Rift Of Consciousness
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Tony Bubb gets started on the mellow beginnings of...
Locate the route Continental Drift. Just to the right is a good face with some splitter horizontals and reasonable face holds. Climb up the right hand edge of this face, and on the arete, staying as far right as possible. If and when necessary, move left to place additional pro in the horizontals.
Work up this face/bulging arete, *climbing on its right side*, so as to effectively take a path through 5 small roofs. If these are climbed from the left, the route is easier but perhaps 5.11- overall. If the arete is climbed from the right, this is a contrived powerfest, particularly to the pin. The last bulge/roof has a great rest under it. From that rest (a leg hooked around left and knee crooked on a big hold!), you can look up and see the huge move to the gut-busting undercling. From the undercling, you traverse left around the corner, past the pin on Continental Drift and continue to the top on that route.
Though contrived for difficulty (as there is easier climbing just around the corner, this is a great route. The name was inspired by the story of the F.A. thus "Rift Of Consciousness":
Due to some illness and a combination of medications, I was not 'at my best' on the FA. After leading though the final crux and clipping the pin, I headed into 5.8 territory -- but something was NOT right. I first felt nausea, so I down-climbed to a no-hands rest to puke. At the rest, however, things got more and more cloudy, and I realized I was ready to faint. I warned my partners about this and told them keep me on belay and wait. It was just the effects of illness and medication. I clipped into a piece -- and passed out. After 2 minutes of dangling on the overhanging arete, I woke up dazed, gathered myself a little, and then finished the lead. Jo followed without falls on the left-side of the arete.
It is possible that this route was over-rated due to my physical condition on the FA, but it sure felt as hard as area 11s. Please advise me if anyone else leads this on the right of the arete and wishes to downgrade it. I'm curious....
The route takes a few cams and tricams. It is protected reasonably, but not well, and some of the gear is tricky to place, with most of it being in horizontal and diagonal cracks along the way. Take pieces 0.5"-3" The second crux merges with the route Continental Drift, and is protected by a pink and red tricam in a horizontal and from above by the pin in the route Continental Drift. Clipping the pin may be difficult from below the crux.
This route was led ground-up on gear, without previews and should never be retro-bolted. It is not unreasonably unsafe for an advanced leader.
Tony Bubb clipping a pin to merge with 'Continenta...
Tony Bubb in the good knee-hook rest while merging...