Kayte Knower midway on Upper D. Flake Route can be...
One of the best routes Devil's Lake has to offer. The name says it all. When facing the right side of Pedestal Buttress this route slices up and left from the dead tree at the base of Birch Tree Crack. Stay on the higher of the cracks, as the other is obviously Lower D. Good stopper from finger locks and at times insecure feet lead to a pleasant topout. Also easy to TR, but a swing is inevitable. Better to swing low than high. That's what she said.
I tried out Upper D. last weekend. The thing I noticed about the route is how sustained it is. I did it on TR, so once I got to the top I had a nice scraping swing to the right. I now have a "strawberry" on my back to prove it.
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Campton, NH Jan 28, 2003 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Upper D is probably one of the safer leads in the Park. A few years ago, I took my first real wipper on it, a 25 footer (although the distance seems to grow with each passing year), and escaped unscathed. The first crux right off the ledge protects well with a #3 Camalot, and you have sufficient air under your feet and numerous chances to place gear at the second crux. Plus you can take advantage of a no-hands rest halfway up....there is no excuse not to get on it.
You can avoid the 'strawberries' by setting the toprope anchor at the top/exit of Upper D. That way you won't get yanked off balance by the belayer taking up slack and you get a comfortable way to practice the exit mantle.
Jay, I saw that whipper and 25 feet is not an exageration (#4 stopper, right?). You get cudos for not squealing. One of the hardest moves is getting into the crack off of the block. It is also the only place where the gear is somewhat suspect.
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Campton, NH Mar 2, 2007 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Yup Tye, it was a #4 stopper that was so welded, I had to rap down with a hammer to get it out.
25 years ago my climbing mentor Tory Stempf was running a group climbing trip. It was only my second year climbing but I was helping him. He decided to do the diagonal on TR. He fell near the top. The anchor was too far right as it was for the route to the right. He swung into the pine tree driving a pinky sized dead branch into his calf. We helped him down to his car where he drove to the ER and had it pulled out. He was sore and limped a bit but was okay. Great climbing area. I still climb all the time.
Cute, furry BAT in this thing today. He slept through all the ascents though.
By Jason Hall From: Salt Lake City Jul 21, 2011 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
Great, fun route. Easily protected from above. While working the first crux right above the ledge, my partner took a huge swing all the way around the face, spooking the people on the next buttress. Saw a bird's nest with a few chicks in it about 1/2 way up the route.
By Andy Hansen From: Longmont, Colorado Jul 21, 2011 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
So MdRock.... are ya saying even the climber that makes an effort to get your cam dis-lodged (with the expressed intention of returning it to it's rightful owner) but then FAILS will still be cursed or as you put it...."stricken with climbing karma"?
By Mikekd From: Mammoth lakes, CA Jul 7, 2012 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
No, if one would fail to "let me know" that you have dislodged it then he/she may be stricken with climbing karma. But in all honesty, the gear is there, I left it, if you get it out more power to ya and you can hold on to your prize. Sadly, I'm not sure how many climbers out there follow the proper etiquette that you are implying.
Really fun climb with an endless array of bomber placements all the way up. I have no idea how one of the previous commenters managed to get into a 25ft whipper here (assuming no gear popped out and he/she wasn't running it out). The kneebar halfway through lets you rest to your heart's content.
Don't toprope it... there's HUGE pendulum potential into trees. Given the plethora of bomber gear and clean fall line, there's really not a good reason to not lead it (even for a beginner).