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Optic Nerve is a fun but seldom-climbed route that goes right up the lens part of Lens Rock. Its X rating comes from the fact that the only pro is near the very bottom, and after that it's nothing but friction, crystals, and crimpers. A bolted anchor near the top makes it accessible to us top-roping mortals. However you choose to do it, start from an obvious tree about halfway between The Frame's offwidth and the obviously bolted Ellipse, and head up a flake which soon gives way to the blank face that continues all the way to the top.
We accessed it from the top after doing Tennis Shoe Tango, but if you're heading straight there from the bottom, reverse the descent route, which goes down (or up, depending) the east side over slabs and through gullies.
Perhaps a crash pad would be more useful than a rack. But seriously, if you plan on soloing...uh, I mean leading, a standard rack is way more than you'll ever need. For a toprope, bring a couple long runners and belay from the top.
|By John Maurer|
Jun 7, 2008
Pull gently on the starting flakes . . . a relatively large portion flexes under body weight and seems to be close to exfoliating. The route seems a bit crispy with lichen in spots.