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First Creek Slabs
Routes Sorted
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Bad Moon Arising T 
Big Sky T 
Comeback Corner T 
Falling Stars T 
Hot Flash T 
Lady Luck T 
NOPE.NOPE. NOPE.NOPE.NOPE. T 
Rising Moons T 
Romanian Rib - Left Side T 
Smiley Face T 
Smooth Sailing T 
Sunset Slab T 
Sunset Slab Direct T 

Sunset Slab 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Homer Morgan, Howard Booth, Dan Allison, Joe Herbst
Page Views: 6,186
Submitted By: John Wilder on Mar 11, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Brett on the final pitch. I thought this corner wa...

Description 

A beautiful and moderate route up the First Creek Slabs. Once you step out onto the slab proper, its nothing but perfect climbing up a 600' crack, followed by easy face climbing and an exciting hand crack finish. Well worth doing!

Location 

Start about 30 yards right of Rising Moons in an obvious gully that ends about 50' above the base of Rising Moons. Start up the dihedral on the right hand side of the gully before moving out left onto the slab near the bush on top of the buttress to your right.

Protection 

gear to 3" is fine.


Photos of Sunset Slab Slideshow Add Photo
sadly all that I scored on the route
sadly all that I scored on the route
looking down P1
looking down P1
Nice, well protected slab with a bulge
BETA PHOTO: Nice, well protected slab with a bulge
the hand crack (lichen didn't interfere with the friction)
the hand crack (lichen didn't interfere with the f...
Sunset Slab and Rising Moons
BETA PHOTO: Sunset Slab and Rising Moons
Nice face climbing low on Sunset Slab.
Nice face climbing low on Sunset Slab.
very Flatirons-like climbing so far
very Flatirons-like climbing so far
Approaching the belay position to the left of the midway headwall of Sunset Slab.
Approaching the belay position to the left of the ...
upper ramp that accesses the raps
upper ramp that accesses the raps
Moving to the right onto the upper rib.
Moving to the right onto the upper rib.
start
start
Looking up on the upper rib.  The foreshortened exit corner is visible immediately to the right of the belayer.
Looking up on the upper rib. The foreshortened ex...
the Charlie Brown Xmas pine tree on P1 proper
the Charlie Brown Xmas pine tree on P1 proper
From the top of the route, there is still some scrambling to reach the descent ramp.
BETA PHOTO: From the top of the route, there is still some scr...
and more low angle slab
and more low angle slab
DeAngelo et al on the neat and clean upper pitches.
DeAngelo et al on the neat and clean upper pitches...
the final rib (the hand crack is on the far right side as you near the top)
BETA PHOTO: the final rib (the hand crack is on the far right ...
The lovely corner!
The lovely corner!
looking down the last pitch
looking down the last pitch
Rising Moon/Sunset Slab start
BETA PHOTO: Rising Moon/Sunset Slab start
on the descent
on the descent
First Creek Slabs (left) from the approach
First Creek Slabs (left) from the approach
looking back at the slabs
looking back at the slabs
approach pitch, P1 of Rising Moons
approach pitch, P1 of Rising Moons

Show All 25 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Sunset Slab Add Comment
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By Karsten
From: Sacramento, CA
Mar 12, 2008

This route allegedly benighted a young Joe Herbst early in his climbing career. Little is known about where the actual first ascent went up but it is believed to be close to what is described in the new Handren Guide.

The route was "rediscoved" by Larry and myself in 2006 and led to a flurry of new routes on the lower first creek slabs as well as the Labrynth wall above.
By marc rosenthal
From: San Antonio, TX
Apr 8, 2008

Jim Arnold and I climbed this route Saturday. The wall was ours, the only other party nearby was on Rising Moons. We climbed with twin 60 meter 8 mm ropes. It is important to set stations in the correct places. We set anchors at the ledge and tree at top of p1 instead of up the ramp on the right. Traversing up the ramp and setting pro before starting up the face creating lots of drag on the system.

Stations are not obvious and I felt that anchors we set were often 25 feet below where they should have been but we simply would have run out of rope. Despite these little wrinkles, the upper pitches on the wall are excellent. The long face prior to the final dihedral is a brilliant combination of rust and green lichen at a moderate grade.

We hit the summit around 4 pm. It is difficult to tell how to get to the descent gully. We did a thrash up to where I could see the snag Karsten described as a landmark and found the gully down. One of the gullies does not have rappel anchors and looked too dicey to scramble down. For expediency sake we set anchors at two rappel points with sewn webbing and biners for a rappel. Our hope is that future parties will let the stations remain to aid other climbers in making a safe descent.
By James R. Arnold
Apr 8, 2008

To add a few things to Marc's summary. The climbing was generally very clean face climbing at a 5.4-5.5 grade. Gear can be had every 15 ft or more. The last pitch (the steeper crack) felt about 5.7 despite the recent guide supposedly saying it is 5.6.

