This is the kind of route that doesn't fit easily into the "star system." It is a proud and challenging line, but the challenges often go beyond clean technical difficulties. If you're looking for a serious mountain outing, this could be a real contender!
Start out climbing the first continuous crack system to the left of Test Tube to a large, brushy ledge area on the right. (Or alternatively, climb Test Tube or Spare Rib to the same area.) Climb the gully above, fourth class at first. Higher, the gully is split by a protruding buttress; face-climb the buttress, with limited protection, to another large brushy ledge. At the right (western) end of the ledge there is a clean corner behind a pine tree. Go up the corner to a belay by a bush. Jog right for a few feet, then climb back left into a left-leaning cleft. Follow the path of least resistance (with some hard climbing) until reaching the flat top of a flake/pinnacle feature in the red rock. Cross left to the opposite end of the ledge and make a face move to reach a clean offwidth crack (probably best to belay at the base of this crack). Climb the crack and continue generally straight up for a few hundred feet until reaching an apparent impasse in a small cave. Exit to the left on very soft rock. The difficulties soon ease and the summit ridge is reached.
The FA party continued up to the eastern summit of Rainbow Mountain, then worked west to the normal Oak Creek descent route. This took us almost six hours, and we generally knew the way.
Further info on this route can be found at this site.
We had a normal rack and a number 6 Friend, which we used several times.
|By Jeffrey Raymond|
Sep 28, 2005
Tough outing. Bushes tore my shirt to ribbons. Descend via Oak Creek and bring head lamps!!