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Much like it's much thinner sister route, Sister Skywalker
, Rainbow Sign ascends the sandy white section of wall between Generic Crack
and the Elephant's Trunk. Much of the route is characterized by solid OW climbing, but, unfortunately, the start and crux finish are marred by sandy, friable rock.
Begin by ascending the sandy pillar (seems very loose) at the base of the climb by means of a handcrack on the right side. A #2 Camalot could fit here, but the moves are 5.8 at most and a fall onto a cam would likely shear the pillar right off the wall. Mount the pillar, dust yourself off, and ponder your fate as you take in the 5" crack rising above you. Ascend the offwidth (protects with #5 C4, bring two to leapfrog or walk, or bring 5 or 6 to sew it up) utilizing the occasional facehold for feet or to cop a rest. Unfortunately, your ascent will likely be more difficult than mine, as I broke a half-dozen or so holds off on the way up. The crack is sustained, but a couple decent rests can be had by way of faceholds, or a nice thigh/knee jam if you're the right size. Even with the features available, I think the OW section clocks in a solid 10/10+. About 70 feet up, the crack begins to narrow from fists to thin hands in a span of about 15 feet. Grab a nice hand jam in a pod, shake out, and launch into a sequence of powerful lieback moves up the now-very-thin (00 and 0 TCU/Mastercam) crack, which leads into the 11+ crux, a sequence of tough moves from a good sidepull onto sandy slopers and a couple loose holds to gain a stance tall enough to clip the anchors. Whew!
Approach as for Generic Crack
and walk along the base of the wall, passing the large, left facing corner where Unknown AKA Reclamation
resides. About 50 feet past the corner, you'll pass beneath a blocky roof beneath a seam, and about 10 feet right of this is Sister Skywalker
. Rainbow Sign ascends the striking offwidth about 10 feet right of Sister Skywalker
Single rack from 00 (Grey) Metolius on up to #4 Camalot. Doubles or more of #5 C4s protect the offwidth. A #6 C4 cam be used in a pod down low, but isn't necessary. The anchor is currently two bolts with a 'biner each.
By Aaron Martinuzzi
Jan 20, 2010
This is a fun line, despite being a bit sandy. Unfortunately, however, the moves between the end of the crack and the anchors are difficult and quite dirty. From the ground, it doesn't appear that the crack closes up as much as it really does, so be wary of heading off on this route if it's at your limit. I fell on my last placement, a 00 TCU three times before our party resorted to aiding the last section on a couple very small, very bad placements so as not to leave a bail cam. After the falls, the TCU, which was placed fairly tightly cammed, was almost totally tipped out in the soft sandstone. Careful up there.