Much Slater (left variation)
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Here it is, one the "8 routes to test your mettle"(did you read the article?). I did this route the other day as a ground up, onsight ascent; not to be confused as a headpoint...Quite a wild ride, luckily thats just a pun.
P1: (5.9+ X) This is the first pitch of Saint Augustine, which is located between The Italian Arete and upper Grand Giraffe, off of the Upper Ramp. Loose! Set up a belay on the pedestal.
P2: (5.11d R+) This is the first half of St Augustine's second pitch, but we exit over the obvious roof just before SA's short crux out right. This is a traversing pitch up and right through lichenous huecos and at first, no pro. Aim for the roof depositing as much pro as you can. Protection is possible over the roof but with some effort...
The crux is turning the roof to a semi-rest and then making two or three insecure moves up and left on a series of questionable? flakes. [This is the left variation] Keep in mind you are relying on the lone piece of pro above the roof that isn't total junk but its not exactly bomber either...Its not over yet! After a couple 5.10 moves on dubious flakes you finally have another chance for protection, in a hollow sounding flake. Five-Nine climbing toward a fixed nut ends the scare factor. Finish the pitch on easier rock to the ledge. A 190' pitch!
Set of nuts, cams from .4"-3" (I recommend bringing 3 Green Aliens for crux pitch due to their stability in shallow placements), long runners, maybe double ropes for gear stability.
|Photos of Much Slater (left variation) Slideshow
Is there any good gear or solid holds up here???
|Comments on Much Slater (left variation)
|By Alex Shainman|
From: the best place right now!
May 3, 2002
...After speaking with one of the first ascensionists it was acknowledged that the original free line of Much Slater went over the roof, immediately moved up and right (at a sort of "Y") to an angle piton driven down behind a flake, hence there are two variations to this crux pitch (as per the above route description, this left version is much more sustained and run-out). Not knowing anything about the route, I thought I was going the proper way. Its not for certain if anyone had done this left variation prior to my ascent. For historical significance, the route was originally attempted free by Jim Erickson 30 years ago, which resulted in the Saint Augustine traverse under the roof. -AS
Nov 20, 2003
This morning, I saw someone take a 30-40 foot fall from above the roof on this climb, and then bail off right towards upper Grand Giraffe. I hope everyone's OK.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Nov 21, 2003
That was Eric J on, and off, Much Slater yesterday. A Left handhold broke part way up the runout Left option of the headwall, he fell, and a green alien placement above the roof ripped.Probably a 40 foot fall...but clean and all is well. (Easy for me to say since I was belaying.) The 3 or 3.5 friend placement under and to the R of the roof held the fall. We finished on Saint Augustine which is cool.
|By Roger from Ouray|
Mar 23, 2009
Alex; after a discussion with Michael Gilbert, who was Slater's belayer, it turns out that he did do the left variation, on-sight.
Nov 29, 2011
Curiousity and lack of a belayer got the best of me the other day so I TR soloed the route a couple times. The left way does still go after the broken hold incident, but it leads you back to the flake with the pin in it. So, in the end, I think the best and most natural climbing is to follow the seam, tending right (actually passing a medium nut placement), to the pin on the flake. From there, it's spicy to the fixed nut, then you're done. Great full value pitch, .11d R.
|By Scott Bennett|
Feb 16, 2013
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a R
Agree with Eric, the natural line follows the seam above the roof, up and to the right. I stepped right to the flake w/ pin, and then stepped back left to the vague system of hollow flakes that led to the fixed nut.
As for pro on the pitch, I was able to stretch and place bomber gear above the roof before committing to the crux and then stepped back down to rest. Getting established above the roof is the crux, and then there are a few thin moves before gaining the aforementioned flake with pin. It's a jug, so it feels like the end of the business, but it's not.
The pin is suspect, and so is all the gear in this section. There's a good 15m of tricky 5.10-ish climbing (with plenty of lichen and sub-par rock) to the fixed wire (and more good pro). This is the scary part.