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BETA PHOTO: Ten Minute Cliff. Click photo for high-res version...
The start of Scorpio begins basically at Ten Minute Crack and goes right. This route is quite unique as the start requires an easy hike, left to right, along a ledge system 6' off the ground for about 25' to where you find a bolt. The real climbing begins at the beginning of the diagonal crack and follows the crack right and up to it's end. An optional bouldery start move can get you here directly at maybe 5.9 depending on your height. The thin crack takes small gear, cams and stoppers, along it's length until just below the crux which comes a few moves from topping out. The crack is filled with dirt/mud at places and requires a bit of cleaning to place gear. If the crack was completely cleaned along it's whole length, all the way to the top, the climb would certainly be a bit easier, both in climbing and protecting. Thin feet makes for pumpy calves and the exit moves are quite exciting as you move above your last gear. Again, if the crack were cleaned up there you would be able to protect this section better. All in all, a very fun climb that doesn't seem to get done too frequently.
There is one bolt that protects the beginning of the start of the hard moves on the traverse from left to right. After this it is all trad gear (very small up to 1/2" or so) in the diagonal crack system. There is a large tree on the top which can be used as an anchor for toproping. You will want 5 or 6 very small to small cams plus a few small stoppers to adequately protect this crack. You are never too far off the deck as the ground in the gully rises with you. If one piece pulls you could easily crater.
Brad starting Scorpio. The climb starts basically...
Sallie halfway through Scorpio. Very interesting ...
Paul moving past his last piece of gear on Scorpio...
Sallie moving up to the top of Scorpio. Notice ho...
By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Nov 24, 2007
I lead this route last weekend, and I used 3 cams total, and wished I'd had some more micro-cams. As it was, I used a black diamond .3, .2, .1. Yes. Those are aid cams, yes. After sending the route, I attempted to set a directional up to reduce swingage (and potential groundfall) for my follower (a bd .4), which blew as soon as I weighted it. So - be careful, and bring your microfriends.