Tango climbs the beautiful, green and red, left-facing dihedral system directly above Foxtrot in the Cirque of the Cracks area on the upper West Ridge. It's hard to do the Tango all alone, like they say, "it take two . . . ." Hence, this route is best climbed as an extension to Foxtrot making for a nice 100' pitch of continuous, high quality, 5.10 and 5.11 climbing.
Climb Foxtrot and continue up and slightly right with stemming into the 3", white, undercling flake. Escape out the roof crack left with exciting moves (crux) to get established on the headwall at the start of the dihedral proper. Climb the L-facing dihedral crack with thin fingers for ~50' before awkwardly transitioning to a second, shorter, left-facing dihedral and escaping to the top of the face. There is a tree belay 15' above here and 120' above the start of Foxtrot. Rapelling N-ish from this tree you can access the anchors atop parallels and hence make it down with a single 60m rope, or from the tree anchor you can just barely make it down to the ledge 10' off the ground at the start foxtrot with a single 70m.
This route was lead ground up and although established as a continuation of Foxtrot (.11d), it can be easily accessed by climbing either Parallels (.11b) or Crazy Fingers (.12b). The grade given is for the climbing above foxtrot only, whether including Foxtrot or not in the grade, the climbing is well protected.
Tango and Foxtrot are readily located in the cirque of the cracks area at the top of the West face. Descend the face from the tree anchor above with either a single 60m to Parallels' anchor or a single 70m to the ledge starting Foxtrot(knot the end!).
Gear: (Including any of the beginning routes) 2x cams to ~ 1" including triples in finger sizes, many nuts, RPs, a few 3' slings.
Yo Wayne and crew, Nice send! 3 years ago I rapped down this and knocked some of the loose junk off and ... a little later while climbing near by I see Josh Wharton top roping this line. We discussed it and he says he was going to come back and lead it ...not sure if he did. You probably did do the first lead. Anybody out there know? Cool line either way!!! peace and f-nes.
Thanks for the history Steve. Yes its certainly possible that the line had been climbed in the past, its rather obvious and accessible. I did talk to as many people as I could and no one knew of an ascent, though many people had looked at-inspected-thought about it. It did appear as if no one had climbed though these areas in years at best (thick dense flakey lichen, dirt, loose rocks, etc), but thats always a crap shoot estimate . . .
Regardless if it was previously climbed or not, I think its really nice quality climbing and hence a worthy addition climbers will enjoy. It's a nice way to wrap up any of the lower routes, especially foxtrot/crazy fingers since inspite of being very high quality they are kind of short and just stop in that non-descript scoop/slab area- blah blah blah.
By Hank Caylor Administrator From: Golden, CO Sep 17, 2007
Waaay nice climb. As good as it gets actually. Will definitely go back to this area this weekend as there seems to be a lot of potential for more. Good job Wayne and Kevin!
High quality obvious extension to Foxtrot. This thing climbs great and is a proud lead when combined with Foxtrot. Tango is well worth your while. Nice job Wayne.
By Josh Janes Mar 12, 2009 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-23E3 5c
Four star classic when combined with Crazy Fingers or Foxtrot (the more natural line is from Crazy Fingers, but Tango is significantly easier. In fact, I think Tango is significantly easier than even Parallels.... I would have called it 5.11b?). Nice job on scoring this sweet FA!!!
By Joseph P. Crotty From: Broomfield, CO Mar 14, 2009 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-23E3 5c
A budding classic, make no mistake about it. Currently, even though a bit dirty in spots it's just very good. If you have the moxie to send Foxtrot or Crazy Fingers don't miss out on this great finish. The belay seems dangerous with all that loose choss on the slopping shelf - would a bolted anchor a bit lower be safer?
Glad y'all enjoyed it Josh and Joe, consensus appears to be settling at lower-mid .11, that's cool. Yeah Joe, the sloping alcove at the top full of loose rocks is very sub-optimal for sure, really can't clean the loose rocks off either . . . and a bolted belay at the lip would be preferable, not exactly sure where it would go up there, if you find a good spot and want to submit the application, I'll suport it! but for the app process, I just don't think that dog will hunt? If you can do Foxtrot or Crazy Fingers, you should be able to lead up Tango without difficulty, hence TR seems not too necessary for this line.
I think its manageable as is. If a TR is desireable, it can be safely set up with webbing from the tree that extends to the lip. On lead then rappell, being careful at the lip and gentle with the pull prevents rocks from falling. This does support only using a single rope for rappelling as pulling with a knot could bring down the rain; 60m to parallels anchors and down, or 70m to starting ledge. (Edit to add with new anchor between the tops of Foxtrot/Crazy Fingers, going over to Parallels is obscene, er I mean obsolete.)
Nice route, Wayne, finally got on it the other day and was impressed with the quality. The new anchor at the top of Foxtrot/Crazy Fingers makes this easy to do as two pitches, but climbing it as one long pitch is full value.