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Routes in Hermit's Cave

Thai Cookin' T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Type: Trad, Alpine, 450 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Hiroki Ide, William Penner, and Eric Whitbeck (Fall 1998)
Page Views: 1,465 total, 18/month
Shared By: William Penner on Apr 5, 2011
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Description

P1: Begins in a left-facing dihedral and climbs for 40' to 50' to a small roof. Pull the roof (5.9) to a good ledge with 1 bolt and gear placements. Belay here.
P2: Climbs a left-facing dihedral for 30' to a large overhang. Climb through the overhang (5.11d) clipping 2 bolts along the way. Easier terrain follows trending left to a 2 bolt belay on a ledge.
P3: Climbs sparsely protected rock to a dihedral straight above the belay. Follow the dihedral for 50' to 60' until near the base of a very distinctive, large triangular roof. Clip a bolt then traverse right and up for 20' to 30' until another bolt is reached. From here continue up and right following the good holds past another bolt and a steep bouldery section (5.11c). From this last bolt move up and right into a left-facing dihedral with a hand crack that ends at a ledge. Traverse 10' left around an arete to a 2 bolt anchor.

P4: Traverses 5' left to climb a corner then traverses left past a bolt to a ledge on an arete. Crank straight up past two more bolts then follow an undercling to the right, climb a left-facing dihedral for 10' to 15' until you can climb out of the dihedral onto the face on the right. Delicate face moves lead right and up to a final bolt (5.11d) then into a shallow crack for another 30' to 40' until a very large ledge is reached with a tree at the back.

Location

Approach as per the description for the Hermit's Cave. Once you get to the two flat boulders in the middle of the talus slope below the main cliff, turn around to the east and look for slings on the route.

Rap off the top of pitch 4 using two ropes using slings around a tree (bring something long to replace this webbing as it has not seen a human in 13 years) and the two-bolt anchors atop P2 and P3. I can't remember if you can cheat and rap with a single 70 m rope since those were not common when we put up the route. Alternatively, you could keep going up less than appealing low-angle rock for a couple hundred feet to the summit and then walk back to the south passing the many crosses on the summit and eventually drop back to the base passing the Hermit's Cave.

Protection

Standard rack with doubles of smaller nuts or RPs. I don't remember needing anything larger than a 3 Friend. Bring long slings for the traversing and some QDs for the bolts.
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.12a PG13
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
  5.12a PG13
My friend Josh and I climbed this route recently. It was a cool, adventurous outing that felt pretty wild. Kudos to Hiroki, William and Eric for the FA so long ago--it must have been a four-star experience for sure.
A few notes:
  • There's a lot of deadfall in the approach drainage above the old mine. So much so that after we climbed and rapped down, we hiked up past the Hermit's Cave to the standard Hermit Peak trail and hiked that trail back down with some easy cross-country hiking back to our camp in the approach drainage.
  • We replaced all the original webbing at the anchors with new cord.
  • The route can be rapped in three raps with a single 70m rope.
  • Neither of us could figure out how to pull the boulder-problem crux past the second bolt on P2 but it's easy enough to pull through the move using the bolt. The moves feel like a V4/V5 boulder problem so a bit harder than 11d.
  • There's quite a bit of vegetation in the dihedral below the big white roof on P3 so I climbed on the faint arete on the right side of the dihedral instead. The climbing was really fun and the protection good enough.
  • Since the route has seen minimal traffic, expect some loose stuff and climb gingerly at times. That said, the harder sections are pretty clean.
  • A single rack to #3 camalot with doubles in the finger sizes and RPs/brass offset nuts was more than enough.
Aug 16, 2017
magoo
Duke City
magoo   Duke City
I assumed there would be a line of parties waiting to jump on this thing....that's why I haven't done it. And also 'cause I know you sandbaggers too well. May 4, 2012
What no repeats of this route? We thought we were putting up another Prince of Darkness and that it would be mobbed on every weekend. Apr 20, 2012