Pinky and the Brain
||Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
|Consensus: || YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]|
|FA: ||Teresa Nagle, John Brushoe, Bradley White, June 2006|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Season: ||spring, summer, fall|
|Page Views: ||1,168|
|Submitted By: ||bradley white on Jul 9, 2008|
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Bradley White leading the first pitch. Photo by Te...
I guided two beginners up this climb. The route does some of Henderson's mysterious other buttress route. I have a strong opinion where this route goes to the summit. The second pitch is fractured and has a few trees growing on it. After that it likely went left of Omega ice route finish up a ramp with a left facing corner.
Our climb started at the height of the base of cannon cliff below a small blueberry and small tree buttress between Henderson's and Muir buttresses. I climbed up the crest of the buttress central right side for a whole rope length till I reached a good crack for small wires to belay from. This pitch although easily done (5.0- 5.3) has no trust your life on it protection. It's more like a very steep 4th class hike until 40ft of rock climbing. At the crack for the belay was discovered an 1930's early 40's ring piton anchored securely after all these years. Henderson's belay anchor I suppose.
From the belay I led left to the crest of a small ridge that is the first pitch of a winter dry point route called [Aboriginal Rhythmic Implement (2000)] I didn't know this accent had been done at the time of our accent. Anyway the ridge is easy (5-4) great protection airy and probably Henderson's choice lead. The ridge ends up with a scramble through a garden to a large slightly sloping platform split into two halves by a couple of inches wide crack after a 130+ ft of climbing. This crack is excellent for belaying. We called this giant platform the brain. Pitch 2 I climbed up the obvious giant left facing corner. The physical crux is about 15ft up this corner where there is a technical jam crack maneuver. I didn't have the cam unit to fit into the crack so I nailed a large angle pin. After the crux I had to move right on face holds 10ft up to a large sloping ledge. I had to belay there because of a precarious loosely grounded oven size hundreds of pounds block. The others came up avoiding the block and we sent it off the cliff with little effort (cool trundle). I moved the belay over to the right and began leading up the opposite side of the buttress a large right facing corner. I went 40ft up this seamed moderate corner only to reach a bulging unprotected extreme difficulty (It has excellent rock quality though and looks like 5.10-11 stemming. I down climbed the thing cleaning gear as I went and that took up a large amount of our afternoon doing this. Leading again back in the recess of the corner I led up the wonderfully unique chock stone filled corner crack (5-5) to the next rest ledge. Here I found two fixed pins slung and an old sling tied off to some questionable rocks to the right. Adjacent to the right of these rocks is an 8ft high 15ft long and at maximum 6" wide wafer of granite. this we called the pinkie only after I led it and discovered I got all of the adrenaline rush I get when I am doing the finger of fate on the climb 'Moby Grape'. Getting to stand on the top edge of the pinkie is moderate (5-6) but right shoulder hyper-extending. the protection is a sling on the horn of the left side of the wafer. the next step is the airy step off onto a face hold on the far right side of it. This is protected by the rope in between the wafer and the cliff. Falling after this move and on up is not an option. The wafer is very sharp and if the rope stays together the tumble will certainly do much injury. I was delighted it wasn't difficult (5-5). From there I entered onto a recent rock slide zone to move up and right and then traversed left for several ft. around a small leafy tree to climb a small head wall left and then right to an excellent belay crack. Probably 60ft of rope but not nearly that much of a vertical increase. From this high point we retreated. It was getting dark. One rappel 165ft ropes brought us back to the brain. On the south or left side of the brain is a block with many slings used to rappel winter route 'Omega'. This next rappel is to the base of the cliff. We started out walking down the rock pile scree field in the dark. We had to do it but this was a very bad idea. There are loose large boulders in the scree field in this area. I stepped onto one had a very painful way to riding it out on top of it bumping pounding my body until it stopped. I slid off the block afterward wiped out. It left me practically immobilized. I didn't break any bones. Bloody hair and face, my friends wanted to call for help. I refused being rescued by professional rescue people. I could go on and did. We got to the car late 1:00am. I was slow as a snail but I did get myself down with John supporting me to stay upright over some of the steeper descending places. We nicknamed the event boulder surfing. Oh well we didn't take over the world!
Cannon cliff south side between Henderson's Buttress and Muir Buttress is this forested and bushy start buttress. Rappelling the route is easily done High up is 'No Guts No Glory' giant ceiling for a land mark. The no pro bushy first pitch can be skipped by going to the area before the start to 'Omega' ice route. Here head left and traverse to belay ledge (no pro for 50ft) at easy fifth class.
Large and medium cams or hexes, stoppers. Retreat gear medium hexes or knotted rope slings wedged in the rappel crack. The knotted slings are ruined and I believe removed.
Bradley White leading the second pitch. Photo by T...
A great shot of 'The Brain'. Photo by Ryan Barber...
Bradley White belaying John Brochu. Photo by Tere...
Piton with ring, belay before first pitch. Photo b...
Afternoon scenery from the ledge.Photo by Teresa N...
Horny corner going which leads up to the "Pic...