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I'll stick my neck out and give Strange Science three stars (at least by Boulder Canyon standards). The climb is pretty obvious as you hike up the faint trail to Avalon. The route follows a line of small flakes up the center of a beautiful forty-foot high scooped face, a pleasingly natural and independent line.
The right arete, Free Fall, is bolted and (5.12a?) has a steep bouldery look, with a seam and closely-spaced bolts.
Right again is a steep, short face then a short, scruffy, easy dihedral (also bolted) leading to an expansive, low-angle slab above.
The climb starts off easy, past jugs and a couple bolts, then as the angle steepens, the reaches betwen the flakes get harder. The crux move, at the fourth bolt, is a powerful long reach problem, but after this there is no let-up, but a pronounced pump as you struggle up some more perplexing moves, with little for the feet, before you lurch onto the obvious easier ground up and right.
Though short, this has all I look for in a sport pitch, a Gritstone-like series of cool and sustained and yet entirely logical moves, with no filler, which steadily builds up to make for a great experience.
6 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.
BETA PHOTO: Strange Science.
Moving into the crux.
Natalie sticking one of the big moves.
Pulling the crux.
Low down before the difficult climbing.
Mike on Strange Science.
Mike pulling the first crux on Strange Science.
Airborne off Strange Science.
Heading into the crux.
Jordan Schaeffer navigates the tricky exit from th...
Cletus low on the route.
|Comments on Strange Science
|By Chris Archer|
Oct 20, 2003
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a
Excellent route. Continuously interesting and difficult. Certainly 3 stars for Avalon. I'm not sure how to grade route quality on these crags. Is it better to grade quality compared to the routes on the crag or routes in the area? I had been grading them based on other routes in the area, i.e., Boulder Canyon. If graded compared to other routes at the crag, in my opinion, this pitch warrants 3 stars as does Free Fall, Ripcord, Chairman of Board, and Clipboard.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Sep 7, 2004
Not sure whether your description says to go to the right at the last bolt in the photo (kind of sounds like it), but the best move on the route is to the left of the bolt, it's a dynamic (at least for me) reach to the left side of the lip. This is a great route, I wish I had the endurance to send it all at once, but I fell off of the lip the first try, after a short rest I got it fine.
I also recommend climbing all the way to the anchors right below the steep headwall at the top of the slab. Kind of run out, but easy and fun. An extra 40 feet of climbing and one bolt (the bolt is just below the anchors and is part of Disinclination).
Three stars for Boulder Canyon.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 27, 2005
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c
Maybe the best route I have done at Avalon. It seemed closer to what I'd expect at the grade, and pulling directly through the last overhang (need not go right as mentioned in a previous comment) was a surprising and fun finish. What great little holds! Might be really hard for short folks or short-armed folks.
|By Tim Fleming|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2006
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a
Yes, it's difficult if you're shorter. At 5'7", I could just barely reach the crimp at the crux but was able to pull through finally with the right sequence of moves and careful balance. Very nice route!
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 12, 2007
Best route I've done in Avalon. Thought is was easier than 11c, but the movement was great. Grabbed that crimp with the left and crossed with the right hand to gain the jug. I'm only 5'9", so I wouldn't say it's height-dependent. Great fun!
Sep 4, 2007
Would agree w/ Clayton as a superb route for Avalon. Not only is the crux move super fun & aesthetic w/a great cross, but the climbing leading up to it flowed very nicely on good edges I thought. Great moderate .11
|By CJ Coccia|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 24, 2010
Tried it for the first time today. Fell 3 times amongst the 4th and 5th bolts. Super fun line that is well protected...here you can really focus on the moves. This route was really fun, and I will definitely be there time and time again to get it straight!
|By Andrew Shoemaker|
From: Garden Valley, ID
Jun 17, 2011
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a
I absolutely loved this route. One of the better routes I've ever done and def. the best thus far in the canyon. However, I thought Bob Antonio's rating of .11d was right...for me anyways...but I am 5'6" and with a short arm span...had to kind of dyno for that crimp.