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|Administrators:||Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)|
|Submitted By:||Perin Blanchard on Jul 5, 2009|
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By George Bracksieck
Oct 5, 2012
On Aug 29, 2011, my wife and I were searching for the Great Chasm route and failed to find it. We decided to check out the Natural Arch, farther up the Middle Fork trail. I wondered if anyone had been atop the arch.
We plodded up the steep draw to the south, passing beneath the arch. From the uphill side of the arch, the best possibility lay up the chossy rock on the southeast side of the arch. I led diagonally up left, across loose, dirty cobbles to the notch on the east side of a pinnacle. The only pro was a #1 Tricam placed in a cleavage between cobbles at the start of the steep section below the notch.
I moved through the notch, then up to the summit of the pinnacle that looks down onto the arch from the east. Using the notch and pinnacle as my running belay, my wife lowered me down the west side of the pinnacle onto the arch, and I walked across it. There was no cairn or any other evidence of human passage. I left no trace, either. Refer to the attached photos.
I reversed the route, climbing almost to the top of the pinnacle and was then lowered toward the belayer, with the rope running around the pinnacle. The cobbles smoothed the rope's passage -- as long as they didn't break. Some did. I rate the climbing difficulty at 5.5X.