3.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 Photo by Alex the Scandinavian
In the midst of the last hard face section on p3
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3 (Alex was really rockin' the zoom, lol!)
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 ledge traverse: this anchor is also the on...
BETA PHOTO: Start of pitch 4 (definitely steeper than it looks...
Mar 14, 2010
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Good information on the route. Well worth doing if you like slab and have exhausted the possibilities on Sheepshead.
Still not sure what relationship this line has to the line shown on p.311 of the Kerry guide though. The first belay had old bolts with new hangers.
Some comments on the rappel descent...if the climb faces west, the anchor 20 or 30 feet lower is to the south. Down the ridge with bushes, to climber's right, but more than 30 feet I think.
The first rappel is longer than 100 feet, so either you'd have to downclimb a bit above the third belay ledge (almost a basin) or rap/downclimb to the lower anchor mentioned above. (A 70m rope would reach.) Our rope still hung up on the pull from this anchor. So it's not that clean to pull.
Also, there is one more rappel than is mentioned, for a total of five. The final anchor is on another route. 60m rope required.
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Apr 13, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
If I recall correctly, pitch 4 is closer to 130 feet than 100 feet.