Avg: 3 from 20 votes
|Type:||Trad, 360 ft, 4 pitches|
|Page Views:||3,199 total · 67/month|
|Shared By:||John Gassel on Aug 12, 2016|
|Admins:||Jason Hayden, Luc-514, Kris Fiore|
P1 (5.5, ~60'): Go straight up, past 2 bolts to a nice ledge with a new two bolt rap anchor. It's possible (and I recommend) combining this pitch with the next one.
P2 (5.7, 70'): Move left from the anchor and up an easy corner trending back right almost immediately. Near the end of the pitch, continue up steeper terrain past an old pin or two to another nice ledge and a bolted rap anchor.
P3 (5.8, 95'; 5.6R): Move left off the belay again to the obvious crack. Some tricky pro and 3 ancient pins to get started. You'll pass some white quartz through this section that gives the route its name. After 40', run it out over easier terrain to a right facing corner above and a little left (pretty obvious). There are currently some really old, terrible cord slung around a block in this corner. Don't use it. Continue up to a new two-bolt rap anchor just above, under the roof.
P4 (5.9, 100'): Don't skip this pitch. It's the money in my opinion. Traverse low and right until under a corner system and a terrible bolt that can be backed up with a very small cam. Move up from here, passing more ancient relics (and gear options that you should use) through the crux corner. Expect this to either be wet or mossy. Go all the way up this corner to under a roof. Don't traverse right too early. See P4, traversing too early. Don't go this way! You're supposed to be up about 15 ft. higher into the corner above where this climber is, directly under the massive roof above. for what not to do! Once under the roof, move right to a good ledge and gear/tree anchor.
P4 Aid Variation / Quartz Crack Roof (5.9 C2, 90'): Probably the best aid climb in all of Vermont, this variation follows a thin seam in the roof that the traditional fourth pitch traverses underneath. Begin the same as P4, climbing up into the corner under the roof and traversing climber's right with hands just below the roof. When you reach a thin seam in the roof, marked by a crack that is flared left and a few pitons that may have been the belay for this pitch, begin directly back onto the roof. Follow that seam through to some smaller cam and possibly nut placements, clipping an old piton and button head, as well as a brand new bolt along the way. Use a combination of aid and free moves to come over the roof, set a gear anchor, and then bushwack straight back about 10 - 15 feet for a climbers trail for the rappel.
The aid pitch is incredibly exposed with about 300 feet of air directly beneath you, and is an incredible experience for anyone who aids (or just wants to do this awesome route).
Interesting to note that the P3 belay and entire climb of this pitch is totally protected from any time of rain the notch can throw at you, which can be a fun experience.
Descent: You can rap from any of the first 3 pitches easily. Once you top out, you'll have to hike climber's right on the Beduin Trail a bit to another rap route. It's a pretty obvious trail that may be marked with orange or pink tape. Find a trail skiers right which leads to a nice ledge with two anchors on it. The one closest to the edge will have rap rings. A single 60m rope will take you to the top of the first pitch of Flight of the Manatee and a second rap gets you to the ground a few hundred feet climber's right of the base of Quartz Crack. Additionally, if you have a tagline or climbed as a group of three, a single-strand rappel with a 60m will get you from the top rappel station to the ground in one rappel. It is a true rope stretcher so tie your knots. Lighter climbers may find themselves tiptoeing the ground, so have the heaviest climber go first to help.
If that's not enough, check out The start of Quartz Crack of someone on the first pitch.
From the Pitch 3 belay, traverse right and up the corner to the roof. From here, clean aid with small/medium sized gear and one old button head gets your through the biggest baddest roof in Smuggler's Notch. Be mindful, following is not much easier than leading and both leader and follower should have a strong head.