Type: Trad, Aid, 530 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
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Shared By: Medic741 on Aug 10, 2016
Admins: Jim Lawyer

You & This Route

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If you can comfortably climb 5.8/5.9 free and aid C1 this route is a great objective for you. All >5.10 pitches can be aided with C1 techniques, and the easy free sections are mellow and enjoyable

Great route with clean stable rock, great protection, a pendulum swing, and a real remote feeling. The position is stunning with everything from an overhanging fist crack, to open slab, finishing off with a cruiser changing corner system to the top! If you're an aid climber (or a strong free climber) looking for an adventure this is it. If you are a 5.8/5.9 climber and are able to aid the >5.10 pitches this is a good climb for you.

This is a description of how we did this route, which went quite well. Lawyer's description of Mental Blocks can be found on pg. 461 of Volume 1.

Long day so get up early. Plan 2-3 hours from car - base of climb, this face roasts in the sun so if you're doing it in the summer the earlier you can start the better.

P1: When you arrive at the base of the route you'll look up and see the easily identified 'Lightning-bolt crack.' There will be some small cedars encountered along the way, so it's somewhat a tree-fight on your way up. 5.7, 140'

P2: Beautiful corner into a large roof. Traverse left under the roof, very easy aiding with a variety of sized gear from yellow X4 to larger cams. Make a short step up and belay just above where you exited the route C1 // 5.11c G, 30'

P3: Ascend the thin featured crack that trends right and ends in a corner at a thin seam at the base of a slab where you'll find a rappel station with a piton, fixed nut and slung tree. Stop and belay here for a short pitch before continuing up the slab if you want a close belay. 5.10b (or C1), 60'

P4: step left and continue up the slab with options for small cams and a 0.5 along the way. Climbing felt secure (much more featured and secure than 'Thanksgiving' 5.7X pitch as a comparison). Belay in the corner at a thin seam. From this belay you will be at the height of the gorgeous overhanging fist crack on your left. 5.7 PG-13 60' (Lawyer guidebook says this is an R-rated pitch, felt more like PG-13).

(P3/P4 can be easily linked, this is the 'typical' way of doing this climb. Separating the pitches felt natural)

P5 (P4 if you link 3/4): Step left and tackle the crux, overhanging fist crack that is easily aided if you can't climb 5.12a. Belay immediately after pulling over and onto a small ledge when you reach a thin crack. Looking right of your shoulder you'll start drooling over the next pitch of beautiful hands/fists that goes up and to the right. 5.12a, C1, 40'

P6 (P5 if you link 3/4): follow the crack that goes up and right until you reach the tat for the pendulum! Lower about 15' below the tat, (or insecure down climb) and make a 20' swing to the crack system on climbers right. Ascend the corner and belay on a sloping ledge above where your second will land when he completes the pendulum.

NOTE: Belaying above the end of the pendulum makes it easy to lower a bight of rope for your second to clip into after the second completes the swing (as they'll have to untie and pull the rope from the pendulum anchor before continuing) 5.8 G, A0, 50'

P7 (P6 if you link 3/4): Make a run for the top on the steep and crisp jams and secure face climbing until you make it to the trees. Enjoy the last pitch which is filled with solid rock and an airy, exciting position. 5.7 G, 150'

Descent: Walk climbers left through the trees to the MB rap. We missed the 'official' MB rap station and ended up getting to the ground in (2) 70m and (1) 35m rap. Supposedly you can thrash your way down a walk-off but it would be a very rough hike down.


Located on the right side of Wallface. When you get to the summit boulder be sure to stop and orient yourself. Looking at the ADK Rock topo some of the features on this route are unmissable and easy to identify:
  • Lightning bolt crack of P1
  • Traversing roof of P2

Coming from the Upper Works trail: you'll pass a second climbers trail to your left, take the third 'trail,' this consisted of a single cairn descending into thick brush and mossy boulders without a discernible climbers path. More or less, you'll be bushwhacking to the base. If you can't find the trail, don't worry about it too much, just orient yourself to the start when you get a break in the trees and head into the thick brush. It's about 10 minutes from the Indian Pass trail to the start of the climb.

