This is the right bolt line on the East Face. It stays near the arete, possibly utilizing it. Another fun edgy climb with mostly legs and a little hands.
2 bolts for the anchors, that are on the face now, instead of over the top. 2-3 draws for bolts on the way up. Contingent upon, Some guy chopping bolts cause he feels it neccesary. If the bolt is chopped a #6 wall nut works acceptable in a horizontal hole. Be careful.
By Lee Gitlin Sep 24, 2004 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
The climb itself isn't bad, some interesting movement and use of the arete/edges. But recommending that anyone lead this route is to reserve a spot in hell. Two bolts over sixty feet? Do yourself a favor: walk around the east side of the wall and toprope.
Nice thin face with footwork to be done. What holds you have are crimpy, top rope it or lead at your own peril. More bolts would make this an interesting lead rather than just plain dangerous. The arete is exposed with some great views.
A classic case where 1 more bolt = more 5.8 leaders might actually lead this. My Ruckman guide shows the middle bolt, and also claims the Ruckmans for the first ascent - whats up with that? Why chop 1 bolt and leave an ugly bolt hole?
I would actually really enjoy learning about the history of the first ascent though, I cant find that info anywhere.
I'd like to see someone get in a piece of gear between the two bolts that would actually hold a fall. It is probably possible, but I sure didn't bring any piece that would work. Fall from near the second bolt and you'd deck. Be careful, or TR it.
I understand the theory behind making this thing dangerously run-out (fyi I can lead this no problem), but this whole extreme bolting ethic really makes CRAGGING not so much fun. If this were an "alpine pitch" or part of a harder, longer route...sure - fine. But it's a stupid crag. Crags are where people push themselves to get better, and I just can't see this type of bolting ethic getting folks better at climbing. A lead you'll remember? Seriously? It's an easy short non-descript 5.8. Maybe people who get all high and mighty about making fun near the city sport climbs dangerous don't get out that much in the mountains, and this is their only chance to feel all bad-ass. I'm gonna call climbing mag's hot flashes. "SLC Climber Frees 60' 5.8 Slab with only two bolts!" The folks that put this route up were really really good, and probably didn't want to spend extra money/time making it safe for what would eventually become a popular crag. Is this climb really that "historical"? Should their accomplishment be so revered? Come on! I feel these type of crags are public domain and should be equipped for the masses. Sure it's cool to have some scary testpieces at cragging areas...but this sure as hell isn't one of them. I mean, let's say for whatever reason you did fall. Wouldn't you feel stupid at the ER talking to the nurse who probably climbs that you broke your leg on a 5.8 sport climb. Or worse yet, you are climbing something else and another party of gumbies gets on it an epics. Now you gotta deal with that.
Sorry didn't mean to go off...it just gets really frustrating to want to have a fun day of cragging when a lot of the "ethics" around SLC make a lot of the crags just kinda pain in the asses. Want to have ethics? Instead of chopping bolts, go volunteer at a soup kitchen, or sterilize a stupid person.
It is more than just your opinion Michael, what it really shows is a lack of understanding about climbing history and ethics (yes ethics, they do exist for a reason). Here are a few perfect crags with lots of safe sport climbing for you... I recommend Rockreation, or Momentum. For shorter cragging The Front is pretty good. And no, I won't feel stupid going to the ER because if I felt like I couldn't lead it safely, I wouldn't. Climbing is about making decisions and judgment calls. If you don't want to lead it as is, set up a TR on it.
Whatever Ben, I fully understand. I understand ethics and ethics that get out of hand. I also fully understand that "old boys" networks that surround local crags. Almost every crag around the country has got a few. I am more than well aware of ethics and history. Like I said I won't touch it. But 5.8 isn't much of a historical climb for 1985, they still used bolts on the route, so I'm suggesting that the FA party was too good/cheap/or lazy to make it safe...I would have done the same thing. But once it became and uber popular crag, I wouldn't pull this high and mighty sh%t, and would gladly let someone add another bolt. If it was a groundbreaking testpiece or at least a 50% trad route...I'd be pissed if more bolts were added. But it's not. It's a 5.8 sport climb with a place for a piece of gear most day craggers (even wit a rack) don't have on them.
