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Neko's route is a great 5.7 alternative to either Chrome-plated or La Chaim, if either you've done both of those routes before or they've got parties on them, and it's conveniently located about halfway between the two.
Pitch 1 starts up the right side of the first large block left of Chrome-Plated. You can either lieback it or use good face hold to the right, using both the crack and a couple bolts on the face for protection. At the top of the block, take the line of least resistence up the face (the easiest way may not be immediately obvious) and head up towards an arching crack which leads to the belay ledge shared by both Neko's Route and Chrome-Plated.
Pitch 2 traverses left from the belay and out onto the face immediately left of the Chrome-plated dihedral. Once you're out on the face a little ways, you can get a couple pieces in a short flared crack and maybe a pocket (if my memory serves me right), and then head up the runout 5.6 face staying fairly near the edge of the dihedral. The only protection between the start of the pitch and the wide crack near the ledge at the top (or the ledge itself depending on how far to the right you're climbing near the top of the pitch) is an old quarter inch bolt near a small bush. But as the climbing's easy and positive, the lack of more bolts spices it up a bit and only adds to the fun. After passing the bolt, you can either climb straight up and head for the belay ledge's low point, or you can veer to the left towards a low-angled wide crack that takes you to the ledge a little higher up and left. Once at the ledge, there are several possible places to belay from, but I like to set my anchor at the first place the ledge becomes suitable to safely walk off from, in a shallow left-facing dihedral that takes small stoppers.
From here, either walk off left past the large ponderosa Pine and down the descent gully, or continue towards the top via Chrome-Plated's upper pitches.
Bring a standard rack, although you won't be using most of your gear.
|By Errett Allen|
Aug 13, 2002
The "old quarter inch bolt" is actually a substantial looking hex machine head that is almost certainly 3/8" or bigger. Additionally it looks well placed and solid. Compared to the mank bolt on Root of All Evil, this one is a beaut -- much newer and would probably hold a big fall by a sumo wrestler. The only problem with it is that it is hard to see from below due to the rusty hanger. As you climb the face, make sure to parallel the dihedral of Chrome Plated which is about ten feet to the side and this means you will be veering slightly to the right as you climb and will be heading straight for the bolt.