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YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 120'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: B. Wolfe
Season: not summer
Page Views: 368
Submitted By: bernard on Jan 24, 2012
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G in the "just above the vines" section of the 1st...


This is one of the taller routes at the crag, at least that can be easily climbed in a single pitch. The length/height/position and view are really the redeeming qualities of the route although the opening section and the final section have some nice features and movement.

The route is essentially three parts: a 40' opening section on nice sculpted pockets and huecos, and 30' forgettable middle section of slab covered in vines, and a 50' final, just-overhanging section with interesting and variable features.

As you reach the top of the first section (approaching muscadine vines), trend left as you climb up. You reach a slabbish section with descent holds (vines are below you now). It bulges a little and there is a small, dank cave/hole feature you'll want to keep on your right as you ascend.

The final section, although somewhat steep, has very available features and is well protected. Expect to potentially encounter loose rock but none that directly compromises the movement.


Thirty feet left of Dead Reckoning, 150 feet left of Meathooks wall, 100 yards left of the ampitheater, 100 feet right of Trickster


This is technically a mixed route. It is predominantly bolt-protected. Three to five pieces of gear suggested, ranging from 1/2-inch to 2-inch should do it (a small/medium cam at the top of the 1st section. Two or three pieces (med/large nuts, cams) in the middle section)

There are ring anchors at the top of the route and a second pair approx. 2/3 of the way up to act as a lowering station due to the height of the route.

It possible that a 70-meter rope would allow the leader to return all the way to the ground, otherwise bring a second rope to rap the full route or use the lowering station with a single rope to break the descent into two stages in order to reach the ground

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By sammy raviv
Feb 26, 2012

Protection adequate, no need for additional bolts. 60 meter rope DOES NOT reach the ground from top anchors when lowering. Definitely need to belay from top and do two raps.

By bernard
From: birmingham, al
Feb 28, 2012

leader climbs the route and gets lowered to the station that is a little above midway on the wall. from there leader now belays second to top of route then lowers second to station where both can rap or be lowered to the ground safely. if the second prefers to lead the route, lower the initial leader twice, once to the midway station where the rope is pulled from top anchors and then rethreaded through midway station anchors so that the initial leader can be lowered or rap to the ground and the route led again

By bernard
From: birmingham, al
Feb 28, 2012

the route name is the name of a novel by Thomas Pynchon....and also there is a forest of grapevines midway on the route you have to tip-toe through

By highneed
Jun 3, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Thanks Bernard for giving us the 411 on this route, hopefully you got your auto-belay cleaned up before the rain started.
The first 30' are fun, the climbing thru the vines is no where near as bad as it looks and the orange head wall above is perfect. Thanks Bernard for putting this under appreciated gem up.

From: The Deeper South
Oct 22, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Fun line and tall for Steele! Climbed twice in a week, once under moonlight.

Agreed on need for no additional bolts. The bolt spacing, placement, hanger angle, etc. on this route are perfect.

Between the last of the lower bolts and the anchors, once you clammer through the vines, there is an obvious constricting crack that will take a perfect #11 stopper or equivalent. The first section of climbing offers good patina pulling and a little fancy footwork.

Consistently steep up high on solid orange sandstone. As of 10/25/12, there are a couple blocks on the ledge above the first bolt after the lower anchors, even with the top of the hanging buttress to the right. These need trundling. This upper section is really good climbing on steep edges up to and through the big hueco. Then, amazing buckets to the top anchors.

70M leaves plenty of rope on the ground.

By Cres Simpson
From: Birmingham, AL
Nov 26, 2012

Fun climb, absolutely awesome view from the top. I ended up trending too far right of the line and placing gear, which meant I had to split it into two pitches due to rope drag. It goes very well in two short pitches which helps keep rope drag under control.

The trad section in the middle of the climb is easy (and forgettable) 5.6 climbing and the harder sections are bolted, so this one goes well even if you're not leading 5.9 on trad. Agree with other posters that the climb is more than adequately bolted and doesn't need any additional bolts.

By Geissler Golding
Apr 22, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

Just did it this past weekend, definitely a good meaty 5.9

We met someone on the crag who said it was a 'little run-out' in the middle and to definitely take a #1 cam (i.e. a mixed route). I took up 3 pieces and used all three. I'd recommend taking 3-4 mid-to-small pieces to ensure you can protect that 'above the vines' section.

Top of this (like the bottom) offers up some enjoyable movement and the final person-sized hueco is super fun.

I used a 60m rope and it 'kissed' the ground, but you have to clean up a few pieces on the way down to make it reach - so, definitely (in order to avoid any silly situations) take a 70m rope.

By bernard
From: birmingham, al
Nov 6, 2013

advised to read and follow the instructions on use of the lowering/belay anchors just over midway on the route. With proper use, you should have no problem descending as long as you are using a rope manufactured in the last 40 years or so