Upper Finger Direct
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This is a direct pitch up the steep slab above the Finger on the Finger Face of North Gateway Rock, leading up to the upper anchor on Tidrick's. The climb is very sustained for the first 50 feet and is quite dangerous getting to the second fixed piece of protection.
Leading off from the 2-pin anchor at the top of the Finger, climb about 10 feet to a scary Star-drive bolt that sticks about half-way out. Then climb another 20 feet or so to reach a solid, ring-angle piton. This section is rather difficult and scary (right up to where you can reach the piton) and a fall before clipping would probably guarantee serious injury, as the Star-drive will likely rip, leading to a factor 2 fall onto the anchor, as well as likely falling onto your belayer and/or the Finger pillar itself. After clipping, move left then up another 20 feet or so to another pin, followed by a pothole thread. From here, it appears you could climb straight up to the big ledge, but the flakes look very loose here, and this would not be recommended if your partner or other climbers are below. Instead, move left where you can join the last pitch of Tidrick's at its final pin, then up to the anchor.
Due to the serious nature of this route, it is not recommended as a lead, unless you are an extremely strong climber. To approach, climb the Lower Finger Direct, Lower Finger Traverse, or Finger Ramp, and continue above the chain anchor to the top of the pillar which is the Finger.
To toprope, climb Tidrick's, Upper Finger Traverse, or the Boucher-Twombly Route to access the upper anchor of Tidrick's, then rappel or lower in.
1 Star-drive bolt, 3 pitons, pothole thread. 2 drilled angles for anchor. Descend by making two single rope rappels.
John Thomson, on top-rope from the upper anchor on...
|Comments on Upper Finger Direct
|By M Dudley|
From: Central Rockies
Nov 10, 2010
First ascent was done by Michael Dudley, 1967. What the hell was I thinking? No second. Second ascent lead by Don Doucette, M Dudley second. Sorry about the run-outs; however, there was really no place to stand and drill. The two drilled angles are the originals.
Star Drive was added by someone at a much later date.
|By Bosier Parsons|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 10, 2010
Thanks, Michael! I updated the FA info above. Perhaps the Star-drive was placed on the FA of the Upper Finger Traverse(?). It actually seems like it might be a little out of the way to even clip it, and perhaps this would get you a little out of sequence for reaching that first pin, but with or without it, this is a very bold lead!!!