No Country for Old Men
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No Country for Old Men is a great route with a little bit of everything; great rock, crap rock, super fun easy pitches, scary hard pitches, secure hard pitches, and everything in between. Between dodging poison ivy in the Prisoner of Your Hairdo gully, busting some runout 5.10 climbing, and raining gravel down on my partner whilst climbing 11- terrain, this was a big day and quite an adventure.
Pitches 1, 2, 12, 13, and 14 are shared with Atlantis. Pitches 7 & 8 and 13 & 14 are easily linked, and are described as such.
P1: Head up easy, unprotected black rock, continuing past a pillar with flakes stacked atop it and through a bulge (5.9) above. Continue up more easy rock to a stance at a thin flake. 5.9, 55m.
P2: Climb the flake through a peg band and into a right-facing corner above. Exit the corner by following a hand and finger crack that leads to a ledge with blocks. The next pitch starts up and to your left; belay where convenient. 5.9, 50m.
P3: Climb the face and funky looking right-facing flake above the stacked blocks. There's gear to be had, but blowing these moves (10-) would land you on the ledge. Continue up slightly runout face climbing through a crux (11-) protected by two bolts. Traverse left after the second bolt into a right-facing corner which is followed to a ledge with two bolts. 5.11- R, 45m.
P4: Move left off the belay into a right-facing corner; climb this to its top and exit left. You're aiming up and right toward an open book that leads to a fixed (three nuts) belay. Follow corners to the left, be sure to sling your gear and head right when the going gets bushy; a sloping ledge allows easy passage from these corners into the open book. 5.9, 50m.
P5: Move right into a clean right-facing dihedral through a section of terrific 5.7 fingers and hands. Surmount ledges and a pillar with some tat on the way to a belay at the base of the Red Dihedral. 5.7, 55m.
P6: Head up the dihedral, passing a spot of 5.10 moving through a roof. Continue up as the crack in the corner closes and forces you into a mantle (10- R) to exit the dihedral. 5.10 R, 30m.
P7 & 8: Climb rightward off the belay to a bolt and then launch into a committing sequence to gain the crux finger crack (5.11). Follow the crack through lower-angle terrain, reaching an optional belay beneath a funky cavity. Two options for continuing: 1) Follow the topo, blasting out the cavity through a junky-looking crack (5.11) or 2) pass the cavity on it's left over enjoyable 5.8ish flakes. Either way, continue to the top of a pillar of dark rock, and climb a peg corner to a decent ledge with a bolt. 5.11, two 30+m pitches, one 65m pitch.
P9: "A hard rain's, a-gonna fall." Climb up the slightly rotten corner off the ledge, traversing right beneath an overlap to a "crack" in a vertical pegmatite band. Move daintily up the disintegrating crack, and, before it arcs right, traverse along a down- & rightward trending ramp of solid rock to a bolt and piton belay. 5.11-, 30m.
P10: Climb carefully up and right off the belay through slightly runout moves protected by a lone bolt. Continue through easier face climbing to a decent ledge of solid rock amidst a good deal of peg. 5.10+ R, 30m.
P11: Wander up and right through the pegmatite to a clean-looking, obtuse left-facing corner, then head back up and left through dark rock to belay at a big ledge. Sling the shit out of whatever gear you manage to get on this pitch. 5.10-, 30++m.
Gain the scrubby meadow above the ledge and head right for about 50 meters to a point beneath a v-groove capped by a pink roof and a pillar far above.
P12: Back on Atlantis. Climb the face up to the V-groove and exit it to the left, gaining a crack that arcs up and right, passing a crux section (5.11) protected by one bolt. Climb 10ish terrain after the bolt and squirm up the left side of a pillar above to a belay seat beneath a small roof. 5.11, 40m.
P13 & 14: Pass the roof on it's left (5.10), continuing up easier cracks to a large ledge with boulders (optional belay here). Head up through a cave/roof deal (5.10-) and slots and cracks above to gain the Narrows Overlook. Two 5.10, 30+m pitches or one 65m, 5.10 pitch.
