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Marlin Alley 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 180'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: M. Wilford & J. Wylie, 1981
Season: gets sun all day
Page Views: 1,033
Submitted By: Tony B on Aug 20, 2006

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Tony getting started into the leaning handcrack of...

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Description 

This is a good long pitch with a little of everything and a pumpy crux tossed in for good measure. There will NOT be gear overhead when you pull this, but it is not a terrible fall either.

This is a great climb and the best I have done on Batman Rock. Start off as for Hand Over Hand or Clown Time Is Over. The book indicates the first of these is traditional, and that is how I did it. Step up off the ground and climb a few knobs and edges (5.6, S) to move up and left to a left-facing flake (5.5), continue up the flake as it becomes larger and now is a left-facing corner, which goes up to end below the HUGE roof above. The corner is low-angle, but it gets steeper just above some large flakes on the right, just before a handcrack appears to split the right side wall of this now large corner. You can pull into this leaning handcrack (5.10) or stay in the corner (5.10-). I chose the first option, as it seemed more consistent with the grade and looked fabulous. Pull into the crack and place a few cams. 2-3" is the size. The gear is bomber and so are the jams. The difficulty comes from the outward and left-ward leaning angle, as well as a section up to of 1-1.5" crack (off-fingers) just before reaching a good rest. The pump-clock has probably started ticking....

Move up past the last of the corner (10c) and into a jammed block left under the roof and set good gear on a long sling. I set 2 pieces here (pumpy due to the double overhang). Pull up and right on good hands through the roof on some flakes and sidepulls (11b). Gillett refers to this as an undercling, which yes, it may well be, but forget the delicate goose-stepping impression you may have, this route is all about power.... Pop out over the roof on locker holds just before the right hand side gives way to vertical rock and mantle up (5.9), fairly well above gear, this would be an awkward fall but not seriously hurt you if your gear is good.

I HOPE you used good slings or the drag could do you in... it just about did me.

You could probably get an Alien or funky TCU in just above the roof, but it will pin your partner down for the traverse through the roof. It would be kinder to let the rope go vertical for a bit.

Go up and right or up and left and through the next roof above (no harder than 5.9 but a bit run in places) and join a line to the top. Going well left, you could join Hand Over Hand.

Continue to the top of the rock, or at least to a belay tree. (5.8+)

If your second falls at the roof, they will be hung in space with little to get back on. They have to be lowered to reach the wall again. If they have cleaned the gear, and you have not placed a piece right over the roof and pinned them down, then if necessary, they can pendulum out of the corner a few meters to the right and ascend via Hand Over Hand, thus skipping the 5.11 crux and the prussiks.

Location 

This climb ascends a face to the massive left-facing corner under the right hand end of the main roof on Batman Rock, then up through the right hand end of said roof.

Protection 

A set of nuts, a set of cams from .5" to 3" with doubles in 2, 2.5, 3". Take a lot of longer slings, as this is a long pitch and it leans and pulls overhangs- drag could be a killer. I suspect double ropes would have been handy.


Photos of Marlin Alley Slideshow Add Photo
Tony setting gear before starting into the crux sequence of Marlin Alley (11b) on Batman Rock at Lumpy Ridge. Image by Todd Miller
Tony setting gear before starting into the crux se...
The crux sequence of Marlin Alley (5.11b) on Batman Rock at Lumpy Ridge, CO. Image by Todd Miller.
The crux sequence of Marlin Alley (5.11b) on Batma...

Comments on Marlin Alley Add Comment
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By Keith Leary
Sep 10, 2008

We started this on clown time. That way you can watch the leader. My partner found a place to put in a Gold Camalot while hanging from the jugs above the roof. If you can find it, it will make pulling over the roof less runout. The crux to me was setting up to reach for the undercling. The roof moves were not that hard because of the big holds, but I hung before I did them so they are probably harder form the pump of the moves before.