The Left Tube is about as impossible-looking as 5.10 can get. While it is a bit of a struggle for those without the requisite mental deficiencies required of the genre, this exercise in wide crack climbing is worthy of your attention. With that said, feel free to just walk past it and continue on to Grand Traverse or Captain Nemo for some fun climbing...
Located on the far side of the Nautilus from the parking lot, this climb is the left of the two end cracks, an obvious, flared, bottomless monstrosity rising above the cute little subalpine wildflowers.
The beta: set good gear, believe in yourself, and go for it. Focus on knee-heel bars with the right leg (I climb it left side in) to overcome the bulge; above that the climbing eases, though many will find it strenuous to the top. Look around for anchors on top, they are not obvious. To descend climb boulders up to the climbers left to get to the anchors atop Middle Parallel Space- one rope off.
I would recommend against wearing shorts and a t-shirt on this one. I would also recommend against staring at this for too long before roping up and climbing it.
Larger pieces. Include a #4 Camalot. Long slings (one placement is deep in there before the crack pinches). Right kneepad. Tape. High top climbing shoes. Additional body armor is optional. On wide cracks I prefer a 2-inch swami to a complete harness, since it doesn't get caught so easily- just use a long sling for leg loops on the rap off.
Got on this crazy thing not too long ago. It was my first "real" offwidth lead. And i must say that it is way fun. cool tricks can be employed on the lower half while the crux and long fatty above are pretty much the real deal. not the horror show I expected, (wanted?). enjoy
A #3 Big Bro protects the crux perfectly. There is a long runout on the upper half of this and the Right Torpedo, although it is easier climbing on both. I could not find the anchors up top. Any hints?
Annotations were supposed to appear with the Beta Photo above, and probably will. Prior to that, #1=start to Right Parallel Space and Vulture; #2=Left Torpedo Tube; #3=Right Torpedo Tube; #4=Gravity's Rainbow. And yes, there are fixed anchors/raps off the top (see Beta Photo). 2 raps (usually called the Middle Parallel Space raps) will get you to the ground in the best style.
The bolts for the left tube have been removed so you will need to set up an anchor at the top in a big crack (probably 3 to 4 Camalots). The anchor bolts on the right tube are still there for rapping back down.
By slim Administrator Jul 14, 2009 rating: 5.10c6b20VII20E2 5b
The harder section down low can be protected with large cams pretty easily. The upper part is kind of a low angled chimney/flare sort of thing that is pretty wide, I'm not sure if a #6 Friend would protect it or not, but the climbing is pretty easy.
I'm not inclined to say this often about a Vedauwoo route, but this thing felt soft to me. I've heard it compared to Crack of Fear in Lumpy and I gotta say, Crack of Fear is leagues harder than this route. Anyway, about the gear, I had an extra #6 Friend and a #6 Camalot (new style, which is bigger than the #6 Friend), and both were too small for the last 25-30ft. The climbing is easier (5.8-5.9) and feels pretty secure but if you want protection, bring a blue Big Bro.
The new guide calls this 10a.... That's a mighty big sandbag, but then again I'm a beached whale when it comes to this wide stuff. If you're squeamish in offwidths, take one #1, two #5s and #6s, a single #3 Bigbro, and one or two #4 Bigbros. That'll sew it up well.
Zach either not doing his research or outright sandbagging in one of his books? What are the odds!
Haven't done the route, but the lesson I learned from the same author's previous Vedauwoo and Devil's Tower books were to look at the pictures but ignore EVERY word except the route name and every number except the reference number on the photograph. Don't trust rack beta on even the classics, don't expect that 33m rappel to be any less than 60m.
This seems like such a natural left-side-in offwidth. I'm amazed that the pictures other than mine show right-side-in technique. Oh well!
By Evan Martin From: Laramie, WY Jun 21, 2014 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b
I went right side in on this one. If you're not comfortable climbing easy offwidth without protection, bring a Bigbro for the top. I had two #5s and one #6 for this route, and that it all I was able to place. After exiting the roof, the crack quickly becomes too wide for #6s, although the climbing eases significantly. Highly recommended!
By Rob DeZonia Jul 14, 2014 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b
I went right side in with a 3 and 4 to get to the OW and a 5 and a 6 for the crux. You'll want some #4 bros for the top unless you feel like running it out. There is a flake on the right of the crack you could stab a yellow Alien up there on the upper OW as well, and yeah, don't waste your time reading Zach's ratings, gear beta, or really anything else about any route. Just enjoy the pretty pics. He has severe first-ascentionitis and has down rated most of the already notoriously sand-bagged routes in this area.