|Upper Freeway Wall
This fine route is located near the far right end of the Upper Freeway Wall, and begins about 10 feet right of Cake Walk. Though not given many stars in the past (and thus mostly overlooked), it is definitely worthy of attention (maybe 3 of 5 stars). As good as Anacram and of similar difficulty.
From the get-go, interesting face climbing next to seam (5.10c) is protected by 3 bolts and 1 fixed pin (a 1.5" cam provides additional/optional pro). Past here, easy climbing up a left slanting crack leads to a bulge. Here the crack changes direction again (leaning a bit right). The transition above the bulge involves a few difficult moves (5.10c). Easier climbing up the flared crack; save a couple 1.5 to 2.5 inch cams to provide possible protection. A fairly long enjoyable pitch.
Downclimb the east face (behind the top of Cake Walk) then head down a rocky gully until you can traverse around the south side of the formation and back to the base.
To several smaller cams with a few up to 2.5 inches; 3 bolts, 1 fixed pin.
Feb 7, 2005
Not bad, perhaps 2 of 5. Rock quality is not 100%. My somewhat dim recollection is that its perhaps a bit spicy and that I was very happy to have a purple TCU. Should definately be added to anyones Freeway wall rotation ( as well as Quantum Leap ).
Feb 8, 2005
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b
Although this route is not much harder than Anacram, the spicy climbing is low on the route. Getting to first bolt is not as easy as it looks and first 20 feet have some crimps that will be removed with more traffic. I always thought it 3 out of 5 stars.
|By Chris Owen|
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Dec 25, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b R
Seemed risky this one, but pulled right through the crux, top finishing crack was pretty intense for some reason.
From: Joshua Tree, California
Dec 26, 2009
Good job, Chris. ....The rock quality at the bottom (crux) isn't stellar, and the fixed pin don't look too "fixed" either. After the crux, there is that funky step up, which rattles your cage some more;....Even though the top part is the easiest part of the climb, the bottom section has already worked you, so it's hard to relax. And at the top part , the cracks are shallow and uniform, so if you don't have the exact right piece, you have to run it, which isn't too relaxing either. All in all, it's a great climb, an exciting climb, and a proud lead. We did the FA ground up, on the lead, with no knowledge of any part of the climb other than visual inspection from the ground. Anacram is a different sort of route, with moderate climbing and one hard and defined crux. The Talking Fish keeps your attention top to bottom. The protection is there;..probably PG would be a better rating.