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Routes in J-Crack Slab Area

Adventures of B-Dog, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Alien Algorithm T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Campground, The T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Cave Exit, The T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Cavity, The T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Endless Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Fascist Drill in the West T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Femp T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Fender T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Happy Camper T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
J-Crack T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
KOAlien T,S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Loose Ends T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mission Accomplished T,TR 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Mission Impossible T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Monkey on a String S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pear Buttress T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pizza Face T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Stretch Marks T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Thindependence T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Thinstone T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Turn the Page T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Unnamed 5.9 TR TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Visual Aids T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Weekend Warrior S,TR 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Layton Kor
Page Views: 49,482 total, 316/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Season raptor closures Details

Description

One of my favorite 5.8s in the world. It begins roughly where the approach trail ends (take the right-hand branch just before the rock). The climb starts at a clean flake just right of a broken area.

P1. The flake can be climbed directly from the bottom (5.9 R), but the standard start is to climb up the slab right of the flake and step into it where it offers a perfect hand crack (5.7 w/ no pro for the first 20 feet). One can avoid all these scary starts (but also some great climbing) by scrambling up around to the left to get on top of the flake. In either case, from the top right side of the flake, follow thin cracks (crux) up to a belay on a sloping ledge.

P2. Follow the ledge up left to the edge of the face, then cut back right into a crack and follow that to a belay on a perfect small ledge (5.4). A much nicer way to do this pitch is to climb the left of two finger cracks (P2 of Loose Ends) off the initial ledge and then step left above; however, this is much harder than anything else on the route.

P3. Follow a perfect hand and finger crack above the belay for 100 feet (5.8), then traverse right under a small roof to a belay on another fine ledge.

There are a couple other ways to do the top part of this pitch. One can traverse along a horizontal break about 20 feet below the roof, then up and into the big Loose Ends corner where a 5.9- move leads to the belay ledge. Or, continue around the left side of the roof leading to some slightly runout 5.8 climbing and eventually easier ground where you can set a belay. I'm not as fond of this last option.

P4 & 5. Above the ledge, wander easily to the Cave area and pick an exit. Standard finishes are the Hurley Traverse or the Cave itself.

Protection

Standard rack; extra mid-sized Friends are helpful, but not necessary.
Rodger Raubach
  5.9- PG13
Rodger Raubach  
  5.9- PG13
Just chiming in here with my 2 cents: this is THE climb to do on Lumpy Ridge. Yeah, both starts are kinda scary, but as Layton always used to say - "Don't let fear stop you." My difficulty rating is slightly higher than more recent posts, but both my ascents of the route (and both starts) were done in RR Varappes, w/o benefit of sticky rubber. Sticky rubber would make the route feel a lot more secure on the tricky first pitch(es). Best route I've done at the grade (now a solid 5.8+). Sep 10, 2017
JulianG  
The beginning of the first pitch it did not look PG-13 to me. There are roots and rocks that will make for a bad landing. I've done it, and I'm glad I didn't fall. The first pitch of Loose Ends is a safer option. Oct 27, 2016
Bailed yesterday due to some sketchy looking clouds, and I left an orange cordelette and two BD biners on a horn in the middle of the second pitch traverse. It would be nice to get it back. 914-447-1007.

Also, leave the big gear at home if you're solid at 5.6 or so. A #3 and a #1 protect the first pitch flake just fine, the second half of the flake is a cruiser. Jul 16, 2016
Andy Hansen
Longmont, Colorado
  5.8 PG13
Andy Hansen   Longmont, Colorado
  5.8 PG13
This goes nicely in 3 pitches:

P1. 55m, 5.8. Combine first two pitches, and belay at the fixed pin and nut anchor.

P2. 60m, 5.8. Combine third and fourth pitch, and belay about 30' below the cave.

P3. 25m, 5.7. Use the Hurley Traverse exit.

Classic route that is easily repeatable. Jul 4, 2016
brucelacroix
Portland, OR.
 
brucelacroix   Portland, OR.
 
I'd say the crux for me was definitely the first 20'. That was the mental crux for sure. After that bit, the rest of the route felt pretty casual. Good gear at the cruxes. Jun 13, 2016
Zeffe  
The unprotectable flake start gave me a pretty reasonable heart attack.... I had gotten up high enough to place a blind #4, but when I climbed above it my foot slipped and somehow managed to kick the #4 at an angle that popped it - it was not a great placement. So then I'm about 20 feet up watching my #4 skitter to the ground with my feet fighting to regain purchase. Fear of serious injury rallied me to regain position, and after moving up again, I managed to shove a #1 deep behind the flake and get it clipped, and I finished the pitch with much heavy breathing. Really rattled me, watching that cam fall. At the end of the day, I was questioning the whole trad climbing thing.

