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Doug enjoying the benefits of a TR on a nice Novem...
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
From: Denver, CO
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.