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The Sapper Cave
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Less Than Zero 

YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Charley Bentley, Mike Pont; bolted by Jim Ely
Page Views: 569
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Aug 16, 2003

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This is another long-neglected Rifle "slab" route that is actually one of the better steep face climbs in the canyon. It is up and right of Rumor Has It, about halfway between the Sapper Cave and the Project Wall, and can be recognized as the prominent blue-grey streak up a vertical face above a pointed pillar.

Stash your stuff at Rumor Has It (on the dirt mound above, and right, of the Sapper Cave) and scramble up a 30-foot chimney (5.6) to a double-bolt belay atop the pillar. (Great views of the Project Wall and the Narrows from here.)

Clip a bolt, then another bolt, and move right along a silty crack, then up to the slab. Well-protected but tricky moves guard the bottom of the vertical face, which stays sustained to a little stance below the prominent finishing bulge. Punch through the bulge to cold-shut anchors that are just a hair right of where they should be. This exposed route offers great, tricky climbing throughout, with lots of good pinches, crimps, and vertical sidepulls. We brushed it pretty well, and it should get cleaner with traffic, but the rock, overall, is pretty damn good.

With a 60-meter rope, your belayer can lower you past the pillar all the way to ground, then rappel off the pillar using you as a counterweight (stay tied in!).

This is named after the Bret Easton Ellis book.


15 quickdraws and a 60-meter rope.

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