This is a great route to save for a on sight lead.Unless of course you are Kevin Fons,in which case you should bring etriers and a full aid rack including a pin rack with 2 each kb,s and arrows AND A PORTALEDGE
Tom Kelly and I worked it in 1985. We fell so many times on the top crux we broke a strand of wire on the cable (stopper) when we were trying to use a crappy jam. I finally got it when I used an undercling jam and reach by the crux. Good climb.
By Andy Hansen From: Longmont, Colorado May 23, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
I thought the lower section was the crux of the climb, like many other DL climbs, but the upper crux really gives you a run for your money. HARD boulder problem up top with a balancing act down low- sick climb. Awesome! It will be a long time before I grow the cajones to lead this one.
Lead it Andy. Just suss the gear placements first a few times and go for it. It really takes pretty good gear for the grade and being a DL route. You can place gear at the upper crux that would take falls no problem. The lower starting crux is a different matter. It takes a few good small TCUs and a wire if I remember right to protect it but you wouldn't want to blow it placing them....
By Tradoholic Sep 10, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
I disagree slightly...
Pro is good low but the moves are balancey and a foot could easily skate bringing you a whipper.
The upper crux was the hardest part I'd say, I kept going up and down for 20 minutes before I could commit. I put in tons of pieces but none seemed all that good and the upper piece I couldn't quite tell was good from below until I did the hard moves and had a good look at it. If I'd known it was so bomber I probably would've sacked up earlier!
BTW, I used the right corner in the upper crux, (it appears Henning did not) it seemed well within reach and thus, in play.
A variation in the guidebook is named "Ptolemy" and reads as follows: "Start just right of corner. Climb face until under roof. Step up left around corner with out using Plethora crack. Move up right and over roof. Continue on Plethora, Primaks Surprise or the 5.5 (to the right)" 5.10d
I'd have to agree that the crux is the upper section. The bottom felt like solid 5.10d . The upper moves felt like 5.11a . I finished it up the way Henning did, but only because I was too weak to use that crap on the right.
By Andy Hansen From: Longmont, Colorado Sep 14, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
I know this goes against the grain of the "ground up" ethos but Nick, what pieces did you put in at the upper crux? I agree that the upper section is certainly the crux and it bucks me off every single time. Did you use the far right blocky corner? I don't mind whipping but a slight sense of security would be good and since you say the gear is So-So I'd like to know what actually works.
Hey - no arguement the upper crux is the major crux on Plethora. It is a strange move and not obvious. You do this palm up thing if I remember correctly and a reach through and the feet are high and insecure. The bottom starting crux is easier and more straight forward and takes gear in obvious and visible places right at the hand holds (or finger locks) but my point was that your gonna deck down there if you blow it. At the upper crux I do remember being able to stack in a few pieces before committing and I wasn't worried about decking although like Nick states I also went up and down quite a few times before pulling through. Wish I could recall what it was I placed excatly Andy and give advice but I'm drawing a blank other then a cam where the crack was a bit more open above the problem moves. The corner off to the right isn't really any help is it unless you totally commit to going that way instead??
By Tradoholic Sep 14, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
I few small wires backed up with some BD C3's right off the ledge Andy but it was the bomber nut above the under-cling that was key.
The right hand corner allowed me to get my feet up and reach into the under-cling as secure as possible.
Who cares about ground up rules. Check the thing out on TR first for gear placements and go for it. Safety first.. It's all about the process and the path you take to build up to being able to onsight lead. As long as you are not pounding pins or drilling bolt holes ain't no one except the most self righteous self proclaimed purist who is gonna be critical and even not then if your ultimately honest about your tactics... Unless you just wanna save it for the onsight.. I guess you could say there are only really a handful of 5.10 and 11's at the Lake that protect reasonably well for the Trad lead...
By Tradoholic Sep 15, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
Definitely head point this thing Andy. If I had been able to know exactly how this thing would go beforehand it probably would have gone much nicer.
With the tricky pro at DL no one pulls the "ground up or you are a pussy" attitude. Only after years of head-pointing did I gain the confidence to on-sight over 5.8.
Throughfare, Happy Hunting Grounds, Tardis and Vivisection are all good leads as well in this range.
By Remo From: Madison, WI Sep 15, 2010 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b
Great route! Not as hard as other 11a's in the park. The break in the middle makes it seem easier.
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Campton, NH Apr 6, 2011 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
Plethora is the hardest 10d I've ever come across. Maybe it was F10 in the old guide and just got transferred over to 5.10. That would make sense considering that Bagatelle was F10c.
The upper crux is cryptic, tenuous and a bit dynamic. The moves might not require a ton of "grrrrr" factor, but they are not obvious and require a fair amount of finesse. I can think of 11b's (Seven Seas and Coup de'Tat) in the park I think are easier, and 11a's (Beginner's Demise and Black Rib) I think are harder. I think Devil's Lake 5.10d might be fair, in the same way Birch Tree is Devil's Lake 5.8 - if you are on a top rope and know the key beta beforehand it climbs the grade, but if you aren't or, more importantly, don't...
Anyway I think 5.11a is fair. How's that for some hair-splitting nuanced grading?