|Shirt Tail Peak
Windlass or 'The Tail'
|Type: ||Trad, 1 pitch, 200'|
|FA: ||R Briggs and L. Hamilton, 1974|
|Page Views: ||198|
|Submitted By: ||Tony B on Oct 15, 2005|
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I have entered this climb as both 'The Tail' and 'Windlass' which I believe to be the same climb. This climb is a lost route in [the] Rossiter book, which states that the location of both routes is unknown, although both start above the huge pine in the dihedral, ending on the top of Gambit. As well, the FFA of both was listed as by the same folks at the same year... So I went looking for this route, and I believe I found it (them).
Climbing ~200' feet up the 'Mountaineer's Route' you reach a tremendous pine tree with a fixed sling rap station. Above this perhaps 20' higher in the slot there is a stance on a ledge with a comfortable belay position/ledge.
From this, looking straight up, there is a intermittent crack that rises up to 2 small trees growing out of it, 4-6" in diameter at the trunk. These guard the base of a very nice section of hands-to-thin-hands crack, which is followed to its termination just above a 1.75" section of left-leaning crack. The crux moves are made above small wires just above this, continuing up to reach where the crack will open up again, rising somewhat up and left when it is opportune to reach, at ~58 meters of height, the top of the rock to belay as for Gambit.
This is a seldom climbed section of rock and the path definitely crosses loose rock and lichen. A would-be leader must consider their own safety and the safety of all nearby and below before casting off on this climb, as there is severe fall potential and also death-blocks to avoid pulling on or placing protection behind. A very competent and aware party should not endanger folks below, but if this were a high-traffic route, I'd stay away from Shirt Tail entirely. As it is, I merely advise a "heads up" to anyone below a party on this climb and suggest to assess if you trust them with your life- because that is what you are betting here. In this case a helmet will not help you.
A standard Eldo Rack. Be sure to include some brass nuts and plenty of slings. A few extra hand-sized [pieces] will come in handy if done as a single 200' pitch.
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