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Racer X

5.10b, Sport, 3 pitches,  Avg: 3.6 from 31 votes
FA: Darryl Cramer, Terry Lien
Washington > Central-W Casca… > Skykomish Valley > Index > Lower Lump Area > Beetle Bailey Slab
Access Issue: The Novel Coronavirus & 2020 Seasonal Raptor Closure Details

Description

This is a great slab climb with your typical Index knobs.

P1: Climb a ramp (5.7) to a bolted belay, or do the first pitch of Beetle Bailey Arch (5.10c).
P2: Traverse way left. When you get to a cool pocket with crystals inside, go up the knobby slab. Some people put a 3" cam in the pocket (5.10a).
P3: A short pitch up an arch (5.9+).

As of 2020, there are 4 options to access the Racer X anchor as your "First Pitch": Smilodon fatalis, Index Archaeology, Village Idiot (Original pitch 1) and Behind the Tombstone (requires a short leftward scramble). The original first pitch is probably the least enjoyable.

Protection

bolts, 3" piece optional. If you do the 5.7 first pitch of this climb instead of that of Beetle Bailey Arch, bring small cams, and nuts.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Ron Dedinas following Racer X. Sling to his left is on Congolindination.
[Hide Photo] Ron Dedinas following Racer X. Sling to his left is on Congolindination.
Dave Gunstone on Racer X
[Hide Photo] Dave Gunstone on Racer X
The real inspiration.......but it was a Big Black album that inspired memories of Speed Racer
[Hide Photo] The real inspiration.......but it was a Big Black album that inspired memories of Speed Racer
Rock is so clean now.  Compare this to the 2012 photos.
[Hide Photo] Rock is so clean now. Compare this to the 2012 photos.
Sea of knobs
[Hide Photo] Sea of knobs
Belaying the second on Racer x
[Hide Photo] Belaying the second on Racer x
Crystal geode pocket for a bomber 3
[Hide Photo] Crystal geode pocket for a bomber 3
Looking down at Racer X and Metal.
[Hide Photo] Looking down at Racer X and Metal.
Beetle Bailey
[Hide Photo] Beetle Bailey
Racer-X climbs left from the dirty ledge.  I took this photo November 11 I added chains and one more bolt at the p1 anchor.
[Hide Photo] Racer-X climbs left from the dirty ledge. I took this photo November 11 I added chains and one more bolt at the p1 anchor.
The view from the top of the 2nd pitch. The anchor here is 4 pins and one 3/8th Mammut bolt.
[Hide Photo] The view from the top of the 2nd pitch. The anchor here is 4 pins and one 3/8th Mammut bolt.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] The first pitch (5.7) is pretty much unclimbable as far as I could tell. Beetle Bailey is much cleaner but still very mossy. The lower portion of the crag deserves a much needed cleaning. Jul 14, 2018
Adam Wood
seattle
  5.10
[Hide Comment] Is this on anyone’s cleaning list? Perhaps it’s already been cleaned? My guess is It would be a great readdition to Index. Nov 22, 2018
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
[Hide Comment] We've talked about leaving cleaning tools at various lessor-traveled places at Index, and this would indeed be a great section of cliff to reclean. I haven't heard of anyone working on it. Nov 23, 2018
Nate Redon
Seattle, WA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] I've held off on cleaning this area because I believe everything left of the wart may still be on private property? Would definitely like to know if I'm wrong though. Nov 23, 2018
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
[Hide Comment] I don't know where the Forks of the Sky State Park line is, but folks had been cleaning lines at the LTW for decades while it was still on private land. So, even if this route is on private land, I don't think any recleaning activity here would lead to any complaints. Nov 24, 2018
Adam Wood
seattle
  5.10
[Hide Comment] I spent about seven full days removing black berry bushes nd large loose rocks. I had some excellent help. Everything on the cliff minus Lycra piggies is now clean. I did a fair amount of digging, root cutting and limbing. Bolts should get replaced in April. Mar 20, 2019
Adam Wood
seattle
  5.10
[Hide Comment] All bolts and hardware have been pulled and replaced with stainless modern tech. This route is now clean, retrofitted and ready for action! Apr 24, 2019
Ryan Hoover
Marysville, Wa
[Hide Comment] Hell yeah Adam, you the man! Apr 25, 2019
Douglas Taylor
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] The fact that this climb had faded to obscurity for so long is mind blowing. This is the HEADLINER pitch for the entire Lower Lump area. The features of the rock are unusual with crystal pockets, one of which you use for placing a cam. The 5.7 first pitch is a little sparse for pro down low, so be comfortable at the grade.

