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Central Reservation Climbs
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The Pope (Primal Yawn ) 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A3+

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 350', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A3+ [details]
FA: Dave Evans, Todd Gordon, April, 1986
Page Views: 1,310
Submitted By: toddgordon on May 15, 2007

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The Pope. Photo by Todd Gordon.

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Description 

This is a very beautiful spire in a very isolated quiet spot. The route climbs the SW part of the spire. Pitch 1; start out with a A1 crack to mixed free/aid, to a 5.10- slot;...traverse left and belay. Pitch 2; A3+, then an A2 crack to a roof (A2), then up a clean A1 crack just right of the arete. Pitch 3 climbs an A2 corner ( on the left) to a cave . Pitch 4; This is the double overhang pitch; Climb an A2 crack to an overhang that ascends over 2 roofs....after that , it slabs out a bit, to some A3+ placements; step right and climb up the slot to a belay on the left. Pitch 5; scramble (4th class) to the summit.

Location 

This huge formation is striking from the road, and is best seen as you travel from Round Rock to Many Farms and Chinle. Drive right up to it, driving on dirt roads that are north of all the rock formations. This is just past Chinle Spire and Round Rock;...all in the same area.

Protection 

Double or triplbe set of cams, large cams, about 15 pins. Slings/biners.


Photos of The Pope (Primal Yawn ) Slideshow Add Photo
One of the anchors on The Pope.  Photo; Todd Gordo...
One of the anchors on The Pope. Photo; Todd Gordo...
Dave Evans following pitch 1 Photo;  Todd Gordon
Dave Evans following pitch 1 Photo; Todd Gordon
Todd Gordon on the double Overhang pitch 4.  Photo...
Todd Gordon on the double Overhang pitch 4. Photo...
Todd Gordon near the summit. Photo; Todd Gordon co...
Todd Gordon near the summit. Photo; Todd Gordon co...
Looking Down at Dave Evans from the Summit.  Photo...
Looking Down at Dave Evans from the Summit. Photo...
Ready for action.  Photo;  Todd Gordon collection.
Ready for action. Photo; Todd Gordon collection.
The Pope.  Photo:  Todd Gordon.
The Pope. Photo: Todd Gordon.

Comments on The Pope (Primal Yawn ) Add Comment
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By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 15, 2007

The name The Pope , was thought up by Brian Povolny;...must be his Catholic upbringing. Unfortunately, Brian was not with Dave Evans and I when we did the first ascent. When we did this climb, we had no idea that this large and beautiful spire had not been done before;..in fact, there are other lines to be done on this spire;...It was only when we got to the top and saw no summit anchors, then we knew we had done the first ascent. I took a lead fall on this climb;..on the double overhang double roof section; scared me for I had taken few falls on sandstone towers;...always shakes one up a bit. One of the A3+ sections was when I places a few pins, tied them together, stood on them, and they all started to move as if they were placed in pudding or butter, better still; wax....The summit is really cool, and the raps are quick and easy;....one rap station Dave drilled in a chimney on the way down. I also think one of the rap anchors has a drilled angle and a 12" galvanized steel hardware nail; classy.........This climb was a big deal for me; to do the First ascent of such a large and beautiful spire was a great experience for Dave and I. This is also the formation you see in the background during one scene on the Reservation in the movie Natural Born Killers. The name Primal Yawn came from Jim Angione's loud yawns each morning of this trip;...he, unfortunately, had a broken leg from a climbing fall, and couldn't join us on the climb;...he was our driver.
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Jun 9, 2007

For more info, click: joshuatreeclimb.com/Stories/pr...