Ok just saw your comment above about it being established on lead without bolts. Forgive me for not knowing that. Doesn't change my opinion. Just makes the FA more annoying. If I were to go back in time and climb a bunch easy grade pre-bolted routes on gear or solo, would I be an a$$shole if I hogged all those possilbe fun sport routes becuase I was such a baddass. (I am NOT suggesting the FA party was being jerks or irresponsible).
example: West slabs on Mt Olympus - of course don't bolt it. The Fin...same. Notch Peak - I could even argue that there are enough gear placements to get rid of a few bolts, etc, etc... Lots of climbs have been very memorable b/c of run-outs and having my skills as a climber and gear placer. I'm saying I just don't see this being one of them. I've been on climbs where the other member wanted to add bolts (and did) or helped clean a new route where I thought the leader was over-bolting and I cringed.
Anyway, I wasn't attacking you on a personal level - you are entitled to your opinion...and again, I don't plan on adding or chopping any bolts to routes that aren't mine. But, saying I have a lack of understanding on climbing ethics is ridiculous.
Gary Olson said: In 1983 there were about 30 Routes in the Big Cottonwood Guide Book. This was a little orange Guide written by John Gottman, with a foreward by Harold Goodro (of Goodro’s wall fame) and printed by the Wasatch Mtn Club. It seemed strange, that Little Cottonwood got so much new route action and BCC was neglected. That is unless you take into account how chossy BCC looked to us. Back in those days I viewed LCC like a miniature Yosemite. I grew up with Royal Robbins Rockcraft as my bible for learning to rockclimb and all of those pictures showed what the real rock was supposed to look like. So for many of us, it was easy to overlook the broken fractured rock in BCC.
The Wasatch Mtn Club held a gathering Thursday evening and all of the regulars would go there. The funny thing was that many of us would climb in LCC then go to BCC for the Beer and Burgers night. There was also a contingent that would make laps on Goodro’s but not any new routes to speak of. We swapped lies, swilled beer and partook of the $1.00 burgers the club served. You didn’t have to be a member to buy their food and beer and besides, there were usually many female hikers in attendance as well because the Club had a Thursday hike that night and the hiking group would come after dark usually. This was a fun event and I think I started going to it in about 1980. Local climbers like Dave Jenkins (who soloed a new route on Alpamayo), Rick Wyatt (the first man to ski off the Grand on Nordic Skiis), Dave Foulger, Hal Gribble, Guy Toombes, Jim Dockery (who climbed all over the world) and Harold Goodro with his big white beard all made appearances. I am missing a whole bunch but many of these guys showed up. This was a core group of Wasatch climbers in those days. Jim Dockery gave some of the best slideshows I have ever seen of his travels. He did the second ascent of the North Face of Mt Hooker, the Shady Lady a VI 5.11 A4 with Bradshaw. The Thursday event was the climbers social gathering and it was a hell of a lot of fun.
In 1984 I had been climbing a lot and looking for new route potential. I don’t know why I started thinking Big Cottonwood Canyon, but the most significant thing I did for Wasatch Climbing in the 80’s was to get Bret and Stuart Ruckman to start climbing in BCC. Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming anything other than spurring some activity over in the other canyon. It was bound to happen sooner or later. As soon as people tried a few routes, they decided it was alright and the new routes were put up in BCC.
Psychobabble looked like a likely candidate and after toiling at the University of Utah, Bret, Chris Pendleton and I went up to check it out. You see, one of my specialties was to get the Ruckman’s psyched up about some project then trick them into leading it. Both were pretty easy to do, and over the 25 plus years I have climbed with them, I have become an expert. Talking Bret into something got me up the Titan in 1983, The Scenic Cruise and the Stoned Oven in the Black and the Yellow Wall on the Diamond among others. You would think that Stuart would learn from his brothers mistakes, but he was a quick study as well. This trickery got me up the Nose in a Day and the Salathe in a Day (different long days) with Stuart. Getting to the summit is not all about the climbing, sometimes trickery is required. Pretty successful trickery eh?
