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Nova Express

5.9+, Trad,  Avg: 3.4 from 229 votes
FA: unknown
California > Lake Tahoe > I-80 Corridor > Donner Summit > Snowshed Wall > E Face > 3. E Face Main

Description

This is the beautiful jamcrack in the center of the East Face.

Protection

Pro to 4".

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Trying to pro up the last steep and wide crux of Nova!    <br>
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(The #4 didn't fit; I had to make the move and place higher.)<br>
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Photo by Laine<br>
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July 2009
[Hide Photo] Trying to pro up the last steep and wide crux of Nova! (The #4 didn't fit; I had to make the move and place higher.) Photo by Laine July 2009
The beautiful east face of Snowshed.
[Hide Photo] The beautiful east face of Snowshed.
Meg starting up Nova Express
[Hide Photo] Meg starting up Nova Express
Below the crux on Nova Express. Shot by Simon Moore.
[Hide Photo] Below the crux on Nova Express. Shot by Simon Moore.
Smoke = Golden hour at 9am
[Hide Photo] Smoke = Golden hour at 9am
Donnie moving up into the wider stuff.
[Hide Photo] Donnie moving up into the wider stuff.
Callie working her way up to the business.
[Hide Photo] Callie working her way up to the business.
Matt showing us the comfy belay spot at Nova Express
[Hide Photo] Matt showing us the comfy belay spot at Nova Express
Bravo entering the large hands section
[Hide Photo] Bravo entering the large hands section
Laine nearing the top of N.E.
[Hide Photo] Laine nearing the top of N.E.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

426
 
[Hide Comment] Be careful protecting the bottom. The flakes are loose. This pitch has cratered several people with broken legs and maybe even a fatality.

5.9+ for sure. Not for the fledgling 9 leader...at all.

I'd take a few larger pieces as well. Mar 6, 2007
Tyler Logan
Mammoth Lakes, CA
 
[Hide Comment] I agree that this is a stout 5.9! While it does protect very well, care must be taken to place gear so that it doesn't get in your way. There is a distinct crux about halfway up, although the whole climb is fairly strenuous. Mar 24, 2008
Sirius
Oakland, CA
 
[Hide Comment] Great climb, some grainy rock. The cupped hand jams through the crux will chew you up if you're not careful. Aug 15, 2008
[Hide Comment] Don't let the previous comments scare you off from doing this route. The bottom part of the climb before you get in the crack is perfectly protectable. I think I put a #4 Camalot in as my first or second piece pretty close to the bottom. After that, the largest piece you will need is a #3 Camalot.

The crack is splitter and takes good pro. This is a must do for all crack lovers. May 12, 2009
LifeIsGood
Reno, NV
 
[Hide Comment] I followed this one - great climb to practice crack moves. There's nothing like a solid hand jam! May 15, 2010
Nut Stac
Reno, NV
[Hide Comment] New to crack climbing. Tried to put this up yesterday, very very stout. Awesome climb though, tons of fun. But like was said before me, not for the fledgling crack leader (such as I). Jul 5, 2010
BruceB
Reno, NV
  5.9+
[Hide Comment] Great climb, nothing harder than 5.9, but a bit tricky through the crux. I was able to use hand jams through the upper wide section. Wide gear can be placed at the bottom and at the top, but isn't necessary. Aug 9, 2011
coreylee
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] Really fun climb! Did farewell to arms just before and found this climb to be a bit harder. Sep 12, 2011
Aerili
Los Alamos, NM
 
[Hide Comment] You see, Corey, the Nova/Farewell gauge of difficulty is order dependent. If you do Nova first, Farewell will feel harder...and vice versa. ;) Sep 13, 2011
Tyson Waldron
Reno, NV
  5.9+
[Hide Comment] Classic. I think this is a more challenging lead than Black September. (I used to think the reverse, incorrectly.) The whole east face area of Snowshed is superb, and this climb dominates the center of the main face there. It Begs to be climbed.

I highly recommend a variation (I only tr'd this way) that starts farther right (I guess this would be the the start to Welcome to my Nightmare?) and traverses a left slanting crack system which almost meets nova about 25-30 feet up. Super excellent movement, and not too hard up to that point. Sep 23, 2012
tahoemnts Schroeder
Truckee, California
[Hide Comment] PM me if you pulled a .75 BD just above the shelf. Buddy jammed it in too far and we had to run for family event. Thanks. Aug 24, 2017
Eric Leonard
oakland california
 
[Hide Comment] A Sustained, varied crack with (mostly) good rock. Pretty long pitch to find a flow, look outside the crack every once in a while. Jul 23, 2018