Type: Trad, Alpine, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Jason Halladay, Walt Whetham. March 2015.
Page Views: 321 total · 22/month
Shared By: Jason Halladay on Nov 7, 2017
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Description

This moderate yet serious two-pitch route takes the easiest line up the formation staying on a faint ridge, of sorts. The climbing is easy but the rock is very friable and must be treated with respect. There are no opportunities for natural protection on the entire route and the few bolts protecting the route are few and far between. The first pitch is protected by three bolts to a two-bolt anchor. The second pitch has a 40-foot runout after the last bolt. See the topo photo for an overview.

Pitch 1 (5.6) - Start near the base of the formation’s east ridge on the north side of the formation near a tall tree. Make unprotected moves up to gain the ridge. You may even consider chimneying between the tree and the rock to gain the ridge. Climb delicately up the ridge to the first bolt. On the first ascent I actually slung a couple of branches on the tree for protection before reaching the location/stance for the first bolt. The efficacy of these slings was debatable but it gave me the little bit of confidence I needed to proceed upwards.

Continue up the ridge to a small notch and the second bolt. Climb more poor rock to the next notch and the third bolt. Another short bit of heady, steeper climbing leads to the two-bolt belay anchor in the major black streak/groove (the water groove belay.)
This pitch is equally heady for the follower as a fall from anywhere would potentially result in a cheese-grater pendulum across the north face of the ridge.

Pitch 2 (5.6) - Leave the belay up and left following four closely-spaced bolts. After clipping the fourth bolt, relax, breathe and tackle on the unprotected 40-foot runout to the top. This is a wild, exposed and unprotected bit of climbing that’s sure to get your attention. Two-bolt anchor at the top.
The summit of the formation is a cool, unique place with many small bowls/depressions.

Location

The east side of the formation--the lowest angle climbing.

Protection

Very little. 3 slings and a couple quickdraws. This is a wilderness area so bolts were hand drilled, on lead, and sparingly.

Descent

Two rappels with a 60m rope. Rappel from the two-bolt anchor on the summit to the anchor at the water groove belay at the top of the first pitch. Then rappel straight down the water groove to the ground. Bring extra webbing to replace the rap slings.
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.6
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
  5.6
If anyone repeats this route and would like to add a bolt or two to either pitch to lessen the runouts and make it safer, please do (use a hand drill, it's wilderness.) We should have added one when rapping but it was getting dark. Sep 30, 2017