|West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
This climb is decent rock and fun moves- for a majority of the climb the holds are good and interesting. The rock is solid, save for in a few spots in the crack where it is better described as a "rotten seam" that would be tempting to try to protect.
While there are 2 physical cruxes to this climb, the first joining the crack above the bulge/roof, and then about 2 meters above that in some thin lie-backs, mentally it is just keeping your head together and not getting pumped placing gear that isn't really there.
Climb up and right from the obvious right end of the overhang below the 4 cracks and onto a foothold to reach a slanting "rail" (slopes) on the right face and get a hand in the left crack. Pay now or pay later. Those trying to cheat difficulty by going further right at the beginning will have unprotected difficulties getting back to the crack. Those pulling up directly will have a hard move doing so, but closer to gear. From there tinker in some so-so gear (or don't) and then start climbing up on thin sidepulls with decent feet to reach some bigger holds. This will feel like a runout regardless of where your bad gear is, but the good holds come soon and the good gear shortly thereafter. Falling would be bad, but the route is not sandbagged, so solid 5.10 leaders are probably going to feel OK here. The climbing eases off quickly to be about 5.8 or so. Belay on solid gear at the top of the difficulty (will be obvious) and either follow a crack up and left to join Court Jester (5.10, S, with loose rock) or right to join Suburb (5.8). Either way, another 50' up there is a rap station marked as an 82' rap on page 223 of Rossiter's latest Eldo guide. It is actually a 100' rap back to the ledge and is located under a 'grabby' juniper.
Just to the left of the "sick flake" pitch of Sooberb, perhaps 4-5 meters there is a very shallow right facing corner that starts at the right end of a large overhang/roof. At the right end, a dark band below the roof extends so much as to fill in below it and give moderate access to that crack.
This is approached as for Sidewall and is about 20 meters right of Sidewall, for reference. It is the last crack between Sidewall and Sooberb if going left-to-right.
Cams 0.33-3" plus a set of nuts and certainly a set of brass or steel micro nuts.
To continue on Sooberb, a standard rack, to continue up and left past The Court Jester and into "P2" of The Human Factor, take extra 0.5-1" cams, maybe 3 total 0.75" pieces.
This route is difficult and has difficult to find and place protection some of which is certainly sparse and of questionable quality. I blew out one steel nut pulling on it from a stance, watching it pop and blow rock out of the cliff.
|By Steve Levin|
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 23, 2007
Hanging Chad 5.11b PG13 *
FA Chad Greedy & Steve Levin, March 2007
Climb the first crack left of Sick Flake to easy flakes (5.10a). Go straight up the left-arching column (the "hanging chad") and pull over just left of the Sooberb corner.
Technical and strenuous, a bit contrived but worthwhile climbing. An earlier attempt (2000) veered left below the chad and joined Court Jester- the route Tony described above.