This forgotten Kodas/Laeger classic parallels its better known Kamps/Laeger neighbor Spook Book in quality and commitment to minimal fixed gear. Plenty of route finding challenges.
Just downhill from the left facing dihedral right of Shazam is a thin seam that starts about 40 feet up (see photo).
Climb up an easy corner, pass a small roof where the crack blanks out up to another small roof on the left, then up to a rusty old 1/4" bolt below the seam. A bit dicey before the bolt - 5.10a/b-R. Follow the seam with spaced but good gear ~5.9 where it disappears in a small roof. You get a bit out there near the end of the crack. There is a great small stopper and useless old bolt here before moving up onto the face above. Work left to a thin left facing dihedral then up and back right to the roof and good gear 5.10b-R. Undercling right and pull the roof using the roof above 5.10d moving left into a left facing dihedral. Follow this 5.10- to a great belay ledge around the corner to the left. Gear belay thin - 1" about 160'
The second pitch follows the thin left facing corner above as it curves left and becomes a splitter seam. When the rock goes from rough to smooth, ignore the off route bolt up and right, and traverse 5 feet left to another finger crack. Follow this to another nice ledge. Gear belay thin - 1" about 120' - sustained 5.10 with two 5.10c/d cruxes.
Several options are possible on the third pitch, one option follows the left facing corner directly above until a seam breaks out right. Work out right (crux) until another right facing corner is reached. Climb up, then slightly left to another left facing corner past a small bush. Follow this to a fat lieback and small belay ledge. Gear belay 1"-2", 5.10c, ~120'
The fourth pitch follows the easy right slanting ramp up and over to the end of Spook Book. 5.8 ~90'.
The first pitch is mildly exciting on 5.8/5.9 ground with a stretch of run out 5.10b smearing from the end of the seam to the roof. Good traditional gear from there to the top of the climb.
Gear: Thin to 3". Bring plenty of small stoppers and small cams (TCU's). A set of tiny brass, mainly for the second pitch, but handy on the other pitches too. Emphasize less than 1.5" with one each to 3". A few long slings help at the end of pitch 1 roofs for rope drag. The two old bolts on pitch one are antiques, but not that important.
Follow the low 5th class walk off north to the summit and down to the standard Witch descent - one single rope rap and low 5th class scrambling north.
BETA PHOTO: Second Pitch - Detail...
From: Oakland CA
Jul 28, 2010
guidebook says there is a tough to protect crux right off the first belay and that "lowballes, RPs and a knifeblade may help." Were you able to protect this with micronuts?
|By john durr|
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Jul 28, 2010
Greg Vernon's guide book comment refers to going straight up the seam to the off route bolt on the second pitch. Instead, face climb left to another crack when you get to this seam, don't climb straight up. So you don't need LoweBalls and/or a knifeblade piton.
Jul 29, 2010
Looking at that face I always imagined The Entity taking more of a pure line up. I think the guidebook (not that I trust it overly) also shows a pretty plumb line. Did you talk to Laeger or Kodas about the "off route bolt" or the round-about line you took? If not, why do you think your line matches the original?
|By john durr|
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Aug 7, 2010
Murf, about the second pitch...
1. I felt trying to go straight up just to get to the bolt at the top of the seam was much harder than the 5.10+/5.11- overall route rating,
2. I led it to the left after being unable to go straight up,
3. moving left isn't obvious on the lead, is great climbing and works out better than it first appears and is just as pure as going straight up,
4. Vernon told me that bolt was off route before I led the pitch in 1993,
5. Vaino told me that's what he remembered when we lived together in Ridgecrest after I'd led it.
In any case, it is beautiful and excellent climbing and deserves more traffic. The second pitch is much less stressful than the first. Part of the beauty of the route is that it remains open to personal interpretation.
Aug 30, 2010
So you did have the inside scoop! I know many people have had questions on that line, so this is pretty key info you have here, thanks.
|By Kris Solem|
From: Monrovia, CA
Dec 17, 2010
Herb Laeger's notes from the FA specifically describe climbing the corner into the crack and heading up and left as shown in John's second beta photo (on the FA this was P3.) He makes no mention of the bolt. Perhaps it was placed later by someone trying a variation or not aware of the route?
That is a pretty long first pitch going all the way up through the roofs, left facing corner (crux) to the ledge. The FA belayed in the crack just below the first roofs. The big ledge was the top of P2. This is what I have done too. I think the 10d corner would not be so much fun with nearly 200 ft of cord hanging down.
I really like this route and have done it 3 times. You never see anyone doing it. Some extra fun can be had by climbing straight up into the Shazan finish to top out.
From: Mojave, CA
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
P1 - The first bolt is an antique (1/4" rusty button head). You should be a solid 5.10 leader if leading this pitch. The 5.10d crux appears 150' in, but is pretty short.
I thought P1 & P2 were pretty classic. We got off route on P3 and the climbing was pretty forgettable. The pictures above have great beta. Not quite as nice of a line as Spook Book, but definitely worth doing. The bolt on P1 needs replacing.