Surprisingly good with good moves and good rock, once you get going.
P1: (5.9, 100') Climb up a few moves down and right of the right-facing corner (accessing from the left is harder and loose) step up on good holds into the corner and head upward. The climbing there is runout, but not hard (5.8). Continue up the corner and eventually left on face moves to reach a right-facing corner, now perhaps 12 meters off the ground. Climb this corner on jams and stems (5.9) to reach a ledge. There is no cave, per se, as mentioned in Rossiter's book, but rather a small recession with a chockstone in it. Belay here on good gear.
P2: (5.10, 100') The crux is the awkward mantle. It needs a good brushing and is very hard to tackle directly, I got some chips for feet and layed back off of a high and right sloper, then knee-locked the corner to move up into a mantle. It felt solid 5.10 to me. A 3/4" cam protects these moves with a ledge and belayer just below, hoping you don't fall on either the ledge, or belayer....
Get up on this ledge and move the gear up to avoid drag. There is a crack directly above to finish up to a ramp, but it was considerably more interesting to continue up and left on the ramp 20 feet to a taller crack...climbing that to another shelf, then out the shelf to a 3rd section of crack, reached via pulling a roof on jugs. This last section might be 'Candelaria's Crack' (or might not be). Finish on jugs and Belay up top by tossing the rope around a huge bollard of rock, or off of large cams.
Scramble off the back side to return to the streamside trail and your packs.
On the South side of the South Face of the 4th Elephant....
Take the streamside trail through the first gate (not posted) and look for where a grassy ramp comes down and right from the left edge of the south face. Where this blends into the ground, there is a brief, crumbling section of rock for a meter of climbing before accessing a shallow, left-facing corner.
The leader must feel comfortable above gear at cruxes and with some runouts of consequence at other times. Take a full set of nuts and a run of cams from small to 3.5". Doubles in hands & thin-hands sizes will make setting belays easier.
The mantle crux is protected by a 3/4" cam.
|Comments on Mickey Mantle