I'd say the runout section is not HARD, but it is in a fairly physical layback position that does not lend itself to calm, and your're placing the pro semi-blindly and under duress.

I do not blame anyone for going up the left side of the flake... let your second do the funner right side of the flake and remove the wheelchair possibility. The main course is on P3, anyway. Jun 5, 2016
I read all the mp.com info on this route before climbing it. My 2 cents: the flake start isn't any harder than 5.8, and the "twin crack" move of P1 isn't any harder than several other spots of this route (you just need to use both cracks). The short, steep corner move near the end of P3 (above the traverse R) was at least as tough, and came as a bit of a surprise.

The Cave Exit also doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves, though this was more of an issue with a couple hardcopy guidebooks I used. I was shocked that at least one book (I don't recall which one) describes this as a 4 pitch route that ends when you reach the cave. That's downright irresponsible.

Edited to add - I was stressing that the 3rd pitch "hand crack" would require more than the single #2 (gold) Camalot that we brought, but the crack never widened to what I consider typical perfect hands i.e. thumb folded into the palm jamming. Instead, the crack seemed to be 3/4" wide for the vast majority of its length, and we had that size well covered. Aug 30, 2015
Had to bail and left some gear on top of pitch 1 (0.4 Camalot and some nuts). PM me or call me at (405) 312-0222 if you would be so kind as to return the gear. Thanks! Jun 23, 2015
Cleaned a nut off of the belay at the end of P3 from the previous party's follower who could not remove it. PM me, if you were that party. Sep 15, 2014
Creed A
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Creed A   Salt Lake City, UT
 
I'm not one of those dudes that hates on the classics, but this route is a total one pitch wonder.

P1. Begin with unprotected "5.7" slab. If you aren't solid on slab, start by scrambling up the flake to the left. The start is heads up and has been the site of many accidents.

P2. Traverse ramps and move the belay.

P3. Super classic crack. Awesome pitch.

P4. Traverse ramps and move the belay.

P5. Choose one of several awkward PITA exits around "the cave."

I enjoyed Melvin's Wheel way more! Even the chimney pitch. Jun 11, 2014
Canon
  5.8
Canon  
  5.8
Bypassed the start by coming in from the left. Hardest moves were on P1 from the top of the flake into the twin crack, but not bad. Entire climb very easy to protect. P3 is one of the best pitches out there. Double up on #0.5 to 1 Camalots, singles to #3, and offsets get a lot of play. Did the traverse out right on the cave exit as the cave was wet. Not bad - airy, and mind the rope drag. May 19, 2014
Ryan Stefani
  5.8
Ryan Stefani  
  5.8
If this is a 3 or 3+ star climb on a 4-star system, I give Melvin's wheel 11 stars. After all of the hype, I was kind of underwhelmed.

P.S. The cave exit is remarkably hard in the rain. Well, at least after the overhung wall is completely soaked anyway.

P.P.S. To get into a better position for the 5.6 traverse, we decided not to downclimb. The downclimb would have been wet, slimy, and fairly exposed. The original intention was to rap off of the piton at the top of the cave roof.

Be advised: I clipped into that piton with the gate facing the cave. When weighted to rap, the 'biner did not move into a "normal" position and was nearly cross loaded. The rope was sitting on the bottom end of the gate. If I fell on that, I would give it--at most--a 50% chance of holding a fall. If I would have clipped with the gate facing out from the cave (gate facing west), it would have been bomber. We ended up throwing a piece of webbing around a block in the floor and rapping from there.

