Dave Rone on the FFA of Mr. Lean, 6/26/84. Whillan...
You can use some bigger cams (up to 3 camalot on the right arching crack) on the lower part of the route, leading to the big ledge. After that, the crack starts out tight hands, then ranges from tips to large fingers. So take cams from 00 C3 up to 3 Camalot, and stoppers 8-12.
Note: On the FFA I used only stoppers, hexes, and slider nuts.
Mr. Lean is about 20' south of Mack the Knife, and is best viewed from the North Tower. From North Tower, look south for the large pedestal at about 1/3rd height on left edge of the cliff face, and the crack which rises from the pedestal. This crack, about 3' right of the arete, is the business of Mr. Lean.
From the talus, climb up to a prominent right-arching crack that gets much wider as you go higher. Jam, layback, and face climb the crack to the large pedestal. From the pedestal, climb the hands/tight hands crack to a locker finger slot and pull up onto a small sloping ledge. Shake out here, it's your last chance! From here the crack narrows to finger tips for a few moves (crux) until you can reach good holds where a horizontal crack intersects the route. Although the difficulty eases the pump factor takes off as you continue up the overhanging crack that has widened to fingers/rattley fingers. Finish by traversing left on small edges to a big ledge about 15' below the top and then up the arete. A harder finish continues up the crack a few more feet to the arete.
The crux to this is about 30 ft above the tree. I got a good blue and a purple tcu within 3-4 ft of each other to protect it, using a bomber toe hook down the crack with my right foot. Super pumpy to the max! Trad is rad.
Looking at the photo on this page, Mack the Knife is just outside the right side of the frame. So, Mr. Lean is the arete just south of Mack the knife. TR setup in an obvious 1" crack. This route could maybe use a better description overall huh...?
Great route and a solid lead for the 5.11 leader! The gear is great almost the entire way with only a couple sections (mostly at the bottom) of less-than-perfect rock. A decent rest can be had right before the crux.
The rack I brought consisted of doubles from blue TCU/red C3 to #1 Camalot, and a single #2 Camalot. One could also find a place for a green C3/purple TCU, but it wasn't necessary. A couple extendable slings were crucial, too, for the very bottom and very top.
The anchor at the top can be made with a few .75 Camalots and/or a #6 Camalot.
By Frost Dec 14, 2010 rating: 5.11d7a24VIII25E5 6a
This gets my vote for best Palisade crack climb. 'Gently' overhanging fingers on solid rock. Props to those who have lead. Looking forward to that as the gear looks perfect!