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A great line from the Ringle/Chace summer of 1980. The general consensus (from both Steiger's and EFR's guide) has been that the first two pitches are great (they are), and that the last pitch is not worth doing. The description here is mainly for the 2 money pitches.
P1. Thoughtful moves lead up to an obvious layback flake. This gives you a nice little pump before tackling the real estate above epic arch, which is steep with great sequencing.
2 bolt belay, with hardware to lower/rap off.
P2. Stuff some bombproof gear in a couple handcrack pods and fire the crux of pitch 2. The reward is a leftward traverse on good holds (If you head straight up after the crux, you will heading up Jim Waugh's direct finish, which goes at 5.12). Keep traversing up and left along a beautiful flake system. At the end of the traverse, it's decision time: head up into the obvious dihedral for the belay before the 3rd pitch, or continue straight left and down a bit along an exciting hand traverse that pass the Catch the Wave anchors, and end at Ma'adim's 2 bolt-belay. We did the latter.
From the top of Ma'adim's 2nd pitch, you need two ropes to get to the ground (I think), or 2 raps with 1 70m. If you do the 70 m method, there is some swinging required to snag the 1st pitch anchors.
Just after the crouton filter on Neptune, left side of the big, obvious Epic Arch.
Standard rack: stoppers (incl. small) and probably doubles of cams in the fingers to hand sizes, one #3 BD or equivalent.
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 15, 2013
Got on the first two pitches today and they were a blast. It is possible to rap after the terrific first pitch. Highly recommended.
The hardware looks like it is in good condition on pitch 1 - the bolt has an unusual-looking Mammut hanger but is in good shape. Extra 1"-2" cams were helpful on this pitch.