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Routes in The Ranch Hand

Biscuits 'n' Gravy T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Corn Bread T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Lasso The Longhorn T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Lonesome Dove, Angry Falcon T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Marmot Man T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches
FA: David Russell, Pat Peddy, Kevin Stricker
Page Views: 974 total, 18/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on May 28, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Falcon Nesting Closures Details
Falcon Closures Details

Description

This is a good two pitch route on the SSE face of Ranch Hand Dome. It connects a variety of features with fun, knob, face climbing reminscent at times of the Flatirons.

P1. Ascend a left-facing, jagged dihedral of sorts (described as a left-angling crack). There is a bulge move ~35 feet up (5.6). Angle right on a nice face to connect with a small fist-size crack. The original belay is 150' up. 5.7.

P2. Continue up on nice but somewhat runout face for ~50'. Lasso the horn, then angle slight left onto easy but gritty slab that mellows as you reach 3rd class terrain, 5.6 PG-13, 150'.

Walk off northward, and downclimb a ramp system (4th class) on the right. Hike down the forested slopes back to the base. Apparently, there are some old bolts somewhere up there, too.

Location

This is on the right side of The Ranch Hand. It starts off a ledge above a low-angled slab where you hop a big dead log onto the ledge. Currently, it appears to be the 2nd from the right of the routes here.

Protection

A rack to a #3 Camalot works.

Photos

Ben D.
Colorado
  5.6 PG13
Ben D.   Colorado
  5.6 PG13
This is actually a really nice climb, particularly P1 which has spectacular movement with good pro for the trickier sections. The Fixed Pin guidebook calls this pitch 8+ which I think is very generous.

After the initial left-angling "crack" peters out, there is a decision to either fire straight up a headwall with a short finger crack in the middle of the face, or, move slightly right around a small corner and take the fist-sized crack as described here. The FP book shows the line going up the headwall, which looked like it could go at 5.8. We chose to move to the right and take the fist crack. If you take the fist crack, the climbing is 5.6, tops. Also, the description here (on MP) and in the FP book suggests belaying at the end of the fist crack. We choose to set a belay at a small, but adequate, ledge halfway up the fist crack, just about three feet to the right of the crack and next to a small "tree"/bush. This looked like a much nicer belay than at the top of the crack. If you belay here, P1 is about 100' or so.

From this belay, continue 35' up the fist crack with good pro. After that, P2 has some decent runouts (15'-25') with sparse pro, but the climbing is really easy (maybe 5.5). The pro is there, but you really have to look for it. I remember one section about 25' above my last piece that would of been perfect for a 0.75 green Camalot, but unfortunately I had already used both of them lower down. Also, if you belay at the lower ledge I mentioned above, P2 is a good 180' just to get to a nice pine tree belay on a shelf, slightly left of the broken dihedral near the top. From the pine tree belay, it is easy 5th class scrambling for 50' (+/-) on good slab granite to the summit.

We used a 70m rope, so setting the lower belay and running P2 a little longer was easy enough. I'm not sure you could do P2 to the pine tree with a 60m rope, though, there are plenty of nice places to build a belay in the broken dihedral near the top.

As for pro, a #3 blue Camalot is nice for the fist crack. we also used two #2 yellow Camalots on the fist crack, and also used two 0.75 green Camalots on P1. I think we placed 5 nuts on the whole climb.

P1 has some sparse placements, particularly down low. I remember being about 25' off the deck and thinking I could take a groundfall due to the forced runout. The climbing is easy but might be a bit heady for a new leader.

Overall, we really enjoyed this climb, and the views from the belay stations and from the summit are awesome!

This formation could stand for some nice rap routes as we thought the downclimb off the summit was a bit precarious. This was my first time to Staunton, and I was very impressed with the quality of the trails as well as the quality of the climbing. It reminded me of a mini-Lumpy Ridge.

Enjoy! Aug 15, 2016