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Checkerboard Mesa
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North Face T 
Wheat Chex T 

North Face 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b R

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 625
Submitted By: John Peterson on Jan 3, 2012

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Back around 1997 we climbed a route on Checkerboard Mesa. Here's some beta for anyone crazy enough to follow us.

There's no way to be sure exactly what our line was. It's easy to traverse around from crack to crack. We started up good cracks in the toe of the buttress. After about 4 good pitches, the angle of the bedding changes and the cracks bottom out. What had been well protected, pleasant climbing turned into something quite different.

Although the difficulty doesn't really increase, the rock becomes increasingly questionable as the summit gets closer. The "crux" was the last pitch - we belayed on a decent ledge but the only anchor was a bush with about 2" of stem. Above, the rock became progressively looser and the bedding made every hold a sloper. Falling is not an option at this point. The only pro was an occasional tied off bush. The top was met with considerable relief.

Don't let the quality of the climbing lower down mislead you - things get dicey up high. Perhaps there is an easier finish but we didn't find it.


Pick a crack and go!


Good wires and cams down low. Not much near the top.

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