Well if you want to learn how to do it, you have to find the right guys first. You have to start with people that all they want to do is climb. Then you have to build trust by being easy going. It helps when the guys you are trying to get to lead don’t have any quit in them. Above all, don’t act like you want something to bad. “You know Bret, this looks like a really good climb, buddy, it has your name all over it!” “Oh yes, I have my camera, you lead and I will snap a few shots!” (This line works wonders.) How can they not get on the sharp end when you are going out of your way to shoot some pics? The other trick I employed was to study the topo in fine detail prior to the ascent. I would have mapped out all the crux pitches and have them assigned. On the Stoned Oven with Bret, I extolled the virtues of leading in blocks and that gave him three 5.11 pitches and me one (even though mine was R rated I still came out on top). Like I said, I got pretty good at it and I have yet to see any ethical uproar over these tricks. Luckily the Ruckman’s were good-natured enough to go along with it.
Chris Pendleton was a go for it guy too. Chris put up Revenge of the Nerds a very tricky 11a near the Green A (on lead). This time he actually got suckered into the sharp end initially. He led up to the dihedral before the crux and got pretty worked so he came down and Bret took over the lead. For guys used to slabby LCC, BCC was fraught with danger. Our skinny arms were going to get worked and there had to be pro on that steep stuff because wee were not planning on hanging out bolting. In those days there was no climbing at AF and essentially no sport climbing or indoor walls to train on. We did Psychobabble ground up. Bret finished off the route and I was on top looking down shooting pics. As Bret was entering the last steep part of the climb I noticed a U of U climbing class down in the Picnic area, probably wondering WTF is up with those guys. Turns out that is the first time that Bret’s future wife Judy saw him, she was in the class. Psychobabble spawned a marriage and became a classic on the Thursday night climbing session.
The next set of routes for us LCC slab climbers to look at was the Penitentiary Wall above Ledgemere Picnic Ground. I don’t recall whether it was the Ruckman’s or I who spotted and hiked up to these first, but if you are a slab climber venturing up BCC, you can’t miss these slabs. Bret, Stuart and I hiked up one morning with the intent of climbing whatever we could that day. The smoothness of the quartzite was scary. Had Sport climbing in America been 2-3 years earlier, we may have succumbed and bolted the suckers. Instead they were all done ground up. I think in one day we did the First Ascent of Climb and Punishment, Life Sentence, Jailbait and I attempted Minimum Security. Minimum Security scared the crap out of me. I made it up quite a ways and decided I needed something better than all of those RP’s. I think in the 100 feet of climbing the biggest piece was a #1 Wild country Rock. At about the half-way point I pounded in a knifeblade. The sucker stuck halfway out but I clipped it.
It was definitely time for some better pro. I started to drill. I have drilled bolts on lead in granite that seemed like a piece of cake compared to quartzite. In those days we used ¼” bolts, the kind that are considered deathtraps today. The quartzite kept binding with the bit. It was getting late in the day so we bailed after I had the hole half way drilled.
I will never forget the angst that I had over this one climb. Style was very important. Bret wanted to drill the bolt on rappel, and since I had started it, I felt like I should finish the sucker on lead, but Bret knew I was also scared shitless. It sure seemed like drilling that bolt on rappel would be the answer. At the U of U we ran into Brian Smoot and we asked him about what we should do. He and Les had just completed, Wasatch RockClimbs. In that book Les had written something like, “Who can judge the boldness of future climbers?” This was a call to protect the ground up traditions of first ascents. Brian quoted us this line, and I blame him for giving me the impetus to go back up and finish the sucker. Bret and I returned. Hand drilling in quartzite was a nightmare and while I did a number of new routes in BCC, that is the first and last bolt I drilled. Every route I did in BCC was ground up. Without a Bosch power drill, you are crazy (like the Ruckmans) to drill in quartzite.
Those ¼” bolts are split and when you hammer them in they compress into the hole. Only on that bolt, the rock chipped behind the bolt. It sucked. (I think that same bolt is there and should be replaced by a beefy one.) It was time to go. I climbed through the crux and finished the route. Minimum Security is a good route to practice difficult protection, and is quite long for that area, except we did hold the dihedral to the right and the edge to the left off limits artificially, so that the route is a little contrived and that is why it gets two stars in the book.
