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Stepping Stones
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Stepping Stones 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b

Type: Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
FA: Larry Dalke, 1960s
Page Views: 372
Submitted By: Ivan Rezucha on Sep 1, 2004
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The line we took up the left side.

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The Stepping Stones face has always looked appealing from the road, but I'm afraid it deserves a bomb. It's dirty at the bottom, loose at the top, and non-descript but tolerable in the middle. The cracks are poorly defined, so gear placements are not obvious and are scarce, although sufficient. It may be worth doing if you're an adventure climber looking for a new crag to climb or are training for the Eiger. When I apologized to my partner Jana for taking her on this climb she said, "it's not bad." So maybe it's not quite as bad as I make it out to be.

Start: Rossiter just says, in effect, "There's a route somewhere here", and that the right hand start is harder than his 5.7 guess at a rating. On the right side of the crag is a huge roof above a ledge that slants up to the right. There's a lot of chalk on this, apparently from boulderers. Left of this is a steep broken wall with various bulges and overhangs. Left of that is a large left facing corner, and left of that is a steep and overhanging face with 3 bolt routes on its left side. The route we did starts at the large left facing corner. Alternate starts would be a tapering notch in the overhangs right of our start or a stepped right facing corner right of that and left of the huge chalked roof. Both of these are harder than they look (I tried the right hand start, and it's about 5.9 if you diagonal in from the left or harder if you climb the overhangs directly).

The climb: From the large left facing corner walk right on a ledge or climb to this ledge from below. Traverse right across a short steep wall to gain the main face. Climb more or less straight up aiming for the left edge of the large overhangs at the top passing a small overhang and staying left of a right facing corner. There is a good ledge even with the bottom of the orange overhangs that you can belay from. Communication was difficult due to car noise and the overhangs at the bottom, so we belayed here. Continue up just left of the orange overhangs, passing some scary blocks. Angle a bit right into a short right facing corner at the very top. Step right and back left to the summit boulders.

Descent: Walk back a short ways, traverse left, then scramble down the first reasonable-looking gully.


Double finger-sized cams, single to hand-sized. I placed one nut in a horizontal that opened up in back.

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