Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Dan McCool, Britt Bassett, and Brad Esser, 1982
Page Views: 1,113 total · 18/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Feb 4, 2014
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Brain Damage was the warm-up, first ascent for the Arizona party that also put up Thunder Road. It took two days to complete because of storms.

Daniel McCool wrote about this route in Summit Magazine but left out the names of his friends. Perhaps this lost information will be found now that this route is posted on Mountainproject.

Route Description

On the right hand apron of Pope's Nose, there is a "long, narrow pillar resting against the face". Like a Yosemite pinnacle, there are classic jam cracks on each side of the pillar. The Arizona party split into two teams and climbed both sides calling it: "160 feet of the finest 5.9 jamming and liebacking we'd seen in awhile".

Very approximate guess.

Above the pillar, the second pitch is the crux (5.9+). Last, a moderate third pitch leads to the top and Fern Gully descent.




The other members of the climbing party and how the route was named: The first ascent party for Brain Damage were Dan McCool, Britt Bassett, and Brad Esser (that's me). I led the second crux pitch, passed an obvious belay station, and set up a hanging belay on very sketchy protection (because I didn't have any gear left; the belay would have been bomber otherwise). Dan came up, looked at my belay, realized that we were both hanging from a couple of poorly placed pieces, and yelled "What is wrong with you, do you have BRAIN DAMAGE?" Jul 16, 2014
This route is worth doing if you're up there and have the time.
The left side crack (P1) is approx. 40 meters of beautiful off-vertical stemming and liebacking. Bring some new webbing for the anchors. Jun 29, 2015