Samurai Warrior - Ronan
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BETA PHOTO: Looking up at Samurai Warrior from the base.
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P1 - 200+ ft - 5.8+ A few slab moves off the deck allow access to a left leaning ramp. Follow the leaning crack that goes over a small bulge about 75 feet up. Continue up the crack until it ends and slab climb up and right to a small ledge. Climb the splitter directly above which is formed by a flake on the left and a detached flake on the right. Exciting! Traverse left to a two bolt belay at a nice stance.
P2 - 130 ft - 5.0
Romp up the low angle crack passing an old two bolt belay on the left. Continue up 4th class terrain past bushes and some loose rock aiming for a very large flake. A gear belay can be setup on the left side of the flake.
This pitch can be linked with the next pitch if the follower is willing to simul-climb up to the old ¼” bolt belay.
P3 - 100 ft - 5.10b R
Gain the top of the large flake and walk or crawl across placing gear when possible. A final small cam goes in above the end of the flake which protects the next 20 feet of run-out face climbing. Step down and crimp across the face with care, aiming for bushes up and right. Midway through this section it is possible to get another small cam in a fragile flake. Once a small corner or bush is reached step right and belay at a horn/nipple. The place to end the pitch is not obvious, so build the belay as soon as possible. A short pitch.
P4 - 160 ft - 5.10b
Climb through the bushes above the last belay and enjoy a short section of finger crack. Clip one old bolt and angle up and left to a newer bolt. Traverse to the left on thin holds to gain a far off dike. One more bolt midway up the dike leads to a right facing corner. Follow this to the “Fish Taco Flake”. Undercling across this wide feature, clipping a high bolt before continuing around the right end of the flake. Belay at two bolts.
P5 - 200ft - 5.11a
Follow the pillar above the belay until it is possible to step left to a thin flake. Some suspect gear can go in here and it is best to traverse fairly soon to the corner on the left. Pull out your full bag of tricks. Stem, chimney and finesse your way up the corner. The left wall and arete offer constant surprises! The climbing eases by the halfway point which is marked by a single bolt that could be used for an optional belay. Continue up the corner almost to the end when you can step left out of the corner to a two bolt belay on a good ledge. You can see another two bolt belay up and to the left. This is used for the Samurai Wind link-up
P6 - 85 ft - 5.11a/b
Step back to the right and continue up the corner for about 20 feet to a bolt on the left. The original route used this bolt to pendulum to the Big Kahuna crack on the right. For the Ronan free variation continue up, clip the next bolt and face climb past a very fragile crimp. Once this crimp breaks the move will be a letter grade or two harder.
Climb past more solid crimps and knobs and two more bolts until you can step down and right. A move around the corner to your right rewards you with a huge knob to stand on and a two bolt belay. This is a very short pitch.
P7 - 120ft - 5.11b/c
Wild arete laybacking and trickery right off the belay leads to a momentary reprieve as you work up and left. Move back right to a large incut knob which you can mantel. From here clip a high bolt and dyno to an enormous knob on the right. This move is amazing as you jump from a standing position without any handholds, but is very well protected.
Gather your wits and launch up a grainy finger crack that slowly widens to .75 camalots. Move right using fragile flakes and then weave around shrubbery to a two bolt belay on the right.
P8 - 175ft - 5.10++
Some initial tree climbing leads to a finger crack. Follow this up as it thins and goes over a small roof on amazing knobs. Relish in the plentiful footholds and finger locks as the crack seems to go on forever. Nuts work really well on this long pitch. Eventually the finger crack pinches out and you are rewarded with a gym like jug. Traverse right and then up on amazing knobs and scoops to a far off bolt. There are a few options for pulling the next roof, and either way you will work back to the left to a bolted belay. I went straight up, unable to find the bolt marked in the topo on the left.
There are a ton of bolts at the end of this pitch. Belay at the two furthest left bolts. Mindblowing! One of my favorite pitches of a killer route.
P9 - 110 ft - 5.11b
A hard move off the belay gains a series of cool knobs. Cruxy friction moves force you left and then the bolt line will coax you back to the right. Long slings and some possible back cleaning of draws will help keep the rope drag at bay. A fun traverse to the left gains a pair of rail-road like dikes. Pinch, stem and savor the super cool climbing past plentiful bolts until you need to step right to the belay. A spectacular and very well protected pitch. No gear needed, belay at two bolts above a small roof. No gear required, 12+ bolts
P10 - 90 ft - 5.9 R
Work up the obvious dike past two bolts. This pitch is fairly easy but quite run-out. No gear is needed. Belay at two bolts below the blank crux pitch.
