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BETA PHOTO: Route 6 is marked (roughly) by red dots - variatio...
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The name Route 6 comes from the guides of Lawrence Kline and Mike Hill. Thanks to Chris Wenker for pointing out the relevance of Kline's Guide and for pointing out the feature that is the crux pitch of Route 6.
Climbed the route with Howard Snell. We think the rating is 5.7 for a few moves here and there on the crux pitch. At the same time, I've posted it as 5.6 per Hill's guide. The description in the 3rd edition of Mike Hill's guide is good. However, this Photo also gives a pretty good idea of what to do.
P1 And Then Some: Climb the first part of Standard S Route to the large clump of trees. Then continue hiking up as the gully narrows. Scramble as high as possible up the gully through a portion where the gully narrows and then kind of opens up again; in this there is some 3rd / 4th class through a slot for about 15 feet. Then find a nice, flat, table-sized belay ledge off to the left. Above and left of this ledge is a relatively broad patch of rock with black water stains.
P2 (5.5, ~150 feet): From the table-sized ledge, trend up and left via a short, shallow dihedral/ramp. After about 80 feet (?) of trending left, straight above is a right facing dihedral with a small tree on top. Climb the face to the right of the dihedral and belay near the tree at some loose blocks. Or perhaps continue climbing another 10-15 feet and anchor in a horizontal crack standing on a narrow ledge - not sure but might be a nice alternative to the loose blocks.
P3 (5.5, ~150 feet): Make a fun traverse rightward about 30 feet along an obvious and intermittent horizontal crack with narrow ledge for feet. Then head straight up over a slight bulge finding more pro in a ~1 inch crack after a few moves. Continue up on mixed terrain aiming for just right of the cave which is by now mostly locatable by trees.
P4 (3rd class and easier, ~100 feet): Make a horizontal traverse to the left on an obvious ledge - takes relatively little time. Set belay at the bottom of the crux pitch which is line "X" in this Photo. For the ending belay anchor, there is a piton in a horizontal crack which can be supplemented with other gear.
P5 (5.7, 120 feet): Climb up, occasionally out on the face to the right of the crack but mostly up the crack until at a huge belay ledge. There's a fixed nut about 20 feet up on the right that used to have a remnant of a sewn sling directly through the wire (Aug 2012).
P6: Climb to the top of The Shield via the last pitch of the Standard S Route, labeled "U" in this Photo. If doing so, consider moving the belay sightly up-couloir of the start to avoid any rock.
Doing this route involves starting and finishing via Standard S Route. Hence, both "P1 and then some" and "P6" are part of Standard S Route.
Standard Sandia rack - nothing special although we may have used one or two BD C3 cams.