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A Group of Mysteries of Frenchwoman T 
A Hatch T 
A Ship Called Black Rock T 
An Act of Strange Boar T 
And Say T 
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Below Lissen T 
Bobcat Cringe T 
Bowling to Biscuits T 
He is Truly a Great Airplane (Hitaga) T 
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A Hatch 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
Page Views: 739
Submitted By: Jon Nelson on Sep 14, 2014

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BETA PHOTO: The crux of the traverse on A hatch.

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This is pitch 4 of the route An act of strange boar, a group of mysteries of frenchwoman, a ship called black rock, and a hatch. It is at the very top of Lookout Point, and finishes right at the apex as viewed from town, which is left (west) of the flagpole.

Face climb up to the shallow right-facing corner/flake/roof feature, following the line of bolts. The first move is about 10+ or 11-. Upon reaching the top of this feature, follow the thin, rounded crack left across the face. The crack widens and turns the corner, becoming thin hands. The technical crux is the start of the crack, but the real crux is maintaining enough strength to reach the thin hands. There are only the merest of knobs for the feet. End at chains.


From the top of Black Rock, go up and left to the big treed ledge. About 15' left of the V-thread anchor, look for a small flake leaning against the wall and a bolt not far above it.


Four bolts going up to the crack, then the smallest TCUs or flexible camming units for the horizontal. Midway across the blank section, the edge is more cracklike, with tip jams about 1/2" wide that take a good camming unit. At the end, a good finger jam from where you can slot a great #5 RP brass nut (the largest, about 1/4"). Also include 1-2 pieces of pro for about 30' of thin hands at the end.


A Hatch was first cleaned by Derek Pearson in 2012. Later that year, I helped clean it further, and we both TRed the line. In 2014, Chris Kalman recleaned the route, added bolts and anchor, and climbed it.

Photos of A Hatch Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the large treed ledge below A hatc...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at the large treed ledge below A hatc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Derek near the end of A hatch. You finally can get...
Derek near the end of A hatch. You finally can get...
Rock Climbing Photo: Derek upon reaching the thin-hand section on A hat...
Derek upon reaching the thin-hand section on A hat...

Comments on A Hatch Add Comment
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By blakeherrington
Oct 4, 2014
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Nice job and thanks for cleaning this really memorable pitch. I am not sure if anyone else had sent this yet ( hard to believe I was the first) but I'd say .11+ rather than .12-, though if you are quite short, the feet you get will be much worse through the crux.

Both my partner and I found the second bolt seemed too high and a bit too right. It doesn't protect the .11 mantle just off the ground and it is 12" from an obvious yellow alien finger crack. If moved a few feet down and a bit left, the you wouldn't be in decking range just before clipping it and the gear-protectable climbing would remain as such.

I'd suggest a single run of smaller cams, and doubles of green and red camalot.
By Jon Nelson
From: Bellingham, WA
Oct 6, 2014

Thanks Blake.
You might not have been first, but I'm sure you had the best style. Just wait though, and it might get a barefoot ascent...

The Index 11+ does cover quite a bit of territory (terrortory?), so I could imagine it slipping into that grade. And with the reliance on slopers, it could be pretty temperature-sensitive.

At 5.8", I could just barely put my left foot down on a ramp-like feature at the start, which helps I think. But the small proto-knobs up higher might be better for the shorter climber. So, it may just about balance out for short and tall climbers.

I agree about the suggested bolt move. Perhaps not super critical though, as it is not in a desperate spot.

Derek and I have considered a different finish that goes further left, onto the steeper headwall. I hope to give that a try sometime later this year.
By blakeherrington
Oct 22, 2014
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Thanks, Jon! I would be happy to do the bolt move if you need someone. Obviously .11+ and .12- aren't too far apart so I could see it going either way, but it seems easier than any other index 5.12 I have been on.

We lowered over and previewed that steep face left of the topout. Pretty rock and good position but I am not sure there is a route up it.
By Chris Kalman
Apr 8, 2015

I placed the bolts, and have no problem with someone moving them if they think better to do so. I rehearsed the bottom thoroughly on TR, and cleaned it up, and placed the bolts in what seemed like logical placements. If I remember correctly, there are a variety of tactics to climb the first 20 feet or so, and perhaps the bolt placement behooves one way more than another.

Regarding the grade, I'm 5'5" and the start of the crack felt desperate at best. It felt very in line with Index 12a. Of course, it's Index, so sometimes routes feel harder or easier depending on your body. For example, it took me less time to stick the crux on Narrow Arrow Direct than on this pitch - but I guess that's just me... Then again, the traversing crack was also unclimbably dirty when I got to it, and I spent a couple hours cleaning it on rappel before attempting to free it on mini-trac. Since you can't get in pro the whole way, cleaning was quite the effort, often involving tensioning out with one hand on a cam and brushing vigorously with the other arm completely extended.
By derekpearson Pearson
Apr 9, 2015
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

Thanks Chris for helping to finish this pitch. I should have taken a before pic.

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