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Routes in The Beach

A Wisdom that is Woe S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Albinestone S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Apes and Ballerinas T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Between the Cheeks S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Dead Reckoning (aka the Terry-Michaels route) T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Heaven's rear-entry vehicle, parked out back, tow away zone T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Normandy S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Perverse Traverse, The S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Up'er Zipper T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
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Type: Trad, 200 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Isao Fujita & Jon Nelson (p1), Nicola Masciandaro & Jon Nelson (full)
Page Views: 401 total · 5/month
Shared By: Jon Nelson on Oct 2, 2011
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


The easiest route up the Cheeks formation and featuring an interesting range of climbing, including passing through a chimney.

The first pitch is short, but steep, with the crux (~10a) being awkward hand jamming over a bulge. Despite the appearance at the bottom, you do not chimney here -- the start has a layback flake on the left side of the chimney. Ends just below the chimney, or continue by linking it with P2.

Pitch two goes through the chimney (that is "through", not just up -- you kind of vanish inside of it). When you exit above the chimney, follow the fist-wide hands crack (crux) to a ledge in a corner system.

For pitch three, follow the corner to the top.

Descend either by rappel via the gully between the cheeks and the Upper Town Wall, or use the recently installed anchors on God's Bones. If you do the latter, remember to swing into the rock at the end, otherwise you'll be left dangling.


Starts near the end of the Perverse Traverse.


Full range of sizes, up to fist-sized cams.

Some history

I met Isao at the U of Illinois, and after I returned to Seattle in 1989, he would occasionally come visit me for a day or two of climbing. Only once did our trip end in success, and it wasn't on this trip.

On this trip, ~1991, it is raining. No worries though because (I say) I know this line on the Cheeks that would be dry. It probably wasn't until we got across the Perverse Traverse did I let on that this was a new line that I had never checked it out before (rain or shine). Moreover, it was a crack climb, and Isao did not have much experience with cracks. (Where can you practice cracks in Illinois?)

So, I spot a good start for the route and start up. Luckily, the rock is dry. I layback a hidden crack in a wide channel at the start, and then do a few awkward handjams over a bulge to a ledge (~5.10), just below the main chimney. Here, I set a few nuts, and lower down for Isao to try.

He struggles from the start, but through pure determination gets to the bulge. I figure he'll give up right away on the awkward jams at the bulge, but he refuses to stop trying. But the cool, moist weather and heavy exertion take their toll, and soon he is starting to heave. I'd never seen a guy do that on a route. But he stays cool with it, though eventually lowers off and we leave.

A few years pass, some warm, dry weather comes along, and I show the line to Nicola. He leads up to the old nuts, and then I lead up into the chimney. I exit the chimney and the crack necks down to fist size and becomes dirty. At one point, it is so choked with dirt that I just yank on a large cam to get into another jam pod. After reaching a ledge, I belay Nicola up. The next pitch is short, but cleaner. He leads, and then we rap the gully. I steal the route name from from Isao. He had scribbled it on a weird postcard sent years earlier. Other gems from that postcard include Roadside Floral Curtain, a route at the Inner Walls.


geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
geoff georges   Seattle, Wa.
nice story, not every day one gets the FA team story. I would like to see this some more.
Is a fist size cam a #4 camalot? Mar 21, 2016
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
Jon Nelson   Redmond, WA  
Thanks Geoff.
We have the space here to add some history, so why not?

The fist-sized cam was a #4 friend, which I think is smaller than the #4 camalot. Mar 22, 2016

More About Heaven's rear-entry vehicle, parked out back, tow away zone