A steep and excellent route and a worthy and probably unoccupied alternative to Fine Jade or Castleton North Face, though overall more difficult than those routes. Every pitch is worthy in its own right. The 1st two pitches have rap anchors.
The route starts in front of opposed layback corners which are about 15' apart, underneath the huge pillar that leans against the west face, about 50 yards left of Fine Jade.
P1. 5.10c 120'. Start in the right corner. Climb thin finger laybacking for 30' to a ledge, then continue in the same crack system, now a right facing corner w/ mostly thin hands to a bolted anchor at a ledge. A two star Indian Creek pitch.Variation: "old fashioned" 11a tips laybacking. The left crack/corner at the start is much more classic (and harder) than the one described above. This variation required a couple of extra green Alien sized cams. Traverse to the regular line on the ledge at 30'. Careful rope management is required to avoid rope drag on the upper part of the pitch -- we added a belay at the end of the traverse. Another problem with this variation is the "not cranking on all cylinders syndrome" -- the first move of the route and probably the day, is the hardest.
P2. 5.11a 120'. Continue up the crack system, starting with 15' of 5.9ish chimney which will seem harder if you don't have a 5 Camalot sized piece. A long stretch of steep, beautiful hands and fingers gets you to a hole with a cruxy technical reach to a chossy ledge. 20' feet of easy hands brings you to a lackluster stance and another bolted anchor. Once the ledge at the end of the crux cleans up, this is a three star Indian Creek pitch.
P3. 5.10c 90'. Staying in the crack system follow easy hands to a suprisingly hard pull onto a ledge. Above the ledge the crack seams out for about 10' resulting in good ,hard and reachy moves protected by wires. After this, the crack widens to hands and cups through a flare (The Burnisher). Belay about 20' below the roof unless you have excellent rope drag management skills in which case you should link the next pitch.
P4. 5.9 50'. Up the crack to the roof utilizing juggy blocks where you dare. Hand traverse the side of the roof and continue up a a stembox to an OK stance about 20' below the rim. Disregarding the choss, this pitch is somewhat Gunks-like. If you didn't link this pitch w/ P3, it can easily be linked with P5 if you use enough long runners below the roof.
P5. 5.11a (soft) 20'. Stem and layback out the left side of the stem box on remarkably sticky calcite. A few feet of easy hands leads to another instantaneous Rectory topout. The hard part can be protected with either micro cams or a #4 Camalot.
Descend Fine Jade.
1 set wires, 3 ea purple, blue, green, yellow Aliens, 3 ea 1 & 1.5 Friend, 4 or 5 #2 Friend, 2 each 2.5, 3, 3.5 Friend, 1 #5 Camalot. Long runners and quickdraws
|By david goldstein|
Apr 29, 2003
Errata: The corner on the first pitch is left facing the whole way.
|By Frank Stock|
Apr 29, 2003
Errata 2: Should read TWO each purple through yellow Aliens, not three.
|By Anonymous Coward|
May 2, 2003
Hey Dave good write up and description. Its been some years since Mark and I were on the second pitch but I thought it was harder than 11a. After digging around in my old mags I found the topo from last year and that creates a certain expectation that chalk and beta may fulfill. Similarly, I saw the cover with Poseiden Adventure which would disabuse any fool who saw it of trying to climb the route with their hands or fists in the crack.
|By Chris Barlow|
Apr 4, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
I did this route over the weekend, and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. While a good desert adventure, it is not nearly on par with Fine Jade or the North Face of Castleton. The upper two pitches have pretty poor rock that significantly detracts from the quality. It's certainly a worthy (and rather adventurous) route but not really a substitute for the better known classics in Castle Valley. I would say it's on the second tier (quality wise) of climbs on the mesa.
|By Jason Nelson|
From: SLC, UT
May 3, 2010
This route is steep, strenuous, exposed, and with mostly good rock. A great tower adventure. The left start is much more aesthetic, but maybe be prepared for something that feels harder than 11a. Also, my #4 C4 Camalot was too small to protect the intimidating, but short lived P5 crux. A #5 C4 would likely do the trick.
Jun 12, 2013
Did this fantastic route with MB last week. Plenty of shade so it was perfect for a 80 degree day. It was chilly with a windshirt. First pitch on the left starts out pretty tipsy for about 20ft. We thought it was solid 11+, then gets 10ish to Metolius rap hanger anchor straight up. We then down climbed back down the leaning pilar and did a face traverse left to regain the other crack for our second pitch. Rock and climbing were excellent on the next three pitches. No gimme pitches, full desert value. Rapped fine jade with single 70m. You could bail with a single 70 from the top of third pitch, what David is calling the second, however you link it... After that, there are no anchors.