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First Corner 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
Page Views: 1,835
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 10, 2009

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Anja on "First Corner" at School Gate.

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Originally named In And Out of the Groove

An incredibly fun sport climb for any venue, and certainly one of the best here. This climb has a little of everything, overhanging jugs, slapping of aretes, hidden pockets, technical footwork, and if you stay belly to the bolts (harder) even some flaring jams. The grade will depend on how directly you do the route, but will be in the 5.11 range.
Climb up past 2 bolts to a technical crux, where a taller climber can clip the third bolt before risking it (be mindful of the rocks behind you). There are at least 2 fully distinct ways of doing the crux left or right, both of which are 5.11.

Continue up and over to a good rest, which is advised, then on up and left. Us a long sling at the bolt above the obvious flake (#5 maybe?) to avoid to drag or loading the biner and continue up and left to a spot about 1/2 way up were another route merges and there are 2 bolts side by side. Clip the left one and head directly up through the second crux (insecure jamming or slopers on a bulge, 5.11) or dodge it to the right by the right-most bolt and then back left to continue. A final pumpy crux (hard 5.10) comes just before intercepting the arete up and left, where a rest can be had... then head up and right on the overhanging face with pockets and a horizontal crack to clip the double anchors.


This climb is on the lowest point of the School Gate Rock, starting up out of the Gully on the North side of it's Northeast Arete.


Titanium (2016/17)

Photos of First Corner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: First crux involves a long reach into an insecure ...
First crux involves a long reach into an insecure ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling through the mid-crux
Pulling through the mid-crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Rando
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul with his right hand in the flaring slot (low ...
Paul with his right hand in the flaring slot (low ...

Comments on First Corner Add Comment
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By BrianWS
Apr 22, 2010

Generally climbable after short periods of rain due to the overhanging angle, but it turns into a regular algae-fest at the second crux if there has been prolonged rain in the area.
Original guidebook (Yama's) says 11.b with the arete on, maybe one or two letters harder if you go direct.
Hands down, this is my personal favorite climb in the whole area. Plus, it's the first climb you'll see upon entering from School Gate, a mere 5 minutes from the parking lots.
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Sep 10, 2014
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

There are MANY ways to do this climb, and the grade should be considered with this in mind...

Low crux
At the first crux, you can easily stem onto the wall behind you. If done without it, it's 11ish.

Low-mid crux
Just above the huge flake, you can continue traversing out right and pull jugs back left. You can also pull on a pebble and up to a large chunk. This is more direct, though adds a little more difficulty to the red-point. Maybe 10ish.

Mid crux
Where Above the Groove joins (two bolts side by side), you can step left onto the ledge. Getting back onto the route can be hairy, as you risk a fall onto the platform before you can reach around the arete to clip the next bolt. This allows for a big rest and skips one of the cruxier sections.

If you attempt to jam at the mid-crux, you will be making life very difficult for yourself. The rock here is sharp, flaring, and overhanging. Likely 12- but maybe harder.

The best way to do the mid-crux is to step right at the horizontal, get some jugs and move back up and left. This requires a specific sequence. 10ish.

Upper crux
You can plainly see that the original route followed the arete to the top anchors. This is probably the easiest finish, as there are good holds, though finding them can be difficult with a pump. The newer bolt is harder to clip from this position, and seems to indicate a line to the right, involving small pockets. Definitely harder.

If done with all the easy options, this is a two-star 11-.
If done with all the intuitive options, this is a four-star 11+.
If done with all the harder, more direct options, it's definitely 12ish.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 11, 2014

The low crux is also pretty height dependent...
By BrianWS
May 23, 2017

Got back on this route today -- fall potential is really bad.

Knocked my ass against the rear wall after greasing out of the flaring jam low, and the rebolt has put a bolt quite a bit out of reach during the flake section (at 5 foot 7). A fall here would put you on the platform.

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