Once on top we did thrash up from bushes etc until we found the dead snag and could easily climb up to the base of the upper wall. From there descend to the saddle. In the saddle is a large pine tree and a cairn makes the start of the descent. Down and right from the cairn a short ways is the first rappel (red sling off a small tree). A 200 ft rap leaves you at the second rap - red sling off a natural thread. Take this down another 200 ft. From there you can downclimb easily a short ways in an inset on the right. From there we set a new rap anchor off a wedged block with green sling. A 200 ft rap takes you down to the ledge with another rap anchor (blue sling off a tree). This new rap pulls pretty easily. Take the blue sling rap down another 200 ft or so. From here one can probably scramble down but since it was dark we set-up another rap off a dead tree that goes down 100-150 ft (over a fun hang and free rappel) and puts one on the terrace just to the right of Algae on Parade. This new rap also pulls quite easily.

This descent gully seems steeper and slicker than most and hopefully these 2 new raps will be deemed a worthy addition and left for future use.

Nice route, nice weather, and lots of fun.
By Karl K
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 13, 2008

Good route.
Finding the start was not obvious.
After climbing the pocketed face (cl. 3 - and way easier than it first looks), head to the far left side of the bush-covered area and locate a clean ledge below the big corner (~20' below a small pine).
Climb the big corner ~30', then trend right along a featured slanting ramp. We belayed here, but next time will just simul-climb a bit in order to reach the good ledge 240' up.
Also, as you climb straight up from the slanting ramp near the start, stay left. (I ended up in the middle of the face and had some exciting 5.7 moves to get back to the left...).
After the good ledge near the left edge of the buttress, follow the crack. Maybe 450' of fun, easy, well-protected climbing.
We simul-climbed this crack and set up a belay at a small ledge just below a varnished headwall. It might have been better to just keep going the 50' to the brushy ledge where you will step over to the face to the right.
The next to last pitch is good face with limited pro. Stay right at the end and look for a short crack for the belay.
The last handcrack is good, but a bit lichen-covered. Well-protected 5.7.

The new rap stations are great! We did this with a single 60m and felt fine about the downclimbing.
By Dan Mathews
May 4, 2012

Climbed it this past weekend and had the route to ourselves. It was a very enjoyable climb. Most of the climbing is considerably easier than 5.7, but an inexperienced climber shouldn't take it lightly. The protection can be quite sparse in spots (more like 30' between placements) although the climbing is probably 5.4 in those sections.

The biggest challenge I experienced was finding an adequate belay station. On the third pitch from the top I ran out of rope (60 m) and ended up downclimbing 30' or so in search of a crack to establish a belay on the upper slab.

I should have paid more attention to the beta photo (1 of 10) on the first creek slabs page of MP identifying the belay locations before we did the climb! The belays are marked exactly where you want to be, and there aren't many other options on the lower and upper slab sections.

All in all it was a lot of fun. The route finding and limited protection in areas kept it exciting on the easier sections, and the final handcrack is great.
By fossana
From: Bishop, CA
Nov 25, 2012

The route goes climber's right of the descent route, the top of which is marked by the low point in the upper First Creek Slabs ramp system and also to the right by a distinctive bright red "chunky" (versus smooth) topped pillar. On the approach I came in from a red ramp system just below Romper Room (very dark varnished wall). The route starts around the corner from the Romper Room area. Photo of the start of the chimney pitch shared with Rising Moon:



Mellow solo. You can easily escape near the top if you don't like the looks of the crux pitch. There is lichen on the final hand crack section but not enough to make it sketchy.

Neglected to bring beta on the raps, but they were very easy to locate.
By David Deville
From: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mar 30, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Climbed this on March 25th. One of my .75s walked and got two lobes stuck; my second was inexperienced in gear removal and was unable to retrieve it. We were taking longer than expected so I decided not to rap down to get the cam. Just a heads up since I bet it would be really easy to remove. You can get it as booty or contact me and I would pay shipping/a reward since it was fairly new and I only have one other cam in that size. Otherwise the route was pretty cool. Don't try to link the first two pitches unless you are good with some simul-climbing. I got into some pretty sketchy (for me) terrain a bit left of the route on what should have been the second pitch (30 ft above placement with bad rope drag and having to traverse off route on slopey hands and feet to make a ledge for the belay). The top hand crack was fun, but short and varied from fists to off-fingers. No need to bring extra hand sized pieces really. Also, most of this route went into shade in the early afternoon.
By John Ryan
From: Poncha Springs, CO
Apr 1, 2014

This was a fun route - finding the start was a little tricky as it is very overgrown and does not appear to be very traveled. There may have been a better way to access the start but we scrambled up a 4th/5th class ramp with large pockets. The first pitch is easy but has really poor quality rock - I doubt protection would hold. We combined the first two pitches and ended up in a protected alcove. From here a sweet crack system goes up two pitches on a 70 m with excellent gear. A short pitch took us to a large ledge system with lots of brush. The next pitch has some of the poorest quality rock on the route - stay to the right on the buttress for better rock and some pro. We didn't find the perfect belay spot for the final pitch so we set up an anchor right before the hand crack. The hand crack is really, really short - I'd guess 40 feet max. It is very well protected using a variety of sizes of cams. From the top of the route it is a 200-300 foot scramble up more bushes to access the ramp system. There were good rap stations with new bolted anchors every 200 feet or so,accessed from the first low point of the ramp system as described in the descent options.