The Blade of Damascus
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A great route up a dike on Stewart Peak. Scramble onto boulder at the base of the dyke near an old hangerless bolt. Reach up and left to place a large nut or small cam in a short, left-leaning crack. Follow crack, then dyke and intermittent crack, past a bolt to a ledge below a sharp arete. Continue up right side of arete past 4 bolts using a multitude of blocky, slopey holds to top, then exit right to anchor. When going up the arete, tall folks should try not to cheat by stemming off of the back wall, which lowers the difficulty on this section to 5.9ish or maybe 10-.
A set of nuts and some small to medium cams, plus 5 bolts. The top anchor is bolted.
Located on East Face of Stewart Peak. Route follows obvious dike to prominent arete. To descend, rap route from bolted anchor with a single 60m rope.
|Comments on The Blade of Damascus
|By Joel Hickok|
Aug 9, 2012
I have never felt like it is cheating when a climber stems on or uses a rock feature that is reachable from a climb. It is illogical and contrived to avoid using a part of the rock that is obviously reachable or usable. Having said that, it is up to any climber to make a route harder by avoiding certain handholds or footholds - maybe they prefer to make a climb harder for themselves or "train." However the climbers who choose to use the handholds and footholds that are present are not cheating, they are simply using the rock features that make the route what it is. Of course, moving away from the line the route follows is called being "off-route."
Just my 2 cents.
Aug 13, 2012
Hey Joel & Eric. I generally agree, however I mentioned not using the back wall b/c many people will not be able to reach it. Manny & I are on the tall side, with big wing/leg spans. Since many wouldn't be able to stem it seemed a bit like cheating to use it, and frankly IMHO it isn't nearly as much fun that way. Of course everyone is free to climb it however they want.
Also FWIW if one can always use whatever they want then several boulder problems (and all sit-starts) are no longer valid.
Give the route a try sometime. I would enjoy hearing what you think! If people still feel it is contrived then I am happy to change both the info and the rating to reflect that.
|By 1Eric Rhicard|
Aug 13, 2012
Border Patrol on Mt. Lemmon has the same issue. Fortunately the route grade doesn't change much if one stems behind them. Most people don't even notice the option and climb it without the stem.
Bouldering is a different animal as a lot of bouldering involves eliminates.
With routes I try not to dictate where people climb. You gave us the info so folks can do what they like. The rock gives us the holds be they where we want them or not. Sounds like a good route either way you do it.
|By Joel Hickok|
Aug 17, 2012
Hey Mike, thanks for the response. Didn't mean to indicate that I thought anything was contrived. I was just sharing my thoughts on the idea of cheating when something is reachable. Your reply make sense. Also, I agree with you and Eric that boulder problems are of a different nature of course, as you must be "hands off" to stay on the problem.