Avg: 4 from 1 vote
|Type:||Trad, 90 ft|
|FA:||FA - Trevor Bowman, FFA - Nate Sydnor|
|Page Views:||259 total · 50/month|
|Shared By:||Nate Sydnor on May 13, 2019|
|Admins:||slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq|
Previously (4/24/19): please be aware of climbing routes that have nesting raptors. This News Release requests climbers' cooperation in protecting eagles, peregrine falcons, and other migratory birds who use the Indian Creek area to raise their young. Between March 1st and August 31st each year, the BLM asks climbers to avoid climbing these walls until they have been cleared by agency biologists: The Wall, Far Side, Second Meat Wall, Disappointment Cliff, Fin Wall, Broken Tooth, Cat Wall, Slug Wall, and Reservoir Wall. Two of these walls are on partially or wholly on lands managed by SITLA, who is working cooperatively with BLM to protect raptors. The BLM and SITLA will survey walls and generally in May can release any routes that don't have active nests. The walls with active nests should be avoided until the young have fledged. Eagles and falcons mate for life and return to the same nest sites year after year to raise their young, your cooperation is vital to their survival.
The revised map for Raptor Avoidance:
(The map previously posted was requested by Jason Byrd to be deleted due to errors.)
The news release: blm.gov/press-release/annou….
Signs will also be posted at the main trailheads.
RAPTOR CLOSURES: Please be aware of seasonal raptor closures at the Cat wall and Reservoir wall. They occur annually from March 31st until August 31st. *Due to the federal hiring freeze in agencies such as the BLM of Monticello, no official closure for 2017 has been issued and the laws which have been put in place in previous years are not being enforced. Please, for the sake of fragile desert ecology, DO NOT CLIMB at stated walls. These raptors return to the same nesting sites every year to raise their nestlings.
"Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody dared to cross his path; for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than down."
— Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
All credit and respect goes to Trevor for finding this route and putting in the anchor. I saw it years ago before the anchor went in and of course did nothing about it, assuming from the ground that it was too thin and too hard to reach or someone would have done it already. Trevor intrepidly went up there and opened up the possibilities.
On a random day last Fall I went up it because it seemed like a fun adventure to explore something unknown. Seeing the anchor gave me the courage. What I found was astounding. This is without a doubt the best finger crack at the Cat Wall. I chose the name because Bagheera is the beloved, civilized, yet savage black panther from the fable we all likely know. He escaped his human bondage and became one of the most feared and respected creatures in the jungle. The black shield of varnish that holds the crack, paired with the other nuanced aspects of the climb, make me think the name is fitting. Of course the fact that it also sits at the top of the Cat Wall food chain contributes to the theme.
After my initial foray I did some more sleuthing and I finally figured out that it was likely Trevor's route. I'd seen anchors like this one at Bioturbation, and Trevor put up a route with my late friend Hayden at the Donnelly Canyon Wall with the same configuration. Doing that route (Twitterpated) as a celebration of what would have been Hayden's birthday was the final piece of the puzzle, so I reached out. Trevor graciously emailed back and forth with me about the route, stating that circumstances had kept him from ever getting back to actually free this line. The siren song was too great for me, and with Trevor's understandably reluctant permission I returned another random day and led if for what we believe to be the first free ascent. If anyone has done this thing before this Winter please speak up as you could likely have been the first.
Luckily for the character of the climb it's protected by a gatekeeper series of moves at and above a lone piece of gear; some sharp fangs that will likely ward off unprepared suitors. One could likely place more than the single BD #4 that I did, but there's only so much space in there and you need it. Blowing the final series of the opening moves could land you on the ground so watch out. You can hang right at the piece but if you're going for it you're going for it. An expert belayer could keep you off the deck but be ready, this ain't your Puma or even Johnny Cat or the like. This is the Jungle Book. There is a tiny piece that one could fiddle in just above the initial box but it's in the middle of the hardest move and it could rip out, possibly making for a worse fall than if one chose to skip it. Being taller will also make these moves feel much more reasonable.
After the opening boulder problem easier climbing leads you up and right with another cool move or two to the main crack. Once you reach this, unbelievable finger crack climbing leads you to the anchor.