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Wild Hickory Nuts 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 160', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Thomas Kelley, John Tainio, 1989
Season: Cool weather
Page Views: 2,726
Submitted By: Brian Abram on Feb 28, 2009
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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BETA PHOTO: Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
2013 Closures MORE INFO >>>


Sustained and classic climbing. Begin off the mossy ledge at the base of the Nut n' Homo crack. Angle up and right toward a bolt, placing a couple pieces of pro before you get to it. Follow the shallow crack system that climbs more like a face to the next bolt. Fire to the top of the next crack section (possibly a strenuous nut or tricam placement along the way) and place some thin pro at the top of it before heading for the last bolt and easier climbing. Build a belay for another pitch or continue up some somewhat dirty 5.9 pinches to finish at a notch to a double bolt anchor. Watch for rope drag if you choose this recommended option.

A double rope rappel gets you back to the double bolts you pass before the mossy ledge. Don't get your ropes stuck on the second rappel!


There are 3 normal ways to get to the mossy ledge:

Option 1 is considered the best climbing: Climb Instant Surreal (5.10+ R). This presents the best climbing of the 3 options, though it is probably the scariest.

Option 2 is to climb the crack/corner feature that is the start of Snap, Crackle and Pop (5.8). This is the natural line that leads directly into the roof traverse 2nd pitch and is well protected. Recommended.

Option 3 is to climb the normal start to Nut n' Homo (5.8 R). This option seems to be a bit contrived (especially to be so dangerous) as it is at times only 10 feet or so from the natural line of Snap, Crackle and Pop.

All options take you to the same arching traverse beneath the overhang. Follow the cracks left until you can step up through a notch and continue left to the ledge. Pass up some old tat that marks the start of Moosehead and Battle Creek Bulge. Also continue past the double bolt anchors and scramble to the top of the good ledge.


All sizes, from micro cams to a single number 3 might find a use somewhere on the route or the approach pitches. 3 well spaced bolts in no way make this route a sport climb. Double ropes may help rope drag if you combine the pitches.

Photos of Wild Hickory Nuts Slideshow Add Photo
Mary's look of terror when she sees the 5.9 friction traverse to get to the anchor.
Mary's look of terror when she sees the 5.9 fricti...
Mary eking out the last few friction moves to finish the pitch.
Mary eking out the last few friction moves to fini...
My buddy Thor hitting the sloper jugs after the crux
My buddy Thor hitting the sloper jugs after the cr...
The start of P2, exiting the stance below the tree on Nut n' Homo.  We did Snap Crackle Pop's P1 into a friction traverse with a bolt to reach the P1 belay.
The start of P2, exiting the stance below the tree...
Mary liebacking the last crack to get to the sloper rails.
Mary liebacking the last crack to get to the slope...
Comments on Wild Hickory Nuts Add Comment
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By gneiss pirate
Mar 14, 2010

A wonderfully sustained and classic pitch of climbing that really stays with you.

By TomCaldwell
From: Clemson, S.C.
Nov 21, 2011

Tri-cams of all sizes worked very well on this route for the belays and the occasional flared pod. A calf-shaking classic!

By esingleton
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 11, 2011

One of the best routes at the Bald. Every move is just a blast!

By Robert Hutchins
Dec 21, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

Probably my favorite route at RB. Mega classic!