Spiral Staircase: 10a. Approx 90’ The bottom 2/3rds of the route is overhanging, so the first person to rappel should clip the rappel rope into several bolts to stay close to the wall on the way down. Otherwise, you may find yourself hanging 6-7 feet away from the wall at the end of your rope. If this occurs, there is no escape unless you are extremely inventive and/or happen to be carrying some form of ascending device (tieblock, etc.) - even then it’s difficult at best. A fall into the water below is unthinkable. The route is full of pockets, edges, and frequent inventive moves. You can either climb into the cave and take the ‘spiral staircase’ back out - or take it ‘straight on’ which might increase the grade by one letter. The cave is large enough to go ’off rope’ and do some ’exploring’ or bouldering on unusual, very colorful flowstone (photo #5) if you‘re so inclined. A very unique experience you won't soon forget.
Titanium Tortuga bolts: 2 in the top anchor, 12 on the route, 2 in the bottom anchor. As you approach the bottom anchor on rappel, clip your lead rope to the first bolt to preclude a factor-two fall onto the belay.
Hilary at the belay on Spiral Staircase. If surf i...
Rapping down to bottom anchors.
Clipping in to bottom anchors. Note the two Tortu...
The interior of the large cave.
Hilary pulling to the top of Spiral Staircase
By Joe Forrester
From: Palo Alto
Mar 18, 2014
Excellent route. It bakes in the sun in the morning.