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West Ridge - part A - Verschneidung to base
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Moveable Flake T 
Allosaur T 
Auntie Perspirant T 
Blind Mouse T 
Blues Power T 
Clean Freak T 
Crow's Landing T 
Earnest Stemmingway T 
Ernest Extended Way T 
Exterminator, The T 
Farmer's Wife, The T 
First Unknown T 
Flyback T 
Foaming Cleanser T 
Initial Hangover T 
Initial Route T 
Jam Con T 
Kickin' Chicken T,S 
Leg of Ilg T 
Mineral Maze S 
Morning Thunder T 
Odarodle T 
Office Girls Walk The Plank T 
Party Pooper T 
Piece Easy T 
Pork Chop T 
Quo Vadis T 
Ranger Danger T 
Roadside Attraction T,S 
Runsholl Scrunch T 
Shot and Chaser T 
Sleepytime T 
Something Blue T 
Stepping Stones T 
Super Scooper T 
Territorial Integrity T,TR 
Thunderbolts From Hell T,S 
Thunderworld T 
Turkey Jerky T 
Up the Downclimb T 
Verschneidung Dihedral T 
Water Line T,S 
Wild Turkey S 
Wingshot T 
Wishbone T,S 

Initial Route 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 170'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: L. Kor, H. Sweeland, 1963
Page Views: 1,309
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 9, 2002

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Lower West Ridge.

2016 Closure on Shirt Tail Peak Effective March 11,2016 MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The second and third pitches of this route are easier to see from a distance than is the first pitch. If you can not locate the first pitch initially, try locating the upper pitches and working your way [down] to find the beginning.

The Initial Route begins just left of Allosaur and goes left (West) just around the corner just after beginning. The route's third pitch meets at the top with the end of the [route] Allosaur as well.

Find P1 by scrambling up onto the main ledge of the amphitheater. Just left of the start of [Allosaur] is a left-leaning rotten band. Pass this to the left to a second left-leaning band, which forms a bulge/overhang at the top of the band. You are standing just left of a small shrub, looking up at a left-facing flake in the overhang which creates a "notch" in the band, where the roof is smaller. Still left of you just a few feet more is another left-leaning band that goes around the corner into a large and much more ominous overhang... and you can see the gaping start of "Initial Hangover" cutting through it from here.)

P1: from where you stand, climb up and left on the face to intersect the overhanging band, and then even more left and up to reach a left-facing corner. The underclings around here are key. The pro is not great or quite where you want it, but this is easy climbing (5.5?). Climb up and left around the corner into a left-facing system which is more solid than it looks. Work your way up to build a belay for P2 after 60 feet total. You can continue on P2 if your drag is OK, and the next pitch does not look intimidating.

P2: look up into the flaring [squeeze] chimney. Step up on the ledge now behind you to reach up in and place a 0.5"- 1.0" cam where you can, without filling your fingerlocks. Now execute the crux of getting into the slot (5.8-5.10, height-dependent). This is very hard for short people, because they can not reach into it before they lose their footholds. Use the fingerlocks and armbars to get up into the crack. Rest and set gear, then struggle for the top of the crack this is easiest for me with my right side facing inward. Top out on a ledge with a fat juniper with a rap anchor. Belay at the tree or walk back to the obvious, clean, acute dihedral, which goes from vertical to low angle after 30 feet or so.

P3: climb the aforementioned dihedral for 60' or so (5.7?) to reach the top. The last few moves practically merge with the last moves of Allosaur, which came left from under the roofs to join your route.

There are multiple options for descent, as listed for Allosaur. Perhaps the best option to take if you've left packs up on the Amphitheater ledge is to scramble east, then South around the back side to arrive at the rap anchors above the amphitheater roof. Rap a single rope to the ground. A 50m cord should reach, but I've only tried 60-70m, so I am not 100% sure.

Protection 

A standard rack: one set stoppers, one set cams with optional #4. Too much gear will make the crux on pitch #2 difficult to do.


Photos of Initial Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brutal crux on pitch 2.
Brutal crux on pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: The super fun, last pitch.  Photo: Eggleston.
The super fun, last pitch. Photo: Eggleston.
Rock Climbing Photo: Third pitch.
Third pitch.

Comments on Initial Route Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jan 30, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I'm of average height, 5'8", and found the move into the slot to be very difficult. It may be 5.9 if done with the perfect sequence, but it felt harder to me.
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 25, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

I can definitely see how being tall helped on this route.
By Fiona Dunne
From: Boulder, CO
May 31, 2014
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

When belaying your 2nd on the p2 chimney, note that they may need slack to get out gear if you clipped it with short draws deep in the chimney. It was hard to hear each other, and if you're belaying in autoblock mode, it's hard to feel a pull for slack and also hard to give slack safely. Being stuck there pulled tight into the crack for a long time was no fun.
By Alex Vidal
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2014
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Definitely worth doing if you have done all the other routes in the area. The squeeze is actually pretty fun. At 5'11" I thought the 5.9- rating given by the guidebook was about right.
By Ed Krejcik
From: Broomfield, CO
Oct 17, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I'm 5'5", and I found entering the slot very committing. Prepare for a grunt and scrape. Agree w/ Fiona above on gear. Rope got stuck in the slot and made for a lot of rope drag for belaying at the top. Also difficult for partner to clean.
By 303scott
Nov 14, 2016

Found this hidden gem when perusing the book for something to do after Allosaur. If Grand Giraffe is 9+, then this is accurately graded at 9-. If you take the standard traverse in as if going to Allosaur, the start is just after you make a big step down past a juniper bush and just before the 15 feet of slab trending up and right. A #4 was nice on the third pitch and useless weight on the second. The easiest way down is to rap the same raps as Allosaur, which are up and left (NW) of the finish about 20 feet. Two raps, easy pulls.

On a historical note, Levin's guide says this is the first recorded route on the West Ridge and the only route on that ridge put up by Layton Kor.