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Pitch 1: Climb the ramp that trends up and right from underneath the "Firecracker
" starting area. Slab out easy 5th on the ramp, then the climb trends up through discontinuous and sometimes dirty cracks. Pitch 1 variation: finish on the recent "Rat Ramp" sport route anchors on the face to the right. 35 m to ground. Preview the excellent 5.10a bolt route, "Rat Ramp", while descending (or set a toprope and try it firsthand).
Pitches 2, 3 and/or 4: A 5.7R right traversing second pitch, to a left facing corner crack. Up the corner and belay on top, or continue either right or left to the summit. Unlike several of Carville's topos on Black Wall in the 1999 Falcon Guide, Johnson's newer North Tahoe guide is easy to follow on this one.
Gear to 3"
From: Rocklin, Ca
Jul 9, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
There is actually 2-3 more pitches on this route, depending on how you run it. A 5.7r right traversing second pitch, to a left facing corner crack. Up the corner and belay on top, or continue either right or left to the summit. Unlike several Carville topos on Black Wall the guide is pretty followable on this route.
By John Jackson
Jul 12, 2012
^^^^^ Glad you found the new North Tahoe guidebook more followable on this route than the old Falcon guide. :)
Most parties do top out on this, 3-4 pitch, popular route, and each pitch is equally enjoyable on good rock. (Though the second pitch is often wet in the spring) The route does not go to the anchors on the new route "Rat Ramp" though it is an option if going to top rope "Rat Ramp". This was actually my very first multi-pitch route, many, many years ago and have done it at least a dozen times since, as it is a good first time introduction to Balckwall for 5.8 climbers. Never considered the second pitch to be that runout, but maybe slightly for those used to sport climbing protection?
By Chris and Freda
Sep 11, 2015
Fun short second pitch variation going partway up P2 and then doing a (unprotected) hand traverse left on a flake to an easy mantle to the Space Modulator belay chains. For a 5.8 climber, it's a bit spicy getting to the belay and then starting up past it to a horizontal dike and beginning the traverse (part of the Overpass traverse?). No pro for a ways out from the belay but once you get up on the dike and out on the traverse, there are good hands and feet on edges and some pockets. Quite fun, actually, ending with a little plain old slab climbing to the bottom of the crack. The crack, however, was not what I expected. Unless I was entirely in the wrong place, that 'crack' is a messy, dirty, loose block-and-flake filled OW. By the time I stemmed, wormed, half-chimneyed - even found an arm bar in there somewhere - I felt like I was doing an FA, what with all the dried moss and dust in my eyes, nose and mouth. Keep in mind I am only a 5.8 trad climber, though, so I expect I made a pure hash out of it.