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Helmet Variation 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 75'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Tom Howard and partner
Page Views: 656
Submitted By: Joseph Brown on Oct 23, 2009
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  • Description 

    P1: Climb straight up the face to double anchors shared with "Slippin into Darkness". Plenty of side pulls and foot stances to make this a tame 5.8 climb.


    Just left of "Slippin into Darkness" right below the shared belay ledge.


    No bolts, but good small/med pro placements. Double rap anchors on ledge.

    Comments on Helmet Variation Add Comment
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    By Joseph Brown
    From: Greenville, SC
    Oct 23, 2009

    This route is shown in "Selected Climbs", but unfortunately it's only annotated on the topo map. If anyone knows the FA history, please comment so that I can properly document the route.

    By saxfiend
    From: Decatur, GA
    Oct 27, 2009

    The old Kelley Guide lists "Tom Howard et al" for the FA on this one.

    By Joseph Brown
    From: Greenville, SC
    Oct 31, 2009

    Thanks for the update!

    By Coz Teplitz
    From: Watertown, MA
    Nov 11, 2010

    As I recall, this variation was FA'd solo by Tom Howard. I always found it slopey and awkward, and apparently so did Mr. Howard, who called it "KFN" for "Kinda F-ing (G)narly". Apparently, Mr. Howard climbed this in the days before spellcheck.

    NOTE - this is the story I heard in the mid-2000s from old-school OB folks. Accuracy is, of course, questionable.

    By Tom Gallo
    Mar 6, 2011

    Great 100 ft. top rope. I would rate it 5.8 X

    By Jonathan Dull
    From: NC High County
    Jul 1, 2013
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c X

    Really fun technical face climbing with interesting moves the entire way up. Set up a top rope by climbing Helmet Buttress or Slippin. I wouldn't suggest leading this one as the pro is very sparse until the last 20 feet of the climb I found a placement for a pretty solid c4. I did climb up the right side of the buttress so the pro may be better climbing up the left side.

    • Description notes that the route takes good small to medium cams. I would note that they are okay and very sparse at best. Wouldn't recommend onsighting this even if it's well below your usual grade. Thats just me however.

    By John Braun
    From: Hendersonville, NC
    Mar 15, 2014
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c X

    I TRed this today and there were 2 white chalk marks that looked like someone marking potential bolt locations. Both were in the bottom third of the route. I don't know if anyone leads this currently, but the bolts would be a nice addition, IMO.