Theory of the Leisure Class
Avg: 3 from 1 vote
Routes in The Guardian
|A Prayer to Earl and Valerie: The John Joline Memorial Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a|
|Serpentine Son Rise (AKA The Sunrise) T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a|
|Theory of the Leisure Class T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c|
|Weather Window Waltz (The Guardian NE Face) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a|
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 1800 ft, Grade IV|
|FA:||Michael Crouch, Jay Bachhuber, 7/4/15|
|Page Views:||869 total, 30/month|
|Shared By:||Jay Bach on Jul 6, 2015|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionTheory of the Leisure Class is a directissima climbing a large dihedral and prominent buttress on the Guardian's northeast face. If it were in the Front Range, it'd be a trade route, so while we're claiming the FA, I would not be surprised to learn some 1940s hard man picked this plum and just kept it to himself. Cheers to you, theoretical hobnailed tough guy, this climb is awesome.
Expect some loose rock from kitty litter to microwave-size death blocks, because, duh, you're in the alpine. Overall, though, it's a clean ride with good pro, comfy ledges, and easy navigation. All pitch lengths are estimates as we largely simulclimbed and forgot the tape measure.
Begin on the east side of the Guardian's massive, glorious north face, and find the large, off-vertical dihedral that screams Climb me! The easiest way to reach the dihedral's crack is to climb the blocky pillars slightly to the left, and traverse over. Layback and stem the dihedral, belaying at any of the numerous comfortable ledges. When you reach the pillar that caps the corner, move right to keep the party going (360', 5.7 5.8).
Above the pillar, locate the broad black streak up and left. Head towards that and onto the prominent buttress above. There's a short section of 5.7ish climbing off the deck, and then it turns into a low-mid 5th class romp with a steep, 5.7ish bit to hunt down if you've got the eye for it. As you move up the buttress, you'll eventually see a fatty, boombatty, hand crack splitting a clean face up high. Aim for this friendly fellow, and set up a belay on the ledge below (800' low-mid 5th and maybe a bit harder in spots).
Climb the short, wide, 5.8 hand crack that zig-zags up the face. After that, there's more low-mid-5th, a twenty foot 5.6 face with Gunksy edging, and then more low-mid-5th. That'll take you to a vertical corner with a wide crack on the right and a hand crack on the left. Climb this, then continue up the 5.8 finger crack above (500' 5.3 to 5.8).
Rally up more mid-5th fun times to the finish (140').
Continue to the summit if you've got the weather window and desire for a few hundred feet of 3rd classing it (we didn't have either), and/or descend the east ridge.