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a. Beginning of cliff to Gelsa
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Layback 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Fritz Wiessner, George Temple, 1941
Page Views: 5,372
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 23, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (76)
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Jean Aschenbrenner climbing the airy arete on the ...

Description 

A fun route that will test your chimney and layback technique.

Start about 10' left of Inverted Layback at a left-facing chimney/corner with a big chockstone about 15' up. This is about 75' left of Disneyland.

P1: Struggle to the top of the chockstone, climb up to the corner, and layback (what else?) up to a good belay ledge with a fixed anchor (slings and rings). 5.5, 60'.

P2: Climb up right to the airy arete, pass an overhang, and continue to the top. 5.4, 60'.

The climb can be done in one pitch without too much rope drag. To descend, walk climbers' right along the clifftop until it is possible, just before the road, to easily scramble down to the base.


Protection 

Standard Rack to #3 Camalot.



Photos of Layback Slideshow Add Photo
beneath the final overhang on P2
beneath the final overhang on P2
P2 traverse
P2 traverse
Jean Aschenbrenner climbing the airy arete on the second pitch of Layback.
Jean Aschenbrenner climbing the airy arete on the ...
Second pitch of Layback
Second pitch of Layback
Composite shot of the P2 traverse.
Composite shot of the P2 traverse.
Eric leading out on P2. Gear much?
Eric leading out on P2. Gear much?
Myself on P2. My first Trad Lead.
Myself on P2. My first Trad Lead.
The awkward chimney on Layback.  Feels like it wants to spit you out the whole time.
BETA PHOTO: The awkward chimney on Layback. Feels like it wan...
The obvious line! At the top the route traverses out through the roof via a face that can be seen through the "V" of the tree at the top of the photo. The crux of Slingtime (11 something) traverses right below the orange roof at the far top right of the photo.
BETA PHOTO: The obvious line! At the top the route traverses o...
Cruisin the Layback
Cruisin the Layback
Just below the layback section on P1.
Just below the layback section on P1.
Getting ready..
Getting ready..
Looking back at the P1 belay.
Looking back at the P1 belay.
Climbing P1.
Climbing P1.
Comments on Layback Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 23, 2014
By Taino
From: South Salem, NY
Feb 13, 2007

I've found that a #3.5 Camalot (no longer made) or a #4 Camalot is very helpful on the opening moves of the layback section. You can't place it from the good stance below the crux, but you take a step or two up (before being completely committed) and there's a good constriction. My #4 caught a friend's lead fall in that spot.

By saxfiend
Administrator
From: Decatur, GA
Jul 18, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I thoroughly enjoyed the second pitch, excellent exposed climbing with good pro. Consider it a well-deserved reward after the unpleasant grunting that's necessary to get through the first pitch.

By losbill
Dec 29, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

P1 is a good, interesting challenge for the 5.5 leader. Chimney can be avoided by bouldery (spot), 5.7+ start up nose/face to left of the chimney. P2 (5.3/G) is awesome for a beginning leader; beautiful rock, great exposure and a fantastic photo op.

By gblauer
From: Wayne, PA
May 2, 2010

Ummm...I don't think I would put a beginning 5.5 leader on this climb. We did the unprotected bouldery start and it was a LONG way up before hitting the pin. I didn't try the chimney, it was green and slimy. Either way p1 is committing for a 5.5 leader.

By losbill
May 3, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Gail --- Didn't mean to imply P1 is for a new 5.5 leader. Indicated it would be a challenge for a 5.5 leader. P2 I do believe is a great pitch for a beginning leader. Good gear and a lot of bang for your buck in terms of the quality of the climbing and the exposure. --- bill

By Larry S
Jun 29, 2010

The opening chimney is an awkward gruntfest, even after 5 or 6 sends of this route; but with a good spot it's safe, and you can get a #2 camalot to protect well on either side of the chockstone. Recommend a #4 to protect the start of the layback unless you're very confident (it is a cruiser, but there's no gear till the layback's over). You can funk in medium nut below the #4, but it's questionable IMO.

By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Sep 4, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Did this weeks ago. Climbed the face right of the chimney to a small roof and piton, then traversed right to join Layback at the top of the chimney. Face climb was stiff (was told 5.8-ish) but I dislike (crappy) chimneys more than sweating a little extra at the start of a climb. The rest of the route was enjoyable. I though the layback was stiffer than 5.5. Very sustained. The second pitch was fun, the traverse/exposure seems to be a repeating them on this side of the road (ie - Disneyland).

By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
Sep 16, 2010

I second (fourth?) all the comments about the big gear. You'll definitely find spots where you'll be relieved to have it.

By steve richert
From: San Diego, CA
May 31, 2011

I climbed this on memorial day, and it was pretty moist in the chimney--I hope to try running up the face as an alternative next time, since that chimney seems difficult to climb gracefully! The layback section above is all there, but much trickier without some wide gear, as has been mentioned here. I found myself up a creek without a #3 or 4 Camalot, and there was some definite pucker factor. If you are long enough to cheat out to the left of the crack, it is possible to get a nut (and/or) a black alien-sized piece that will offer some protection through the layback. P2 is the gravy though--superb views and fun moves and a nice BIG belay ledge!

By Galen Rahmlow
From: Weehawken
Apr 30, 2012

Great climb. The second pitch is not a 5.1 IMO more like a 5.3, it has an exposed finish that seems a little steep for the lower rating. I've managed, and felt fine, with a standard rack up to a #3 cam. I can't recall how I placed the pieces specifically, a larger would have been nice but not a requirement.

By matt matera
Jul 2, 2012

A number 4 C4 will protect the opening sequence of the layback (my climber was also able toplace a red C3) but once you are into it is hard to place gear and the gear appears to be in the number 5 range. If you unable to place gear after the start of the layback then it is very run out in my opinion.

By Logan Schiff
From: NY, NY
Sep 5, 2012

#4 for the start of the offwidth felt like a key placement to prevent it from being pretty runout. Initial chimney was really awkward for me. Definitely a tough lead for 5.5. Second pitch is airy and worth doing. Probably about 5.3. Probably could link the pitches up if careful.

By Benjaminadk
From: Lake George, NY
Oct 9, 2012

Quite a lot going on. I enjoyed the chimney a lot more the second time around. Lots of variety and techniques to get up this line as a whole. Climb it as one pitch to appreciate the shifting of gears. Some giant loose stone (easily avoided) on the traverse after the layback section.

By Jon Booth
Sep 8, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Interesting climb, there is alot of variety on this route. It will seem harder than a 5.5 if you're uncomfortable with laybacks or awkward chimneys. The guidebook lists P2 as 5.1, in my opinion it feels more like 5.3, with great protection & exposure.

By Gunkiemike
Jul 23, 2014

I watched a climber today do the layback section without laybacking. It was unreal. She just face climbed the wall immediately left of the layback crack/corner. As for the start, a very small wire can be placed about halfway up to the pin on the 5.7 face variation, and a 00 TCU or equivalent a couple feet higher.