The Hurt Locker
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The first (from left to right as you look at the crag) of a 'Trifecta' of long (40m) routes at Newhalem. This is an athletic climb up a steep chimney feature. Thug through blocky climbing in a steep hanging slot. A crux lies in wait somewhere at the end, slapping up a blunt feature on opposing sidepulls. The only drawback to Hurt Locker is that it's simple and more intuitive to climb to the right and onto Meridian at the top, thus bypassing the crux moves. However, it's also possible and more intuitive to end Meridian at the jug atop Hurt Locker, so the climbs provide some slight variations to one another. If you really must contrive greater difficulty, skip the move right to the Meridian rest and move straight into the crux feature. Better yet, one could stay left and bear hug the left arete, providing a more difficult finish to the route.
Just left of where the trail meets the crag, a line of bolts divides into two lines around a large, ominous block. The left is the start of a three pitch route, "Cold Beer in the River", while the right ("Domestic Bliss, .11a") climbs straight up the scary block and trends right. The Hurt Locker continues above this right variation. 80m rope for full descent, but with some annoyance a 70m can be used to lower to the "Domestic Bliss" anchors.
Bolts. Top part is mostly fixed, but you will need 2 quickdraws and, preferably, one shoulder length sling for it. The bottom part has about 12 bolts, some of which are strangely located. Slings useful on the bottom part as well. Fixed anchor/lowering station on top.
Jul 16, 2013
rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
the top was a little strange. for me the natural tendency was to go a bit right at the top, which put me into Meridian. This method probably avoided the crux, which is why it felt easier than what people seem to be calling it.
Feb 7, 2014
This is true. It's slighty contrived to do the 'direct' ending because I seem to remember that it's possible climb over to the rest on Meridian at the large hold before the end. I think it's fair to just average the grade down based on how someone would climb it via the most intuitive line.