When you arrive, look up and identify the 'lightning bolt cracks' to locate the first pitch, and up you go


Aiding: Doubles from fingers to 3 with either a 3.5 or 4 for big gear. Small cams down to 000 C3, 1 set ball nuts helpful but very much not necessary. Carried offsets but didn't need to use them.

It's a good idea to carry extra cord and a few rap rings as some rap tat may need replacing when you get to it.

70M rope, 70M tag for multiple rappels


Some other items to add:

The P5 "fist crack" is actually a very thin seam / crack ... not a fist crack (I wish it was a fist crack, but then it wouldn't be 12a).

All the aid is very straightforward, and short. Anyone going to aid this route should consider NOT bringing ascenders and simply re-aiding; it is short enough to leave all the gear (no need to back clean) for the follower(s). This could be critical because it would allow the use of double/twin ropes, which could make the descent easier than using a single with a tag (as Matt and I did).

I brought, and used, four aiders like I typically would on a wall; this worked great, but considering how simple and short the aid climbing is, I think two aiders is totally adequate, and probably more than enough. If I go back and do it again, I might bring just one alpine aider and one adjustable foot stirrup, and no ascenders. This would be much, much lighter, but would make the aid a little more irritating - possibly worth the compromise considering how short/easy the aid really is.

Matt and I chose to haul his pack, primarily because we already brought the tag line. Hauling was straightforward and easy (except for P1, but that was easy for Matt to manage while following). We did not haul on the final two pitches, which sucked for Matt and his pack. This route is more than doable without hauling, especially if you cut down on the number of aiders. The only really heavy item at the start was water (I brought a LOT). (You could haul on the middle pitches with the backside of the rope, since the pitches are so short).

Offsets were helpful on the first aid pitch (middle sizes) and I believe the smallest X4 offset was used on the last aid pitch. I don't think you need two 3inch pieces (we had a single 3, 3.5, and 4, which worked great; without the 3.5 two 3s would probably be advisable.

The first three or four belays have some fixed gear (mostly nuts), which are easily supplemented. If you head up, I would bring some larger diameter rope (8-10mm) to add to these stations and clean up the multiple rounds of small stuff that currently make up the stations.

The penji was located in a spot where you could retreat back down (build a belay at the penji, and then rappel from it), stopping at other belays with the fixed gear, with likely just a single 70m (double/twin ropes would definitely do it). The first pitch would probably need more than a single 70m to rappel, but there are plenty of options to add a station. This would avoid the final pitch (not entirely worthwhile) and deposit you at the base, so you could leave gear there vice climbing with it.


-first rappel. We found the chockstone, as described in the book, but only made a ~45m rappel into the tree islands, and I don't think you could have gone much further. We did pass at least one opportunity to create another station to break this rappel into two smaller ones. This was the hardest rappel to pull (made even harder with a tag). Two smaller rappels would have been better, with less possibility for a stuck rope. If I go back, I will likely try and make two smaller rappels, vice one longer one due to the terrain.

-second rappel. Moved about 10 feet further down into the tree island before poking out the other side to where it was quite steep. We set up a station around the base of a large tree. It was 33m to a large, blocky rock horn (only used our 70m, did not use the tag).

-third rappel. Added a station to the horn and a semi-long (~45m) rappel took us well into the tree, and could have been stopped short (likely using only a single 70m), but the terrain would have been down-climbable and/or options for another station.

Again, if you wanted to ONLY bring a 70m single, I think you can make the descent without too much trouble. You WILL need to add some stations, but the benefit of carrying only one rope might be worth it (you will likely be adding/beefing stations anyway). Aug 12, 2016