You'll have a smile of Joy and Relief when you send this route. May 2, 2019
Lucas
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] This pitch is amazing…go climb it May 9, 2019
[Hide Comment] Stellar Pitch! thanks for cleaning. Hopeful that this continues to get traffic and keeps clean. The bolts appear to be spaced out, but are there when you need them. May 10, 2019
Alex Fischer
Amherst, MA
 
[Hide Comment] Neither MP nor the guidebook mention that you need gear if you choose to lead the 5.7 first pitch instead of that of Beetle Bailey Arch. I placed mostly small cams and a #2 Camalot. Jul 5, 2019
Jack Taylor
Issaquah, WA
 
[Hide Comment] We did Beetle Bailey to get to the base of the Racer X pitch. I cruxed for a while trying to throw in tiny nuts in/ around the crystal pocket. I ended up lowering to the ground and snagging the optional #3. Big runout if ya don’t place it! Maybe my slab feets weren’t that good that day, but it felt like a mandatory cam. YMMV. That second pitch is the cats pajamas. Jul 9, 2019
Alex Fischer
Amherst, MA
 
[Hide Comment] Felt harder than pitch 3 of Walking Legend, which the guidebook calls 5.10c. Anyone else agree? Could just be because I suck at slab. Aug 15, 2019
CourtneyB
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] A third bolt was added at the anchor to make the anchor a bit less of a bottle neck (thanks Doug!). With 3 good climbs leading up to the anchor, it can get busy up there. Bring your clippers for the blackberries if you're doing the 5.7 trad start.
Pitch 2 is beautiful. The last move can be a bit tough if you're shorter especially as it is run out and your toes will probably be hurting by that time. But well worth the effort. Aug 18, 2019
michal
Everett WA
 
[Hide Comment] Link BB p1 into the p2 of Racer X. Thats the best way to do it! Sep 9, 2019
Douglas Taylor
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] Alex Fischer... You're not wrong. . Racer X is "old school" 5.10a and Walking Legend is a modern climb. If Racer X were put up today, it would probably get a 5.10c rating. Also, if it were put up today, it would have gotten at least 3 more bolts. In my opinion, it's one of the best routes to climb for one to get a feel for how things were a generation or so ago. The grade, at the time, was supposed to be HARD. The pro is adequate, but any less would be dangerous. The moves aren't too tough (I fell on lead but never on TR) but not easy.

So the grade is spot-on... for the previous generation. Sep 12, 2019
Alex Fischer
Amherst, MA
 
[Hide Comment] Thanks Douglas, interesting perspective. Sep 17, 2019
[Hide Comment] Climbed BB P1 to Racer X P2. Links up beautifully, just make sure you’re taking the lowest left line from the BB anchors. #3 in the crystal pocket seems an important piece of the puzzle. Bolting above is roomy but totally fair for a classic knob pitch. Really fun climb, thanks to the crew cleaning up the Lower Lump! Nov 5, 2019
Devin Bishop
Lynnwood, WA
 
[Hide Comment] This is one of the most amazing slab/knob climbs I’ve ever done. Bring your head game – legit old school bolted on lead runout excitement! Jul 22, 2020
Nate Redon
Seattle, WA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] You can get down in one full rap with a 70m (or an 80 from metal's anchors). Jul 23, 2020