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BETA PHOTO: two pics of the crack spliced together
This is a great leadable climb. Don't be fooled by that 5.3 rating though, due to heavy traffic the holds are all polished and slick as marbles.
According to the guidebook, the first part of the climb you should head up the face climb to the left of the crack, then move into the crack once you're on the easier ground.
If you head right up the crack though, it is definitely quite challenging, and feels more like 5.8ish for the first few moves till you're up it.
Enjoy the harder start, then scamper up the low angle ramp to the vertical exit. Good fun.
Hades Heights, in the crack upstream from nubble face.
From: Durango, CO
Feb 24, 2012
Isn't this called "Golden Staircase"? I don't know what the guide book says(and the Horst guide is pretty so so if I recall correctly - check the old Carderock book) but just go up the crack. hard for 5.3 - good old school rating and 5.8ish is right on for the first move or so. Fun solo.
Mar 2, 2012
My understanding is that Golden Staircase uses the face to the left of the crack. The "grain" of the rock changes a couple times in a short distance up there and its a great climb-- just left of this crack.
Aug 20, 2014
As others have said, the opening move is way harder than 5.3. The first time I climbed this route was on toprope and it was no big deal. So I thought it would be great to practice leading on after starting to learn that. 5.3, right? On a solo lead, that opening move turned out to be awfully sketchy. After that, the climbing is pretty easy until the very end, where the last move to the top is a little tricky as well. But on toprope, you probably won't be doing that move.