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Frigid Air Buttress
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Middle Earth 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: FRA Ryan Mcphee, Bill Thiry, John Wilder, Larry DeAngelo
Page Views: 1,470
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Jan 1, 2005

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Crawling into the squeeze on pitch 1 of Middle Ear...

Description 

This is an interesting route with some good climbing. The name relates to the long, fully enclosed tunnel on the fifth pitch. Two ropes are needed for the rappel.

About a hundred yards to the left of the Frigid Air Buttress, a rounded whitish apron leans against the lower wall. Scramble up ledges on its left side for a few hundred feet to a rope-up point where the rock steepens.

Pitch 1: On the right, climb a convoluted offwidth crack formed by the left edge of a huge flake (5.9). The easier chimney above is unprotected. The flake rounds off to a good belay ledge (which is also the ledge beneath the 5.9 handcrack halfway up the Frigid Air Buttress route).

Pitch 2: Avoid the FAB crack, and instead climb the left-leaning jam crack in the clean varnished wall on the left. (5.8)

Pitch 3: A short pitch up and left to a big ledge.

Pitch 4: Move to the back right corner of the ledge and climb a varnished corner, then go left and belay among broken rocks in the main gully system.

Pitch 5: Climb to the back of the gully then go up a dark, tight, fully enclosed vertical chimney tunnel.

Pitch 6: Easy climbing leads to the top.

Descent: Scramble left to the standard rappel route (2 ropes) down Burlesque.

Protection 

Big cam for the opening offwidth


Photos of Middle Earth Slideshow Add Photo
Very clean jam crack on pitch 2 of Middle Earth.
Very clean jam crack on pitch 2 of Middle Earth.

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By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 8, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This was a good route. The first pitch is burly at the grade, I thought, but then, what offwidth isnt?

The handcrack is a delight to climb- heck, it was the inspiration for the rotue!

Thanks for this one, Larry, glad I got to be a part of it.