Type: Trad, TR, 80 ft (24 m)
FA: 1975 FFA: Trocchi & Heintz, 1976
Page Views: 7,484 total · 37/month
Shared By: David House on Oct 12, 2007
Admins: Morgan Patterson

You & This Route

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Warning Access Issue: Permits Required to Climb on City of Meriden, CT properties. DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Climb the crack with a variety of thin fingers and face holds to the top of the crack, traverse left, go up and back right. Tricky and sequential, and tough to protect on the lead. You'll need every trick in the thin crack book. I am a bit embarrased to be posting this since after many tries I only managed to do this once during the mid 90's shortly after Ken Nichols had made his 1000th ascent of the line! I gave it the traditional 5.11 grade, but let me say this is a SOLID 5.11. One might whisper sandbag...

From Mike Heintz (FA): The FFA of this route was undoubtedly the greatest adventure of my Connecticut climbing days. Originally a difficult aid route, it saw just two ascents, mine being the second. While aiding it, I noticed there might be adequate holds to free climb the route, and began attempting to do so on toprope shortly afterward, succeeding after many tries. The route was clearly harder than anything else in the state, and harder than anything else I'd done up to that point. Tony Trocchi became interested in seeing if we could do it free, ground up, on the lead. We were both unemployed at the time. It was November and winter was approaching, as well as Tony's commitment to leave the state for a guiding position in New Hampshire for this year's ice season. Day after day, we drove to East Peak, punched the clock, and advanced a little higher. Tony would go up and get one more piece of gear in, then he'd come down. I'd go up and push it a little further, get one more nut in, then come down. It went on like this for days, each advancing a little further with every try. On at least one day neither one of us could reach our high point. Eventually, we got to the arch. The end of the major technical difficulties, but the start of the real head trip. In those days, the last 20 feet was both loose and unprotected, as well as being overhanging. There was a big loose flake out there you had to layback on. We again took turns venturing onto that head-wall, only to reverse the moves back to the arch, pushing a little further each time before returning to safety. The only difference was there was no protection being added as progress was made. We both kept chickening-out, try after try. Time was running out. Tony was already supposed to be in New Hampshire. If we didn't do it within the next couple of tries we'd have to bag it, knowing the route would go to Bruce Dicks, the most capable climber in Connecticut at that time (he ended up doing the second ascent). At last, Tony pushed through to the top, and I seconded the route, cleaning all that gear which had hung there for so many days. 

Location Suggest change

On the right side of the Amphitheater area is a large, left facing corner where Squirrel Cage is located. Dol Guldur is the thin crack system on the face to the left. To the left is the obvious overhanging jam crack of Cat Crack.

Protection Suggest change

RP's, stoppers, small cams