P11 - 150 ft - 5.12a
From the belay work up on poor smears and non-existent hand holds past 4 very closely spaced bolts. It is possible to A0 through the first 12 feet. Once the last bolt is reached you are through the crux and climb left to a small flake feature. Another bolt here protects a few 5.10 moves to the right wing tip of the seagull. A finger sized piece goes in here (the only pro you need for the pitch). Continue moving left past one more bolt to an obvious dike. This dike leans back to the right and you run it out past one more bolt to a two bolt belay. Trust your rubber!
P12 - 150 ft - 5.10d
Step down and traverse easily to a bolt. Continue traversing right, cruxy, for about 20 feet staying about level or slightly below the bolt. Once easier ground is reached head up to the left end of the swooping roof and place some much appreciated gear. Quest up the amazing knobby face aiming for the middle of the roof above. It is might be possible to get gear under the roof, depending on where you go over it. Romp up more amazing run-out scoops and jugs until you can see a few bolts on a blank wall above. Gain the obvious knob and clip a high bolt. Execute the crux mantel and work up and left past a two more bolts to a two bolt belay. A sweet pitch!
P13 - 150 ft - 5.9
Climb the bushy crack directly above the belay. Follow this up and left until it hits the large right facing corner. Belay in an alcove above a large wedged chockstone on hand-sized gear. An awkward stance, but an easy pitch.
P14 - 200ft - 5.10d R
Quest up and right from the belay hoping that you can see the far off first bolt. From the good stance at the first bolt traverse about 15-20 to the right to gain a slabbier section of the wall. The next bolt is still about 20 feet above, but the climbing is much easier. I was unable to spot the next bolt until I climbed past it. If you can’t see the bolt simply climb straight up to the lowest roof, which accepts gear. The third bolt is ~30 feet up at a 30 degree angle, to the right, from the second bolt. In either case gain a small weakness in the first roof and locate a thin arching crack near some bushes. Climb this crack, utilizing a few wooden holds and make it up to the next feature. You should be able to spot the next bolt which protects a few slab moves to another roof which takes gear. Undercling across this roof, cruxy, until you can layback around the right side. From here move up and left without gaining too much elevation. Pull over a small roof and you should be able to see a three bolt belay above on a good ledge. A very long, wandery and involved pitch.
P15 - 100ft - 5.10a
Traverse across the big ledge until you can easily downclimb about 20 feet to gain another ledge. Continue left to the large corner system and climb up for another 30 feet. You can either layback up the pretty crack to the right, 5.10 or take the easier route up the low angle bushy crack to the left. In either case build a belay near the obvious tree/bush on the face above.
With a 70m rope this pitch can be linked with the next if you take the lower angle slabby crack on the left instead of the 5.10 layback.
P16 - 110ft - 5.11b
Move left from the tree belay to the main corner. Laybacking turns difficult quickly as the crack pinches down to nothing. Run it out a little to the first 1/4" bolt and make sure to plug something before the next bolt. Relax a little as you clip a mix of new and old bolts, and then pull off some super thin laybacking. This pitch often climbs more like a slab than a crack since the corner is so featureless. Pass a final, newer bolt and hope the corner accepts gear before you blow it. Some easier climbing leads to a tree where you move left out of the corner and build a belay when convenient. .75" - 1.5" gear works for the anchor.
One of the topos offers an escape option on the left if 5.11 does not sound like the best way to end your day.
From the Charlotte Creek Camp hike 20 minutes until the first clearing where you can see the whole wall. Hike up the talus and slabs aiming for a large left facing corner in the middle of the base of the wall. From the top of the slabs traverse to the right across blocky terrain past the base of the large corner to a sandy slope at the lowest of three large trees. The route starts up the slab above, see beta photo. Two very large flakes are visible on Samurai Warrior, which are at the end of P2 and P4 (fish taco flake).
From the top of the last pitch gain the top of the dome with about 200ft of easy 3rd class. Go left (towards Charlotte Dome) and head into the trees and head down staying close the face of Bubbs Creek Wall. Eventually you will be forced closer to Charlotte Creek. Join up with the approach/descent for Charlotte Dome and head down to the main Bubbs Creek Trail. Descent should take 1 - 2 hours.
Single Green C3. Doubles from Red C3/Green Alien up to #2 camalot. Single #3 camalot. Optional 4” piece. Finger size and up nuts very useful.
Looking up at the very blank crux pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Samauri Warrior / Ronan Topo
BETA PHOTO: Rack and Descent/Approach beta for Samurai Warrior
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at the first pitch.
Catching a no-hands rest on the amazing 9th pitch.