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BETA PHOTO: The approximate first pitch of 'Sheltering Sky' in...
Fantastic four pitch face climb up a sea of sparkling white granite littered with Tuolumne-like knobs.
Very well protected by most slab standards; even on 5.7, you only need to climb 15 feet or so between bolts. Great rock and great climbing throughout.
Pitch one: traverse rightward for a handful of bolts until the bolt line heads up to the first anchor. At the second bolt, a variation called 'Gimme Shelter' goes straight up for 180 or so feet to the second anchor of Sheltering Sky. (60 feet; 5.10a).
Pitch two: Follow bolts wandering up and left for a great and fairly sustained pitch. (5.10a; 95 feet).
Pitch three: Follow great knobby rock straight up clipping bolts on the way to a two bolt anchor. Fun. (5.8; 110 feet).
Pitch four: Follow bolts straight up to an anchor. The final 35 feet of this pitch are protected by an old quarter inch bolt, but the climbing is moderate and solid. (5.7; 95 feet).
Important note on the rappels. Croft and Lewis' book states that the raps are all 100 feet. I don't think this is the case on the third pitch. I had maybe 4-5 feet of tail left on my 70m (with rope stretch) when rapping the third pitch. I don't see how a 60m rope would have made it.
the route faces east-south-east.
As Blitzo stated, Candlelight Buttress is found by first finding the Meysan trail. Walk through the lower group campground and past a couple of summer homes. Start up the Meysan trail just past a cottage and head up the trail.
Within a hundred yards or less the trail will turn hard left; however, you follow a vague trail up the gully to the obvious white buttress above. Plan on 30-45 minutes depending on how motivated you are.
There is a small ledge/slab that runs across the middle of Candlelight buttress; there are two anchor bolts at its far right end for a couple of other routes. Sheltering Sky begins at the far left side of this ledge and about 30 feet below a prominent pine tree about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom of the buttress.
Draws for bolts; the second pitch has at least 12 bolts. There are two good bolts at all four of the anchors.
Candlelight Buttress. Sheltering Sky begins behind...
Oh, this little guy? I wouldn't worry about this l...
S. Davis follows the third pitch.
|Comments on Sheltering Sky
|By J. Albers|
Oct 25, 2010
I should probably note that the book gives the pitches the following ratings: 5.10c; 5.10a; 5.9; and 5.7. I just thought the first pitch was no harder than 10a, maybe easier. The second pitch on the other hand, was fairly sustained.
Croft and Lewis surely know better than I though, so take my grades as you will.
|By Bryan G|
Feb 4, 2011
I also recall the first two pitches being similar in difficulty. The climbing wasn't as hard as it was painful on the toes.
Aug 10, 2011
Bolton origninally told me the first two pitches were 5.9. Take that for what it's worth.
|By Bob Bolton|
Aug 21, 2011
Glad people are enjoying this. The 100 foot raps work if you drop down "the Shining". Both routes top out at the same point.
|By Randy in Ridgecrest|
From: Inyokern, CA
Sep 17, 2011
Very worthwhile climb! As has been noted this feldspar knob climb will knurl your toes. If you don't like climbing in the sun it starts shading up around 2PM.
Comparing to climbs at "The Beach" I thought the first pitch has a 10c section - it thins for a couple of moves around the 4th or 5th bolt.The first pitch makes an upward traverse all the way to the first anchor, there is no "up" section.
The second pitch is sustained. The third pitch is stellar moderate knob climbing with a mild 5.9 crux at the top. The fourth pitch is pleasant (if your feet aren't killing you) bigger hold climbing with a neat headwall right off the belay.
The third pitch does need a 70 meter rope to rap - even then there will be just a few feet to spare (caution - use a stopper knot!). If going down "the Shining" look for the anchor 25 feet to the right (east) of the third anchor of SS.