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This is hands-down my favorite climb at Rose Ledge. It has two distinct and great cruxes, wonderful face climbing, a short but relatively splitter crack, a juggy roof and some sequency crimping. I'm a little uncertain as to whether the rest of the Western, MA climbing community would agree with me about how classic I think this route is (it was one of my first 5.10's so I'm biased) but I'll let you make up your own minds.
The climb starts in the obvious finger crack just to the left of the big left facing corner in the middle of the Tennessee wall (the Guillotine). After climbing this crack to a large ledge you can rest and chat with your belayer before the first crux. Follow the chalk above your head (really fun sequence) until you've gained a stance involving a small flake and edges for feet. Then some easy climbing leads you to the roof on your left and crux #2. A reachy move past the roof leads to a jug, from which you can gain a good crimp and pull the roof on smeary feet. This section looks blank put there is a great jug...if you can find it. At this point, mantle onto the ledge and touch the anchors.
On the Main cliff or Tennessee wall at Rose Ledge, Marie Antoinette climbs the face to the immediate left of the Guillotine. You'll be able to recognize it both by the chalked crimps on otherwise blank-looking rock about halfway up, and the small roof with the two chalk ticks in a crack on the underside of it near the top (right above the chalked up crimps).
You have three options for pro. Traditionally, folks use long webbing or static line to set up a TR. However, the only usable rocks and trees are around 30 feet back from the edge of the cliff, so, if you choose this method, bring a LOT of webbing.
If you don't have long webbing (like I don't), there are a couple of flakes right at the top of the cliff that take bomber gear (1 #1, 2 #2s, and a #3 Camalot). There is a tree that you can anchor yourself to right at the top of the climb to find the placements initially, but once you know where they are, it's super easy to reach down and place your gear from above. There is a staircase on the right side of the cliff that accesses the top, although descending these stairs is easily the most harrowing part of any Rose Ledge experience.
If you do feel the need, I suppose you could lead it on gear, although it would certainly warrant at least an R rating. The gear would be small, and a fall from the first crux would be ledgy at best and a grounder at worst.
Mar 29, 2009
I did this the other day and there are two nice top roping bolts atop this route.
May 6, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Definitely goes, more like PG-13, don't place gear in the flakes! Have a tight belay for sure, I've never taken the ride, but that ledge would be awfully close.