This one pitch climb is about 50 feet below the Long John Wall route. It follows a thin crack in a dihedral past two small roofs and out onto a face. Rossiter describes it as classic, but that depends on your definition. As opposed to most Eldo routes, which tend to be sustained, this pitch is a one move wonder as far as difficulty is concerned. Still, if you are in the area it is well worth doing and is quite fun.
Addendum: The right finish has a fixed hex at the top.
Standard trad rack. Pretty thin, no need for any pieces above 1.5 inches. You only really need a set of nuts and about 4 cams from .5 to 2.
Eds. The anchor may be a rope stretcher to rappel with a short downclimb with a 50m rope to the ledge 30 ft up. Consider 2 ropes or a 60m rope. Also, if you belay from the ground, do not lower with a single rope!
This is a fun route, but I agree about it being a one or two move wonder. It doesn't feel like a 5.9 if you are tall, either (I'm 6'4"). On the thin crack before traversing out on the face, I was only able to get in some quite small nuts, #3s and #4s BD.
This route is certainly not very difficult for the grade; however, the gear is fairly thin in places. The whole pitch really only needs about 3 or 4 nuts or tiny cams. Also, most of the climb really depends on the face-holds to the right of the crack. Go up a few moves, then step left.
Well, I think this is a 3-move wonder, that I did for the third time today. Pulling out of the corner, making a neat move up the face, and then pulling back into the crack above the roof all feel equally difficult and thought-provoking. Of course, you could also just go straight up the corner without using the face, which is strenuous but quite doable.
A 60 meter rope is perfect for the rappel to the tree directly below the route, with a 50 you'll probably have to downclimb a bit.
I found the crux piece of protection to be a .75 Camalot placed low in the roof while leaning to the right off the huecos on the left wall. This protects moving up on the wall and re-entering the crack. How hard is the route if one stays in the crack all the way and avoids the left wall?
Going straight up the dihedral, instead of moving left, is mid-5.10 or so. There are a couple of delicate stem moves, with not much for your feet, until you can reach up to where the crack opens up enough to admit fingers again. From there, you can reach up to the roof. The move over the roof from this position is fun.
This is one of my favorite climbs on the West Ridge. A better finish continues straight up a right-facing corner at the top instead of heading left to the two-bolt toprope anchor. Fun thin face and stemming moves take you to the rotten ledge. You can belay from the top using a small tree as an anchor. After you bring your second up, traverse left to the big tree and rappel down Washington Irving. 60m rope recommended for the rappel.
I led it today and thought it was way cool. [Balancy] move up on the top of the face using left hand fingertip undercling was unique. Protecting that move is not too bad for taller climbers (6' range) but my shorter partner (5'6") can't reach the corner of the roof to place the cam. I'd agree it's a classic a say it's a three move wonder.
Some of these big holds are just out of reach for shorter folks like me. I found it to be reachy and three or so hard moves. Brilliant climbing reminicient of Castle Hill in New Zealand. 5.9 felt right on to me.
This was my first Eldo 5.9 lead and I didn't think it was as hard as others I have followed or lead since then in the canyon. I'm 5'6" and this climb was definitely more than a one move wonder. I'd agree with 3 or 4 moves that by the end of them you could be looking at an unpleasant ride if you fell before getting back into the crack. In hindsight, I'd advise folks to be pretty comfortable at 8+ before leading this. Falling from the face mid-crux would not be good. Place gear as high as you can in the dihedral before moving out onto the face.
By Matt Chan From: Boulder Aug 23, 2004 rating: 5.9-5c17VI16HVS 4c
I second what Holly mentioned about fall potential on some thin wires prior to placing your .75 cam in the roof - could be painful. I preclipped my cam and fired it in ASAP from the potholes. Also, threading the hole at the bottom of the RF corner with a sling eliminates the possibility of zippering your stoppers in the case of a fall prior to getting the cam in the roof. Two stars and a good lead for breaking into 9's.
By Jeremy From: Boulder, CO Aug 30, 2004 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
This was a great route! I led it pulling out on the face and it seemed that the holds pulling the roof would be better if you stay in the crack. I tr'ed it and that was definitely the case. Staying in the crack and using the huecos for hands and a left foot was fun and maybe 10a.
This is a good all around route. For the crux, I first put in a orange RP (last piece before the roof). Then I was able to step high and side pull the hueco and then put a orange Alien into the roof. I then swung out onto the face and did the mantle move to the 5.9 part of the crux. I then placed a blue alien in the dihedral a couple of feet above the orange Alien. The next 9 move wasn't too bad, I just steped up and side pulled a flake and that was high enough to grab a bomber corner handhold. FYI.... Someone mentions above that you can sling a corner before the crux to keep you from zippering should you fall. I looked for a spot to sling and couldn't find anything.
This is a fun pitch, although short. It took me some time to figure out the crux moves, even though I'm sure I've done it before.
I puzzled over the "Ron Olsen Variation" at the top, a standard Eldo corner with no significant handholds. This dihedral can be made easy by stepping left and then back right into it!
By jay baichi Jul 5, 2007 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Loads of fun! Sucked up the small Aliens!
By D. Shaw Aug 7, 2007 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a PG13
Tricky, and I agree with Rossiter, classic "Eldo" climbing. There is more than one fun move, so certainly don't skip this pitch. Gear in thin seam is small, before stepping left into pockets. Then stand up in pockets, if you are tall reach right and you can get an excellent nut at bottom of the crack. If you can't reach back to the bottom of the crack to place the gear it is actually going to be a fairly run-out move.
By Jay Samuelson From: Denver CO Mar 9, 2008 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Fun route. Staying right in the dihedral and not moving left to the jugs on the face makes it an interesting challenge, solid .10 I would say. Pulling the roof from this position is fun
Cool route. Good intro 5.9 Eldo. lead because the hard moves are few and gear great. There are good small nuts in the crack before you go left onto the face. One of which I fell onto trying to pull into the crack above the corner. I did not think the fall was unpleasant aside from the 10 minutes it took the clean the stuck piece :)
Hey Armin, when did you lose it and where was it? If it matches the one I found, you've got your cam back.
By GMBurns Apr 21, 2010 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c PG13
Not really sure there's any need to go back into the corner once one hits the face on the left. The slab moves on the face are fun and at the grade. The move back to the crack above the roof is also pretty fun at that point, too.
Levin's new guidebook gives a rating of 5.10b for staying in the dihedral instead of veering left onto face. That felt about right, protecting with black Alien and tiny wires. Short crux with sketchy feet. Fun.
Fun route that has probably one of those "height dependent" cruxes. Otherwise you are going to probably have to make a couple of pretty thin moves and run it out a bit above some pretty small pro (small RPs) which is a bit disconcerting, because when out on the face you lose sight of your placements and are well aware of the swing fall and the extra rope you have out. Once you can manage to get in a piece (0.75 cam) into the roof the rest of the route goes safe and is quite reasonable. Keep a cool head, place solid nuts, (small cams kept pulling out for me when tested in the thin crack due to its flairing nature) and all will go well!
Has been a favorite of mine from way back. Done numerous times with 'guests' from out of town to get them into Eldo lead climbing. After the first few times, I started doing the 'directtisima' straight up the crack to the roof and continue straight on to the ledge. This line is a hard 5.10 and really gets you going with the footwork. A good route.