Type: Trad, Alpine, 550 ft (167 m), 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Stephen McCabe, Al Swanson 8/82
Page Views: 1,064 total · 22/month
Shared By: John Godar on Aug 29, 2017
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Vicki Schwantes, Justin Johnsen

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This was the first route put up on Power Dome and runs up a wide swath of black streaks a little left of the middle of the wall. An absolutely beautiful climb done in perfect style. It is hard to imagine that this was done before Tri-cams were available for they make the route more reasonable, yet the route still requires focus and comfort above sometimes well-spaced protection. This was an appropriate kick-off to the development of all of the gorgeous routes of Power Dome.

The current guide description for this route could be read thinking that it's all smooth sailing after the first crux pitch but this is not the case. The crux move is on the first pitch but is very well protected and the runout past that can be limited with Tricams and creative gear placements. The route is sometimes run out on otherwise great, solid rock and we found the only truly committing move to be on the fourth pitch. Don't let the R rating deter you from this beautiful route, if you are comfortable at the grade it is well worth putting it on your short list.

In fact, I even wonder if it is even deserving of the R rating. The R only popped up in the current guide and was not present in the SEKI Guide. Our experience was that this climb could have been better protected if we had brought more Tricams than we had and we were probably more wigged-out than necessary from the warning an R suggests. I am looking forward to seeing what the suggested ratings from future ascents will settle on over time. I left the R in primarily due to the committing move on the fourth pitch.

The pitches are all roughly half of a 70m ropelength, give or take.

Pitch 1- 10c: Easy to spot the start, it is at the base of a wide black streak. There are really two major black streaks on the wall and this is the left one. You will need to do a short scramble to gain the big, flat ledge where you start from. You can see the bolt that protects the crux mantle from the start. Immediately above the mantle is a fixed pin too. Continue up face to another bolt and then belay on gear at a right-facing flake soon after. The SEKI Guide shows bypassing this flake and heading along a left-facing feature to continue up to the bolted anchor. Apparently stopping here at the flake was the original belay and is illustrated so in the current guide.

Pitch 2- 10a: Head up and right across face towards a bolt you can see way off to the right from the belay. Head upwards and slowly to the left where you will find a bolted anchor.

Pitch 3- 5.9: This is an intimidating-looking pitch...From belay head a little left and up steep horizontal features. Continue somewhat straight up, eventually to a prominent ledge with a gear belay. Try and stay along the left margin of the black streak since the right side is 5.8X and obviously has way fewer gear options.

Pitch 4- 5.9: Head right on the ledge to dikes above a block/flake feature and soon cut back left a bit once above the initial bulge and you should be right above where your belayer probably is. Then head up face, ultimately aiming for the upper tip of an obvious arch/roof above you. Perhaps 20' past the tip of the arch and some thin flakes is a nice little ledge with a fixed pin, belay here on gear.

Pitch 5- 5.8: Head out left from belay up flakes then continue up a streak of holes of every shape and size. There is a bolt directly above and a little right of the piton P4 belay which is of unknown origin and not part of the original path and FA.


Standard rack with thin up to 3" with extra .5 to 1", nuts, many long slings for double-slinging if needed and perhaps a double set of Tricams (the giant ones not needed). We only had 4 Tricams and I really would have appreciated more. Think of Stephen McCabe when you place them and how he only had nuts on the FA and would have to pass up all of those holes....

There are only four protection bolts and two fixed pins, three fixed pins if you include the P4 belay spot which doesn't appear to be from the original ascent as per Stephen McCabe. As of the writing of this description for some reason the last protection bolt is still the original Leeper, yet the other three bolts and the solitary bolted anchor of P2 have been replaced with modern hardware. The pins are all thin Bugaboo-types and all upward-pointing so there ya go about that...