This is a fantastic route that has not seen much traffic in recent years due to major rockfall. The entire route is capped by a huge roof (above which a rockfall scar is clear), and for this reason most of the climb is not only unaffected, but also sheltered from future rockfall. However, you will find that the first two pitches have been affected. I don't know what they were like before, but presently there are some loose blocks, flakes, and other features on these pitches which must be navigated. There is good gear to be had, however, and if you tread lightly, you're likely to be OK -- just try to be careful not to pull off a big loose block onto yourself or your belayer. I also don't recommend bivying at the base.
P1 & 2: Link these with a 60m rope and judicious use of runners. This puts you at a huge belay ledge and under the protection of the roof. The rap anchors are modern but have clearly been struck by rocks. They appear safe to use and at least worked for us. On the way up this long pitch you'll encounter lots of loose flakes and a bolt that has been flattened. 5.9.
P3: This is a long, hard pitch. 5.10d liebacking up a corner with exactly one handjam rest and exactly zero stem rests. Sometimes wet, always pumpy. 120' or so.
P4: This is a totally rad pitch of 5.8/5.9 that hand traverses out a series of huge wedged flakes. Savor the exposure and bring a few large cams and long runners to protect it. Easily link it into the next pitch if you runner it well. 50' or so.
P5: Strenuous overhanging fists to hands in the corner. 5.10c, 50' or so.
P6: Perhaps the true crux of the route? This pitch is not to be missed. Starts off as hands and quickly goes to enjoyable fists, then enjoyable handstacks (new #5 Camalot size), then very difficult armbars/liebacks (new #6 Camalot). If you're flexible you can stem through some of this El Matador style. The bolts on this pitch have been (appropriately) chopped -- the pitch can be well protected with modern large cams. 5.9 old school.
A double-rope rap will get you to the top of the long 10d corner (just barely with two 60m ropes). Another rap to the big ledge below this pitch, and a final double-rope rap to terra firma.
Double or triple set of cams from small to thin hands, singles from hands to very wide. A couple long slings. Hardhats for leader and belayer.
Looking down at the LB pitch
Big exposure above the roof on the 3rd pitch.
Steep rappels on the way down.
Dec 1, 2006
I went to do this route in August 2006. The first pitch is completly shattered by rock fall(bad pro and loose).Rockfall came flying in as I was almost finished with the first pitch. I can't believe my belayer wasn't killed. We bailed quickly. Stupid Stupid Stupid. If you could get through the first pitch you would be sheltered by the enormous roof above the climb.
|By Greg Barnes|
Dec 28, 2006
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Note on the chopped bolts on the last pitch: we actually only chopped 1 bolt in the offwidth section, the other 2 had fallen out previously. We chopped 2 bolts next to splitter smaller cracks as well: a bolt next to perfect 2" crack on the 10c hands pitch, and the first bolt on the last pitch, which was right next to a perfect 1.5" crack. These bolts next to bomber hand cracks served as a good reminder that cams didn't exist when the route was established, and we couldn't in good conscience replace bolts along a perfect crack that just happened to be 4-5" instead of 2".
This generated a fair bit of controversy at the time (ended by the rockfall), but Harding never would have placed those bolts with modern big cams, and anyone who doesn't want to bring a couple big cams for the last pitch can rap before it -- you rap the route either way.
This is a sweet climb, hopefully the rockfall zone will stabilize itself!
|By Scotty Nelson|
Jun 19, 2007
Recommend extra 1" cams for the 10d lieback pitch.
|By sean barb|
From: winston salem, north carolina,
Dec 18, 2008
Great route; although I climbed it before the major rockfall. The lieback corner pitch is really classic; bring doubles in the 1-1.5" stuff. Bring some big cams for the last pitch, its worth it!
|By L Stern|
From: Golden, CO
Jun 2, 2009
Did this route early June 2009. Excellent! Using 2 60m ropes, we rapped from P6 to P4, then to P2 (required some very easy unroped downclimbing on ledge), then to the ground. I'm not sure about the other raps, but for the last one (P2 to ground), a 70m rope won't get you down.
From: tacoma, toyota
Oct 23, 2010
Anybody climb this route recently? Is the loose rock danger from the rockfall still there?
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
May 6, 2011
Moss? Wow, amazing. There used to be lines at the base of this route (20 years ago). Awesome 3rd pitch, super pumpy.
|By Roger Suen|
From: Los Angeles, CA
Oct 9, 2011
Last pitch is def a crux, if you bring a 5 you will still have to run it out a little, then you can get some c3's 00 in a little crack. Super dirty last pitch.
LB pitch has 2 good rest a stem and hand/jam ledgey thing.
Superb climb, one of the best
Just did it 2 weeks ago, twice, no rock fall
From: Reno, NV
May 29, 2012
Climbed this route 5/20-12 and there was rockfall. Might be wise to heed the locals' warnings.
Jun 1, 2013
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
did this with trudeau back before the rockfall
one of the most memorable routes i've done in the valley