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Kevlar Vest 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: T. Bubb, K Chen, 11/1/09
Season: Faces E/SE
Page Views: 671
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 11, 2009

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BETA PHOTO: Kevlar Vest topo

Description 

A very nice route that will be even nicer when it cleans up a bit. There are still some small loose chips of rock on it and a few sharp locks and jams that will clean up.
Start up as for String Bikini, climbing perhaps 30 feet to an undercling flake on the right with a 2" crack. Protect the crack and add a long sling and look left into a corner system with a thin crack in it. Stem out and go up and left, placing some very small cams for protection. Pass the somewhat insecure crux (tips) to reach better locks and jams (sharp) and place a larger camming unit at a sharp jam. This jam is the one for which the route is named, as there are quartz points in it and one must position carefully to avoid cuts... or wear a Kevlar Vest.
Continue up the corner for 30' and onto a sloping ledge, where you can reach out right to place gear in a horizontal under a roof, then undercling out under that roof (psychological if pumped, but not actually difficult) into another crack and corner system, and up to the higher anchors on String Bikini. There are some final moves worth noting that are protected by a hand-sized cam, so save one.
To note- this route is not easily Top-roped due to a very sharp flake below the anchor, so belaying up top is a good idea. Alternately, do as I did on the FA and put a piece of clothing over the flake and clip it in to "pad" the flake so you don't chew on the rope if the second has a hard time of it..

The grade assigned is questionable. I believe the climb to be a bit harder than String Bikini, but that is hand size dependant... both routes might be somewhere between 10c and 11a depending on the grading scale used.

Location 

This route starts as for String Bikini, but diverges left early on, perhaps 30' up to the more direct and thinner line. Refer to String Bikini Route page for starting location.

Protection 

Take a rack of nuts and cams to 3" The crux is protected by very thin cams or small stoppers. The anchors up top are shared by String Bikini, and consist of 2 glue-in bolts that can be threaded directly, but really should have links and chain added.


Comments on Kevlar Vest Add Comment
Show which comments
By BrianWS
May 2, 2010

Somebody threw a bunch of glue-ins last weekend. Sorry, bro! Not sure who or why, but they'll probably claim the bolts are for a "blank face climb" in the exact same area.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 17, 2010

That's a shame. What they will more probably do is claim an F.A.
By Albert Chen
Apr 29, 2011

climbing.org/showthread.php?p=...

Check out this link and figure out the routes difference... we have the picture and discussing there... my friend think most of the routes under 5.11 were climbed before 1990.
By Anmin Deng
From: Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
May 2, 2011

see diagram as in the URL
climbing.org/showthread.php?p=...
the texts are in Chinese.

The climbers claimed FA on bolted routes 1 and 2 on the diagram, while "string bikini" is route 4 and the so-called "kevlar vest" is believed to be route 3. Sadly we may have conflicts at the upper parts of the routes 2 and 3.

The words from the climbers who claimed FA on "climbing.org/showthread.php?p=.....

"route 1..
name: 'no time to wait', 5.13a, FA: Zhao-xuan Hong, 2011/4/27,
7+2 bolted on 2010, 16 meters. the 1st bolt is 7,8 meters high.

"route 2..
'south africa paul', 5.12a, FA: Paul Brouard (SA), 2010,
bolted on 2010.

".... After the year of 1990, there would be virtually no trad FA opportunities below 5.11s were still left in Longdong (translate.. virtually all the possible (<= 5.11) trad routes in Longdong had been geared-FFA'ed by 1990), except the areas where very few climbers went, or the routes which are very hard to protect, or routes which look very indirect. The trad route on the left of 'string bikini' were climbed long time ago...."
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 26, 2011

I won't attempt to dispute if 'Kevlar Vest' was an FA or not, but it certainly had not been climbed much if it had been climbed prior at all. It certainly would be a stronger argument that it had been done before if a particular climber were to come forward with a date on which it was done, or a partner, or some details.
Regardless...
What is utterly clear and certain is that a FFA clean on gear, be it mine or something 'prior to 1990' predates the claimed FA of route #2 in those photos...
and thus predates the retro-bolts which, in my opinion, should be removed where they overlap the crack since the gear is just fine and the gear ascent came first be it by a year... or by 20 years.
That's the problem with bolting protect-able cracks- odds are... someone has climbed it before. Chop Chop.
By Anmin Deng
From: Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Mar 22, 2012

It is sad that when the time climbing was not a very popular sport in Taiwan, during the darkest decades of military marshal law ruling, senior climbers before 1980's~1990's usually shared their climbing history and records only to very limited groups of people, for example, only to their climbing clubs or very limited circulated magazines (while the clubs or magazines had long been vanished or very hard to obtain by today). Not knowing who's who or where's where or what's what, it is not uncommon to see foreign and even local younger climbers bolted on some trad or high-ball bouldering routes or claimed FA on some previously climbed routes. As you can imagine that Longdong climbing routes were first established all trad more than 30~40 years ago, and the oldest bolts in Longdong were installed way around 1990. For examples, the many 5.11's and 5.12's routes on music hall and bulletin board were all trad climbed by 1990's, but today most if not all of them are bolted. I personally witnessed a foreign climber bolted on a 5.11's high-ball problem in music hall last year, and a local senior climber who regularly doing the problem for warming up quietly cursed 'why bolted the beautiful problem?', and later the senior remarked 'seeing more and more old time trad/bouldering routes being bolted these years, a trend that sad but my generation can not stop'.

Regarding to the issue if it were climbed before, as I can not find hard evidence, it is very hard for me to imagine that it has not been climbed by 1990's, while my personally witnessed some of the senior 50~60 year-old climbers trad or even solo climbed here and there some 5.11+ ~ 5.12 routes and some appeared very hard routes I never found charted on any Longdong guide books, and they had climbed those routes trad or solo regularly for decades (maybe I can just ask if I happened to meet them in Longdong again).