Type: Trad, Alpine, 1800 ft, 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: Whit Magro and Josh Wharton with help from Hermes Lynn
Page Views: 5,200 total · 77/month
Shared By: j wharton on Aug 17, 2014
Admins: Lauren Heerschap, Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

You & This Route


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Description

This is the free version of the "B and L". A good portion of the terrain differs from the original aid line, and it shares some pitches with the Free Eye. The climbing is sustained, steep, and incredibly good. Many sections that appeared difficult proved to be 11 minus due to a veritable potpourri of incut edges! The first six pitches were cleaned and established ground up over three days. The first free ascent was done in 11-ish hours with leader and second taking no falls. From pitch six up everything was climbed onsight.

Since this route was so good, and proved surprisingly moderate, our goal became a high quality free line that would be fun to repeat...i.e. not a "head point" style route that's a pain in the ass for everybody but the first ascent team. I think we succeeded in doing this, but in the future adding a rightward trending pitch from the top of pitch six would make the route even better, and likely reduce the overall difficulty, perhaps making the entire route 11+ max! This will require at least a few bolts, but be well worth the effort as it would create a highly accessible route on the biggest portion of the wall. Also, a more direct 2 pitch start coming in from the left side of the big arch could be added easily. This would get rid of the low quality first pitch.

You could rap easily from the top of pitch six for a quality low commitment 11+. Although you''ll need to fix an anchor somewhere on pitch two due to the traversing nature of the route down low. Also good to note in case of retreat in a storm that it would likely be possible to head left and rap the Third Eye from the top of pitch 6.

P1: 5.10a-ish 65 meters. Start on the rising ramp and climb up and left aiming for the base of a small red, right facing corner; wandering terrain, on sometimes loose flakes. One of the few poor pitches on the route, but mostly easy, so it's over quickly. A one bolt anchor is easily backed up with a small TCU up to the left.

P2: 5.11b-ish, 55 meters. Climb straight off the belay past some fixed gear up the steep little corner, then work left connecting rad dike features on the slab to gain the giant corner. There are some remnants of the B+L on this pitch. A fixed anchor is 10 meters up on a nice ledge.

P3: 5.11a-ish, 30 meters. Climb up the nice left facing corner, and traverse left past a couple bolts to gain the next corner system. Just above a big flake traverse straight left out of the corner to gain a great belay ledge on the corner's arete.

P4: 5.11b-ish, 55 meters. Traverse back into the corner, and tackle some amazing hand crack and corner climbing. At the 50 meter mark traverse straight left on amazing incuts past one bolt to gain a small ledge and another fixed anchor. Unless you bring extra hand sized pieces you will need to back clean and/or punch it a bit on this pitch, but 90% of the corner is perfect hands!

P5: 5.11d-ish, 45 meters. Very cool climbing up the leaning corner above the belay past a few fixed pins (1st crux), leads to easier climbing past some ledges in the middle portion. Skip the old bolt belay out right, and punch it up an easy wide section that can be lay backed. As the right facing corner fades, clip a bomber fixed beak, and head right to a bolt, and some face climbing (2nd crux) to gain a nice little belay stance with a fixed anchor.

P6: 5.11d-ish, 30 meters. Incredible pitch, that would be an instant classic at any crag. Techy laybacks lead up the shallow corner/seam right off the belay. Then head left on fantastic face holds to a right facing flake. At the top of the flake bust out some bouldery moves on edges and giant black knobs (look left and right for gear) to gain another nice belay stance and fixed anchor. At this point the route joins the Third Eye which comes in from the left.

P7: 5.12b-ish, 45 meters. "The Golden Tufa" pitch. Incredible climbing, first freed onsight by Dave Sharrat during the FFA of the Third Eye. Climb up past numerous fixed heads, supplemented with bomber small gear on 5.11-ish terrain. At the top of a right facing flake (good gear and fixed angle), climb slightly down and right to a seam. Follow this upward on increasingly insecure, cruxy terrain to a big pod, with two bomber fixed wires, before running it out up 10+-ish ramp out right to belay at a small stance in a left facing corner with another big, bomber fixed wire that's easily backed up with a finger sized cam. The final 15 meters of this pitch are pretty spicy, but the fall is clean, and with some work there is quality, albeit tiny gear to be had.

P8: 12a-ish, 30 meters. Unique, crazy down climbing pitch. Follow the ramp back down left, then zig zag down the wall on a braille trail of edges, knobs, and dikes. Go way down (nearly 20 meters!) before working right, and making a tricky transition into a right facing corner, which leads more easily to a comfortable belay ledge on a pillar with a gear belay. Both leader and second are essentially on top rope for this pitch, although the second needs to untie, and pull their end through the fixed wire after following the pitch.

P9: 5.10b-ish, 80 meters. Scamper up over the pillar and follow a right facing flake and corner system up to a huge ledge. You could break this pitch up in several places if desired. Originally labeled 5.9 by the B+L FA team. The new rating reflects the soft comforts of the modern world.

P10: 5.11b-ish, 55 meters. Head up the huge left facing corner above. Kind of chossy and dirty to start, but has a nice steep crack climbing finish. (Stay right where you wish you could zig left.) Belay in and alcove off gear. Originally labeled 5.10+ by the B+L FA team. The new rating is more realistic, but obviously the B+L guys were badasses.

P11: 5.10b-ish, 45 meters. Another chossy start followed by a better finish, which ends at another gear anchor on a giant ledge. Rated 5.8 by the B+l team...jezus!

P12: Walk way up right on the ledge, and choose from a smorgasbord of finishes in the 5.7 to 5.9 range. The farther right you walk the shorter and easier things get. No matter your choice, end on the best big wall top out around; easy mantle to a flat meadow!

Location

Begin near the obvious ramp/flake that slants up from right to left just before the nose of the wall. The free version of Sendero Luminoso also starts on this feature.

Protection

Double set from tiny to hands with a single #3 and #4. Tiny Offset wires and and single set of stoppers.

Photos