I think a #2 in the roof is a better option. Jul 19, 2013
Pink Thunder
Lakewood
Pink Thunder   Lakewood
I highly recommend exiting the cave via the right face. Fun, well-protected 5.9 moves. Takes a nut, a red Alien, and then a few more pieces. Really fun. Jun 28, 2013
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
  5.8
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
  5.8
P3 has to be one of the best 5.8s out there. Superb. May 18, 2013
Eric Wydeven
austin, tx
Eric Wydeven   austin, tx
Yeah Charles. I got it yesterday. Tried to send you a private message in return but not sure if you got it as I also sent something to myself as a test and it never arrived. Thanks for your note. As it stands, I have my pop working on some jamming technique: shared a website with him and told him to get some practice wherever he could find it: parking garages, the neighbor's fence, between books on the bookshelf.... We'll see how that goes. I'm quite excited about the third pitch and really want to try it out, but I don't want to get up there and have to bail or knock his confidence into the dirt with a failed attempt. In the meantime I'm practicing my mechanical raising systems in case he needs an assist. We'll do some single pitch stuff over in Jurassic Park to warm up and get a little practice before we get too far off of the ground in the Book; I understand there's a crack to play around with on the TR area on the Dinosaur's Foot (though it looks like more of a layback/face crack than one lending itself to jamming). I'm holding Deville 3 or Magical... in reserve if he doesn't feel up to the Buttress, but I really want to climb it. We'll see how it goes in July. Thanks again. May 17, 2013
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
 
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
 
Eric, I sent you a private message, did you get it? May 10, 2013
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
 
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
 
The third pitch would be pretty epic without some jamming skills. Take him up something in Eldo, or an easy high peaks route (if you don't mind the more committing day). If it's gotta be Lumpy, some fun moderates that do not require much jamming include East Ridge of Twin Owls; Batman and Robin; Hand over Hand; Hiatus (scary for the leader); and Magical Chrome Plated. There are also many great routes in the 5.8/9 range on Sundance Buttress that don't involve a ton of jamming, but these are more committing. May 2, 2013
Eric Wydeven
austin, tx
Eric Wydeven   austin, tx
I'll be in Lumpy this summer and plan to do some climbing with my father-in-law, who climbs some and will have been training with a finger board for whatever we get on this summer. I'm thinking of taking him up Pear Buttress, but he doesn't have any jamming skills (period). Can this one be climbed without jams? Holds on the face? Imperfections or holds in the cracks? I'm pretty comfortable leading 5.8 and will take the sharp end; I just want to know a bit about what's up there before we leave the ground. Looking for adventure but not an epic. May 2, 2013
flynn  
Watched Gary Neptune walk up the first pitch in Kronhoffer's more years ago than I'll admit, chatting all the way. He threw an ancient-even-then hex in the crack and kept going.

I got up to the committing move when it was my turn to lead, wimped out and down-climbed. Since then, I've just led up the slab to the left of the usual corner, not placing pro until I get to the ledge formed by the top of that flake (right below the crux). That way, my second can have the fun of climbing the real start, and I don't have to make any more of my hair turn grey. Apr 24, 2013
michael voth
Ft. Collins, CO
michael voth   Ft. Collins, CO
If you want to, you can climb the first pitch of Loose Ends to avoid the runout start. Harder but protects very well, especially if you bring extra #4-7 nuts and a few c3s. Belay is in the same spot I believe as 1st pict of Pear Buttress. Of course, this is provided it is not crowded and somebody wands to climb Loose Ends proper. Loose Buttress, ha. Apr 2, 2013
Lost my 0.75 BD cam marked with black tape today. Please let me know if you find it. Thanks Jul 14, 2012
claytown
Boulder, CO
 
claytown   Boulder, CO
 
Wow! That third pitch finger and hand crack is just about as good as it gets. Go climb it and see for yourself!

For linking, we did the whole thing in 3 pitches with a 60m. Ground past the first ledge to the second ledge (atop Loose Ends splitter etc?). P2 was the money crack through that roof and up the water runnel until you run out of rope short of the cave. P3 up to and through the cave to the summit.

Enjoy! Apr 23, 2012
Chris O'Connor
boulder, co
 
Chris O'Connor   boulder, co
 
I had a lot of fun on this one. The 5.7 start was classic! Easy route finding, and great rock. We had to get there early on a weekday to be the first group on the route. I did it pretty easily in three pitches, 70m rope. **** grade II. Jul 16, 2011
E Holte
 
E Holte  
 
A great route that should not be missed. Lumpy Ridge has high quality rock with solid pro placements to be had. Beginners will want to follow solid known route lines. Lumpy's many features and multiple pitch routes could climb you out to nowhere you want to be. Get there early for good parking and don't leave food out. Critters know climbers bring snacks. The ratings in Lumpy are pretty solid. Crack craggers will be drawn to this place forever. If you are new to trad, leading Lumpy will open doors. The veterans will just appreciate the length, quality, and some exposure of Lumpy as a whole. The perfect 5.10 tuning can be had here. Know your anchors, knots, and have fun. Jul 9, 2011
419
Sacramento
 