Park at The Narrows Overlook trail, and hike back toward the ranger station to descend the Prisoner of Your Hairdo Gully. Directions detailed under the description for Atlantis; this can be a tricky gully to find; we descended one early and made it to NCOM without too much hassle.
Head left down the gully, making ninja-moves over and through poison ivy to gain the base of the wall; follow this left to a little grassy area beneath a section of low-angle black rock. Look up, take in the big-ass wall above, and get moving.
A sizable rack.
Doubles from #00 Metolius through #3 Camalot will get used, triples from #0 through #2 Metolius optional. Some pitches take a ton of gear, and others take very little. Same goes for extendo-draws, we used 14. Bring nuts, as well; offsets micros mitigate some of the runout on the third pitch face climbing.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 5's beautiful dihedral.
BETA PHOTO: Seth heading into the crux finger crack on Pitch 7...
BETA PHOTO: No Country for Old Men.
BETA PHOTO: Up high on P9 of NCOM.
Crux, a little stiff.
11 a peg hand crack. Very fun.
|Comments on No Country for Old Men
|By Jay Brown|
May 23, 2010
Sick route, Kent and Jim, been waiting to do it! More fun times like on Atlantis. I thought the crux, pitch 7, was pretty stout and rate it .11c/d for the onsight. Pitch 3 with the face climbing was awesome! Stays shaded till about 2pm because of the aspect on the wall.
|By Patrick Peddy|
May 29, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a R
A little harder than Atlantis, but every bit as good. Pitch 3 and 11 especially stand out, both for their "just when you think your off route and dead-ended ,look left and there is gear and holds" demeanor. Pitch 3 is some of the finest stone I've climbed in the Black. I'll probably do it again next year.
From: Petaluma California
Jun 4, 2010
Pat and I did this last week. Another great route. Some hints The "R" pitches are tamed with offsets. The first with an aluminum gold (?) and the second with a single cable Wild Country--purple?. The last 10 + R requires a green yellow Alien, and a yellow Alien.
I combined 7 and 8. There is a great little perch 25 ft below the belay on the topo. We used that--a nice flat boulder in the crack.
A number of pitches overhang, and some are on scaley peg. Surprisingly fun. I agree the route is a bit tougher than Atlantis, and not quite as good. The pitch that got my attention was the last one--# 11? I took it over 200 ft to the large ledge. It wandered and picked up indistinct features. Time consuming 10a R.
We were on the route about 13 hours. Did the last three too, which are great.
Oct 24, 2011
Thanks to Wheeler & Co. for another excellent adventure! A note on the topo: two bolts are depicted on pitch 10. We found only one, followed by serious 5.10 climbing above marginal gear. This seems to agree with the description of pitch 10 above, which only mentions one bolt.
|By Jim Howe|
From: Salt Lake city
Oct 29, 2011
The second bolt on pitch 10 is found after making a few moves along the slanting ramp that is the belay stance for the pitch. The topo (and scattered epic gear above) make it appear as though you might diagonal up directly off the belay.
Nov 11, 2011
Thanks for clarifying, Jim. So, there are two protection bolts on Pitch 10, or one protection bolt and one belay bolt?
|By Aaron Martinuzzi|
Nov 30, 2011
Sounds like I might've mis-described the end of pitch 9/the beginning of pitch 10. On my ascent last year, I made it up to the “scattered epic gear” to which Jim referred in his post. I swiped some, and then downclimbed to the “slanting ramp” that he mentions to set up a belay at the 1st protection bolt and a nearby, half-driven knife blade. I'm guessing that, at the beginning of that downward sliding ramp, there is better gear, because I couldn't find anything to supplement the fixed stuff.
So, I think those bolts are intended to both be protection bolts, but the 1st one appeared, to me, to be intended for a belay stance. Your mileage may vary.
|By Jim Howe|
From: Salt Lake city
May 13, 2012
That is what I remember about the bolt placement (but I could be wrong, it is "No Country for Old Men", of which I am quickly becoming). The pitch is committing. The most excitment on that pitch for us came near the end, where the first gear opportunity is questionable and it looked fairly easy, with the finish sooo close.
Aaron, good score on that fixed gear, Kent placed that under a high degree of stress!