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Long tour of the left side of the "Left Wall" with some excellent pitches. The middle 5.11 (pitch 3 in the ACSD guide) is fantastic. Shares the last 2 belays with "Rock Jungle".
Pitch one (10d): Starts behind a huge, tree sized cactus in a little alcove formed by a large boulder leaning against the side of the cliff. Climb up and under a roof that hides a perfect splitter wide hands crack in a left facing corner(protected by bolts). Squeeze your way over the roof (crux) and then jam and layback your way to the top of the crack. Exit the crack and do a few easy face moves to gain a large ledge and anchors. This climb makes an excellent single pitch outing on its own. Just beware of pulling your rope into the cactus at the end!
Pitch 2 (11b): Move about 20 feet left off the belay to a pillar of rock nestled between a vegetated gully on on the left, and the clean orange and brown swath of stone on the main part of the wall on your right. Climb interesting moves up this pillar with tricky route finding, to a crux in steeper terrain near the top of the feature. Ends on a 3'x 3' ledge with bolts with a fantastic view of the large clean wall to your right.
Pitch 3 (11a/b): The money pitch. This is a classic pitch on great rock. The 11b pitch below it has a harder crux, but this pitch is sustained and the route finding is tricky.
A little confusing off the belay. There is another pitch (that looks unfinished - bail biner up high when we climbed it) that climbs the first few bolts and then moves right (where there is also another 2-bolt anchor).
Climb cool moves up and right off the belay into a layback crack to gain some amazing jugs. Then move up and traverse a couple moves left to get established below and to the left of an obvious left facing corner/finger crack system capped by a roof (resist the temptation to climb into the crack - although it probably goes). Angle up right towards the crack from here, then back left (using another short splitter crack) to get established under the roof. At this point you climb up into the roof and into the crack (undercling and layback), over the roof (crux), and onto the face to the right. Make a couple face moves up and right, then go back left to a double bolt anchor.
We moved the belay from this anchor about 10-15 feet left to obvious anchors on a small, exposed ledge, avoiding a hanging belay (this is the first shared anchor with "Rock Jungle", and if you've done that route its the belay above the crux pitch).
Pitch 4 (10b): This pitch is rated 10c in the ACSD guide but it didn't feel too bad. It tackles the left side of the large roof feature on cool steep climbing. "Rock Jungle" climbs out the right side of this roof.
If you moved your belay to the ledge (not sure why you wouldn't - unless you like hanging belays?). Climb back right and clip the anchor you climbed past then move up a crack feature to the left side of the obvious roof. Make steep moves over the roof (crux) and climb thru some spaced bolts about 30 feet to another belay shared with the last pitch of "Rock Jungle".
I combined this pitch with the last one with a 70 meter rope and some long draws to reduce rope drag.
Pitch 5 (10b): Rated 10a in the guide this pitch feels harder than the previous one. I had done this before as a nicer finish to "Rock Jungle", avoiding the final 5.8 pitch on that route.
Make a tricky stand-up move off the belay, then climb up and right across a face (careful about rope drag thru here) until you can climb into a left facing corner. Climb up the corner into blocky and steepening terrain to a stance below a final steep bulge. Negotiate the bulge (tricky crux) using a key hand jam to pull over. Then easy climbing for 10-15 feet to the top of the cliff.
The actual anchors for this pitch are hidden behind a small tree. I recommend clipping one bolt of this anchor and moving up and left to a more comfortable and obvious belay about 10 feet up and left. Then be careful scrambling to the top from here.
Left of the start of "The Direct Route" up the cactus covered hillside at the far left side of the Left Wall. About 50 feet right of the start of "Rock Jungle" and "Ivory Tower".
Quick-draws. All anchors are bolted.
|Comments on Southwest Face
|By T.J. Esposito|
From: San Diego, CA
Jan 7, 2013
Really fun route with a bunch of nice cracks from fingers to fists! P4 and 5 can be linked with a 60m with maybe 10-15 feet to spare for a slightly more challenging ending. We used about 13 draws; this climb is nicely bolted.