419   Sacramento
 
A piton protects the cave exit. Jun 29, 2011
NickinCO
colorado
 
NickinCO   colorado
 
Climbed last Monday. Pitch 1 to the ledge after the twin finger cracks (crux). Pitch 2 left and up to the top of the hand crack with good finger locks. Pitch 3 right into the dihedral up to the cave. Pitch 4 pull the cave move and you're done. Done with a 60m rope without issue. Jun 16, 2011
Rodger Raubach
  5.9- PG13
Rodger Raubach  
  5.9- PG13
I've done both starts, and either one is excellent climbing. The R. start is not well protected for the first 15-20 feet, and a ground fall would likely be messy. I actually prefer the R. start better for my "style" of small holds face climbing. The L. start is a bit "reachy" for a shorter climber. Jul 25, 2010
Jay Hippel
Denver, CO
Jay Hippel   Denver, CO
The optional last pitch traverse out right and up from the cave is not hard and has acceptable gear- 5.6ish. I traversed right then around the corner and up; my partner followed right then straight up. Either way it is pretty fun and quick. Weather was threatening so I combined this with the 4th pitch- ok with some rope drag. Jun 7, 2010
Colin Kenneth
San Francisco, CA
 
Colin Kenneth   San Francisco, CA
 
I suppose you could always skip the first two pitches by doing Toot as well. Barring a slip though, the start of the first pitch is stable climbing. A person can get a compound fracture from falling 20 inches and landing the wrong way.

Why psyche everyone out with horror stories? If something goes wrong ANYWHERE, it can be bad.

Be safe. Don't focus on the consequences so much that you loose your composure, and then you can just enjoy the climbing. Jun 7, 2010
W. Spaller
  5.8+
W. Spaller  
  5.8+
Protects perfectly and is an amazing route. Because of the perfect pro, I would recommend this route to a budding 5.8 leader. Just be careful on the start. I would also recommend doing the entire route in 3 pitches as it saves much time. Oct 30, 2008
Eric Goltz
Boulder, CO
Eric Goltz   Boulder, CO
Fun variation: You can make it to the base of the P3 splitter in a single 70-meter pitch starting on the first, excellent pitch of Loose Ends. But be considerate of other parties, as this wandering 'pitch' dominates several of the lines on this part of the wall. Jun 23, 2008
FCJohn
Fort Collins, CO
 
FCJohn   Fort Collins, CO
 
Just did this route for the 5th time. There have been lots of comments about linking pitches and here is my addition to the discussion.

We did the route from top to bottom in 3 pitches with a 60 m rope by bypassing the 5.4 3rd pitch on Pear Buttress.

P1: Started the 5.7 PG-13 face climb and climbed all the way up to the barnacled/crystal ledge at the base of two finger cracks. (linked P1&2)

P2: Went up the left of two finger cracks (5.9 -- P2 of loose ends) up past the chain belay ledge through the hand crack on Pear Buttress and to the notch below the small roof

P3: Did the small roof traverse with long slings, up through the run out slabs, up to the cave exit and belayed at slung boulders on the summit.

We were able to go pack to pack in just about 2 hours Aug 17, 2007
jacktheburro
Denver
jacktheburro   Denver
A friend and I got blown off this route earlier today, and we had to leave a nut and a gold Camalot to retreat from. If anybody climbs the route and retrieves this piece, please shoot me an email at plummetforfun@hotmail.com.

Thanks. Nov 5, 2006
Awesome Climb! P1 5.9 goes well using an Alien (5 - 10 feet) off the deck and a #4.5 Camalot once the crack narrows. An extra #2 Camalot with a standard rack; nuts, Aliens, and Camalots up to #4.5 protect the route well. Beta for the cave exit: I recommend stemming to place a cam just below the pin and clipping into the pin. You can then step back down and climb the route by hand traversing out on the rail. Heel hook / bump up with your right hand to the next rail and then stem / step up to the rail to gain purchase above the roof. Jul 5, 2006
Did this route a few days ago, and it was one of the best routes I've ever climbed. I led every pitch and enjoyed all of them. The runout start isn't bad at all, it's just a little intimidating when one first looks at it, but its easy after getting over the mental aspect. The third pitch is totally awesome, what a perfect deep crack, not the usual shallow Lumpy flared crack. I would suggest this route to anyone looking for a good moderate route with great climbing and great views. Jun 10, 2006
craggin carl  
 
