Girdle Traverse of Whitehorse Ledge
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This Girdle Traverse was the first major climb of its type in America.The traversing of crags in the UK were a common pastime well before the 1940's.They often have within the route some of the better pitches of that perticular crag.This description has a three bolt aid moves pulling on a couple of slings for the final pitch which keeps the grade at 5.8 . Doug Madara later freed these moves at 5.10b.The route takes a natural line across the the entire cliff,finding many spectactacular situations and excellent climbing on its whole lenth.Both climbers should be competent as some of the traversing is not too well protected.Starts at Beginners Route on the far right of the slabs,and ends at the far end of the South Buttress.
P1) First Pitch of Beginners route to a hugh tree 80'5.0
P2)Go left to a crack which is followed through an overlap. When the crack ends continue up a narrow dike (2 bolts)to a ledge on the right and belay.130'5.5
P3)Continue up the slab to a belay at the base of a big right curving arch.80'5.1
P4)Go up the arch for a short distance,then traverse out left as for Beginners Direct. Continue traversing left towards the arch of Standard Route passing the belay of Stop if you Dare and belay at Slabs Direct.150'5.6
P5)Move out left and down to the thread belay of Standard Route.Move a little further down the arch and traverse left above it, passing the belay of Tidal Wave and continue to the belay on Sliding Board below the left facing layback corner 150' 5.6.(The first ascent party climbed a awkward horizontal forearm crack to get over the overlap at about 5.8)
P6)Traverse left across the smooth slab straight left passing the belay of Interloper and continuing to the belay at the top of pitch 6 of Wedge.100' 5.6R.
P7)Follow the small arch below Wedge Buttress (pins) belay beside a block/overlap,as for The Flake.80' 5.7
P8)Continue left crossing Sea of Holes at its left end. Continue left across the slab to the bottom of the tree ledge of Dike Route.100' 5.6
P9)300' 4th class Follow the tree ledge up then left crossing Mistaken Identity to above the Echo Roof .The lowest ledge immediatly above the roof dead endsso before that happens move up to the next level and follow a narrowing ledge leftwards to the top of a short chimney.
P10)Down climb the chimney to a tree ledge ledge.30'
P11)Continue left along the tree ledge moving up a level and continuing left under Childrens Crusade Headwall to the belay of Childrens Crusade.130'
P12)Rap 100' down and slightly leftto a tree ledge. The top of the initial dike of Eradicate 100'A0
P13)Continue up the dike then traverse left to some trees below the right side of the upper Wonderwall. 110 5.5.
P14)Nice easy traverse left to below The Upper Wonder Wall passing the belay o Sky Streak to reach the right end of the Wonderwall Tree Ledge 120'5.4
P15)Move down the left side of the ledge and traverse left across the base of the head wall of Lost Souls and Cemetery Gates eventually down a little to a belay part way up the first pitch of Inferno.100' 5.4
P16) Climb a broken corner then continue up the face (piton)to a flake,move left to join the final few feet of the hugh arch. Continue up the crack above to a niche with a small tree. Traverse out left to reach a tree ledge.150'5.7
P17)Scramble left along the ledge and belay below the big left facing corner of Surreal.150'
P18)Climb the deep left facing corner (5.8)to the ledge at its top. Move right along the ledge and finish up the old bolt ladder using slings OR climb the face to its right at 5.10d.110'
As described, the line is actually pretty obvious and natural. This one will really teach you a lot about rope work and moving quickly. 4-8 hours
Pro is OK but spaced with a lot of traversing. Two 9m ropes are useful ..and needed for the 100' rappel.Single rack up to 3"
|Comments on Girdle Traverse of Whitehorse Ledge
By John Braun
From: Hendersonville, NC
Apr 1, 2012
Anybody have more beta on this route? Rack suggestions? How is the route-finding if you haven't climbed a lot at Whitehorse?
By john strand
From: southern colo
Apr 1, 2012
I have not done this climb in ages but-- small rack to maybe 3" , a fair number of slings and 2 ropes OR a tag line. You may be able to do the rap/swing halfway with a single 70m, but i don't know for sure.
Once you are across the slabs, a long ledge system goes all the way across the south butt to the Inferno area.