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Routes in Big Rock Candy Mountain
|Type:||Trad, 1000 ft, 6 pitches|
|FA:||Peter Williams & Peter Gallagher, 1980|
|Page Views:||8,301 total, 72/month|
|Shared By:||Jeremy Hakes on Jun 14, 2008|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionI don't recommend this route for more than a 2 person climbing party. I think 3 people would take forever, and increase the possibility of showering garbage down on your 3rd.
This is how we broke the route down:
P1 - 100', 5.9. Climb a left-facing dihedral against a smooth, polished, granite slab. Pro to 3". Climb to a small belay tucked into the rock. There is a decent place to stand and build an anchor.
P2 - 200', 5.9. For us, this was the business, and it starts immediately - use a #5 to protect you getting into the dihedral, which has now grown into an off-width. This is still facing the smooth, scalloped, granite slab. Climb to a good belay ledge at a large opening above the slabs. There is some loose garbage in this big quasi-cavern, but you don't climb on it, and it is easily avoidable.
P3 - 200', 5.7ish. Climb some interesting slabs and a little bit of grub and decomposed rock (again, which you don't climb on, but is around) into where the dihedral grows into a body size + opening. We went south (climber's right) to go around a large hump, followed by a thin granite ridge with some exposure on both sides, more exposure on the climber's right. This continues up and then left to beneath the Gumdrop Spire. Belay on the west side of the Gumdrop. There is some decomposed garbage below the belay, but again, just loose stuff you don't climb on. Watch your 2nd, and don't shower any loose stuff down.
P4 - 200' (this can be done with a 165' rope, depending on where you set up your belay at the bottom of the pitch), THIN 5.7. Move your belay to the east side of the Gumdrop, facing the sea of granite slab above you. See that tiny Star drive anchor 20' above you? That's your first pro. From the right hand side, fall/lean forward across the 20' deep, 3'+ wide crack to grab the bomber hands and then CAREfully step over with your right foot. A fall for your first or second will likely end with them wedged between the two sides of the crack, which would be bad. After the scary step, traverse left until you can step onto the thin slabs, climb up to the "bolt", then continue uphill to the next 2 bolts, which are about 15-20' apart. About 15' above the 3rd bolt, you can get some gear in a left trending ledge/crack. The difficulty eases here to 4th class. Belay at the 2-"bolt" hanging anchor, which you can back up with gear in the crack at your feet.
P5 - 200', more thin 5.7. Follow the thin sea of granite up to the bolt, about 15' above you. Clip this, then run it out 50-60' (easy 5th) to a ledge, then head north/climber's left until you run out of rope. Build an anchor here.
P6 - 150'+, 5.6? Follow the ridge up a beautiful hands crack until you meet the thin exfoliated garbage flake above you. Step right and out onto the face, and get gear in the crack to your right. Climb out and around this bizarre, scalloped, hanging flake, then up to the belay. You're done. Enjoy the summit - watch the decomposing garbage around you (you don't climb on it anyway). Rap off the NE corner.
LocationSee the topo for the Big Rock. It is on the south side of the formation, starting on the highest south saddle that heads SW to the river. The dihedral (first pitch) is visible only when you are on the west side of the rock. We found the route by dropping off Metberry Gulch Rd. and heading west towards the trees highest on the shoulder of BRCM. This eventually (after some scrambing) leads to the base of the route.
To get off, head to the north summit, then CAREFULLY downclimb (or belay the first down) to the anchors. 2 60m ropes will bring you to the ground. 1 60m rope will get you to an intermediate rap station.
ProtectionWe used cams up to 5". You could probably use a 6" if you felt like carrying it. We didn't find any especially good placements for nuts, so I wouldn't bother bringing any nuts or hexes.
Pitch 4 has 3 very old (but well placed) star drive pins/bolts on very old/thin hangers (Leeper hangers!!). There are 3 "bolts" until you can get some gear in on a sloping ledge. This pitch terminates with a standing belay at 2 more old star drives (these should all be replaced, although they all still feel solid). Pitch 5 has 1 star drive with a hanger, and then it is quite runout for a bit before you can get more gear in, a good 50-60' above this "bolt".
The rappel has 2 good, fairly recent bolts and hangers.