Type: Boulder, 10 ft
FA: Paul Hess 2004(?)
Page Views: 5,017 total · 41/month
Shared By: Dan Hickstein on Jan 9, 2009
Admins: Frances Fierst

You & This Route

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Taken outside, near the grassy banks of a small river, on a glorious spring day, with plenty of butter and raspberry jam, few things in life are nicer than tea and crumpets. Congruently, there are few boulder problems on the Carderock schist that can compare to the delight that is known as Tea and Scrumpet. Yet, what – you may ask – is a scrumpet? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "an elegantly awkward rock climbing move executed with one's genetalia an uncomfortably short distance from the rock."


This route traverses (left to right) from the front side of X-face, past Buckets of Blood Arete and onto the back wall with one important rule: you are not allowed to use any holds on or above the one inch roof on the Impossible Face (the face just left of Buckets of Blood Arete, shown in the center of the beta photo). The crux is the "scrump" move: getting both hands established on the arete. Kicking a foot across to the back wall is a harsh test of groin flexibility and may require substantial pre-game stretching.


A bouldering mat placed near the arete saves the butt from damage, but is considered by many to be "unsporting."


dwight grupp
Almont, Colorado
dwight grupp   Almont, Colorado
Hello, I grew up going to Rock State Park. It sure is nice to see pictures of the area here on Mtn. Project..On the south side there is a great 5'7/5'8 50' climb. I had to solo it, it was great, no one was there, good time to reflect. I've been living in Colorado near a little canyon called Taylor Canyon, Harmels Rock Climbing. Check it out. And the Black Canyon is an hr away, intimidating to say the leaste, anyways being a forest hill native, it all started there for me. Cheers. Mar 2, 2009
Dan Hickstein  
Rick, I'm not sure if it was done in the 80's: the route requires that the climber squash their genitals against the sharp arete, a technique that was not invented until 1998. Jun 9, 2009
Ralph Kolva
Pine, CO
Ralph Kolva   Pine, CO
I recall Geoff Farrar busting my chops on this problem in at least 83 or 84, we did a variation that uses a sit start at the bottom of BOB and finished by baling near the top of X- face or finishing Impossible. As Rickd said, there were plenty of people climbing harder than me and doing this problem. Given the number of years people have been climbing at Carderock and the amount of eliminations I saw during 2 decades I would be surprised if there is anything that hasn't been done before. You could always check with John Gregory, he's a walking encyclopedia of climbing routes and knowledge particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region. Mar 19, 2010
many, many ascents prior to 1976 and many more since...

similar in quality to the east facing traverse west of T.B. Boulder/Stannard's Playground. 200 m WSW May 13, 2013
Thanks Dan. Real glad you still enjoy that problem. For the doubters, I did research with the old(-er) guard, including Geoff (RIP...) and John, and this line was new. It was also damned hard to figure out to make it a reality. Started out as "Implausible", but renamed to account for the need for scrumping, which seemed to be key beta, and fun too for those of us into such things. Jan 16, 2014
Kennedy O'Donnell
McLean, VA
Kennedy O'Donnell   McLean, VA
I just went and checked this problem out. Is there an intended end spot or "top out?" I ended on a jug on the arete and crimp on the inside wall and saw nowhere further to go. Jun 30, 2014
Dan Hickstein  
Kennedy, are you saying that you ended up pretty much in the position in the photo? The next move it the coolest! You need to kick your right leg all the way across the gap and onto the back wall. It's super dynamic and I need to be wearing really stretchy pants to pull it off. After you climb T&S, you can just keep traversing along the wall, past beginners crack, trying to stay as low as possible. After you pass the tree 30' right of beginners crack, there is another ~V4 upward traverse problem that I call "Shinbone", because there is a good chance that you'll whack your shinbone if you fall off. Linking T&S and Shinbone is a super-sweet traverse - my favorite problem at C-Rock. Oct 20, 2014
Dan Hickstein  
Some of the comments and the following description of this problem on Summitpost indicate that people are traversing a little too high, so let me provide the following clarification: The easiest way to do the traverse around the impossible face is with your feet about 3 feet off the ground – this is about V2 (and a little bit scary) and I believe that it is called the "Impossible Traverse". "Tea and Scrumpet" is the low variant, where you are not allowed to use any holds above the small 1-inch roof that is about 6 feet off the ground. Consequently, the footholds for Tea and Scrumpet are only about 1 foot off the ground. You really only use two crimps on the impossible face (that are fairly low to the ground), before "scrumping" over to the sloping jug on the arete. I think that this route is somewhere around V4. If it feels like V2, you are either super strong, or you are climbing too high.

Here are some nice photos and description on Summitpost showing the Impossible Traverse (high traverse), but accidentally calling it Tea and Scrumpet: summitpost.org/tea-scrumpet…

This photo shows the correct position: mountainproject.com/v/10633… Dec 28, 2014