Standards lagged behind those of LCC. I was not particularly concerned about what the hardest route was in LCC or BCC since I couldn’t do them but in the quest for new routes in BCC, Bret and I found a new line. The Dogwood crag at that time had one route we knew about and Bret and Merrill had climbed it at 5.7R. Up canyon, hidden in the trees was an overhanging wall that was super water polished. We attempted this route ground up and had to work it. Trying to protect the overhanging thin crack was hideous. Brian Smoot came with us one day and while I sat in a tree taking pics, Brian fell on a #3 Chouinard Brass Nut. From my vantage point in the trees I could see something funky with the gear so I yelled to lower Brian down, it was’nt too far up but….These Brass nuts were like RP’s and the soft brass ripped out of the rock and was now no longer tapered but had deformed its way out of the hard quartzite. Later Chouinard started making them out of steel and forgot the brass. (For you younguns BD used to be Chouinard.)
The day we cracked the lower section was a big one for us. It had taken 3-4 days of trying the same 30 foot section of rock that we probably could have gotten on TR much more rapidly. Bret linked the last section of strenuous handcrack to yield at that time the most difficult route in BCC: This aint no Party, This aint no Disco. We gave it a 12a and it was downrated by the next crew to 11d. It didn’t last long on the top of the heap, BCC had been discovered by more talented climbers and soon the place was also seeing the advent of sport climbing.
Trying that route ground up reinforced for me that I was not cut out for that type of climbing. For me, attempting something at my limit with difficult protection, working it for multiple days, seemed a bit contrived and while it took me a few years before I rapp bolted, thoughts about that route seemed to help justify starting at the top of the climb. That was in 1984 when the sport climbing explosion and all of the ethics debates at Smith Rock started to rock the climbing community. While we may have been a little lagging in Utah at that time, there were definitely many up and coming climbers who would then start developing routes from the top down. Drilling in the quartzite by hand was crazy, and it took the advent of power drills before major routes were put up in BCC. However, I know the Ruckmans never owned a drill, they may have snagged Gordy's sometimes but they usually hand drilled their routes.
So are you saying that respecting the style in which the first ascent climbed the route is "ethics getting out of hand"? Thats crazy. There are a lot of styles of putting up routes. I put up routes here and there, sometimes they are well protected sport climbs, sometimes not quite as well protected. It depends on the area, the line, all sorts of things. I have nothing against bolts at all, but I do think that the first ascent party should be respected and people should continue to climb established routes in the same style as they were first climbed. In that way, there will be routes of all types of styles, so that everyone can enjoy themselves as they choose to. To be honest, I don't give a shit about Narcolepsy(except that it is a nice route), but I am afraid of comments which suggest changing routes from their original state. I feel that way, because some people have forgotten the ethic of respecting the FA. There are new bolts all over the Wasatch on routes that have been safely climbed by hundreds of people for over half a century without bolts(I keep stubbing my toes on them). Some of those climbs even have new names, even though they are the exact same route. It detracts from climbing history, and ultimately it takes away skills which everyone who calls themselves climbers should gain.
Whatever Ben, I fully understand. I understand ethics and ethics that get out of hand. I also fully understand that "old boys" networks that surround local crags. Almost every crag around the country has got a few. I am more than well aware of ethics and history.
I think you may be aware, but, you're pretty far away from understanding.
Stuart is around. He isn't an "old boy" yet (ha ha!). At least he doesn't look or climb like one.
Not every route is meant to be led by the lowest common denominator climber. Variety is the spice of the climbing life, and, being able to make decisions for you and yours. Easy TR or very memorable lead climb?
This is hardly a "nondescript" 5.8. And, the way it was done originally adds, not takes away, from that. If you don't get it, fine. Maybe some day you will, or, you won't.
I've forgotton many many of the clip ups I've done over the years. I can "see" the moves around that cut out slot on this route, right now, with clarity. And, I think that's pretty neat. No matter the grade.
By DrApnea From: Salt Lake City, UT Jul 19, 2012 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c R
#00 mastercam and an offset #2/3 mastercam both fit great below the first bolt. Didn't try anything between that and the second because the holds were pretty good if you stay right.
Very aesthetic line, especially if you enjoy the mental challenge of climbing as much as the physical. All i could find for gear was a BD#.4 right off the ground and a #.5 and marginal #.75 side by side between bolts 2 and 3. Great rock!
By Stan Pitcher From: SLC, UT Jul 21, 2014 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c R
My gear beta is purple TCU below 1st bolt and a pretty bomber .4 and marginal .5 or .75 next to it halfway between 1st and 2nd bolt. You can maybe get a RP or micronut on the arete above that.