Type: Sport, 220 ft (67 m), 3 pitches
FA: Bret Ruckman, Steve Annecone, 2012/2013 (pitches 1 and 2), Spring 2016 (pitch 3)
Page Views: 9,975 total · 108/month
Shared By: Steve Annecone on Apr 5, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Description

This route works up to and follows the striking, wildly hueco'd wall up the middle of the south face of the Maiden. Pitch 1 starts just right of a large juniper tree, directly below the "Stone Oven Belay" (top of 1st pitch of the South Face route). Look for the juggy holds over a small roof, with a bolt above, and start there. Though we initially thought this pitch was new terrain, it turns out this start, or some variation thereof, may have been done earlier by David Light and Greg Miller as part of the free Kor-Dalke. Pull the roof low, step up right onto a slab, and work up to a ramp, following it up left and then straight up to a red/chocolate roof, moving right over airy ground to the belay ledge (5.9 or 10-).

The second pitch fires up the continuously overhung, bullet-proof, patinaÂ’d wall. The first 5 bolts travel through juggy 5.10+ or 11- terrain to a stance just past the 5th bolt. From there, power up sustained 5.12 moves to a break above the 8th bolt, then finish it up to the top via one more cruxy section. This is very sustained and pumpy, with reachy and powerful moves in a spectacular setting.

In the spring of 2016, we added a third pitch (5.13b) that tops out on the east ridge not far from the summit. From the top of the 2nd pitch, move right over airy terrain past the first two bolts. From there, power through the crux moves up to the 3rd bolt, and continue up the gentle overhang through fairly sustained 5.11/5.12 climbing. The redpoint crux may be hanging on long enough to get through this section, and it's not over till you get to the 7th bolt. From there, 5.10 or 11- climbing past bolts 7 to 9 take you to the anchor. The crux section is tricky and crimpy, with a few gastons, a sloper or two, and major pump management required. Best to do this pitch in coolish conditions if possible.

During the process of establishing this route, we'd frequently hear wild turkeys gobbling away or coyotes howling nearby, and recently I was treated to some fresh mountain lion tracks in the snow. The environment here is wild and beautiful, so tread lightly.

The location and particularly the Stone Oven Belay are surprisingly warm. The spacious belay ledge is in a wind-sheltered, concave area on the wall that tends to bake when the sun is out. Consider this a winter route, though great conditions can also be found on the cooler fall or spring days.

A 60-meter cord is sufficient for both leading and rapping off each pitch. However, if lowering or especially if rappelling off either the second or third pitch, be sure to kick out hard and keep in contact with the rock on the way down or you get left hanging in space. A longer cord will be needed if combining pitches 2/3 into a longer, uber-lead.

Location

Follow the same approach as for all Maiden south face routes. The start of the first pitch is directly below the big belay ledge at the top of the 1st pitch of the South Face route, which is about 20-30 yards further uphill than the start of that route. Belay next to the juniper tree under a small roof.

Protection

Only a very light rack is needed for the first pitch, from small nuts/RPs to a #1 or #2 Camalot. Bring 3 or 4 long slings to minimize drag. Both the second and third pitches have 9 bolts leading to 2-bolt anchors.

Photos