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Routes in The Old School Routes

Book Of Friends T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Dresdoom T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Lucky Goes to the Creamery T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c X
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Grossman/Davidson/Haisley/TCoats/LCoats1982
Page Views: 377 total, 18/month
Shared By: MisterE Wolfe on Mar 16, 2016
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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Pitch 1: Layback a corner past 2 bolts. Pitch 2: (5.8) Climb the face above to a square chimney then strike out to the arete. Pitch 3: (5.11X) Extremely run-out arete with tricky protection in horizontals and pockets.


Arete 200' south of Book of Friends.

Descent: Head west on the ridge to a steep gully. Find "The Pharmacist" anchors and rappel into the pharmacy, and continue down into the Doctor's Office.


Gear to 2". No fixed anchors.


I used to carry a long Dolt horizontal as a nut tool because it had a really thin tip and that was the piton that I managed to whack in just enough to allow me to let go and drill VERY carefully. Once we got the top anchors in I lead the way down and got to the end of the first rappel and sat with my back against the wall in pitch darkness. No sooner did I relax and contemplate what we had just pulled off and a softball-sized rock (by the sound of it in the sand) landed about a foot from my right shoulder. I didn't even bother to bark at anyone by that point.

Lucky, as we named him, was a guy in a news story that we heard about who had almost been killed by an accident in an industrial job and decided that he needed a safer situation. He took up employment at a creamery and nearly got whacked by a freak accident there too!

The moral of the story and that route is that you just can't avoid risk sometimes. Jul 13, 2016
MisterE Wolfe
Bishop, CA
MisterE Wolfe   Bishop, CA
Awesome story, Paul! I edited the FA list. May 3, 2016
FA needs to have Larry Coats added to it.
This route was actually Larry's creation.
He'd gone down and done pitch 1 then wasn't too sure which way to take the route. So we went down in mass with Grossman in the back pocket.

Starting pitch, hmmmm I re-led Larry's first pitch which as I recall was ~10ish? And surprisingly good for what it looked like.

Next pitch was a traverse around left into the gully system.

We then tried to lead up and right up a clean looking face but Jim and I both backed off of it and handed the pitch to Steve.

He went up and left via the gulley (sort of scratchy.)
To where it dumped up onto the short head wall that's the bizness.
I do believe Steve "cheated" and drilled up a pin up there somewhere thus lowering the standards of the climb. :-) Obviously he redeemed himself on the next pitch.

First pitch then starts over to the right of gully type of system.
And ends up on small ledge. I recall some rounded groves, intermittent cracks?
Brushier down low and getting clean as you approach the belay.
Vaguely recall some odd moves (mantle? lie back?) I remember Larry was jazzed to show us the pitch and it turned out to be fun climbing. Much better than it looked.

This ledge is probably where you came in Kevin and crossed over to the gulley/corner system. My recollection is that the pitch 2 was a short thing more about getting over into the gulley.

The upper headwall was one of the more (no, was almost certainly the most) amazing hand drilled, from stance bolts (baby angle) I've ever seen done.
Steve did manage to get a short baby (edit: a Dolt blade, see below) up under one of the overlaps that allowed him to get enough weight off his arms to start drilling. That was about as freaking scary as it gets because he hit the pin only 2-3 blows before it bottomed out. We were just waiting for it to go ping, fall out & dump Steve down onto the belayer. We had scrambled out right to watch in the fading sunset light.
The descent was black as night gets. Fortunately, we sort of remembered where to go from BOF.

Steve cleaned that pin by hand as I recall without any effort.

On a TR, it was a very different tame beast.
With the pin in place, I suspect it will be a different story.
Although, that baby has been there crying for a second for must be getting close to 30 years now.

Be safe and enjoy. Compared to the hard moves being done these days, the climbing moves are tame. But the lead is probably still a real rush. But I suspect, there's no room for error on the lead of the headwall.

Edit: Gads, I just looked at that B&W photo of Larry's that I'd posted somewhere, the taco probably. The baby angle is hidden behind Steve's arms. But that headwall is quite a bit steeper than my memory had it.
I take back everything I said about it being tame. That's some steep overlaps to be climbing on. I think it does start to kick back up near the top of the photo but a fall up in there would not be fun.

The other thing that the above story might not make real clear is just how desperate it was starting to get in terms of the light. Steve was leading in twilight and the last person up was probably just barely able to make much out. Being in upper Oak Creek, you don't get a lot of filtered light coming in from the sides. When the sun goes down, it gets dark. May 2, 2016
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
Cool to see this posted, I was just looking for it a few weeks ago.

I'm very confused as to where the start is though. There is a route that starts in a hand crack in the back of chimney with 1 newer bolt at the bottom that is the first route around the corner and to the right of Synesthesia, I'm guessing this isn't it? There are a few scrappy vegetated corners just right of this but I didn't notice any bolts. Anyway, I was able to scramble in to what I assume is the base of the 3rd pitch from the right after going up and left from the start of Book of Friends. I noticed 1 old drilled pin up and left off the ledge I was able to gain.

I asked Steve about this when he was in town the other week and he said he thought this was the hairiest lead he's ever done, so I guess this thing is the real deal.

Shamefully I soloed the Pharmacist hoping to access the top of this to hopefully rap down it and have a look, but I guess my dignity is sort of intact because the route tops out on a 30ish foot mini tower that's pretty blank on the back side so it's definitely also not easy to get to the top of it.

Oh and lastly, for any would be warriors out there, since this route isn't already dangerous enough, I startled 2 mountain lion cubs while bushwhacking in to the side of the route above Book of Friends, thankfully I didn't meet their mother. Mar 17, 2016