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This is great climbing on a west-facing aspect on the South Rim via the Echo Canyon gully.
In general, this has good movement, lots of sporty climbing, and jamming with tricky pro. It would be an awesome route if the rock was clean, that's the only bad thing. There are definitely 5.11b moves on the route, but I personally thought it was a soft 5.11+ grade. Not for beginnerish tradsters!
Worth doing! I like every route in the Black! Almost.
Park at the Cross Fissures overlook pullout. Walk west 100 yards further and enter the bushy gully on the right with big pines in it also. The bushes go away after 5 minutes or so. See the topo, but the route base is 45 minutes down and on the right side there is 2 cairns and the one is against the wall and is built out of white rocks.
After topping out, you're on an island. Head up and then to the right (south) for 100' and down 25', there is a ledge with a 2 bolt rap anchor. One 200' rap into an east/west narrow slot/gully below the Cross Fissures overlook railing. We simul-climbed in our approach shoes about 250' to the railing.
Double cams to #2s, 1-#3, !-#4, RPs, triple fingers to smalls are nice to have. You encounter a fixed nut or 2 and 2 pro bolts.
BETA PHOTO: Topo.
BETA PHOTO: Topo by Chris Kalous.
|By chris Kalous|
Jun 17, 2013
This is a good summer route: a bit licheny but rarely chossy, some engaging protection and climbing. The 5 pitch is worth the price of admission alone. I posted a detailed topo, more detailed than the other version here. Beware: less adventure with my topo.
Getting off the top is a bit of an adventure, though. The rap anchor is nearly impossible to spot from the Cross Fissures overlook, so don't bother unless you have binos.
From the top, it's on a ledge that is directly above the highest part of the gully below. The overlook will be a little to the left when facing out from the ledge. We noticed that the ledge lip looked cleaned off, and that's what led us there.
After the rap, climb up on a pedestal directly across the gully, then angle up left towards the overlook on mostly easy choss. Two pitches or simul-climb 80 meters to overlook.
This would all be very difficult in the dark, so plan accordingly.
I also agree that it's probably not 5.11+. That is no diss on the FA party. There is some serious climbing on the route for sure, but no crux seems sustained enough to warrant the + in my opinion. It's probably already cleaner than it was and has eased up a bit.