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Routes in South Pillar

Black Rain S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Jungle of Stone T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sleeping Beauty Girdle T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Water Spirit T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 420 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Ivan Rezucha 9/3/04 self-belay
Page Views: 589 total · 4/month
Shared By: Ivan Rezucha on Sep 2, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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The Sleeping Beauty girdle is a unique adventure climb on good rock. If you've done a bunch of the vertically-oriented climbs on Sleeping Beauty, you will appreciate the girdle even more. The climbs look very different when you approach them sideways.

A classic girdle traverse typically starts on the bottom of the first climb on one end of a crag and finishes on the top of the last climb at the other end. Along the way, the idea is to find a natural line with good climbing, avoiding very easy climbing (eg, a long horizontal ledge system). The girdle can go up and down as necessary.

The Sleeping Beauty girdle starts at the far left on Jungle of Stone, gradually rises to the bottom of the upper slabby rock passing the pitch 1 belay anchors of several climbs, descends a bit to cross Eight Miles High to the Arcanum P1 anchors, traverses straight sideways from there, then up to a ledge system that leads right to finish on Lost Highway, the rightmost climb on the crag. Other variations are possible of course. You could traverse right to left, starting on Lost Highway. However, since I self-belayed, I've already climbed every move of the route I chose in both directions except for the Black Rain start which I rappelled. Another option would be to stay lower amongst the overhangs. This would be more difficult, and you would be close to Ledge 2, so it might feel less airy. A very high traverse would likely be much easier, since the angle eases off the higher you climb.

Note: I climbed the first two pitches on the afternoon of 9/3/04 but ran out of time. I did the last pitch on 9/17/04.

Start: Start on Jungle of Stone/Black Rain (they share the same start): At the far left of Ledge 2 after scrambling up from the approach trail, walk left and scramble up and left and then back right to an alcove and a large tree. Jungle of Stone and the girdle start just left of the tree. There is a bolt a short ways up.

Finish: On the last few moves at the last bolt of Lost Highway.

P1 5.10a 160': Climb to the first bolt on Jungle of Stone/Black Rain and then move right and up to the 4th bolt of Black Rain (10a). Step right onto a mossy ledge. Move right then up dirty double cracks (Water Spirit). Up then right to above the overhang on Prince Charmer; your knees will be at a bolt. Optionally place gear above in the crack to protect the moves around the arête, but watch out for rope drag. Move around the arête to the 2nd bolt above the roof on Aerial Boundaries (9). Climb easily straight right (above Lightspeed) and cross the thin cracks of Kama Sutra to Wings of Desire. To identify that you are at Wings of Desire, there is a bucket hold here where it looks like a flake broke off. Above that is a small overlap and a bolt above that. I recommend that you make the step up over the overlap to clip the bolt and then step back down, because the crux follows. Move right along a black horizontal finger crack with feet running out. You can get some small cams here, but they are somewhat suspect. The finger crack curves up. Reach up for a hold and then a finger jam and good footholds. Get gear, step right and reach up for a bucket horn. (10a). Climb easily right across MLK a little below MLK's anchor to the Walk on the Wide Side crack. Up the crack and step right to the WOWS anchors. Belay here if rope drag is bad. Step down off the right side of the ledge past the top of Immaculate Deception at the double tree to the belay and nice ledge of Crack of Dawn.

P2 5.9 100': Climb slightly up off the right side of the ledge and then across to the Mystic Mile anchors. Diagonal down below The Wave to the large left-facing corner at a 3" horizontal crack that runs around the arête. Hand traverse around the arête (5.8?) to a stance and a bolt on Eight Miles High. You should run your rope through the horizontal crack (its edges are not sharp). Use a runner of the right length on the bolt so that, should you fall, the runner rather than the edge of the crack will take the weight. Traverse right, reversing the Eight Miles High traverse, to a shallow left-facing corner. Mind Bender goes straight up from here. Step down a body length to a stance. You hands will be on a good ledge that runs right. Make an awkward hand traverse right that becomes a "squat traverse" until you can stand up. This felt hard and very awkward to me the first time, but the next two times (when back climbing to the start and then when cleaning) it felt much easier. It may just be 5.9. You are now on Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid above its roof. Step up to clip a bolt, then step back down and around the corner to Arcanum. Climb up to the anchors and small stance of Arcanum. Variation: (10a?) Angle right from the bolt on Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid to the Arcanum belay.

P3: 5.8s 160': This pitch is very different from the first two. It's much easier, but good gear is sparse, and there are no established climbs between the start at the Arcanum P1 anchors and the finish at the Lost Highway top anchors. It may well be easier than 5.8 and perhaps not S, but it was spooky for me. In fact, when back climbing to the start of the pitch, a hold broke on what was for me the crux, and I fell about 10'. The hold that broke was right next to what I thought was bomber and key gear. I don't mean to imply that the rock is particularly bad, but those are the risks when you are climbing on untraveled rock. From the Arcanum P1 anchors, step down and traverse straight right below a long small overhang that separates the steeper rock below from the upper slabs. You are heading towards a vertical-to-overhanging headwall. Do not skip any gear placements! You'll want them all. About 15' before the headwall, step over the overhang to a thin, mossy curving crack. You could step over the overhang about 10' further left at buckets, but there is no gear there, and you'd miss gear if you traversed right from there above the overhang. Step right about 5' to another thin crack, this time a right-facing flake that takes good gear (red Alien, 0.5 Camalot). Climb straight up about 10' to a very low-angle deep ledge and hike right to a big tree. Belay here if you're concerned about rope drag. The rest of the pitch is much easier, though, so you might want to continue. Go straight right with very little gear but on easy climbing on a series of small ledges, passing above a steep and dirty left-facing corner. You will come to the final two bolts of Lost Highway. One will be below your feet and the last bolt will be on a short left-facing corner that breaks through the roofs. Clip the last Lost Highway bolt and climb a few more feet to the anchors.

Descent: Walk left near the edge of the crag about 150' to a break in the trees and (currently) a cairn that leads out to a horizontal slab and a 2-bolts-with-rings anchor. This is the top of Arcanum. Rappel down to the top of P1 of Arcanum (rappel slightly right towards the bottom of the low-angle upper slab) and then make one more rappel to Ledge 2.


Single set of nuts, double small cams from green Alien, single larger cams from about #1/red to #3/blue Camalot.



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