Climbed this for the first time on lead today. I got off route a couple times, but managed to make it to the cave. I thought the cave was tricky at first, but it really is not that bad. You can get some really good cams in the flake on the wall. The flake sounds hollow, and flexes quite a lot, but the cams look good so don't worry. Lead with the left hand over the lip and find the jug, It's pretty easy if you get the stem with your leg on the opposite wall. I only give two stars because of the tricky route finding and wandering line. Jul 18, 2005
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
  5.8+
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
  5.8+
Great route! On P1 a wide stem over to the flake was the move my leader made for a stance to place a #4 cam behind the flake for the (7) start. An easy move, yet mentally difficult for the leader because of the consequence as stated by others above.. a no fall move for sure....The crux move above off the flake is interesting, IMO favors those with a longer arms, involving a high reach finger lock into the headwall crack...very short sequence though, to a good hold a foot or two higher.The most enjoyable climbing for me was the P3 hand/finger crack. Great jams! We went to the right below the small roof above this crack and continued up a slab to the cave, exiting through its roof. The roof in this cave is well protected and not as difficult as it might appear at first glance..albeit awkward its a fun finish. Jun 13, 2005
Hmmm, maybe I had my expectations too high today after reading all of the gushing comments above. I think Melvin's Wheel was better. The hand crack was nice, the little 5.9 var. added some spice, but this route is definitely not on my list of all-time favorites-- pretty good, but I probably won't go back to do it again. May 10, 2005
Jeff Sallen
San Diego
  5.8-
Jeff Sallen   San Diego
  5.8-
Very enjoyable route with good exposure. Hope you like face climbing cause that first pitch is a little thin and definitely run out. We ended up taking the second crack on the left of the ramp on the second pitch, instead of continuing around the corner. I think it went at 9+. It was thin and definitely every bit of 9+. The third pitch is the prize winner, perfect finger crack which widens to hands. I got a bit sketched on when to traverse right on the undercling. Wait of the second (sic) of and more predominant overhang to traverse right under. Overall, a great route with a beauty of a summit. The walk-off is a bit painful in climbing shoes, I recommend bringing a small bag with food, H2O, and a light weight pair of sandles or shoes for the descent. Enjoy... Sep 17, 2004
This is a good climb, but I don't think that it is a 5.8 I would say 5.7, if you can find the right foot holds, it's pretty easy, but it's smooth, a lot of people have definitely climbed it. Jun 3, 2004
John Fields
  5.8+
John Fields  
  5.8+
After climbing it the first time this weekend, this is now one of my alltime favorite climbs. A classic in my book, and an excellent 5.8 for someone transitioning from 5.7 to 5.8 leading (like me), with one caveat: getting to your first piece.If you're in my league and not confident with runout 5.7 face climbing right off the deck, my advice to you is swallow your pride and don't do the runout at the bottom unless you climb up to the top of the flake and "preset" a piece first. You can still place gear on the way up to the "preset" for experience and the fun of it (and for added safety). Some may object to this technique (and one factor to weigh here is whether there are people waiting behind you), but for me it beats the risk of spending several months in a wheelchair (something a friend of mine is now doing after an 8' fall onto a flat ledge). This climb is too fun to skip due to the runout at the bottom. And the bottom of the first pitch is too fun to skip by starting at the top of the flake. Oct 20, 2003
Like C.V. said, climb the beginning of "Loose End's" 2nd pitch for 20-30ft and make the traverse (L) back onto "Pear" at the piton belay ledge. Then follow the "Pear" out of the cave exit for one great day of climbing. Oct 20, 2003
The 5.9R start isn't too bad - I got in a small TCU and a good small stopper (say #4 or #5) with a screamer about a foot above that in the small vertical seam that tapers out just at the bottom of the flake (8-10 feet off the deck). I felt like this protected the next couple of moves pretty well - as long as you don't blow it right before getting in the next piece about 8 or so feet up you'd be fine. Jul 7, 2003
Dan St. John
Castle Rock
Dan St. John   Castle Rock
Outstanding Climb. You can run pitch 2 and 3 together if you stretch the rope to the knot for 200 feet of 5.8 hand jamming with excellent exposure. It may require a simal climbing for 5 or so feet depending how you place your gear. Use supper long runners on the traverse from the end of pitch one and the lower part corner. Aug 5, 2002
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
  5.8+ PG13
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
  5.8+ PG13
The #5 Camalot is useful for the 5.7 face start, which begins 10 feet right of the flake. Using this start, it's not possible to place a smaller cam down low behind the flake since you don't get near the flake until you're 20-30 feet up. Jul 18, 2002
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
30 feet? a bomber handjam and a 1 or 2 Camalot can be had a like 12 feet. You can also go up the thin crack to the left, it will take a good medium sized stopper after about 8 feet. Leave the 5 Camalot in the car. Jul 17, 2002
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
  5.8+ PG13
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
  5.8+ PG13
A #5 Camalot can be used to protect the 5.7 move 30 feet off the deck on the first pitch. After you make the move, you can get in a bomber higher piece, clip into it, then back-clean the #5 and lower it to your belayer, since you won't need it for the rest of the climb. Jul 17, 2002
Crusty  
A single rope rappel with a 60m rope does indeed reach the Fat City area from the piton/nut anchor atop pitch 2 of Pear Buttress. Jun 27, 2002
I noticed when I climbed this recently that there is an anchor consisiting of a pin and a nut connected with a chain. Anyone have any idea how long the rappel is if you rap off left to the Fat City area (i.e can you do it with 1 60m rope to the ground)? Jun 25, 2002
Brice W  
Great route! As described in the comment above, the route does combine well into three pitches, though you will have some rope drag. The runout start is all there, but you do have to make some moves on small holds. Rossiter's book says extra #2.5 or #3 Camalots may be useful. The only place you'd need two of those would be towards the top of the flake on P1. I only had one, so there was a bit of a runout (15 feet, maybe?), but the climbing was not too hard. The 8+ section seemed very short. Jun 24, 2002
In the original description you can combine the first 2 pitches with long runners, minimal protection on the 5.4 section, and a 60m rope. Also, after the long 5.8 section, make the traverse under the bulge before the roof, climb up the crack in the middle at 5.7, jam the dihedral, and finish on the same large ledge. Belay spot takes green Aliens, small nuts, and a #4 Camalot. Finish the route with the 5.4 slab/crack and 5.7c cave exit. Total pitches: 3. Jun 12, 2002
Kurt Johnson
Estes Park, CO
 
