Loosey In The Sky
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BETA PHOTO: Loosey in the Sky is in red, starting behind the E...
Who would want to do an alpine rock climb with the word "loose" in it, right? Well, the name of the route might not sound very enticing but don't let it keep you away. It started out with some loose blocks on the belay ledges. Now that they've been tossed off, the route is in good condition with the only unpleasantness being some lichen here and there. Loosey is a 4-pitch mixed route that starts on the wall directly behind the EIH. Apart from a short, height-dependent V5-ish sequence on P1, the route comes in easier with four excellent pitches on good alpine granite. The stopper crux is easily avoided with a quick tug on the bolt, allowing you to get on with the fun climbing on the rest of the route. The prominent feature is the 3rd pitch "super slab" that you'll wish kept going and going.
Pitch 1: 5.12a/b, 12 bolts, 3-bolt anchor, 80'. Climb the nice face up to a small roof and the crux at bolt six. This short, reachy and thin sequence--literally 3', getting your feet from under the roof to over the roof-- puts you on a superb wall of sustained 5.11 for 30' until it eases off 20' below the belay.
P2: 5.9, 3 bolts, gear, 3-bolt anchor, 90'. Follow 3 bolts up and right into a nice dihedral that takes good gear (save a mini-cam for the end). Step right at the end of the corner to a good belay ledge.
P3: 5.10a, 12 bolts, 3-bolt anchor, 95'. Step right and shoot up a beautiful green and gray slab. It's mostly 5.9 with the crux coming about halfway up. This pitch is what climbing at Empire is all about (and there's more in the vicinity).
P4: 5.11c/d, 5 bolts, 2-bolt anchor, 70'. Similar to the last pitch of Priceless but more straightforward. Run up a low angle slab for 35' to a vertical wall with 5 clips. The last 8' is often dirty, despite cleaning, since it seems to drain water off the top. Lower back to the belay.
Descent: Rap the route.
Behind the Easter Island Head.
About 14 draws plus anchors. Cams to 2" (several 1" and smaller). 60m rope.
Halidome headwalls, a face climber's dream.