|West Ridge - part B - Long John to Verschneidung
Refer to the directions to the route Verchneidung. This route climbs the dihedral system to the left of the left hand side of the last pitch of Verschneidung, and Clear-A-Sill.
From the belay tree at the top of the first pitch of Verschneidung or Clear-A-Sill, look up and left 20' to another evergreen. This tree has no fixed slings and is smaller but solid. Either move your belay to this tree, or clip it with an extension runner of at least 4'. Climb up and around to the right up a broken face into a corner system. There are 2 obvious dihedrals, and as the corner system becomes distinct, take the left of these two. This pitch is 30 meters long and leads to a crest in the rock where good gear (a red or pink tricam) can be placed prior to traversing over and down to a solid rappel station on a tree to the south on that same ridge. This is the same rap frequently used from the finish of Verschneidung.
Rap a single 60M rope stretching to the original belay station mentioned, and then to a walk of ledge. A single 70M rope will make the rap to the lower tree/station more comfortable, and then take you all the way to the ground from the tree.
Pro to 2". Stoppers, tricams, and cams. The protection is less frequent than you'd hope for, and also not as good. Falling from the first 20-30' of this route would produce a massive stain on the slab below and probably end your climbing career. The climbing is not difficult but for one move, done with a so-so large stopper or tricam behind a large questionable flake.
Reduced to simplicity: Climb carefully, distribute your weight carefully, test the holds, and keep both you and your belayer alive. Belaying from the lower tree of Verschneidung (not moving up the belay) will produce a 35+ [meter] pitch and but it might afford more safety to the belayer should the leader [peel] off a large flake.
That all said, my partner and I climber this 30 meter pitch without breaking a single hold or dropping any loose rock. The pitch was fun, and I enjoyed it, but it would not be fun to lead or follow if 5.9 was your limit. How this got put in the book without a S/VS rating is completely beyond me.
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 2, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a PG13
Followed this, and my partner was able to get many marginal/decent pieces in the first 30ft off the slab. LOTS of loose rock, and the only fun was at the flake up top.
We had no problems belaying at the bolts by the tree.