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Climber styling her way up the Orphan
Excellent route. I recall stemming and working my way up the finger crack at the bottom and really enjoying it. Kinda steep and technical, then you gotta grunt through a big crack at the top. Lots of variation and good climbing.
Small cams and nuts for the initial stemming and finger crack. You'll need a bigger cam or two for that last grunt of a crack at the top.
BETA PHOTO: The Old Woman - West Face
Chris in the lower stemming section of the route. ...
Andy Laakmann about to sacrifice a 4.5 Camalot and...
Me on my on-sight of the Orphan.
Pulling into the grunt section...
|By Woody Stark|
Mar 11, 2003
I and quite a few others I've climbed with over the years have felt this route should be rated 10a. Anyway you cut it, it's a great route.
Dec 17, 2003
The actual first ascent (free) of this route was no later than 1954, and likely earlier.
|By Richard DeCredico|
Jan 28, 2004
I found 4" pieces were helpful in the upper "grunt" section of the chimney. Is every route of this face of the Old Woman a test piece? Prepare for a challenging climb in the grade.
Oct 30, 2005
Now that it has been a few days, and my wounds have healed, I can say that This route was in fact enjoyable. The lower and middle section was both surprising and challenging. The upper section... well I can suggest wearing long pants. A true test of skill and sanity!
|By Andy Laakmann|
From: Bend, OR
Feb 11, 2006
I'm not sure why I avoided this route for so many years... it is an awesome climb!
The bottom 40-50 feet of stemming is superb with great pro. And the top 30 feet is relatively straightforward - at least for a wide crack :)
Good pro (#4 Camalot) protects the "crux" entry move into the wide section. Face right (left side in) and a little squirming gets your foot on the big fat edge. Once on this edge, face left (right side in) and straightforward shallow stemming and a little wide crack action gets you to the top. A second #4 or #3 Camalot comes in handy higher up, as the middle section is too wide for reasonable protection.
|By Bo Johnston|
Feb 22, 2006
Perfect route if it wasn't for the finish. I hate that wide stuff.
|By John Wilder|
From: Las Vegas, NV
Oct 22, 2006
this is a great route and .9 is right on for the grade. the wide section at the top is no big deal- bomber gear and straightfoward movement easily dispatch it.
|By Will S|
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 15, 2006
The topo for this pitch in the Bartlett guide shows the .9 crux in the fingers section. I found the crux to be entry into the wide section. Entire route protects well with gear to 4". 5.9 is fair.
|By Darren D.|
Apr 12, 2007
This route will keep you warm on those windy J-Tree days. I was sweating when I finished it. Physical, but never really difficult.
|By daniel ballarin|
Mar 23, 2009
This was my favorite lead climb during my last trip. It started with stemming, protected very well, and had a bit of everything. The tight chimney at the end kept things interesting. I found it easiest to face the left in the chimney.
|By Brian Chastain|
Apr 1, 2013
90 feet? I was thinking more like 60. 90 from the dirt sounds right, but definitely 60 from where you start to climb. This climb seemed like it was over before I knew it.