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Curve of Binding Energy 

YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Chris Alber, 2000
Page Views: 198
Submitted By: Elijah Flenner on Jan 1, 2001

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Pulling the lip.

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  • Description 

    This route climbs just to the right of the left arete on the West Face of Surprising Crag. It starts up a large lieback flake to a crux pulling the lip. The second bolt is hard to clip. After the crux, there is a short hard section to much easier climbing to the anchor, which is up and right. The left anchor is for Pocket Fisherman.


    7 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor.

    Photos of Curve of Binding Energy Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Working the overhanging start.
    Working the overhanging start.

    Comments on Curve of Binding Energy Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 6, 2002

    The guidebook suggestion to place a long draw on the second bolt is helpful. Otherwise, make sure your belayer is right underneath you and paying attention. Too bad I had to climb the miserable route to the left to set it up.
    By S. F. Pitman
    From: Boulder, CO
    Dec 23, 2009
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    I really enjoyed this route. Making that first clip would be much less frightening if you had a bouldering pad. The moves never really seemed to get into the .12 range to me, but I haven't climbed much at the grade in Boulder Canyon, so it could just be a matter of [lack of] perspective.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Aug 30, 2011

    Massive, drilled jug holds at the beginning. Way lame, and also completely unnecessary.
    By Elijah Flenner
    Feb 4, 2013

    I did not notice the drilled holds at the bottom the many years ago that I first did the route. One is in a natural foot placement, but I don't use the others. I think the one can be avoided with the foot, but it is lame that it exists at all.
    By Nathan Welton
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Jun 26, 2013
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Would love to see that second bolt placed lower, so you don't break an ankle if you fall and also so you don't have the draw hanging right in the middle of the hold.
    By Mark Rolofson
    Apr 6, 2017
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    I struggle to understand Nathan's comment, regarding if the 2nd bolt was lower it would avoid breaking an angle. First, the landing is quite good, and if you blew the 2nd clip, it is not far to the ground. By bouldering standards, it wouldn't be too bad unless you landed on your back or head. Still avoiding a groundfall is always wise. I ALWAYS STICK CLIP THE 2ND BOLT TO AVOID A GROUNDFALL. Lowering the bolt would make the clip marginally easier, while not protecting the moves over the lip as well. It may even make it harder to work the moves pulling over the lip too. The bolt could only be lowered about 6" or less. Putting it below the handhold or in the roof would likely be putting a bolt in a hollow flake.

    Regarding the quickdraw blocking the handhold, it has never been a big problem because the good part of the diagonal hold its upper left side. This is at least a foot left of the quickdraw.

    I have climbed this route many times since 2000. The start is a powerful roof problem. Taping the right hand helps for a flared hand jam in the flake in the roof.

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