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Smeagol's Way 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a

   
Type: Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Richard Wright, Mark Tarrant, 2003
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 921
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Aug 10, 2003
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BETA PHOTO: Smeagol's Way from the ground.

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Description 

Twenty feet right of Miner's Delight is a striking corner/seam/arete system that runs up through a short, steep head-wall just before the anchors. Stretch for the second clip and make a dynamic move past it. The crux is getting out of the corner system and on to the arete. Feet are pretty thin for 50 feet, and Smeagol can be spooky in a couple of places. The arete may have two solutions that tick in at very different grades (11c is the easy way). Solid rock, good continuity, and only half a rope long. FFA: Mark Tarrant


Protection 

A dozen draws, a 60 meter rope, and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.



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Approaching the crux.
Approaching the crux.
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By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 19, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c

The route is pretty good with some fun and unlikely moves. I found myself in unusual and gymnastic sequences that I don't get to do very often and enjoyed it. The route needs a good brushing and a little more traffic to get the bomb-proof status, but it's now reasoanble and reasonably clean. Worth doing.

By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 20, 2004
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

TB is being considerate here, inasmuch as he barely escaped with his life. Mark Tarrant and I had both been though Smeagol's Way and thought the route to be largely quite clean - but for some minimal surface flakes. However, when leading up through the very last move below the anchors, I stood on a square cut ledge of almost two inches width, weighted it, and was immediately air borne along with a 20 pound block. Thanks only to TB's attentiveness and awareness of this high altitude setting, he managed to dodge the bomb completely and make a perfect, soft catch. Had he not been watching, the bomb would have taken his head off. Inspection of the site where the block cut loose revealed only that it had been cut fully around. The cut, however, had been completely invisible when the block was in place. One of the things we do in preparing routes is to try to pry off anything that looks even suspicious, and I had removed some potentially dangerous blocks from SW when getting it installed. The block that pulled gave no warning, gave no evidence of being loose, and did not even show the seams that ultimately defined it. While it is probably not necessary to make comments about awareness and attentiveness to someone routinely climbing at altitude or on "virgin" territory, it is still important to stress the significance of these precautions. Helmets are part of this precaution, and I'll be the first to admit that my own helmet was sitting in my pack. Awareness, attentiveness, a thoughtful plan (TB knew where he would move), and proper equipment will serve you well, here or at any other high altitude setting or new area. Let's just keep these things in mind - it's how we take luck out of the equation, and I'm grateful that Tony is that kind of climber.

By Anonymous Coward
Jul 27, 2004

Maybe the previous comment on this route provides some insight into the general quality of the rock in this area - forewarned is forarmed.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 9, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c

Not really, Anon. I don't think it speaks of the general rock quality there. The missile in question cam from a broken band that was salient and unique. In fact on my ascent of the line I decided not to use that hold. Like in any area, there are bands of poor rock. Eldo has famous rotten bands, but is not generally poor rock. Unlike Eldo, Ra doesn't have a thousand passages of each route to have "cleaned" it. I consider the routes on this cliff to need a little cleaning based on my limited experience, but not to be generally poor. None the less, be appropriately cautious. Any time soon, you will be among the first on any given route there and regardless of general rock quality, that merits caution.

I think Richard is overly generous to me here. I was 1/2 lucky, 1/2 aware. I just locked off the belay and jumped up under a bulge in the rock. No heroics here.

By slim
Administrator
Aug 3, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

This is a nice route on mostly great rock, with interesting and sometimes improbable moves that play out nicely.

Just right of the first pitch of 'Miner's Delight' is a slight, right-facing dihedral with pretty rounded rock. About 20 feet up in the corner there is kind of a finger of rock that provides a few thin finger jams. Keep moving upward with a mix of stemming, jamming, and the occasional crank to huge jugs. This ends at an anchor that is about 20 feet below and to the right of the anchor at the base of the final dihedral of 'miner's delight'. Nice climbing on this one.

My partner thought this was slightly easier than 'Miner's Delight', and I thought it was slightly harder (we both thought both pitches on MD were around 10d).

Bring approximately a dozen draws. One rope rap from the anchors. Be careful as there is a sharp edged ledge. There is a little groove for the ropes to sit in when you rap.