Avg: 3.8 from 5 votes
Routes in King Crimson
|Southwest Face T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b A0|
|Type:||Trad, Aid, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Steve Grossman, Jim Haisley, Paul Davidson, Larry Coats -early 80s. FFA J. Snyder|
|Page Views:||1,973 total, 23/month|
|Shared By:||Larry Coats on Oct 23, 2010|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
DescriptionAfter several exploratory attempts to free climb the first ascent of the tower from the notch, we faced the fact that an aid climb would be required to summit. And no more spectacular aid climb could be found than the series of shallow corners that split the southwest face. In late winter, we hiked loads of aid gear into the tower, and Grossman spent the day leading the first pitch. We fixed a rope with plans to return the next day and finish, but winter arrived (note to skiers: if you ever want it to snow in Northern Arizona, go fix a rope in Sedona in the winter!), and after a harrowing attempt to drive down the switchbacks in a blizzard in Paul's VW van, we bailed on the attempt until months later in the spring. Then Paul, Jim, and myself jugged back up the sun-stiffened fixed line, and completed the tower.
Pitch 1: It's obvious- follow the shallow, right-facing dihedral on thin gear, with several tenuous sections of flexible crack (C1-2). At the roof, follow widely-spaced bolts rightward (that Grossman has quite the span!) to a belay on a small ledge in the flaring corner. (EDIT- this pitch now goes free at 5.12, and has a new belay before the aid traverse.)
Pitch 2: Up the corner above the belay, past one buttonhead drilled to avoid dropping loose blocks onto the belayer. Then follow the nice, steep crack up the corner above (C1) to another small belay ledge at an obvious traverse.
Pitch 3: Short but scary- follow the ledge right past a drilled baby angle to the large ledge on the shoulder of King Crimson. 3rd class climbing leads to the summit from here.