Avg: 2.9 from 19 votes
|Type:||Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches|
|FA:||David Black, Mike Graber, Rick Ridgeway (June 1976)|
|Page Views:||2,801 total · 22/month|
|Shared By:||ttriche on Jul 23, 2007|
|Admins:||Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
DescriptionClassic face and crack climbing with mostly crack pro and the occasional bolt. Route-finding is likely the real crux of this route, as all of the moves are eminently manageable and the final (4th pitch) crux face move is protected by a fat bolt.
The first pitch is shared with The Pit & The Pendulum: the classic 5.9 lieback/stem on the right of the large pedestal at the base of the Witch's lower west face, which also hosts Phosphorescent Flow and Red Snapper on its face, and Gorilla Warfare in the flare on its left side. This pitch is a rope stretcher; belaying at the anchors for Phosphorescent Flow atop the pitch would be an excellent idea, or you can belay on the ledge. (The pitch ends on top of the pedestal.)
The second pitch veers left (whereas the Pit and the Pendulum is reached by heading right, up a 5.4 ramp) and follows a nebulous line of chickenheads and dishes intersected by crack systems which provide sporadic, somewhat uninspiring protection (mostly small cams and nuts, with the odd chickenhead or hole tieoff), face climbing up towards a couple of bolts. I (Tim) went straight up the '10a' line which is marked in the guidebook as 'no pro', although the runout was no more than 30-40 feet to a huge bolt, then a 20' or so left-hand traverse to a two-bolt belay/rap anchor. (Another line which is documented in the guidebook shows a leftward traverse through two bolts to the two-bolt belay -- one old SMC and another, newer Metolius bolt).
The third pitch traverses hard left from the belay, and immediately heads up through an overlap, then another overlap, and finally a corner/overhang. There was a small fixed nut near the start of the third pitch when we climbed the route. It might hold a fall, but the shifty block beneath it sounded (and felt) like it was ready to depart. This pitch is relatively short (50'?) and ends at a ledge with a horizontal. It might be feasible to link this pitch and the next, although a fall above the bolt-protected crux could be lengthened. The (crux) overlap/roof move is protected by a fixed pin, which can be backed up with a cam in an obvious slot above and to the pin's right.
The fourth pitch goes up a ramp to a fat bolt, which protects (what the guidebook describes as) the route's crux -- a blank-ish face move to your choice of knob. Above the crux is a long stretch of 5.8 stemming and reaching, which might protect with green and yellow Aliens. The climbing (and the angle) progressively eases off after about 40-50 feet of excitement and you may belay wherever you like.
Descent is via the rap station for Igor Unchained.