||Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 600'
|Original: || YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b A0 [details]|
|FA: ||FA: Robin Barley, Peter Shakleton, 1985 FFA: Various, but first continuous Andrew Boyd, Mike Mott, 2000|
|Page Views: ||48|
|Submitted By: ||Drewsky on Aug 5, 2015|
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An interesting alternative to the more popular routes nearby, this route features face climbing and lots of boulder problems (or bolt ladders) over bulges with a couple of crack sections thrown in for good measure. The route would probably get more stars if it were a little cleaner in spots and if one freed all the bolt ladders. As we did this as an 'active rest day' route, we didn't attempt this and in fact freeing the second ladder appears fairly serious besides being difficult.
P1 (10a): Bolts interspersed with gear lead up the blunt buttress/arete between The Great Game and The Great Drain. A direct start slightly left appears dirty and runout.
P2 (10c or 11c): A0 or free the bouldery bolt ladder. Head up the slab to the large ramp on Great Game and belay at the bolted station near the tree stump.
P3 (10c or 12a R): A0 or free the bolt ladder. Free climbing consists of a difficult, thin bulge. It looks like you must then leave the bolt ladder at the third bolt and run out the slab above with a terrible landing on the ramp below if you fall. Pulling through instead, you climb the bolt line and angle left to a hand traverse into the corner, layback the crack, then head up to another bolted anchor.
P4 (10c or 12a): Another difficult bulge or A0 bolt pulls put you on a slab below another overlap with a crack. Move into the crack. The guidebook says that soon afterwards you move left in another crack across the slab to finish on the Right Wing corner and final steep wide pitch. The slab is dirty and I missed this option, continuing up and right in the main crack to a bolted belay. What could have been enjoyable 5.9 crack and slab is dirt-choked, mossy and kind of awful. A nut tool would have helped mine out the crack and a little brushing on the slab would greatly improve the pitch if climbed this way, making it a nice alternative to joining Right Wing.
P5: Ordinarily, this would be the .10d 'beak' pitch of Right Wing. What we did was to slab climb past two bolts and traverse a crack to join Skyline Arete (.11a) where you pull on a bolt (or mantle?) over the bulge and do some tricky moves onto the final slab. There's another bolt line with black painted hangers that continues straight above the initial slab that looks dirty but intriguing. This appears to be part of another route that shares the bolted part of P3 with Godforsaken Land and climbs some amazing terrain to the right before rejoining where we belayed below our final pitch. The pitch joining Skyline Arete was the best pitch on the route and if the link crack was cleaner, would be a great alternate P5 for Godforsaken Land.
Start on the buttress between Great Game and Great Drain, passing two bolts. Belays are bolted and it appears that one could fairly easily rap using the black painted anchors, perhaps even with a 70m rope. Having not attempted this, in preference it's better to walk off which is pretty easy and probably faster anyway.
Mostly bolts, but gear is necessary too. How necessary depends on whether or not one finishes on Right Wing, in which case it might be nice to have a larger cam or two. The way we went, a lighter rack works. I can't remember if I ever used the #3 (Camalot) but I doubt it. Since we were weaving around the other mystery bolted route with black hangers, the anchors were all bolted.