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Carderock Low Traverse

V5, Boulder, 500 ft,  Avg: 4 from 1 vote
FA: ???
Maryland > Carderock

Description

This thing is EPIC! The Carderock Low Traverse is a ~400-foot endurance climb with two 5.12 cruxes, three 5.11 cruxes, and endless beautiful 5.9/5.10 climbing. ...and it almost never gets more than 4 feet off the ground!

Here is a video that summarizes the route: youtube.com/watch?v=ZgOm9l9…

The Carderock Low Traverse is my best attempt to traverse as much of the Carderock formation as possible, while staying as low to the ground as possible. Currently, it doesn't traverse the entire cliff, but is crosses about 50% of Jungle Cliff and the entirety of Hades Heights, for something like 400-feet of fairly sustained climbing. The crux is perhaps v4 or v5, but I think of it as a mid 5.12 due to the length.

While I have sent the currently described version of this traverse (starting from the X-face and working right), The Complete Carderock Low Traverse (a traverse of the entire cliff) is still a work in progress. However, I am not sure that it is possible to climb it in the same "bouldering style" of the climb described here. The terrain to the left of the X-face has one section that seems impossible to climb (at least for me) without a rope.

Anyway, here is the beta:
Start at the left side of the X-face (just left of "The X") and start traversing to the right. Stay low around the corner, climbing the awesome v4 boulder problem, Tea and Scrumpet (the first crux of the route, and perhaps the crux for those who don't have it mercilessly wired). Continue across the face, staying reasonably low. Shortly past Beginner's Crack, round the blunt corner, passing the tree. Traverse right and upwards, climbing an awkward boulder problem called Shinbone. We call it 11+, but it's never once felt that easy. Your feet get very close to the boulder, but keep then from touching it! Round the sharp arete and rest for a while. Continue traversing right across somewhat blocky terrain. There is a ~5.10 crux here with difficult-to-find holds. Also, there is a steep section where you cross over a deep pit with some fall potential (5.9R). Finally, right before the walkdown is what I consider to be the crux of the traverse. You round a corner and scrunch down very low to the ground, slapping a flat ledge (5.12c). Then climb upwards and kick back to the boulder behind you. After this, continue traversing right to the end of the cliff. Basically, you just follow the Hades Heights Girdle Traverse, but staying as low to the ground as possible. I go kinda high at the rounded corner close to the river (Cripple's traverse crux), and it feels about v3, but lower variations exist at harder grades.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Carderock Low Traverse climbs the boulder problem "Shinbone" across this face and around the corner. Even though it looks like I'm standing the the boulder, my feet are actually on small holds on the main wall.
[Hide Photo] The Carderock Low Traverse climbs the boulder problem "Shinbone" across this face and around the corner. Even though it looks like I'm standing the the boulder, my feet are actually on small holds…
Just before the walkdown comes the crux (12b/c) of the Carderock Low Traverse. Slap this sloper and try not to fall on your butt!
[Hide Photo] Just before the walkdown comes the crux (12b/c) of the Carderock Low Traverse. Slap this sloper and try not to fall on your butt!