This is a simply spectacular route. A 3rd class slab leads directly to the roof. 15' or slightly more of sinker horizontal hand jamming (assuming average sized men's hands) lead to desperate super tight hands jamming around the lip. Once above the lip a tricky though not terribly difficult move or two and a last thin piece of gear are best dispatched before the pump clock catches up with you! Best led with one rope - clip your first piece or two with slings and don't blow it. At the lip place a piece or two and fire around the corner. Once established above the roof make sure to route the rope through a little groove/slot approximately 6" left of the crack - this will prevent your gear from walking deep into the crack (cams are fixed on this route reasonably frequently) or the rope from hanging on a cam before you get to the anchor.
A couple of hand sized pieces, one each 1-2" and a selection of thin pieces for the last placement or two. Bolted belay/rappel.
One thing I forgot to add - readily toproped by scrambling up the backside (4th/easy 5th class slab). A safe toprope but if you blow it early in the roof the pendulum is better than disneyland. Be sure to pick up your feet and not drag them through the cat's claw on the way by :)
A question for all the hardmen: For a punter (me) with dreams of Separate Reality, I'm working on roof cracks of all sizes for endurance, strength, technique, etc. Obviously I'm working on redpointing this route and have been working on Big Bob's Big Wedge and Pigpen. I'm wondering what people think of other training climbs - I'm hoping to make it to Red Rocks soon and try Desert Reality, and I'm thinking of bushwacking around Woodson until I find Undertow. Other suggestions? Anyone been on Separate Reality and have training advice? Thanks a bunch.
More Monkey was my first totally horizontal crack, but as you found out, the vertical bit is harder than the roof. Separate Reality is much harder than More Monkey. The roof starts out pretty wide, but you can reach past it to solid hand jams deep in the crack. The roof is much longer too, and it gets progressively harder with each move, the end of the crack is very tight hands, from where you have to make a very strenuous reach to am awkward flake at the lip. Also, I never wear tape on my hands, and I did monkey several times with no tape and no pain, but on separate reality, you'll want tape. My hands bled from a dozen holes after this route, the rock inside the crack is extremely coarse for Yosemite standards. Core body strength counts for much more than crimp power on Separate reality. Also, keep only one foot at a time in the crack, use the other foot for flagging for balance. Good luck!
By C Miller Administrator Mar 20, 2003 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-E3 5c
Some ideas for roof cracks at Josh -
Castaway, Moronogo Man, Rice Cake Roof, Emotional Rescue, Control to KAOS, Comfortably Numb
These are of different ratings and widths to provide skill in a variety of situations. Hopefully when you get on Separate Reality you'll be prepared, and it won't be too bad; of course a season at the Gunks or at the T-Wall would really do the trick...get horizontal!
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Mar 20, 2003
I climbed this route several years ago on toprope with a then 18-year-old kid named Ben who went on to become a YOSAR staff and Yosemite hardman. Anyway, we used a 2-rope TR system to minimize the monster swing if you pop off. If memory serves, we set one rope in the usual location up top. Another anchor was set at the top of the initial slab where the horizontal crack begins. The climber could then climb the route on 2 separate belays (2 belayers needed). It worked out well (not that I fell or anything ;) ).
By C Miller Administrator Mar 20, 2003 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-E3 5c
A single rope will suffice if toproping this line as the roof crack is much easier than past the lip.
Indeed - one rope suffices, the roof crack out to the lip is very easy - strenuous but fantastic hand jams, and even if you do fall it's much more exciting to be on a single rope and have a great big swing :)
i tried tr'ing this one when i had only been climbing three weeks.... the idea of a hand jam still eluded me and evrytime i tried to pick me feet up into the crack i would take a huge ride into space, have to admit it was kinda fun, just watch out for the catclaw as your being lowered.....owwwwww!
I tried top-roping this this thing years ago. I actually got my hand stuck at the beginning of the crack. Stuck like an oversunk nut. I was out from the slab, but not near enough to the lip to get any help from the rope. I was sweating it - and pumping out -until I finally managed to slip my hand out. Never got back to doing it though...
Very fun and short little route! Some of the best handjamming in a roof that I have ever done. I had a ton of fun on it and would recommend it to anyone who can lead solid 5.11. T.R.ing it may be fun but the lead is very exciting, it takes gear exceptionally well. I personally think when led it bumps the grade up to it's guidebook 5.11d, Enjoy!
For those that advocate the two rope system for leading or top-roping, I must say that a single rope works quite well for both applications. The swing, while considerable, is quite safe. For those leading the climb, be careful climbing above the lip encounter: if you fall and your belayer gives you too "static" of a belay , you run the risk of taking a pendulum into the roof. I did, and it hurt. A prudent "dynamic" belay would probably help all that. Or you could not fall like I did.
On YouTube there is an old video of John Bachar soloing this roof for an episode of "That's Incredible". Its pretty funny to hear in the back ground "Fran Tarkington" (sp?) saying that the part of the climb above the roof is "the most dangerous part" even though that's were the harder moves are on this route. Always impressive on the other hand to see climber solo footage of hard routes and later in the video "Leave it to Beaver" is soloed by John.
Gear recommendations: (1) #2 C4 (first placement), (2) #1 C4 (or 1 C4 and a black metolius), (1) .75 C4, (1) 0.5 (orange metolius), (1) #0 master cam (purple for the top of the climb). Make sure to not place the #1 in the roof in your hand jam spot... I placed the black metolius at the lip. Optional green master cam for the roof.
Super classic route! Great cold weather oven over there too.
As to the pro listed above: How about just using crack size instead of all these brand specific sizes? WTF is a black/brown #9 Trango 2010 series master cranker? How about 2" pro under the roof and something in the 1" range around the lip?
Not everyone owns all that bullshit or even knows what it all is.
I read an article in an old Climbing or Rock and Ice rag of Bachar recounting his witness to a solo ascent of this climb by John Yablonski. Yabo made it through the roof, and pulling the lip he just freaked. He was super pumped. Bachar thought Yabo had no business being on the rig without a rope and told him so prior to booting up. So Yabo is panicking, maxing out on poor jams and his entire body starts quivering; no I mean violently shaking. Somehow between blood-curling screams Yabo manages to make one more move, then another, and another, each time catching the jam poorly, with his fingers and hands oozing out. He stayed on each "jam" just long enough to snatch the higher, equally poorly set jam the moment before the lower jam was going to grease out in the next tenth of a second. It must have been quite a site to witness. Had I been there (or alive at that time), I don't think I would have been able to watch. Yabo was renowned for his skin of the teeth solos, but I understand that this one was an exceptional horror show. I am glad that the guy made it.