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Coming up to the roof on pitch 3.
This is a fun route which used to be a lot more popular until a major rockfall scared everyone off. Unlike the East Chimney route, the West Face is more directly under the fall zone. There's no flattened hangers, rock scars on the wall, damaged trees, or any other signs really of rock hitting the route. So I think most of the rockfall maybe impacted the slabs higher up Middle Brother and deflected out away from the wall. Due to the lack of traffic in the past 20 years, nature has begun to reclaim this one. Expect to climb through some brush filled cracks, although overall I'd say it's cleaner than the East Chimney route.
The route begins to the right of a small pillar just below the big arching right-facing corner. The climb follows cracks across the face, turning the right side of the roof at the top of the corner, and then enters the big left-facing dihedral that leads to the summit of Rixon's.
Pitch 1: Start with steep hand/fist jams in a corner and then move right to fingers up a flake. This thin flake felt pretty tough for 5.9, first thing in the morning with cold fingers. Above move right on slabs to an old bolted anchor (best backed up by a cam).
Pitch 2: The crux pitch. Climb up the left side of a flake to a high piton. Clip it and then downclimb a few feet and traverse right across the face. This involves a wild stem which Don Reid calls 10c. In truth, this move could be anywhere from 5.9 to 5.12, depending on your height. I'm about 5'8" and 5.10+ felt about right for me, though it's difficult to grade such a thing. After this you cruise up easy cracks to another bolted anchor.
Pitch 3: This one was my favorite on the climb. Climb up some flared cracks until your up under the roof. The traverse under the roof is easier than it looks and it's pretty fun and exposed. Belay at another bolted anchor at a small stance after the traverse.
Pitch 4: Up the steep but feature corner to more jam-cracks. Belay at the tree on a ledge. We linked this pitch with the final one.
Pitch 5: A overhaning and somewhat awkward handcrack in the corner leads up to a final grunt up a chimney/off-width.
To descend, make 3 rappels back down the west face with two ropes. From the top of pitch of 5 we rapped to the top of pitch 3 and then straight down to an anchor consisting of 5 old bolts, 2 pitons and a whole mess of webbing.
Doubles to 2" and one 3" piece.
By Christina Freschl
From: Berkeley, California
Nov 12, 2014
If you are looking at the Reid guide for more information, be careful if rappelling down the right side of the pinnacle. You will need two 70m ropes to get down. The two rap stations are brand new. Beware of the second rap. I advise bringing your rope down with you, because there is a rope eating crack on the face below. If you look into the crack, there are at least 5 cut lines in there.
It might be a good idea to rap the route.
From: South Lake Tahoe, Ca
Nov 16, 2014
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Did this route last week with a Camp 4 buddy. Awesome climb! I lucked out by getting all the good pitches (1, 3 and 5). I was definitely caught off-guard by the squeeze chimney on top of Pitch 5, but struggled through it and basked in the glory of the top of the Pinnacle. We decided it would be more efficient to rap the route (we were the only ones there). All anchors have been replaced and are stamped with a comforting ASCA stamp. Very well protected, very fun. No evidence of large rockfall on this route, either. Do it.