|Type:||Trad, 2 pitches, 200'|
|Original:||YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]|
|Submitted By:||Aaron Hobson on Dec 9, 2006|
|Comments on Best Bitters||Add Comment|
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By Karl Kiser
Dec 16, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
I would not do this climb in two pitches. It is frequently better to do many of the climbs on Southern Comfort Wall in a few short pitches to reduce rope drag and improve communication. SCW is a relatively small formation and there is little need to minimize the number of pitches.
The right to left traverse at the end of the climb is the crux. It was originally rated 5.9 and was done without cams (more exciting). More people should climb the pitch so that an accurate rating can be posted.
By Nathan Fry
From: Intervale, NH
Nov 14, 2011
Karl's comment about more people climbing Best Bitters was too much to resist. Here are my comments:
First, I think Bitters rates more than two stars. I had a blast during the entire climb. Using half ropes, we linked the first two pitches together with minimal rope drag. The layback with feet smears up the flake was super. Couple that with the two thin traverses and it makes for a stellar climb.
Second, the last pitch. I'll begin by saying that I'm not very good with grading and that I won't begin to say whether the last pitch is 5.8, 5.9, or 5.9+. Let it suffice to say that, with small cams (#2, #1 C3, etc.) and a little imagination, there is decent pro as long as you don't get tunnel vision. Of the two diagonal parallel crack systems, I stayed on the upper one until directly below the summit block, at which time I climbed directly up towards the green lichen. On this route, there was a lot of precise footwork on tiny jibs, smearing, and balancing, but overall I felt like the climb merely demanded attention and finesse. Half ropes helped out greatly with reducing the pendulum for my second.
All in all, great climb that demands precise technique and rates at least 3 stars!