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Routes in Rock II - North Face

El Centro T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Type: Trad, 900 ft, 7 pitches
FA: Stronge and Marc Hirshey, April 1973
Page Views: 1,109 total, 15/month
Shared By: Chris D on Oct 16, 2011
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description

From the end of the rappel to the forest, a huge chimney is visible to the right. El Centro begins pretty much right in front of you, about 40 feet to the left of the big chimney.

The route climbs a crack system up to and over the right end of a ragged arch about 200 feet off the deck. Once you're above the arch, traverse above it to the left into a crack that diagonals up and right. Follow this crack up to a system of ledges that you can see go back to the descent route. You could escape the route here, but instead, continue up and right over slab, following a big left-facing dihedral. Eventually, climb over the dihedral onto slab (runout) that leads to a roof split by a big crack. Up through this crack and onto a slab brings you to a huge, unprotectable slab covered with big, black xenoliths. Very cool! The ridge is about three pitches above the roof.

Descend by scrambling down the ridge to the left which takes you back to Middle Saddle.

The crux is probably either route-finding or just not being able to trust anything. Handholds, smears, gear placements...all of them feel like they could fail.

I'd call this route "good" based on the adventurous nature of it, not the quality of the rock or the climbing, though there are a few fun moves. Allow a lot of time for the approach and finding your way to the route.

Location

This route begins at The Forest. Getting to The Forest is accomplished by following the directions to the North Face of Rock II

Protection

A light rack of cams and a set of nuts should suffice. The granite is decomposing, flaky, and grainy. When cracks are available for pro, they're usually pretty wide, so small gear is not terribly useful. Test all placements well. Most cam placements will rip out once or twice taking grains of rock with it, leaving a slot sized well for the next larger cam on your rack. This may rip out too, but eventually something should hold.

Since the placements are so disheartening, the occasional 50-100 foot runout on gravelly slab seems less dangerous that it probably actually is. When we climbed it, we had to simulclimb twice (on a 60-meter rope) because there was simply nowhere to build an anchor. Build a belay at every opportunity, or be ready to run it out simulclimbing with maybe two suspect pieces of pro between you and your partner.

We found one fixed pin on the route, which was pretty solid.
TacoDelRio
All up in yo bidniss.
TacoDelRio   All up in yo bidniss.
I too am thankful for your scouting. I only recently noticed those crags on a drive south from wherever. Cheers. Apr 15, 2015
Chris D
the couch
 
Chris D   the couch
 
My pleasure! Oct 17, 2011
fossana
leeds, ut
fossana   leeds, ut
Thanks for scouting and the write-up. Oct 17, 2011