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As Alex describes for Ankles Away, the first 50 feet to a bolted belay stance is a little cruxy. However, if you arrive at the bolted ledge and are still psyched to continue leading the route as one pitch then your are probably ready for the climbing above.
This golden corner of a route is an awesome adventure for solid 5.11+/5.12 leaders. I don't think it gets climbed much, as it was gritty and lichenous with cobwebs filling the thin crack in places when I did it on 10/19/08.
The crux is sustained and begins just off the ledge. Pro is limited and takes a cool head to place, but when you get it it's good. Falling 15 or 20 feet onto the ledge seemed to be a real possibility. Patience and endurance are the primary keys to safety on this one, I think.
I don't want to spoil the rest with detailed beta, as this one's value, for the time being, resides so much in its mystique, providing a reasonably safe head game at its finest. All I'll add is that, like Ankles Away, this route stays interesting all the way to the top.
Left end of the Witch, same start as for Ankles Away.
About 2 sets of med/lg brass nuts; medium Stoppers; 2 Metolius 00 (silver) cams; 3-4 Metolius 0 (purple); doubles of cams up to Metolius 3 (orange); one .75 and/or #1 (green/red) Camalot could also be useful as a directional on top.
For doing this in one pitch, a 60-meter rope might work if you go left at the top of the corner, avoiding the easy topout up and right and the subsequent rappel. Might as well take a 70, though, since that's the handy length for the area anyway.
|By Scott Bennett|
Jul 9, 2009
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a PG13
Killer route, 4 stars for the continuously awesome movement, minus 1 star for the sometimes gritty rock. Not as hard as Ankles Away, or the 11d pitch on Romantic Warrior, so maybe 11c. The pro is good enough, although placing it can seem kinda desperate.
Jul 28, 2010
We're flip-flopped on our opinions of these routes, Scott. I felt that Ankles was definitely easier, with relatively good stances and pro the whole way. Still, I agree Ankles is a stiff 11c; I wouldn't argue with an 11d rating. Maybe Pegleg seemed harder to me because of the conditions at the time I did it and the fact that it was the last pitch of my third day. I tore a big hole in the rubber under my right toe on that pitch, and that's what my mind felt like, too, by the time I reached the top!