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The Banana

5.9, Trad, 200 ft (61 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.2 from 6 votes
FA: Richard Harrison & Jay Smith 1977
California > Lake Tahoe > Highway 50 Corr… > Lover's Leap > Main Formation > W Wall

Description

Where's the crux? For pitch 1, it is just before moving into the OW. For pitch 2, it is the hand crack above the chimney.

What's good? It's adventurous. When it's cleaned up through use, it will be more popular. It gets you high, offers great views. Protects well. Also sets you up for toproping nearby routes.

What's bad? It's pretty dirty, you have to work through some brush, dirt, lichen to accomplish the pitches. (Some climbers take to these conditions less than others.)

NOTE: After exiting chimney at the start of the second pitch, one challenge is to manage the rope so it doesn't get stuck in the narrowing, constricting, overhanging section of the crack.

Location

Approx. 100 meters climber's right of Hospital Corner area. The Banana is climber's right of Third Stone.

Protection

Route protects well. I found a 4 and 5 camelot helpful. First, in the dirty offwidth of pitch 1, later high up in the chimney at the start of pitch 2. Either belay in the chimney or, if you like to run it out, keep going. There's a fixed pin in there that can be backed up. You can rap from this location easily with a 70m.

After Pitch 2, you can top out or rap from a prominent tree above West Wall. See picture. I've always rapped. There is an intermediate rap station. Two raps to ground.

Good news. Several large loose blocks and flakes have been trundled recently in the area. Makes for much more peace of mind. Third Stone and Banana share the same belay stance for first pitch.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Banana 5.8
[Hide Photo] The Banana 5.8
Looking down on Pitch 1 of the Banana from the belay in the chimney.
[Hide Photo] Looking down on Pitch 1 of the Banana from the belay in the chimney.
Used a #5 (older model, it is larger than C4 #5) to protect the start of pitch 2, glad I brought it along, although some might feel it is not necessary.
[Hide Photo] Used a #5 (older model, it is larger than C4 #5) to protect the start of pitch 2, glad I brought it along, although some might feel it is not necessary.
The Banana route ascends the left side (center of picture) of the huge banana shaped formation.
[Hide Photo] The Banana route ascends the left side (center of picture) of the huge banana shaped formation.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
 
[Hide Comment] I found this route to be exceptionally bitchin! The moss and lichen build up is only because n00bs don't go there. The climbing is classic and memorable. Get on it, don't be a puss. Jun 8, 2012
AndyBG
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Without a doubt the dirtiest climb I've ever been on. Some cool movement though! May 16, 2013
[Hide Comment] To the right of the Banana is a route called "Sinbads Harry Banana" 5.10a R. It goes up the face to the right with some pro and a pin.

To the left of the Banana is a route called "Here We Go Again" 5.10c. The first pitch is run out 5.8, use RP's, low balls, knife blades and small aliens to pro. The second pitch turns the roof on the right, then step back left following bolts up the overhanging dike headwall, 5.10c. Sep 2, 2013