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Echo Cove - South Face
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Bonzo Dog Band 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Rick Sumner and Don Reid, January 1980
Page Views: 1,493
Submitted By: Mark J. Nelson on Oct 30, 2002

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Cold, Windy, and a big smile on my face


Locate the four large boulders atop the left end of the south face of South Echo Cove Rock. Bonzo Dog Band is the mostly-left-trending crack system that ends between the middle two of these four boulders. It starts at a large flake just left of a boulder.

There is an alternate start for this route just left of this flake, but the old quarter inch bolt was rusted and hangerless as of late October, 2002. We got onto the climb by getting a large piece high behind the flake, then stepping left onto the face. This was followed by an intimidating, wide, high step to the left, after which the climb eased up considerably, both in difficulty and ease of protection.

Unless you're much smaller than the average leader, you'll end up stretched out on your belly to build a decent gear anchor beneath the boulders.

For the walkoff, crawl back between the boulders atop the route. You'll find yourself in an open, airy cave system. Walk left until you leave the cave, then climb (low fifth class) onto the very top when it becomes convenient. Keep walking left, scramble down a couple more fourth-to-low-fifth class downclimb sections, and walk off onto the road.

Though you could reach the top of this climb via the walkoff, the traversing nature would make it a poor toprope.


Standard rack, plus something big (#4 Camalot) for flake at bottom. Gear anchor underneath large boulder on top.

Photos of Bonzo Dog Band Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: BONZO DOG BAND
Rock Climbing Photo: Bonzo Dog Band (5.7+) heads up the very wide zig-z...
BETA PHOTO: Bonzo Dog Band (5.7+) heads up the very wide zig-z...
Rock Climbing Photo: A "Bonzo Dog Band" moment. Photo by Blit...
A "Bonzo Dog Band" moment. Photo by Blit...
Rock Climbing Photo: What was up with our photographer here?  This is t...
What was up with our photographer here? This is t...

Comments on Bonzo Dog Band Add Comment
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By Jason Shatek
Apr 7, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I followed this one. I thought this climb had a really stiff crux for 5.7. The crux of the climb comes right away, about 10-15 feet off the ground but it is very protectable with large cams #4 friend I think
By mmurduff Mic
Oct 23, 2005
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Everthing these two gentlemen stated I will agree with. A #4 is necessary near the bottom which I agree is the crux.For those with either small hands or poor jamming technique, I am interested to hear how it goes leading the face left of the flake. It looks very climbable! Somethinig about this climb seems "old school", perhaps not all of the holds have broken off like many other J-Tree routes.

By Sascha von Meier
Jan 4, 2008

Funny you should ask. I remember saying to my belayer, "*&#@, if my hands were only a little bigger I could get in a great fist jam here!" So I opted for the outside face instead, which goes just fine (in fact, it has remnants of an old bolt which tells me that's how the route was intended once upon a time). I walked my cam up high into the wide crack so the exit onto the face didn't feel that exposed.
By Kyle Wills
From: Chicago, IL
Jan 4, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I lead it in the crack with as stated great fist jam, and really high, crazy awkward, yet rewardingly fun, foot jam as I plugged in my second piece, my second opted for the slab face and had a horrible time getting that second piece out.... I only laughed.
By Jasmine Kall
Nov 15, 2009

I had a blast on this route! Fun and ever changing. If you go to the right there is rap rings now!
By DaveGustafson
From: Palm Desert, CA
Jan 10, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Be advised that the rap rings that are mentioned in the post above require a significant traverse. Climbers may be better served to follow the instructions on the down climb that are provided. I'm the first to moan about the lack of "convenience anchors" (yeah, yeah... whatever), but in this case, I would suggest the cave exit. Kinda cool - with one kinda interesting hop down.
Overall, a fun route. I'd suggest grabbing another larger piece for the bottom, but that's me!
By Donno
From: Newport Beach
Oct 22, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Just led this and found the start strenuous and technical; more like 5.9.
By Patrick Sanan
From: Lugano, Switzerland
Mar 24, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Leading the crux was exciting. I'm glad I left this until I really felt solid leading J Tree 5.7, as this is one of the harder ones of that grade I've encountered.
By Ryan Strickland
From: Idyllwild, CA
May 4, 2015

Probably a better solo than lead.

BETA ALERT! If you're keeping it 5.7, you need to move left onto the flake after standing on a boulder at the base of the climb. Placing gear under the flake doesn't seem like it would make the climb safer to lead, just more tedious. The slab moves are solid and no where near as slick as most 5.7 slabs in the area. The rest of the climb is better protected and easier.

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