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Forbidden Corner, Fran Bagenal, P8
Length: 310m, 9 pitches
Sun Exposure: receives sun, parts of the corner will provide shade
Time: 4 - 8 hours to climb the route
car-to-car: 7 - 11 hours
Difficulty: 5.9 (or 5.10a)
Rack: Cams: doubles of micro to 3" (#3 camalot), single #4 usefull, but not entirely necessary, normal selection of nuts.
A classic route (originally named Verboten Corner) with some of the best climbing at the grade in the Rockies. A little routefinding, runout climbing (P1 & P6), and exciting/memorable moments make this route a classic. Generally good gear and great rock with some VERY exciting sections (P9). All the pins were fixed and good in July of 2011.
Several direct variations exist that bump the grade to 5.10a with good pro and straighten the initial pitches out a bit. The first 4 pitches are just superb climbing, while the final pitches offer varied excitement.
P0: Solo up a short 5.0 section for a about 5m to gain the good ledge with a tree to start belaying. Don't link into P1 or ropedrag will be terrible.
P1 5.8R 45m: Head up and left, place some pro, then climb somewhat runout climbing up and right towards the forbidden corner and a 2 bolt belay.
P2 5.8: Straight up a left facing corner and crack with some smallish face cracks as well. Head over some ledges past a first pin belay to a second pin belay.
P2 variation 5.10a 55m: If doing the 5.10a variation, keep heading straight up the Forbidden Corner further past the 2nd pin belay and past a 3rd pin nest belay (w/ slung chockstone) and 20' above that is a nice 3 bolt anchor. The 5.10a moves are right below the bolted belay and well protected with the crack on the face. There is a hidden bolt right above where the face crack ends to protect the stepover moves to the bolted semi-hanging belay.
P3 variation 5.10a 50m: From the bolted belay at the end of the P2 variation, head straight up past some pins (physical 5.10a, good pro), bypass the P3 anchors and go right on up P4.
P3 5.9 30m: Move up 3m and traverse right on the wall up and across at the flake. A short corner takes you back left to the Forbidden Corner.
P4 5.8 35m: Keep going up the Forbidden Corner past a small roof and head out onto the face (pin and good crack) for 5.8 or stay in the corner for physical old school 5.8 (good pro).
P5 5.6 25m: Walk left to the large pinnacle (usually with tat slings around it) clip the slings and traverse around the pinnacle on the lower outer face (somewhat loose). Belay on a nice ledge with 2 bolts. Don't link P6 as it is runout slab climbing!
P6 5.6R & 5.8 35m: 5.6R version - Head out left to a pin and some pro in a crack then head up 12m with no pro friction climbing to a horizontal crack and traverse left to an obvious weakness. Climb this right facing dihedral (5.8) with good pro to a 2 bolt anchor. Alternatively, instead of heading up the slab, there might be better pro to stay right in the corner (immediately left off the belay) and head up to the horizontal crack, then traverse left to the obvious 5.8 corner.
P7 5.8 PG13 25m: Head up the left facing corner off the belay to a pin and a good cam placement. Head hard right immediately at the small roof (awkward) to a shoebox stance. Climb up right onto the semi-detached large block. Don't get suckered in by heading straight up and following false pins that just head up the broken terrible corner. The detached flake/block on the right has a good pin at the top of it and some knotted old long piece of tat hanging from something unknown above. Tat is certainly older than 2006. Probably from someone off route trying to regain the traverse. Clip the tat and traverse hard right across positive holds, clip some pins, and arrive at a nice 2 bolt anchor.
P8 5.9 PG13 50m+: This pitch looks completely improbable, but is actually not to hard. WATCH ROPE DRAG, you'll make a giant reversed "C" shape on this pitch. Climb down right to make a tough/exciting move around a corner to the big pinnacle. Climb the pinnacle and clip the 2 pins above it for your second (also takes cams). Be mindful of ropework here and don't screw your partner. Can place the #4 camalot on lead, but then backclean after clipping the top pins. Downclimb the other side of the pinnacle for a few moves and make an improbable traverse right on good holds. Climb a weakness onto the face and clip an old shitty bolt (needs to be replaced, semi-hidden). Head up right into the weakness slot and clip a few pins. When a ledge is gained, traverse hard hard hard left (5.easy) till you're back over the belay. Build a gear belay below an easy 5.7 right facing exit dihedral.
P9 5.7: Climb the right facing dihedral and face to the summit. Be mindful of loose rock at the exit as it funnels right to the belayer.
Walkoff the normal east end descent.
Almost all bolted anchors except the last pitch. Lots of fixed pins. Bring a good selection of cams from small to 3.5" (a single #4 camalot is nice). Some nuts and lots of runners.
Fran Bagenal, Forbidden Corner. Probably P7. Thril...
Jun 9, 2014
Good climb but very committing. My memory from a number of years ago is that pitches 7 and 8 were the most exciting, by far. This is a 5.9 route for solid 5.10 climbers.