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Washboard 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,996
Submitted By: saxfiend on Sep 3, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (45)
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Ivy under the roof on Washboard

Description 

A decent moderate, Washboard is a nice introduction to Moore's Wall for the first-time visitor.

P1 -- Starting at the end of the approach trail, marked by a large dead tree, move up a big crack in a right-facing corner to a roof. Move right under the roof, then up and left of a small arete. Continue with nice face climbing to finish at a ledge with a small pine tree. 5.6, 100'
P2 -- Continue up on easy ground to the top of the cliff. 5.0, 100'

NOTE: The Selected Climbs guidebook lists Washboard as a one-pitch route, but safe descent options for doing only the first pitch listed above are limited, so topping out is the best alternative.

Location 

Starts where the approach trail reaches the cliff.
Descent options include:
-- after topping out, walk around to climber's right to the Sentinel Buttress and use the rap station there.
-- after topping out, walk around to climber's left and find a descent gulley between the main wall and the Amphitheatre.
-- from P1, use alleged 4th class descent as described in the guidebook; roping up for this descent is highly recommended as fall consequences would be deadly.

Protection 

A good range of gear, some large pieces can help protect the starting moves. Build a gear anchor at the top.


Photos of Washboard Slideshow Add Photo
The start of Washboard.
BETA PHOTO: The start of Washboard.
It looks to me like the harder var is the one described in the select guide, although I know a lot of folks that follow the easier variation out right (certainly a ton of chalk that way). Right has lots of pro, left is a bit more sparse when it cuts more left.  <br /> <br />Path shown to rap station and an approximation of the mini-pitch to follow to it.  <br /> <br />If you continue up, follow whatever suits. Probably 4th class with a couple low 5th moves. <br /> <br />I'm curious as to which path others typically follow - comment if so inclined.
BETA PHOTO: It looks to me like the harder var is the one desc...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 30, 2013
By Ben Sachs
Jan 12, 2009

The quick 4th class descent is like climbing down a ladder, but with serious consequences if you blow it. Most locals do this, but it can be very intense for people just breaking into 5.6. You can do a 2nd pitch and then walk off or rap with 2 ropes from a tree. Honestly, if you are worried, its faster to just tie-in and lead or simul the downclimb with a few pieces of gear than to continue upwards.
By saxfiend
Administrator
From: Decatur, GA
Jan 29, 2009

Condescending comments notwithstanding, I stand by my recommendation against using the so-called 4th class descent. My partner and I are 5.10 and 5.9 leaders, respectively (not exactly "just breaking into 5.6"), and neither of us had any desire to roll the dice on this descent.
By Frank T
Mar 6, 2009

Not trying to be a smartass, but if it's so dangerous then why not put two bolts at the top of the climb? That would make things safer.
By Ben Sachs
May 14, 2009

Yeah I wasn't implying that its only scary for noob climbers. I roped up for that downclimb the 1st few times. My main point I guess is that it's pretty easy to protect the downclimb with gear. Just like leading really, but backwards. The climb was established when a 2 bolt anchor half way up a 2-pitch route with good gear anchors would have been blasphemy, and some would still argue that same point today. That being said, I would not complain one bit about an anchor.
By Dan Petty
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 12, 2009

Where is the best place to build an anchor at the top of P1?
By Matt Westlake
Feb 10, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Didn't see this option listed but it's my usual method of getting down: Lead an easy second pitch that takes you to the top of hopscotch, where there is a rap anchor. To get there just go up and right from the top of pitch 1 (40 feet or so?) aiming for a bigger tree. It helps to know where you are going, as the rap station (slung chockstone) can be a little hard to find. Also, rap and pull your rope 90 degrees climbers right from the line of the route to avoid getting your rope stuck when it comes time to pull.

BTW since this isn't necessarily obvious and it comes up a lot when people talk about getting down this route: Downleading is NOT just like regular leading.

