Type: Trad, 400 ft (121 m), 3 pitches
FA: Mike Tupper et al.
Page Views: 10,871 total · 46/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Nov 3, 2004
Admins: Luke EF, Larry DeAngelo, Aaron Mc, Justin Johnsen

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

Excellent Adventure is a fantastic, memorable rock climb. It's full of great moves, airy postions, fiddley gear, and exciting runouts. The only two detractors from this being a neo-classic are that the second and third pitches feel ever so slightly contrived (although the climbing is still very good) and the fact that Mike Tupper's homemade hangers seem quite dubious.

The climb starts right off of the water pools at the base of the Dark Shadows wall. It's worth taking some time to identify the correct line: There are four routes that take off from this area, each with two bolts up the water-polished slab. The right-most one, with nice modern hangers, departs from the boulder above the waterfall and is the famous Dark Shadows. Next is Sandstone Sandwich, which is best approached by traversing in from the boulder. It has modern hangers as well. The next one is Excellent Adventure which currently has homemade hangers. Finally, the left-most is Risky Business. All of these bolts can be hard to pick out without careful inspection.

P1: Step onto some rocks and then up onto the face immediately below the homemade hangers. You are aiming for the right end of a white roof about 75' up. Climb the slab easily to the second bolt, then perform a difficult move (5.10) past this bolt and continue up to the edge of the roof. Pull the roof a few feet left of the right edge onto a steep face and a tips crack of sorts. Climb up past a bolt or two until you can trend left into an easy right-diagonalling crack system. Follow this to a spacious belay ledge that gives good views of Dark Shadows.

P2: Step directly left off the belay around the blunt arete and up to a bolt. Swain's description speaks of down climbing but this is unnecessary. Climb up to a second bolt (tough move immediately before the clip) then head almost straight left to easier ground. The moves left from this bolt are the crux of the climb and check in at about 5.11b/c (this section felt slightly contrived as the bolts force you to avoid easier, more obvious climbing). Continue up past more bolts to easier climbing. The rock here is steep and the gear spacing is sporty! Right when things get blank again you can step left around a blunt arete to the anchor. Do not step left too soon and do not belay at the nice modern-bolted station that is a part of Risky Business.

P3: This is the psychological crux of the route - great climbing but a lot of 5.10 moves way out from gear. Contrary to Swain's description, this is not scary for the second at all (solid TR the whole time) - definately put the cool-headed leader on this pitch. Also, the scale/proportions in his topo for this pitch are way off: it would appear in the topo that there are only four bolts (instead of five) and that after you clip the last one you head straight left for a long ways. In actuality, after you clip the last bolt, you go straight up for a long ways, and you don't have to go all that far left to reach the anchor. Here's the description: Climb up off the belay past four bolts with homemade hangers. The line of bolts trend out right over the huge Heart of Darkness roof. The fourth clip is a tough one. From here you'll see an old stud out right (ignore this), and an obvious 5th bolt directly above. Head up to this fifth bolt. Take a deep breath and punch it for 30+ feet of 5.10 climbing straight up the face to a horn and overlap (alternatively, it is possible to clip the 5th bolt, then downclimb a move or two then head almost directly right (5.10+/5.11- moves) 15' to a huge hole in the rock. From here climb up about 10-20', then traverse back left along a natural line of holds until you are directly above (by 15-20 feet or so) the 5th bolt again. Continue up to the aformentioned horn and overlap ). Load the overlap up with thank-God gear and get a good shake, then continue straight up on more neat 5.10 climbing past several RP placements. After about 20 feet you'll see the angle of the face eases off - pull up onto a ledge system and walk a few feet to your left to the Risky Business/Excellent Adventure anchors.

Yee Haw! What a route!

Protection Suggest change

Single set of cams to 0.75 Camalot, a #1 Camalot is helpful in a few places. Extra micro gear - small Aliens are extremely useful. Small & medium wires, RP's, HB offsets helpful. A bunch of draws & slings.