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Intensive Care Slab
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Intensive Care T 
Shock Trauma T 

Intensive Care 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 220', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R [details]
FA: Kim Miller, Jim Knight - February 1977
Page Views: 3,008
Submitted By: bsmoot on Nov 22, 2007

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smurf-jong slaying it!

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  • Description 

    P1- Climb up and a bit left to a bolt. Don't fall here! Climb past 3 more bolts to a long narrow ledge. (5.10d R).

    P2- From the right end of the ledge face climb past 4 bolts to some shallow cracks. Above the cracks either continue a ways (past another bolt) up to a clean cut ledge (big runout) or traverse right (safer) to a big pine tree. (5.11 R)

    The first ascent party boldly continued up above the pine tree to the top of the slab. To my knowledge this has never been repeated. Everyone since has traversed right from the top of the shallow cracks.

    This is a classic face climb, put up in bold style. The pioneers were dealing with hand drilling bolts from runout, lousy stances, broken drill bits and the unknown. Long falls were common on this route in the early days because of crumbly holds, and that sticky rubber shoes were not available. The route got its name because one of the climbers, Mark Ward, was sent to intensive care after being injured in a fall.

    Others contributing to the first ascent were Mark Ward, Randy Wright, and Dave Cannon & Ted Higgins.

    The second ascent was done by Rick Wyatt and Jonathan Smoot 2 years later.


    5-10' left of Shock Trauma at the left edge of the slab, before it gets steep.


    Draws, a few thin wireds and offset nuts. Poor placements.

    Comments on Intensive Care Add Comment
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    By mountainsense
    May 10, 2010

    indeed, long live the wasatch!
    By Stevie Nacho
    From: Utah
    Jun 2, 2010

    Hey Mike,

    Don't sweat checking out the last bolt. We're going to stuff in a rawl when we go up on this slab again.
    By bheller
    From: SL UT
    Jun 3, 2010
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R

    Hey all, the bolt has been replaced, and the route has been restored to its original direct finish. 250' to the small mahoganey. Offset nuts are worthless in the upper seams, but a single blue metolius offers a key protection piece. Its hard to imagine a better pure slab climb. Climb on lovers of routes of yesteryear!
    By Tim Wolfe
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Jun 28, 2010
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R

    The second pitch is the crux. Pretty well protected during the crux, but the top traverse into the final fist crack has a couple thin 5.10ish slab moves with no gear for a very long distance - ledge fall probable. Be sure you have spent some time training for slabs before you do this route.
    By Jim Knight
    Sep 27, 2014

    slight correction worth mention... Ted Higgins also contributed to the FA efforts. In fact, he was with Kim and I when Mark Ward suffered his concussion. And thanks to Ted (being the largest of all) he was able to practically carry Mark down.
    By dnaiscool
    Apr 22, 2015

    This route offers an advanced clinic in pure slab climbing, and I relied on all the skill sets I learned from many years down at Suicide Rock in Cali. to do this with no falls.

    You'll need a #2 Camalot to protect the difficult step just to get on to the slab proper on the first pitch. I think the most dangerous part of the entire climb is getting to the first bolt, because a fall in the 5.10+ move to do that clip will pitch you over 30 feet on to a granite hammer.

    There is a hands down stance about 15 feet below that first bolt...and I get the run-out/commitment/scary/bold thing, but the FA team could have easily drilled a bolt here. I've put in routes on lead, hand drilling, and when I got to a good stance, I sank one...just sayin'...That horrific fall was unnecessary.

    You can do this route by pre-clipping that first bolt on rappel from top of the first pitch of Shock Trauma...but...if you do it that way, then just be honest when you say yu "sent" the route, cuz' you really did not. That first clip is a huge component of the entire character of this route.

    Enough of the whining...the route is spectacular, and leading this clean gives you a BS...Bachelors in Slab...with distinction.

    Here's some tips for sending hard slab:

    Keep that ass sticking out... Stink Bug Style,

    Do not over reach...keep the hands local,

    If your feet start to slip then straighten out your elbows,

    Drop the heel if you get the Elvis Shakes,

    Wear your chalk in the front..or one on each hip,

    Do Not "kick start the Harley" with the feet...just plant the toe and pour
    weight into the shoe,

    Stand hard on them toes and smedges

    Put a thick dabble of chalk on the back of your hand
    for a quick "drive by" chalking,

    Do slabs in the cool shade,

    Completely freeze all body parts except the one that is moving
    ...isolate movement...lock ankles.


    Keep moving,

    Think of yourself as climbing in a circle...
    and as you move upward you bring new holds into the circle...
    forget about the run-out...
    it has nothing to do with the moving circle.

    Compared to the .11c slabs at Suicide, like "Season's End" or "Winter Solstice", the .11a rating for Intensive Care is spot on.

    If you lead this route, then head on down to Suicide, The Mecca of hard slab, and climb its analog: "Rebolting Development", also .11a, also bad fall potential on the first pitch, also scary with hefty run-outs, and has also sent climbers to the hospital.

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