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Fantastic Voyage 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 65'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a PG13 [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 88
Submitted By: Craig Childre on Oct 5, 2006  with updates from banks Banks

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Access is always an issue here. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Pitch 1: Heinous start, climb the overhanging roof crack (crux). Past the lip the lichen covered slab is easy terrain with no pro till you reach the belay station.

Pitch 2: Climb the dirty ramp up and right to a point directly below the first bolt. Mantle up onto a good flake, clip the bolt, then stem back right onto a sloping stance on the ramp. Climb very thin 5.10 face moves (slightly runout) up to a roof, clip a bolt over the roof, and crank crux moves over the roof to a good ledge. From here jam and stem 25 feet up a crack/chimney until you can pull left onto the ledge atop the second pitch of League of Doom.

Pitch 3: Climb the first 10-15 feet of Spaceballs over the bulge above the belay and onto the slab above. Traverse left on big sloping footholds to a bolt and a stance right at the very left edge of the face. Place a good cam in a horizontal and then launch out left on an incredibly exposed overhanging traverse along the lip of the big roof, aiming for an obvious diving board flake. This traverse has good holds and is about 5.8 in difficulty, but be prepared to gun it about 15-20 feet without gear. From the big flake, step up on good holds to clip a bolt, pull up and left around the blunt arête onto a slab and another bolt, then cruise the easy but dirty slab to the top.

The original 1/4" bolts on the second and third pitches have been replaced with 1/2" stainless five-piece bolts and the second pitch has been scrubbed clean of lichen as well as dirt, grass, and thorn bushes (!) pulled out of the crack/chimney above the crux. The end result of this monumental effort is an excellent three-pitch 5.10d if one begins the route with the first pitch of League of Doom instead of Fantastic Voyage's 5.12x first pitch horror fest.

Thanks to Chris Banks for updated route beta.

Location 

Roof crack between League of Doom and Spaced.

Protection 

A crash pad would be helpful working the 1st pitch. No pro on the slab. Standard Okie rack plus a few bolts to clip.

Historical Notes 

The first pitch of Fantastic Voyage has likely seen just two leads, one by Jon Frank on the FA and another soon afterward by Rick McCusic. There's no gear other than a possible cam placement about halfway up the pitch.

The line of the third pitch has never been drawn correctly in any previous guides. Although Jon Frank certainly climbed it while making the route's FA, his very roughly drawn topos showed a line that went straight up at the first bolt instead of horizontally left across the overhang. In his comprehensive guide to the Wichitas, Chuck Lohn drew a similar line for the third pitch along with a vague written description. Based upon these historical inaccuracies, as well as the condition of the bolts when I went up there to replace them (I found three mangled quarter-inch bolts, one without a hanger and another bent 90 degrees and virtually hanging out of its drilled hole, within a 2' x 2' area in the location of the first bolt. Eric Forney, a longtime climbing partner of Jon Frank back then, says that while Jon was an incredibly gifted climber, he couldn't swing a hammer straight to save his life), I would say it's likely that I made one of the first few ascents of this pitch in 2011 after I'd finished my rebolting efforts. In fact, I didn't initially replace the bolts at the end of the traverse because I didn't know they were out there!

Believe it or not, when I went up there to lead it I hadn't climbed on rock in three months following a 35-foot ledge fall attempting a new route on Mt. Scott in which I'd sustained multiple pelvic fractures and a fractured sacrum. I was planning to go up there, clip the bolt, and do a few easy 5.7 moves upward until I reached good holds over the bulge. Imagine my surprise when I found no holds above the bolt at all, at least none that would allow climbing at the listed 5.7 grade. As I stood there evaluating my options, I kept looking out across the roof at that big diving board flake way out there. Without giving it much thought, I placed a cam, told Eric to "watch me", and busted out left on flagging forearms until I could throw a foot over onto the flake and stand up. The bolt Jon had placed here was crap, too, but I placed a small cam in a dubious flake and carefully stepped around onto the slab and eventually on to the top. That was an exciting day for my first time back on rock after a catastrophic climbing fall! - Chris Banks

Fantastic Voyage creates an interesting quandary. For historical purposes, it has a 5.12 X first pitch that has likely only seen a few leads. However, if one were to consider Fantastic Voyage as starting with the first pitch of League, now it becomes an excellent and well-protected 5.10c/d.

Thanks to Chris Banks for this excellent perspective.


Comments on Fantastic Voyage Add Comment
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By Drew Nevius
From: Oklahoma
Jul 21, 2016

From what I've been told, P2 goes right/up the ramp then straight up, then moves back left to the anchor and is 5.10. P3 is an airy 5.7 that might clip the first bolt of Spaceballs, then is a hand traverse left, before continuing up to the anchor and has another bolt somewhere. Haven't yet climbed it myself...
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Jul 22, 2016

Yup... Reading the Lohn guide... and my descriptions is certainly lacking.
By Craig Childre
From: Lubbock, Texas
Feb 17, 2017

Chris Banks went above and beyond for us and put in excellent information.

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