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West Ridge - part E - top to Xanadu
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Fading Light 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dan Hare and Alan Bradley, 1979
Page Views: 1,281
Submitted By: Matt Robertson on Nov 11, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Heading into the dihedral...

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  • Description 

    Thirty feet left of Chockstone on the North Buttress area of the West Ridge, straight above the first pitch of Muscular Dystrophy, find two closely parallel, right-facing dihedrals that start thirty feet off the ground and culminate in a blocky overhang a hundred feet higher. The righthand of the two dihedrals is Byobu; the left is Fading Light.

    Approach via the starting dog-leg crack of Muscular Dystrophy, or scramble up blocks to the belay ledge (with a tree) from the right. Belay near the pine tree and pull over a small roof to gain the dihedral which starts with some low-angle stemming and edging, then gets steeper as you move upward. The technical footwork gives way to some physical lieback moves as you approach the roof that caps both Fading Light and Byobu. Plug a good cam, monkey right across an exposed, juggy overhang while sorting out the sequence (might be solid 5.9), and pull onto a good ledge. This move is exhilarating and fun. There is a good belay anchor (slings and a fixed wire) ten feet above the ledge, which I recommend clipping with a long leash so you can stand on the ledge below. Mind the pebbly rubble on the ledge. The second pitch takes a steep 5.6 dihedral to the left via jugs and blocky steps. If there is a crowd below, be very cautious up high as the rock is quite broken and loose, or consider rappelling from the first belay. One could also take pitch two of Byobu (5.9 and also loose), straight up from the belay. Either pitch leads to an easy walk-off to the northwest.

    The first pitch is very good and much better than it appears from the ground.


    Standard gear to an inch and a half for the first pitch. Second pitch needs larger pieces to a #3 Camalot.

    Comments on Fading Light Add Comment
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    By tobias Nitschke
    From: CO
    Jun 8, 2003

    5.9? Rossiter has this listed as 10a, I'm pretty sure. I thought this lead was a tad stiffer than either Xanadu or Chockstone. I also recommend the first pitch of Muscular Dystrophy, but don't bother belaying if you've set the right slings. Do it up in one pitch to the top, or belay from atop the roof.

    I didn't see the fixed belay/rap station mentioned above, though there is a single, weathered, blue sling to the left beneath the roof that draws the climber out left instead of up right. Not sure what this variation would be if you climb to that sling, then past to a near-horizontal crack that leads left and above to a slab... I was a bit pumped upon arrival here and opted for the traverse right and exit onto the ledge mentioned. There's lots of crud there: if no one's below, it should be cleaned to prevent future rocks being kicked off by belayers. P2 is definitely dirty and some of the rock is loose; be careful. Topping out gives a nice few of Rincon Wall.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Oct 13, 2003

    I went up left to the blue sling, sketchy stuff. The sling is ran through two loose rocks, and I couldn't find any place for solid pro. I ended up traversing right to the ledge. I would recommend not being suckered toward the blue sling.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Apr 11, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    All three pitches can be lead together with a 60m rope. If you take the right line after the roof and then cut left to the tree, you only need gear to 1.5 inches. The rock is very flakey at the top, so be careful in the last 10-20 feet.
    By Danny Inman
    From: Arvada
    Dec 11, 2006
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    The dihedral, by itself, would be 3 stars. I also thought the crux was stiffer than Xanadu. There are a couple of options up top- 1) do the layback move up and left into the roof, this seems like the logical line and is a nice 10a sequence with good exposure-however the belay is to the right (according to the guidebook plus there is some webbing), at the top of Blackout, which requires a poorly protected and thought provoking traverse right on very dubious rock. 2) one can traverse into the top of Blackout, before entering the layback roof (this is what my partner did). Either way, P2 as others have mentioned is on very loose rock.
    By Stefanie Van Wychen
    From: Denver, CO
    Dec 11, 2006

    I followed the first pitch and led the second pitch of this climb. On the follow, I had to opt out of laying back the crack and traversing horizontally and down to the anchor - didn't feel like falling onto the anchor from above with all the chossy rock up there - so I instead traversed around the dihedral onto the Blackout roof and poop filled crack (really pooplicious), which I thought was a fun roof to pull. I managed to get lost on the second pitch of this one, not knowing that I should cut left at the trees, I instead went up through the choss and ended up at the top anchor for Knight's Move - two single rope (the first one might be really close with a 60m, we had a 70 and hardly had tails - I would suggest knotting them if you go this way) rappels puts you on the ground.
    By Greg D
    From: Here
    Jan 3, 2009
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    The first pitch is definitely quality and worth doing. Reminded me a bit of Blind Faith, slowly getting harder, with the crux at the end of the pitch. The second pitch does retract from the overall quality as the rock is quite poor. I was definitely concerned for my belayer and the people on the ground while leading it. If there were an easy way off after the first pitch I would do it multiple times.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Apr 22, 2009
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Less sustained than Xanadu, but pulling the roof is harder than any single move on Xanadu.

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