It means the first person is most protected AND they should know how to place gear. The second person is the one who assumes risk of lead falls on gear placed by the first. Think about the spacing as if this were a regular lead, because the first person makes the decisions about the comfortable fall distance for the second. Also, unless you are simul-downclimbing you'd probably want a solid anchor and belay at the top and then at least a belay from the bottom.

(please pardon any unintended pedantic tone)
By Frank T
Mar 9, 2010

OK So doing the second 5.0 pitch gets you to the top, right? Is there a walk off trail at the top? Or am I going to have to use a tree/rock/fixed gear to rap back down? Thinking of heading down to this area the first weekend in April, and would like to know what I'm in for. Any good topo books on this area and climb? BTW, I will be using 70m doubles. Would I be able to make it in one long rap?
By Scott O
From: California
Jul 3, 2010

For descent, there is a great rap anchor of slings around a bounder if you climb up and to the right above Hopscotch. They're about 15 feet above the fixed hexes on Hopscotch and in good condition. Single 60m rope rap to the ground.
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From: London (sort of)
Nov 1, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Wow. A lot of opinions going around. I'll chime in and hopefully help people in the future.

The down climb is not bad at all, but I think it does have one or two moves of easy 5th class and a fall would be catastrophic. For most people that I climb with, it is trivial. If the moves were not exposed, a 5.6 climber wouldn't blink an eye. I did it after leading Washboard for the first time, and I remember flailing on Air Show (5.8) later that day. It's all about how you deal with exposure. A 5.6 climber from the High Sierra would be fine, while a 5.6 climber in NC may or may not be used to scrambling of this nature.

Roping up wouldn't really make sense, as the second person would be only marginally protected for the hardest section. If one of you wants to be protected, then that person goes first. The second person should know that there really is no safe way for them to fall, even with a rope and pro.

If neither climber is happy doing the unprotected down climb, then you should belay the second pitch to the top and head right to the Sentinel rap station. Rap to the Crow's Nest and then lead up the second pitch of the Sentinel Buttress. It's pretty fun for the grade. Hell, do Zoo View while you're up there... it's a safer way to get scared!

I think it goes without saying that no bolts are needed and none will be installed. I would not want to be the guy who got caught putting in bolts ANYWHERE at Moore's Wall!
By J-Wright
Nov 1, 2011

Can't believe this much has been written about the descent of this route. Quick addition - I usually just top out and walk to sentinel buttress (beginners like the 5-easy finish). If you're doing that, the trail goes up and to climbers right through the woods below a large boulder. Then, follow trail to climbers right 50-100m till you turn right through a 'hobbit hole' of vines and out onto rocks for the rap station. Need at least a 60m or double 50m's to make the crow's nest without a 5-easy downclimb.
By Robert Hutchins
Dec 21, 2011

Not a great route for a beginning 5.6 leader. The gear is challenging for someone breaking into that grade, and the falls could be bad in a few sections. There are also much more classic routes at the same grade at the cliff. Having said that, still a route with doing. The down-scramble isn't difficult, but is very airy. Anyone capable of "safely" leading the route would be "capable" of down-following the 4th class, but I can understand the reluctance. For people who want to rap, the short 5th class to the next anchor is the best bet, but topping out can make for a fun finish to a climb of this grade. However, I don't understand why anyone who tops out would want to scramble back to the right and rap twice back through the traffic on two popular climbs. The faster option, and in my opinion the more appropriate option for topping out a tall route with a summit scramble, is to take a left and do the non-technical walk-off. I'm not sure why so many people go out of their way to find time consuming rappel points when such an easy walk-off exists. This is especially true for routes closer to the amphitheater.
By Matt Westlake
Dec 8, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I hate to extend this "getting down" thread but, update: Fixed hexes are now gone (probably bootied by some doofus). Slings and a single rap ring around chockstone a little higher up the chimney remains. Not exactly ideal but it was sufficient...
By Crushin' Prussian
From: carrboro, nc
Oct 30, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is a great route and has some fun moves for it's rating. Turn it into a two-pitch for a stroll amongst the trees on the way to Sentinel's rap or treasure hunt around climber's right of the pine tree and find the rap station. Either way it's fun.