Kurt Johnson   Estes Park, CO
 
If you're strapped for time, you can do the route in 3 pitches and still get all the stellar climbing in. P1) Start on top of the leaning flake which puts you right at the crux move and head up to the belay at the base of the classic hand crack. P2) Jam the crack, do the traverse and belay on the standard belay ledge. P3) traverse diagonally right across the slightly runout slab, and over to the base of the obvious flake-filled chimney. Head up the 5.7 chimney (mostly jams and jugs) until your rope runs out. Even if you have a 50 meter rope, you'll still end up at a place where you can safely scramble up to the walk-off. Dec 18, 2001
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
 
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
 
Myke, that "easy, ~5.4 hand traverse" is rated 5.7+ or even 5.8 in all the guidebooks! I must add that I agree with them--and though it protects well, it's not sewn-up. Note that I describe both variations under the route, "The Cave Exit". Aug 1, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
Somehow despite that vivid description by Escelar I decided to climb this route today. Stellar the whole way. On P3, though, I went about 100 feet up that dynamite hand crack and then traversed _left_ across a clean face under a small roof before turning the roof on its left side. This puts you on a ramp that heads straight up and right at the cave.

More beta, too: you can exit straight out the cave, supposedly 5.8, or take a fun and easy (~5.4) hand traverse horizontally out to the right to the edge, and then up an easy chimney. We took the latter as storm clouds were approaching and we wanted an early exit.

Descent: Basically cruise straight ahead the same direction you were facing while climbing, along some ledges down and then up before you get to a sloping ramp/gully that cuts back down and to the right. Take this, which is fairly defined and has cairns. Jul 4, 2001
Escalar - I have never done this route, but I have a story about the unprotectable first 20 or 30 feet. About 20 years ago we were on our way to climb the J-Crack when someone fell off of Pear Buttress. Just before we got to the base of the route, a guy came sprinting down the trail on his way to call for a rescue. Seconds later we heard the moans of the victim who was actually chanting "ohhmmmm". We reached him a few minutes later and found out what had happened. He fell nearly 30 feet and luckily landed on his feet, but unluckily also landed on a 4 inch diameter tree root which snapped his lower leg just above the ankle. He had a double compound fracture and was bleeding pretty badly when we got to him. Both bones were sticking out of his wool sock and the blood would really flow when he got anxoius, then it would nearly stop when he chanted and calmed down. We elevated his leg and tried to make him comfortable until the rescue team arrived, incredibly, about 45 minutes later. We never found out how he made out, but I bet his climbing career changed dramatically after that. We went on to climb the J-Crack, but were too nervous to really enjoy it that day. Jan 1, 2001