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Routes in Lower Cheeks

Active Boys Puke a Lot T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
All Dogs Go to Heaven S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Attractive Nuisance S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Bats in the Belfry T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bravo Jean Marc T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Changes T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Clay T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Colins Gooch T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Cornucopia T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Electric Funeral T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Engines of Archimedes S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Extended Play S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Fairies Wear Boots T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Fiction T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c X
Friendly Fire S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Gerberding Route T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Green Room, The T,S,TR 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Heat Seeker T,TR 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Infinite Jest S,TR 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Into the Void T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
La Bomba Roof S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Shamans Gooch T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Sleeping Village T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Slug Life T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Snowblind T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Supernaught T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Tango for Two T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Wizard, The S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Zipper (complete aid line), The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c A2
Zipper, The T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
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Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: FFA: Terry Lien, Jon Nelson
Page Views: 2,940 total · 24/month
Shared By: Drewsky on Dec 30, 2008
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Pitch one is fairly well-travelled. Pitch two may not have seen an ascent in the last fifteen years. The first pitch corner has it all; well, almost! Thin, funky climbing off the ground leads to a lieback past two bolts to a crack and a stance under a roof. Crack, face climbing past wild jugs and finally stemming leads to a tricky crux finish. Spectacular climbing.

P2 climbs a slab up to the Beach. 5.10+ R; most likely not equipped for ('safe') free climbing.


From the waterfall, this area is to the right and past a subsidiary wall and the entrance to the Cheeks, which is accessed from a long ledge (the Beach) via 4th and 5th class scrambling and climbing.


Nuts and small cams to a #4 Camalot, I believe. The bolts on the route are old but have continued to hold falls. Fixed anchor.


As of last spring (2008) p2 was maybe only bit dirtier than I remember it being in the 80s. It was never "cleaned" and never had fixed pins. I think I placed two pins while leading it in the 80's. The top bolt midway up p1 is a 20+ yo Star Drive that is probably not strong enough to withstand a long fall, so be advised if you decide to run it out to the bomber jams at the roof.

From the Beach it is easy to descend this route and set up a TR. Look for a single safety bolt used to protect reaching the real anchors atop p2. Birds occasionally nest near this route in the spring. If they are around it is best to stay away.

Like many other Index routes if it was located in Yosemite it would be a world famous classic. (Only a slight bit of hyperbole) Dec 30, 2008
Would modern thin/tiny gear protect the second pitch, or is it more incipient than that?

Somehow that world class quality has remained a relative secret for decades, although our weather tends to obfuscate such things rather conveniently. Dec 31, 2008
derekpearson Pearson
Snohomish, WA
derekpearson Pearson   Snohomish, WA
I cleaned some old webbing off the p1 anchor and added a nice new shiny bolt now there are three 3/8 bolts. P2 looks really cool. Mar 8, 2013
Nice work, Derek. That anchor was a bit of a cluster and even had an aluminum hanger similar to the ones that caused a near miss on Calling Wolfgang. Jun 6, 2013
derekpearson Pearson
Snohomish, WA
derekpearson Pearson   Snohomish, WA
No sweat Drew I enjoy fixing up anchors when I can .

You know Clay would be an ultimate link up with p3 and 4 of the zipper . A real testpiece for someone looking to on sight five eleven at Index . Jun 13, 2013
Now there are four bolts at the layback section, one old left over star drive and a new rawl 5 piece on the left, and two new expansion bolts on the right. Two of them should probably be removed. The new bolt at the anchor needs a piece of chain for rapping too. Jul 29, 2013
Bolts on the right? As in bolt positions were changed, the old ones weren't removed and bolts were added? That sucks. I figured any bolting would just be to replace what was there with new metal. This sounds like a total botch job! Oct 26, 2013
As of 9/5/16 the old rawl bolt was removed. The star drive and smc hanger was pounded flat and will require an angle grinder to remove. Maybe I'll get to it in 3 or 4 years if no one else does.

I also removed the two fixed wires that protected the top moves. These were in place at lease 15 years ago when I did the route for my first time and they looked at that time to be at least that old again. Maybe they have always been there. According to one particular blogger the first "true" free ascent(FTFA?) may still be waiting to be plucked! Gosh! what a prize that would be. To bad for all those who thought they had free climbed it up until this point. Even better would be to chop the two bolts and then do the First True True Free Ascent...FTTFA!

Sep 6, 2016
Thank you for your part in restoring the integrity of this route. We share same sentiments concerning adding bolts or other fixed gear. Unfortunately, there are several other routes in the area that deserve similar attention.

As far as Clay is concerned, when the route was established there was one marginal bolt that you clipped just because it was there. No fixed nuts existed. Placing your own gear was mandatory, which in my opinion is a real part of the overall climbing experience.

I’ve always been proud of Clay because of the mental and physical demands it required. Clay was certainly one of the most committing and fulfilling routes I’ve ever done. Adding bolts to established natural routes only degrades them to the standards of a climbing gym. Sad.

Terry Lien Oct 12, 2016
Stig .
Stig .   Seattle
Terry, so those two bolts in the lieback section weren't there when you opened the route? What do you have for gear in their place? Oct 12, 2016
After thinking about your question, two very memorable things stick out in my mind, spending a lot of time backing up one old bolt (smallest RP”s and HB”s) and not having gear for the top. Both scary and committing. Was there a second bolt, I truly don”t think so but it's been a while and I honestly can”t say for sure.

Thank you for asking Oct 12, 2016
It's pretty inspiring to have FAist Terry Lien chime in with his views about the pitch, the added difficulty of placing protection yourself, and the route history. Thanks Terry!

I finally did the pitch after 10 years of climbing at Index, and it is truly amazing. Thanks Thomas for removing the fixed wires - there's bomber gear up high for sure. The smashed up bolt and bent hanger are still in place on the wall just left of the corner - an angle grinder (or just a wrench? or crowbar?) would be a good tool for removing the mangled bolt and improving this pitch. Jul 14, 2017
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
Jon Nelson   Redmond, WA  
I recall placing only one bolt in the layback section, a weird thing with a funky lead sleeve that Darryl had. Placing a 3/8th was hard work, particularly on a steep wall, and probably took most of an hour. When it is like that, you tend to be restrictive about placements (or switch to 1/4" bolts). Jul 14, 2017
It's interesting to hear that there was only one bolt when you opened the route. Wow. When I first climbed it in the early '90's there were two. It's been a few years now but I'm pretty sure even with both the old bolts it still felt plenty exciting to me! Definitely one of my favorite pitches in Index(world).

Upon reflection, the best way to remove the SMC hanger is probably just a hammer and cold chisel. Jul 21, 2017
Todd Anderson
Seattle, WA
Todd Anderson   Seattle, WA
A hammer and cold chisel did the trick. There is still a 1/4" bolt with a nut on it under the roof, and five bolts at the P1 anchor; a rusty buttonhead with a rusty sheet metal hanger, two rusted 3/8" with SMC hangers and chains, and two non-rusted 3/8" with Fixe hangers and chains. Sep 27, 2017
The route existed before it was ever freed. I think Jon and I spent most of an afternoon placing the Star Drive bolt. I remember us taking turns pounding on the drill. We placed a bugaboo in the corner below the bolt. Much later the bugaboo was replaced by another bolt. After the bolt was placed we rested and Jon motored past the layback section and below the roof found two 1/4" studs. Jon slipped a wire nut over one to the bolts and soon after the bolt was weighted & broke. We went home. A day or two later Jon told me Terry scampered up it while I was at my high powered job washing dishes. Oct 8, 2018

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