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BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the start of the climb.
This is a plumb line up the East Slabs, starting just left of the Great Bowl. It makes use of several large features of the slab which vary the climbing up a bit, but mostly it is wide-open slab climbing. It was first done in 7 pitches but can be done in less than that using modern ropes. The key is to pay attention to where your next belay stance will be, as you will not find much protection while in the oceanic slab.
The first pitch starts up a short crack at the extreme left (South) side of the great Bowl. At the top of the crack, exit left onto the knobby slab and look for a lone 1/4" bolt nearby. This is the only piece of fixed gear currently on the route. Continue past the bolt up a black streak to a nice stance behind on a flake.
Pitch two continues up the slab to a brushy ledge which angles up and to the right. There are two variations once you get to the ledge, either follow the ledge to its top and then hop over slabby sections, or stay left of the brushy ledge and get into the left-facing corner. Exit the corner at a break and rejoin up the route.
Pitch 3-4: Walk up an extremely pocked low-angle slab and then make directly for the bottom of a right facing corner (Ingraham's Dihedral is about 60 ft to the right and can be accessed at this point). The right facing corner is the most protectable feature you'll get on this climb and goes at 5.6. An alternative to this "crux" is to step onto the knobby slabs to the left of the corner which can be climbed at an un-protectable 5.5.
Pitches 5-6: After a short slab, continue up a large right-facing corner to the top. There are several exits to the left of the corner, and a variation flake system to the right of the corner. At the top, continue up on low-fifth terrain until you feel you can safely exit to the north for the descent.
The start of this route is at the south end of the Great Bowl at a 30ft crack. At the top of the crack, the route moves left onto the slab.
Descent is by scrambling off to the north. If you left packs at the base, you can down-climb 4rth class and low-fifth slabs to the north of the main slabs, but a better alternative is to leave your packs at the Bivy Cave to the north of the East Slabs and drop down to it on deproach;
Bring a light rack, you won't have that much of an opportunity to place gear anyway. A set of nuts and small or mid-sized cams should be sufficient. The only fixed gear is a rusty 1/4" bolt on P1. Many pitches have long run-outs. There are comfortable belay stances, but they do not always have great cracks to place gear in. Make do with what you can find and enjoy the thrill of classic climbing.
BETA PHOTO: The right-facing corner of Pitch 5.
Looking up at P3. The left option goes left of th...
From the P1 belay, looking up at P2.
Looking down from the top of P1 (taken after the 2...
From our 4th belay (5th in the old topos) at the b...
By Marta Reece
From: Las Cruces, NM
May 26, 2016
On Pitch 3 you need to head somewhat to the right to hit the good right-facing corners. Going left does end in a right-facing corner, but it sets up Pitch 4 with a huge runout which can be completed only by simul-climbing.