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This is probably the most unique route in the Amphitheater area. It is one of the longest, and it's zig-zag nature discourages top ropers and can generate mammoth rope drag. It can be done in 3 short pitches or 2 pitches (described here).
The first pitch is easily identified as it climbs right behind a tall pine tree that leans toward and nearly touches the east face. This tree is about 50-75' south of the West Bench area.
P1: Begin about 15' north (right) of the tree, and hand traverse left, following a crack to the tree. Tunnel between the tree and cliff onto a large ledge covered with pine needles (easy). Place a stopper and discipher the moves straight up (crux). The climbing above is complicated by several tree branches that are close to the face. I worked up and left (easier), then traversed horizontally north (right) above the branches. There is almost no pro in this section, although you can tie off a tree branch for comic effect.
At this point you are only about 50' above your belayer (wave). Belay here if the rope drag is heinous, or continue traversing north to a left facing flake (visible from the ground), place your #4 Camalot, and head up this, then wander up and right (5.5 s) to a belay at a red, north facing corner. This corner is only about 50' south of the eye bolt on the West Bench (and can be reached from there if you only want to do the second pitch).
P2: From the red corner, move back left and climb the face (5.7 s), then up some rounded bulges above the corner. Traverse right below the final overhang and strain up to the summit under the rope drag. According to Rossiter you can also tackle the final overhang directly at 5.9.
Standard rack, a #4 Camalot will come in handy in one spot (see description). Several placements are in pin scars, Aliens work nicely for this.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2004
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
Like some of the other 5.6-5.8 climbs in Gregory Amphitheatre, I found this one to be "old school" for its grade. Really fun though, 3 stars in this venue.
The first pitch is maybe only 15m tall, but requires 20+m of rope because of its left-right nature. Watch for drag. You can protect the delicate face climbing by slinging large branches of the tree behind you, but a whipper would pound you into the trunk or impale you on a branch as you swing in, so keeep the pro overhead! The second pitch, 35 meters in it's own right is the better of the two, provided you climb the face left of the nasty broken red dihedral, and protects just fine on Aliens. Continue up and to the top to belay on the eye bolt.
|By Ray Lovestead|
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 27, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b PG13
Some 5.8 moves up with poor pro in places. Negotiating underneath the tree is getting harder as the years go by.
Both the 1st and 2nd pitches have really run out sections. Be confident at the grade and you'll be fine. I'd never trust putting an Alien or TCU in the piton scars, flares too much.
I recommend doing it in 3 pitches. The route zig zags around and generates lots of rope drag. Single eyebolt for rapping at the peak.
|By Phil Lauffen|
From: The Bubble
Aug 17, 2008
Zig zag. I slung the tree branch and grimly laughed about the probability of it doing any good. It was hard to find the 1st belay anchorage in my opinion. Kind of run out in sections. At one point on the face climbing in P2, I knew if I fell I would deck on a nasty ledge. This is why I climb....