|Type:||Trad, 4 pitches, 700', Grade II|
|Original:||YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]|
|FA:||Harvey T. Carter, Don Sell, Ray Northcutt, 1954, FFA:?|
|Season:||Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter (if it fits your fancy)|
|Submitted By:||Dirty Captain Meatsauce on Oct 16, 2010|
|Comments on Northwest Rib||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
Oct 17, 2010
|Thanks for posting, Kyle. Looks like you and Andy had a blast.|
By phil broscovak
Dec 18, 2010
|This is a great route and a fun adventure.|
By Vic Zeilman
Jul 18, 2013
This climb is a lot of fun. If you're looking for an obscure adventure route in an awesome setting, then this is well worth the extra effort it takes to figure out how to the cross the lake.
A few notes...
- There's no reason to hike up the gully to start the route mid-buttress. From where you park the boats at the base of the steep scree field, rope up and traverse above the water to start in a wide, left-facing corner with a piton. From here, basically stay on the ridge all the way to the top. About 6 pitches. Many pins mark the way.
- The dihedral pitch up high is stellar, and if you do the whole thing in one 60 m pitch, it's nice to have at least singles of TCUs, doubles to #2 and a #3, #4. You could get by with less gear if you broke this pitch up.
- Although there an some webbing bail anchors on the route, look for a bolted rappel station near the summit to descend. Double ropes required.
- Some chossy, licheny rock down low, but the climbing remains fun in general with a real mountaineering sort of feel.
By Bryce Lokey
Oct 12, 2015
SUP boards made this one great adventure. Swimming would be lighter but cold in October....
Agree with moving left early from the water's edge. A steep corner of hands and fists with a pin greets you and is quite fun. Wrestle with rope drag up several pitches to the dihedral pitch--definitely fun climbing and makes the route worth doing. #3 x 2 was nice for not fancying runout, wider terrain. Agree with Vic to downsize rack if you plan to break up the dihedral pitch. From the top of the dihedral pitch, move just left around a tall, blocky tower, then work your way up. We went too far left and had to rope up again.
Any beta on the 3rd rap anchor? We found only two pins and a bunch of tat draped over the edge of what turned out to be an arch suspended free from the main wall.... Seemed out of character of the other anchors (both well-bolted).
Any beta on why there are three bolts on a flat ledge right of the second rappel anchor? Highline?
By david goldstein
Oct 2, 2016
Very classic in the genre.
We approached from Pioneer Point. The excellent trail (a recommended outing in itself) takes you all the way to the water.
Previous posts and associated photos left me wondering what landing the boat on the Needle side would be like. Turns out the landing is at the bottom of the scree gully and no problem at all. We managed to stay feet dry coming and going on both sides.
Even though the Curecanti Creek trail and the boat crossing were very enjoyable and added to the overall experience, it might be more expeditious to make an overland approach from the south. While private property would have to be negotiated, the steep descent from the plateau to Blue Creek looked like it would not be a problem.
Very often on such adventure routes, the climbing itself is pretty lackluster, not passing the "would anyone climb it if it were in Eldo?" test; this route passes the test. Starting from the saddle, we did five pitches, none of which were bad and two of which were very good. Our 3rd pitch, "the money", was outstanding, featuring square cut cracks and satisfying horizontal face holds; I thought this pitch was more enjoyable than the much-ballyhooed Center Route of Cynical Pinnacle; a candidate for best 5.9 crack pitch in Colorado.
If this route were in the Black Canyon proper, it would be very popular. Comparing it to routes of comparable length, I thought it was much better than Maiden Voyage, Leisure Climb, and Midsummer Night's Dream but not quite as good as Checkerboard Wall.
Our pitch breakdown, starting from the north end of the class 2 ledge that runs north from the saddle at the top of the scree gully (distances approximate):
40' Class 3 "move the belay".
180' one 5.7 move.
All belay stances were pretty comfortable except for the one at the end of the crux pitch was just okay.
The rock is generally bomber (though P1 had some lichen).
The gully from the river to the saddle is pretty nasty with a lot of angle of repose talus and vegetation, but it is not very long and is easier going down than up.
Most of the harder climbing is in #3 & #4 Camalot sized cracks; I was glad to have two of the former and would have been quite unhappy without one of the latter. We encountered several fixed pins, but most were driven in less than half way and didn't inspire confidence.
Climbers for whom 5.9 is not very easy would probably be happy with a rack consisting of a set of nuts, 1 each 0.3 & 0.4 Camalot, doubles 0.5 - #3 Camalot, 1 #4 Camalot (such climbers would likely also not consider the final pitch to be a "scramble").
We found the descent to the saddle to be more involved than we'd expected.
The first rap anchors (two bolts) are about 30' below and 50' west of the summit -- you'll likely spot them while doing the last pitch.
Rap 1 is ~150' and ends at a large ledge with three bolts.
Rap 2 is 200' and ends about 40' above the final anchors. From here, make a loose class three traverse north about 30', and then switchback south to get to the 3rd set of anchors.
Rap three is about 70' and takes you to the ground.
Pulling the rope on the second rap is somewhat nerve wracking as the rope runs between two trees, one of which is in prime position for snagging. Our pulls went smoothly but still.