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St. Stephen 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 700', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Larry Hamilton & Joe Herbst, 1975
Page Views: 651
Submitted By: L. Hamilton on Apr 11, 2004

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Larry Hamilton on pitch 3, the diagonal crack. St...

Description 

St. Stephen follows a wandering line immediately left of the huge left-facing corner system dominating the right side of the wall. Not sustained enough to be classic, it offers some decent moderate climbing in a peaceful high setting. Approach as for Jubilant Song. This following route description is from the first ascent, which was done a few days after Solar Slab.Pitch 1 -- Follow thin cracks up the varnished, pretty slabs at the base of the wall. Belay at a platform on a prominent ramp.Pitch 2 -- Continue up the ramp to belay in the main corner (5.8).Pitch 3 -- Instead of following the corner, climb a tight, left-slanting crack that splits the vertical face above (5.8). This crack is a key feature of the route, visible from below.Pitches 4-8 -- Two easy pitches go out onto the face to the left. Thin face climbing (5.8) bypasses a huge bulge on the left. The final lead goes up obvious rock to the top.Descend via an easy hike.

Protection 

"A standard selection of nuts"


Photos of St. Stephen Slideshow Add Photo
An overview of Saint Stephen.  The original route takes the left option for pitch 2.  The right-hand variation is about the same difficulty.
BETA PHOTO: An overview of Saint Stephen. The original route ...
Joe Herbst on pitch 2, St. Stephen FA (January 1975).
Joe Herbst on pitch 2, St. Stephen FA (January 197...
Looking down at the upper slabs.  The climbing in this section is easy, but protection and anchor opportunities are limited.
Looking down at the upper slabs. The climbing in ...
The right-hand variation on pitch 2 goes directly up these cracks. The slanting pitch 3 crack can just barely be seen on the white wall to the upper left.
The right-hand variation on pitch 2 goes directly ...
Good slab climbing on the first pitch of Saint Stephen.  The 3rd class approach ramp leads down to the right side of the picture.
Good slab climbing on the first pitch of Saint Ste...
Larry leads up the second pitch.  This pitch had some real funky moves!
Larry leads up the second pitch. This pitch had s...

Comments on St. Stephen Add Comment
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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 14, 2008

"A standard selection of nuts" may have worked well for the old masters, but a big cam (#4 Camalot or bigger) is unlikely to go unused in the slanting pitch 3 crack.

Also- the "thin 5.8 face climbing" high on the route is probably optional. I don't recall any tricky moves to access the upper slabs; not even any tricky routefinding.
By George Wilson
From: Las Vegas
Jan 6, 2009

Fun route...A bit loose in area's, didn't like the solid sounding hold I took off, nothing to worry about though! I only followed the route and didn't feel anything on the upper slabs deserve above 5.5. A #5 protected pitch 3 somewhat well, a #6 or a big bro would help ease the mind. Straightforward as it get though...If ya bring a 50m, the belays work out, just as you're screaming "2 feet" your leader is screaming back "off belay"! I suspect a 60 or 70 would put you on better belay ledges. There are some potential pendulums for the follower on easier terrain. Good route!!