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Routes in The Witch

Airy Interlude T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ankles Away T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Brute Force T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Entity, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Gorilla Warfare T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Green Tide T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Igor Unchained T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Innersanctum T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Nautilus, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Pegleg T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Phosphorescent Flow T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Pit & The Pendulum, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Pizzazz T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Pulp Friction T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
Shazam T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Spook Book T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Terrorvision T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Wicked West of the Witch T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Witch Doctor T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 180 ft
FA: Mason Earle, George Ullrich
Page Views: 6,040 total, 53/month
Shared By: m-earle on Aug 11, 2008
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Description

Begin up airy interlude, and at the top of the corner (where you should build a big nest of cams) exit out left to a stance below the obvious seam/gutter. follow the increasingly desperate seam for about 35-40, until you're able to traverse left into ankles away. Continue to the top. Totally wicked.

Location

On the west face of the witch. Look for the water streaked line trending left from airy interlude towards ankles away.

Protection

For the initial corner- a few hand size, a green alien, yellow and gray for a nest at the top

For the seam- a purple TCU (newer one preferably) #3BD micro nut, #5BD micro nut

For ankles away- #1 stopper, #2 stopper, purple camalot

This is the gear we used, but it could probably be refined. Offset micros could be of help.

Photos

Many years ago I tried top roping this route. My goal was to go up as straight as possible in the shallow seam and avoid traversing left into Ankles Away as I didn't like the idea of mixing the routes. I made it pretty far up, going up somewhat right past where you would do the traverse, but then reached a really blank spot which looked to last about 10 feet or so, after which the climbing appeared to ease up, but only slightly. Try as I may, I couldn't make those ten feet. Haven't been back since as it seemed impossible to bolt on the lead, even using hooks. Also I wouldn't have the balls to do the route without bolts. As an aside, I did not find the route dirty or with much lichen. Nevertheless, let no one doubt the boldness of the first ascent party, they deserve our admiration. Sep 22, 2016
Vlad S  
I remember hanging out at the notch between the Witch and the Sorcerer with my partner, just out of the view of the route when we heard all kinds of metal sliding and banging together for what seemed like a horrific whipper. We were sure someone either decked or got seriously hurt. We went around the corner and sure enough George was there on his feet. No big deal. For the next few days we kept running into the pair a few more times while they were running laps on Atlantis (doing it in 2 pitches with minimal gear) and doing Romantic Warrior. George had his whole leg from knee to ankle taped up. Fun guys!

I think I also checked out that seam on TR on the last day of my trip and concluded that I would never be able to even do the moves, not to mention trying to protect that nightmare. Jul 2, 2012
Kristian Solem
Monrovia, CA
Kristian Solem   Monrovia, CA
Ron Carson worked on this line back in the day when he was a Needles regular. Of course he was both strong and brave enough to have done it, but I never heard that he actually did. Laeger might know. Greg Vernon, who I'll bet you can reach via Loomis, might know. One of those guys might know how to reach Ron, and get it "straight from the horses mouth."

Either way, your ascent is an outstanding achievement! Congrats!

Every climber with an imagination who has sat and studied that face has looked at that groove and wondered...

edit: I've done some inquiring. This route is a first lead for sure. Other climbers have tried it on TR but it is not clear what the results were. Great work, Gentlemen! Jan 7, 2009
Murf  
Nice commitment to the send (esp. post 80'er ), congrats. Aug 13, 2008
m-earle
USA
 
m-earle   USA
 
It was a headpoint, both george and i got it sussed on TR (alot of cleaning was required) before we tried to lead it. After about 4 days of effort, we both lead it clean, placing all gear on lead. After george took the 80 footer we both lost syke, but a week later we returned with new shoes and fired it. As for the grade its really hard to say. I was still falling off it on TR, even after I thought I had it wired. I geuss it could be anywhere from 11b to 13b- it really doesn't mater; its hard and scary. Aug 13, 2008
An 80 foot whipper on a slab. I am sure I would not have got back on it. 12+ that's pretty impressive. 12+ slab is pretty freaking hard. I don't know you guys and I have not climbed the line you did so I am not saying it isn't 12+ but that is a big # for a slab. Have you guys climbed Carsonoma on Dome Rock. I put up some hard slabs routes but after a visit to Dome Rock I had to revise some route grades down.

I actually am not that concerned with the grade as going for it on something that run out on dubious pro gets all my respect. I never did anything that hard that didn't have a bolt close by.

You might try contacting Herb Laeger as he may have some info about the line and whether it has been climbed or not. Check out this sites people and email him or PM me and I will give you his PH #. Aug 12, 2008
Murf  
Sounds stimulating.. Since the picture is after a whipper, what kind of style was the FA ( pinkpoint, pull and clean, etc.)? Aug 12, 2008
m-earle
USA
 
m-earle   USA
 
We've heard mixed reports on weather or not this had been climbed before us. If it has, and you know the name of the route and the FA, post up. I encourage people to check out this line, as it is amazing, and a few more ascents would clean it up a bit. Its quite serious though, and could easily get an X rating without perfectly placed gear. Aug 12, 2008