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The Tree of Life 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 165'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter and Pebby Johns, September 2006
New Route: Yes
Season: Not Winter
Page Views: 536
Submitted By: Richard Rossiter on Sep 16, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: The routes Kama Sutra (left) and The Tree of Life ...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This route is an interesting hybrid that links the first 40 feet of Kama Sutra to the last 50 feet of Wings of Desire. Jam through the crux roof on KS and climb to a stance beneath the offwidth section. Stem right, clip a lone bolt beneath a roof, then make difficult moves into a previously unclimbed crack that runs parallel to KS, maybe 10 feet to the right. Have 1-inch gear at the ready. Jam straight up the crack to a point very near KS, then follow the crack system up and right to a point where it is easy to reach right and clip the 12th bolt on Wings. The finish is obvious from here (straight up).

Location 

This long route/pitch begins with the first 40 feet of Kama Sutra and breaks right beneath a roof just before starting the offwidth section of KS. The route joins the last 5 bolts on Wings of Desire and tops out at the ring anchor for this route (160 feet above Ledge Two). With a single 200 foot rope, it is possible to rappel to the new 2-ring anchor on Kama Sutra, then rappel 75 feet to Ledge Two. It is also possible to finish with second pitch of Kama Sutra and descend as described for that route.

Protection 

Gear from 1 to 3 inches and maybe 10 QDs. A long sling may be advisable on the lone bolt.


Photos of The Tree of Life Slideshow Add Photo
Richard making the first lead of the Tree of Life....
Richard making the first lead of the Tree of Life....

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By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 1, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

OK climb, but 1 or 1 1/2 stars rather than 3, when compared to other climbs at Sleeping Beauty. The start (Kama Sutra) is good, the moves right are fun but short, with a difficult gaston foot switch, then much moderate nondescript climbing that shares a short bit with Kama Sutra, then good hard 9 climbing on the upper part of Wings of Desire. I.e., about 6 traversing feet of good new climbing.

The description says you come "very near" to Kama Sutra up high, but I actually joined Kama Sutra for about 15' on the lead. On TR, I was able to avoid the KS crack, but only by inches. That seemed silly, grungy, and would be dangerous on the lead.

The bolt is somewhat useful, but not much--I didn't clip it. Since I was self-belaying, and rope drag was not an issue, I placed a #3 Camalot at the base of the wide crack on KS, stepped down and across. Soon as you get the good stem you get good gear. On a regular lead, you could do the same thing with a long sling on the left and back cleaning the first piece you place after the traverse. Or you could use double ropes.

As for difficulty, maybe 10a by Sleeping Beauty standards (Crack of Dawn is harder), but there are harder 9s in Eldo and Boulder Canyon. I had more difficulty with bolted upper Wings of Desire than with the trad bottom 2/3's. I'm revising downward my estimate of the difficulty of the Kama Sutra start. The main difficult is getting jams with the cams in the way. Otherwise, it's very straightforward.

For gear, I carried way too much in the 1" size as per the description. It's not really a finger crack. Singles from finger size up. Doubles in hand-sized (since you'll be leaving a couple at the initial roof). Brass if you plan to avoid the upper part of KS (silly). #3 Camalot if you plan on skipping the bolt (less silly). Plus a set of nuts, mostly big for the several great nut placements.