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Death Block Alley 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 180', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: MikeBriseno and Drew Chojnowski, 2016-12-13
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 93
Submitted By: Drew Chojnowski on Dec 17, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: Topo of the route, with a loose rock (1) and two d...


We decided to post this bomb because a good route will inevitably be found within 20 feet of what we climbed. Removal of the death blocks (e.g. by rapping down from the top with a large crowbar) would likely make this a three star route rather than a bomb.

This route attains the spine of the Long Rib via the south wall, starting a few hundred feet up the gully between Long Rib and Knife Rib. It is listed here mostly for reference, with the ***recommendation of finding an alternative start to the route***. Despite cleaning a lot of loose rock and debris, a large loose rock and two precariously positioned boulders remain (these rocks are labeled in one of the beta photos). The crux of the route (5.9-) is a delicate move to the left and slightly down, and is encountered about 30-40 feet up. It was necessary to grab one of the two scary boulders just prior to the crux move. Otherwise, the climbing is good and varied (sustained 5.7-5.8), with no further death blocks. The route tops out near a large dead Juniper tree on the ridge line.

We found no evidence of past climbing in the vicinity of this line, and although Ingraham's guide does mention a 5th class option for getting onto Long Rib from the south wall, we strongly doubt this is what he was talking about.


Follow the trail described on the Rib Cage page, but veer to the right once you encounter the base of the Long Rib. Bushwack your way up the Long Rib/Knife Rib gully, bypassing the intriguing first wall to the left and continuing to the second wall on the left. The large dead Juniper on the ridge where these two walls meet makes a good landmark.


No bolts here. Bring a standard Organ Mtns rack, i.e. being prepared for just about anything. Bring webbing and rap rings, if not bolt drilling gear. A set of nuts or small cams helps protect the first 10-20 feet.

There are no anchors at the top of the climb, despite there being available trees and rock features with which to build one. Instead, we continued up the Long Rib for several more pitches before building a rap station on the south wall and bailing into the Long Rib/Knife Rib gully. A double-rope rappel barely reached the ground.

Photos of Death Block Alley Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A wide view of the area, showing the start of the ...
BETA PHOTO: A wide view of the area, showing the start of the ...

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