Lancelot Link/ Secret Chimp
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While considered a variation on Missing link, Lancelot link provides an entirely different, and in my opinion, superior experience.
Find your way to the two bolt anchor for windfall. One can climb Thinner, Windfall, Freedom, Pro Choice, Turners Flake or Toe Crack to approach. I find that Freedom or windfall are the best as it makes for a very consistent link up grade wise.
From the anchor, move up and right over some considerably runout 5.easy terrain, aiming for a crack that leads to the unmistakable yellow roofs. There are several pins hidden behind flakes in this area. Depending on where you wonder you may come across them.
Clip a pin at the start of the crack and move up into the first small roof. Pull this (the crux of ML), and aim for the left end of the large roofs on the right. Reach over and clip the bolt, traverse a hair right and pull the roof on some of the most atypical moves you'll find at Cathedral.
After the roof you'll encounter another bolt followed by some heads up (r/pg-13) 5.7 climbing trending right into the Standard Route Chimney. Pick a tree to belay. Finish by scrambling up the Chimney.
The route is located at the extreme right end of the Thin Air face. It starts at a bolt belay below the Thin Air pedestal, pulls the awesome looking yellow roofs to the right of the pedestal, and finishes in the Standard Route Chimney.
Nuts and a thin rack of smaller sized pieces should suffice. Both cruxes are essentially protected by top rope. One can reach high and place a small stopper for crux #1, and crux #2 has a bolt at your waist.
By John Gassel
From: Boston, MA
Sep 2, 2014
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Good route description for this climb. I kept looking for a technical way to do the crux and eventually gave into a dynamic move. The route is good, but I prefer Missing Link a little bit more. The second crux is more technical and the climbing less dirty above it. However, this variation will keep you away from Thin Air if there are crowds so that can be a bonus.
Just want to clarify a bit on what to expect above the second bolt. It doesn't just turn into 5.7R-ish climbing right away as the description may make you believe. I found two very good cam placements following the bolt (one 5 ft. above, the next up and right about 5 more ft.). The climbing through there is still 5.8/5.9ish, but the gear is good (0.3-0.4" pieces). I pulled over the headwall right at that second piece. From there, expect lots of lichen covered rock and head towards the obvious big tree up and right. Not much pro but the climbing is probably only 5.5 so it didn't feel anymore R to me than the traverse early in the pitch.