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Routes in Monolith Cirque

Discovery T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C1 PG13
Infinite Jest T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C2 PG13
Lady and the Tramps T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Type: Trad, Aid, Alpine, 1200 ft, 14 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Mark Daverin, Trey Warren, Tyler Barker
Page Views: 325 total, 21/month
Shared By: mdaverin on Sep 9, 2016
Admins: Mike Snyder

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Description

A 14 pitch route with two major variations to start, two finishes and it’s waiting for an all free assent.
The route has two separate and distinct starts that meet at approximately 350’. This climb overlaps what’s left of the central part of a climb previously named “Wisdom Tooth” climbed by Ken Nichols and Al Rubin. (reported in AAJ 1981) and listed in Joe Kelsey’s Climbing Guide to the Winds. The bottom 250’ of the original climb exfoliated according to J. Kelsey sometime between 1983 and 1992.
The left start, Pitch 1 (5.10) begins in the second finger crack up the gully to the left of the obvious dihedral. A difficult but short crux (5.10) is followed by easier climbing around some loose blocks on ledges to a belay at the base of an obvious clean crack. Pitch 2 (5.10) follows the crack, fingers to fists and belays on a ledge with a bolted anchor. Pitch 3 (5.10+ A0) continues up the wide crack until you are level with a bolt on the right hand face. Make a couple of A0 moves to establish yourself on good face holds and then follow the wandering bolted face for a long and adventurous pitch that is mostly bolted. You will only need gear for the first part of this pitch and one cam (~3/4”) between the last bolt and anchor. A short Pitch 4 (5.8) will bring you to the main crack system on the wall.
The right start climbs the striking dihedral and roof. Pitch 1 (5.8) follows a leftward trending flake to a good belay stance in the dihedral. Pitch 2 (5.11) climbs the perfect dihedral to belay below a flake that creates a double dihedral. Five-star endurance pitch, mostly fingers with a couple of good stemming rests to a hanging belay. Pitch 3 (5.11) is a short pitch that starts by ascending the right dihedral and then steps left onto the small slab/face in the left dihedral and ends at a good belay stance. (It may be possible to connect these two pitches but we had a massive loose flake to clean and did not have the gear or fitness to combine them.) Pitch 4 (5.10 A2) continue to the base of the roof, move left, out the roof and belay at the lip. Many small cams needed, be kind to your second! (I believe this pitch will go free at 11+/12-) Pitches 5-6 (5.10) have great climbing in solid finger cracks to the base of an overhanging dihedral. Pitch 7 (A2 5.9?) Aid up the overhanging dihedral, continue free climbing until you reach a decent belay at the base of the stacked blocks pitch or belay immediately above the roof if you’re worried about rope drag and add a pitch. Pitch 8 (5.9r?) If you’re second, this pitch will be really fun. If you’re on lead it will have your full attention. A steep pitch of stacked blocks that you can see through to the other side. Belay on a large sloping ledge below a huge roof. Pitch 9 (5.9?) Climb a short, steep wall on the right side of the ledge, then traverse right (poorly protected, but easier climbing) into a large chimney. Pitch 10 (5. Easy) move belay up the chimney. Pitches 11 &12 (5.9) follow two pitches of discontinuous cracks and face climbing to the base of some stepped roofs. Pitch 13 (5.10) follows the line of least resistance through the roof, a wide crack on the right side with good stemming. One or two more pitches should find you at the top of the main wall or at least finished with the fifth class terrain. Third class scrambling will lead west along a ridge to the grassy slope that is the North side of Dogtooth Mountain.
There are two reasonable descent options. The first is to head down slope until you reach the north fork trail in Lizard Head Meadows. The second option is more complicated but returns you closer to the base of the climb. For this, descend to the north until you reach the “tree line” and then traverse around ramps to the right (East) and follow grassy ramps to the base of “A frame” buttress.
Note: In this description, Infinite Jest overlaps the original “Wisdom Tooth” route from approximately pitches 5-9. The original “Wisdom Tooth” route below the first roof fell to the ground. From the end of pitch 9 the “Wisdom Tooth” route exits to the right, as reported by K. Nichols in AAJ 1981 “The last six leads were easy and followed a series of ledges, ramps and low-angle cracks which trended up and around the spire to the right.”

Location

Wind River range, Monolith-Dogtooth Cirque about two miles east of Pingora. We approached from Dickinson Park.

Protection

Triple Rack 00 to 2.5", doubles to 4", micro offset nuts and a set of stoppers.

Photos

mdaverin
portland,or
 
mdaverin   portland,or