BETA PHOTO: Lou Reed follows the rope on the right.
It's always momentous to loose one of our iconoclasts and Lou Reed died in October 2013 after 40 years in the RR business. While I was never a great fan of his group the Velvet Underground, I loved Lou Reed. LR, the route, takes a very steep course through the roof system via mostly 5.11 climbing before a very hard boulder crux (A0) getting past bolt 5. A cam placement is very nice in the small roof above bolt 6. Things stay solid at 5.11 above bolt 6 and deliver a final big move at the last bolt (5.10+). LR is very continuous and does not let up until you get to the chains. The rock is largely excellent top to bottom.
Lou Reed got squeezed in between snow storms in the middle of November. It was actually bolted while the snow was falling. The crux getting past bolt 5 remains an A0 project at this point, but it provides great incentive to tone up the dynamic bouldering moves this winter. Looks like a lot of time on the campus board at DBC. The redpoint crux will be a solid number grade or more harder than climbing before and after bolt 5. The crux is a dynamic power crimp and throw through a steep bulge. It starts on good feet, but they are lost quickly.
One note of caution: the crimp at bolt 6 is thin and could be crushed if it stood upon. After standing up above bolt 6, it is best to stand on the super solid ledge and not on the crimp.
Patrick Burwick and I had a chance to jump on Lou Reed last weekend after ticking off a bunch of the new lines on MCC. While I still think that LR is super hard, we did uncover an improbable undercling in the main roof that unlocks some of the beast. Helps, but did not free up the A0.
Out of the chaos a sequence has begun to emerge for Lou Reed; but still a long way from a RP. LR is hard. In rough terms and with the current beta, I think that comparing it to "The Web" in Eldo is not far off the mark. No single move is particularly reach-dependent, so execution through the overlaps becomes the primary crux. The crux transition hold is a nasty little bugger dubbed "Steve McClure", because it's hard to imagine moving off it without Steve McClure's crimp power. No individual move on "The Web" is as hard as moving off SM to an equally nasty half pad slot, and this is not the end of the crux. After a dozen days on and mostly off LR, I think the full link up will tick in a couple of letter grades harder than "The Web", and it is steeper and longer than "The Web". I've been working LR solo using a jumar and GriGri, and it has been my experience that shifting to RP attempts commonly drops the estimated grade by at least a letter; so there is still some uncertainty about the real grade. Like all projects at Dumont, if anyone else has a hankering to give it a run, just move my fixed line aside, but leave it in place when you're finished. Lou Reed is hard; too bad it just begs to be climbed.