For the El Cap base routes, the first pitch of the Salathe provides a superb pitch that is technical, well protected and one of the best lines at the base. Locate the start by finding the line that usually is waiting for this one, near the point on the approach trail where you head left to get to Moby Dick. The start is 5.6 climbing up a groove / crack that if you can avoid placing gear in will minimize rope drag further up. Head toward a pair of thin cracks that wander up the vertical face and follow this to an obvious anchor. Outstanding climbing and spectacular position. Of course you can continue up for another 10 pitches for Freeblast, or finish the entire Salathe if you are feeling spunky.
Locate the line of people that starts where the approach trail heads left for Moby Dick. Located perhaps 50 ft right of Moby Dick.
Double set of cams from 3/8" up to #3 camalot (3"). Nuts useful on this one as well.
By Sirius From: Oakland, CA May 12, 2008 rating: 5.106b20VII-19E2 5b
This could be considered a "light" .10c for the Valley, in the same way that Serenity could be considered a light .10d. Good for pushing your limits. No show-stopper moves that I can remember, just a long pitch of good fingers and solid gear, with plenty of rests.
(Hard .10+'s might include Five and Dime, Waverly Wafer, Little Wing, any .10 at Arch Rock...)
By tallmark515 From: San Francisco Mar 29, 2010 rating: 5.106b20VII-19E2 5b
Not distinctive crux, but definetly sustained 5.10 climbing with great finger locks. I can agree that this would be a bit soft for valley .10c.
Regardless this is a fantastic pitch, probably one of the best that I have done in the valley. Perfect, sinker finger locks on a double crack system with great gear!