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This is a fun pitch that I had never seen anyone doing. This is the prominent crack line that diagonals up across the pillar between the first pitches of X-M and Northwest Corner. There appear to be two ways to get to the start of the traverse. The guide describes climbing the major left-facing corner that leads to the X-M chimney. I have no idea how hard this is, or if it's any good. There was chalk on the way we went, which was to do a cool boulder problem through an overhang, about 10 to 12 feet right of the start of X-M, to reach a stance and protection point. Then move right six feet or so to a series of corners and overlaps that are followed up and left to the wad of slings at the base of the X-M chimney. (A bit of loose rock, but otherwise fun.) Clip the wad (long sling) and follow the traverse line to join Northwest Corner. Save a purple Camalot or equivalent for the traverse (wires can be placed, too, but it's strenuous). It's maybe 5.9 or so to the start of the traverse, and 10c seems right for the typical Eldo scrabbly moves across the pillar. Good stuff.
Rap or lower from the NW Corner anchor, or carry on up NW Corner or X-M.
Standard Eldo rack, with extra long runners and/or double ropes.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 25, 2003
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Dougald, I saw you on it last weekend and Commented to my partner "Somebody's on Independent Study. I've never seen anyone else on that before."
I did it more or less straight up in 1996 with Mark Spieker, Done this way you just get bad stoppers in bad flakes, and only here and there. It's reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, but harder with some bad holds. I thought it was a scary 5.10c, maybe a few moves that were harder, for the sake of skipping suspect holds.
By Matt Battaglia
Aug 5, 2007
So a few weeks ago someone told me that this was a great alternative first pitch to NW corner and that it had great gear ("good small wires"), so I got on it and got spooked. What I found: There is a good purple Camalot right at the crux (didn't have it that day) but it's tough to place and it takes up a key hand hold making the crux harder (I felt) than most 10c's. A decent, purple TCU can be placed from the good stance before the crux and then that frees up the good hold. Placing the "good small wires" the rest of the way is hard, best to just punch it. Cool movement. There's a fixed wire/HB brassy on the route after the crux.