Type: Trad, 85 ft (26 m)
FA: Merrill Bitter, Stuart Ruckman, 1986
Page Views: 1,244 total · 17/month
Shared By: John Steiger on Nov 10, 2017
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D C

You & This Route

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When Merrill climbed Ms. Luval over 30 years ago, he likely established BCC’s proudest trad route at the time. Pumpy, devious, and with suspect rock, the route required two full sets of RPs, a very cool head, and judicious movement to avoid flaming out or choosing an unworkable or friable hold. In their 1998 guide, the Ruckmans said of the route, “Bring loads of micro nuts and extra guns.” Today the endeavor is more reasonable, with sophisticated microcams and offsets, new 3/8” stainless bolts protecting the crux, and recent extensive cleaning, but it is still one of the most noble leads in BCC.

Begin by gaining a right-leaning finger crack that soon turns into a seam. Face climb into a shallow, right-leaning, right-facing dihedral, clip a very welcome bolt, then puzzle your way past another bolt and over a roof to easier climbing 5-10 feet right of the bolts on Critical Reasoning. Continue straight up to the top, set a good cam for your second, and move right to the chains on Full Ride.

For old or weak-minded folks like me, Ms. Luval can be readily top roped from the chains on Critical Reasoning.


Follow the switchbacks up the Gully of Higher Education to the wall with Trail of Tiers and Dr. Luval Goes to Harvard. Further progress along this wall is impeded by a large chockstone, but this is avoided by switchbacking to the left into the middle of the gully then back right to a 20-foot-tall rock step. A fixed rope helps surmount the rock step and gain the Ms. Luval face above the large chockstone. The route is best identified by an obvious right-leaning finger crack starting 20 feet off the ground, between the bolted arête of Full Ride to the right and the bolt line of Critical Reasoning to the left.


A set of steel or brass nuts (offsets useful), small stoppers, and cams from micro to 2 inches. Consider doubling up on the micros. Although the FA used a double set of RPs, a single set of steel or brass nuts should suffice if carrying modern gear, particularly microcams. The new 3/8” bolts replace original 1/4 inch buttonheads.


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