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Neurosurgeon climbs the stellar fingercrack on the far right side of the 'central' River Wall (after the bouldering approach in from right), just right of the steep 'slab' Le Diamant E'ternal. The only reason this climb doesn't receive three stars in my book is the scary finishing options. One must either climb difficult to protect direct 5.11 PG/R finish or move right around the arete as the crack fades in and out and finish on loose scary 5.9 R climbing. The lower portion of the climb, the meat of it, is beautiful and can be worth the scare above, or better yet TR the line.
Start with stellar fingerlocks. Just before the roof the crack widens to off-fingers and thin hands (cruxy). Polish off the roof above and climb several body lengths of pumpy crack. Good footwork here will make all the difference. On the lead one must choose here as the crack fades in and out to climb right to the arete and up (5.9 R) or directly up the 5.11 (PG/R) finish. A TR will follow the 5.11 finish.
A rack heavy on small medium gear up to 2.5 inches, and a double sets of TCUs or Aliens are useful. You can use the anchor to the left atop of Le Diamant E'ternal (LDE). It is possible to toprope via these anchors with some well-placed directional gear.
Climber on Neurosurgeon.
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Apr 5, 2002
Be careful if you lead this one. One climber I know nearly paid the ultimate price for this climb. Belay diligently, place good pro, & climb carefully. You want to gain from the experiences of others.
|By Malcolm Daly|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 16, 2003
Mark Wilford discovered this crag in the mid-eighties when Jeff Lowe's company, Latok, was located downstream in Lyons. Four of us (Jeff, Mark, Steve Mammen, and I) went up one afternoon to climb here, and we all epic'd. Mark and Steve took the thin crack line of what is now called Pocket Hercules, so Jeff and I got the Neurosurgeon line. I got the lead and put the line up to just over the roof where I pumped out and fell. We were climbing under the "3 strikes" rule, so after a couple more falls, I lowered off and Jeff got the lead. He pulled through the roof and was in the rest stance above when we watched Mark and Steve have the most hilarious epic I've ever witnessed over on what was to become Pocket Hercules. We were laughing so hard and Mark was so wet, we all bagged it and went into town for beers.
The next day I told Piana about the epic, the crag, and the lines, and by the time we went back, he had bagged the FAs on both lines.
To read the epic, go to the Pocket Hercules comments. Malcolm
Mar 30, 2010
Such an amazing line! One of the best 12a's in Colorado!
|By Jeff G.|
From: Fort Collins
May 1, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a R
This is a great pitch of thin crack climbing. Three hard sections add up to a pretty burly route. The runouts are on easier ground, the hard stuff is very well-protected.