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Mad Calf Disease T 
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Mad Calf Disease 

YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 190'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Steve Habovstak, Sept. 1999
Page Views: 930
Submitted By: John Steiger on Oct 6, 2008

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Mad Calf Disease (5.11)


This route was stumbled upon when we set out to climb the striking dihedral of Old Habits Die Hard. Turns out, according to a post, this is another Steve Habovstak line -- I suspect that Steve might be right up there in the number of bolts he's drilled in BCC. The second pitch slab is well worth the walk and somewhat ugly approach pitch: good position, solid rock, and interesting climbing.

The best approach is to climb the first part of Firefly (5.6), climbing past that route's first 3 bolts to the broken ledges above and finding a comfortable place to belay somewhere up and right. From here, move right into the large corner and climb up until possible to gain a Lego-like face protected by two bolts. Gingerly work up the face (some of the Legos are loose) to a two-bolt hanging belay. This can be made somewhat more comfortable by traversing right from the two-bolt stance to a small foot ledge and setting up a belay from gear (requires at least one 3.5-4 inch cam); this is also the belay for Cost of Business.

The crux pitch begins by turning the roof just left of the hanging stance. Avoiding the Old Habits dihedral to the left, climb past 5 bolts to a ledge, then past 3 more to the top and anchors. The climax comes around the 4th bolt, and varies by a letter grade or two depending on whether you stay “in-line” (if in-line, I'’d say 11c). You’'ll probably want to place gear to protect the move over the roof and between the last 3 bolts. (Date of FA from


Follow the approach for Starstruck. Once on the ledge from which Starstruck begins, walk east on the ledge (passing under Starstruck and the clean buttress bracketed the bolts of Tyrion and Cersei), which soon slopes downs and narrows, until directly below the large, bush- and tree-infested corner leading to the first pitch. If you get to some slightly overhanging bolt lines (Red Gorilla and Nimbus), you've gone about 50 feet too far. See the photo-topo on the Kiss the Sky page.

Descent: From the anchors on top (use the chains, it makes for better pull) you can make one long rappel (two 60 meter ropes) to the ground or two rappels with a single 60 meter rope, stopping at the hanging stance -- bring a sling and quicklink in case the slings have turned to tat or the station has been stripped. About 25 feet lower and 10 feet to the right of the hanging stance there is a set of chains (atop the first pitch of Cersei), but you may need a 70 meter rope to reach them.


Draws and gear to 1.5 inches; take a 3.5-4 inch cam if you choose to use the Cost of Business belay rather than the hanging stance.

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By Tim Wolfe
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 5, 2011
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Don't let the dirty approach pitch dissuade you from the climb since the second pitch is fantastic thin edging. I liked this pitch more than any other on the crag. Belay as John describes down a bit at a better stance. Go up, clip the two bolt belay with a long sling, turn the roof (small cam about 0.4 to 0.5 inch protects very well), clip a line of bolts - the crux is very short but delicate after bolt 3 - climb to a ledge and finish (one more piece of gear 0.5 to .075 range plus bolts). The holds pushed us slightly right to laying off an arete at the crux - 5.11ish for a move.
By K Blase
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 4, 2012

First ascent is Steve Habovstak. The route name is Mad Calf Disease, or maybe just Mad Calf.
By John Steiger
Aug 2, 2014

The description has been changed so that most of the dirty approach pitch mentioned by Tim can be avoided.
By cdec
From: SLC, UT
Aug 16, 2014

Climbed this the way John described and it is fantastic.
We belayed at the top of Firefly. Second pitch as described traversing to the right until you are under the 2 bolt slab finishing at the anchor directly under the roof and crux pitch above.
Place a bd .4 just above the roof and then it's on to some of the best climbing in BCC. Neither the crack on the left or the arête on the right need be used. Thin, bouldery and positive the face is a puzzle to be solved. Once you get to the ledge the climbing eases off a bunch.

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