Type: Trad, 550 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: FA: Gordie Smaill, Mike Wisnicki, 1971, FFA: ?
Page Views: 4,812 total · 44/month
Shared By: Peter Spindloe on Aug 2, 2011
Admins: Mark Roberts, Mauricio Herrera Cuadra, Kate Lynn, Braden Batsford

You & This Route


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Description

Completely panned in McLane's guidebook as wet and rated 5.9 A2, it has recently been cleaned and freed at 10+. The first three pitches are good, but it's the final pitch that gives it the three stars. The final pitch is a 70m rope-stretching epic that deserves its own name.

We encountered a bit of wetness in a few unfortunate spots. It probably needs two weeks of warm weather without rain to be completely dry.

Tape gloves are highly recommended.

Pitch 1: This pitch is a thinker. Several different ways of doing it are possible. Follow the left facing crack to a tricky layback move. From here you could probably go left, but I found that right, up, and then left worked for me. Once on the left-trending overlaps you can choose to stay on one or move up and and down between them as you work your way to the ramp left of the first bolt. Clipping the first bolt requires committing to tough slab feet (maybe not if you're 6'6"). From there keep going past the second bolt after which the grade eases to 5.9 and runs out a good 20 feet to the corner. Build a belay in the corner. Several 5.10+ cruxes. Watch for rope drag. 30m.

Pitch 2: Climb awkwardly right off the belay under an overlap to a good stance below a left facing flare. The back of the flare takes ok gear and good fist/hand jams, but is deep enough that it's very difficult to move off the jams. The left wall was wet so we pulled on the gear. Dry it's probably thuggish 10. A wide left facing crack leads up and turns into an undercling to an obvious belay alcove. 5.10, 20m.

Pitch 3: Step around the little roof above the belay alcove and head up into the chimney. Place gear as high as possible in the chimney (#3 Camalot), and then downclimb until you can get outside the chimney and make offwidth moves to get above the chimney. It helps to arrange your gear so it's not in the way. The rest of the pitch is probably 5.8 or 5.9, but quite long and finishes with a very pretty finger crack to a treed ledge. It might be possible to take the corner right of the finger crack, but it didn't look well traveled or anywhere near as nice. 5.10, 30m.

Pitch 4: This pitch is obvious from the belay ledge. It goes straight up the amazing face and finishes left of the obvious headwall. It is a FULL 70m and has no fixed gear. It will take tons of gear -- the key is not running out. Use nuts to preserve cams. The line is quite straight but it's so long you want to use runners to keep drag at an absolute minimum. Just when you think you have it made, there's one hard move to get established in the final corner, but it quickly eases off after that. Keep going right to the forest. There are several distinct cruxes and lots of continuous jamming between them. It would be possible to stop at less than 60m, just below the headwall if using a 60m rope or out of gear (but you would need some for the belay). 5.10+, 70m!

Location

Walking north along the trail from the Campground Wall you will pass Rainy Day Dream Away, and then Bullethead East (also recently cleaned). The trail splits around a block. Take the right fork (or left and then double back). From a nice flat spot on the trail you can look up to see the route. The roof capping the fourth pitch is a good landmark, as are the two bolts at the top of the first pitch (they aren't immediately obvious though, and you will probably only see one).

From the top of the fourth pitch, the trail (regardless of whether rappelling or walking down) is about thirty feet into the brush.

It's supposed to be possible to descend by rappelling Wild Turkey, but there were only bolts, no chains or rings, at the top of that route. There was a station with chains heading down into the gulley that separates the Bulletheads from the Tantalus wall, but we elected to descend by following the obvious trail system south. Along the trail there is a fixed line that goes down a steep gulley. Belaying or rappelling it will ease the anxiety level, but it's not necessary as long as the fixed line is in good condition.

Protection

With the exception of two bolts on a slab traverse on the first pitch, this routes requires all natural gear, including the belays. A good selection of nuts is very useful, as are double cams right up to #3 camalot size. A #3.5 camalot is important but we didn't feel a #4 was necessary. A few micro cams are nice and many runners are essential (at least twelve three footers) plus some draws.

Photos