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October Sundae 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 7 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Paul Cormier& Wanda Allen - 2008
Page Views: 1,079
Submitted By: Ron Birk on Aug 4, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: October Sundae Direct - Traverse left under the ov...

Description 

Be aware that the Rap Tree used for the 2nd-to-last Rap (just beneath the big overhang) has toppled over and is no longer usable. It fell over with less than 50 lbs force when I sat on its lower trunk 8/19/16. Slings have been removed, lest someone grab them. The whole tree sits on the ledge with less than 10% of its (rotted) roots in the dirt. Use the double-bolt anchor 25-30 ft to "skier's/viewer's left on the slab. (scramble down, then up to the bolts, Class 3/4 "X" if unroped.) It has been reported that double 60m ropes "just make it" down to these bolts from the anchor above, but with variations in manufacturer's cut rope length and rope shortening ('shrinking') with use take extra care if you try this.

Submitted by Ron Birk, edited with permission by R Hall. The FA party did the climb in 5 long pitches, but we have broken P3 into two and their P5 into two, making it seven pitches.

A fantastic moderate route to the top of the cliff with great variety. Mostly 5.2-5.4 climbing with a few moves a grade or two harder spread out. Lots of options. You could probably do the route 3 or 4 times and never do it exactly the same.

P1. Climb the slab [photo] to the tree ledge. Not much protection in the beginning. You have two options:
  • Go straight up. While the first few moves after the flake on the white rock is the crux of the climb, probably by 2 grades, (5.7 PG-13/R) the thin moves continue at 5.6 or so well into the ground-fall zone before easing off and gaining protection. 130-140 ft 5.7 PG-13/R, 5.6 R/X
  • Just before the crux, go slightly left into the gray rock and stay there for a few moves. It’s a bit easier and has some features, but no protection either. 130-140 ft 5.5-5.6 PG-13/R

It has been reported by a reliable source that P1 of "Ingy's Ice Cream" (the next climb right) is better protected and one can then move back left to "October") It is also possible to start on the "Road North" and join "October" at the end of P2.

P2. Continue on featured climbing until about 35 ft below roof, then traverse on a rising diagonal to the right to a Gear belay. 140-150 ft 5.3-5.4

P3. Climb the right side of the roof and traverse left till you see a slanting, low-angle crack (easy) above a small ledge. Continue traversing and slightly up. You may be able to see the beautiful "vertical" crack on a slightly bulging face that you are headed for. Gear belay.
If you're going to get lost on this route it will be on this pitch. Be sure to traverse low, well below the tree island that is above the right end of the huge overlap. The easiest route (one semi-exposed 5.4-5.5 move that is more "spicy" to follow than to lead!) is just above the "lip" of the OH. [ The route photo has been corrected and replaced and now shows both the traverse and the gear belay correctly.] 180 +/- ft 5.5

P4. Step left from the gear belay and climb the beautiful crack! [photos] One, or more, 0.75 Green "Camalot-sized" cams useful. End at a two bolt anchor on the slab to the right of a tree island. 110 ft 5.4 - 5.5

[The FA party ran P3 & P4 together, but how they did this with a 60m rope I don't know unless there was virtually nothing "in" between the middle of the traverse and the top of the crack, thus allowing the rope to run in a long diagonal. I don't even think a 70m would reach.]

P5. Veer left to the top right side of the tree island, then move up (5.5-5.6 +/-) to the steeper featured section with fun moves and continue up to another double bolt anchor. [There are two photos of this pitch, each a slightly different variation.] 160-170 ft 5.5-5.6

The FA party did not split the next pitch, but rather led it as one. A 60m rope just barely reaches the top anchor! We will describe it as split into two pitches, P6 & P7. This way results in two good things: one nice for the belayer, the other nice for the leader! If you split the pitch (as it will be described) then there's enough rope for the belayer to stand on the nice, flat, toppled-tree about 8 ft below the bolts (keeping the tie-in at the bolts, of course) and on the last pitch (P7) the leader will not have anywhere near the rope-drag/weight he/she would have in one, long 60m pitch.

With the belayer at the flat ledge a-top the toppled tree, you can just barely see the double quicklinks and rope of the top anchor, otherwise it is not visible until you reach it. [see photo of P7]

P6. Pad up the clean white slab, over the small overlap and then run it out (5.0-5.2 R/X) to the base of the headwall. Gear belay. 100 +/- ft 5.4

P7. Take your choice:
  • Move up a small corner, step left and then up the face and cracks via the easiest-looking line to the top anchor. "0.3 and 0.4 Camalots" very useful. RH & RW did this line, digging out every cam & nut placement so it probably hadn't been done before. 100+/- ft 5.4-5.5
  • Climb the slabs a bit to the left, less protection and maybe a bit harder. At the top, move right to the anchor. 110 +/- ft 5.6-5.6

October Sundae Direct
If you are interested in a more sustained variation using a more aesthetically direct line this is a nice option (?see topo?):

P2. Instead of going to the right of the roof / overhang as described above, go straight up (passing some smaller bushes) to the two bolt anchor, just right of the tree island. 180 ft 5.3-5.4

P3. Traverse up and left passing some gear placement and a bolt towards the left side of the overhang. At a weakness towards the left end (see photo), do a bouldery move with good gear (easier if you are tall) and surmount the overhang. Continue straight up over easier and nice featured rock to a beautiful slanting crack for a gear anchor (same as described for P3 above). 110 ft 5.7

Descent: 5 raps with doubled 60m ropes. The 3rd rap goes over the big overhang. [but see "Alternate Rap, below] If you move a bit to rappeller's left before the OH you'll drop right down into the trees. Here used to be a tree to rap off, but it’s no longer there. See note above. You now have to use a bolt anchor [photo] about 10 ft to climber's right of the right edge of the tree ledge, (about 25 ft right of where you land) and at about the same level. Some will want a belay to get there.

An option is to rappel directly to the anchor. Double 60m ropes will just barely reach! Pay special attention when going over the overhang (cross around the middle of it) and make sure you have knots on the rope if doing this.

Alternate Rap avoiding the OH: On the 3rd rap, rappel with dbl ropes gradually to rapeller's right to a dbl bolt anchor located about 30 ft above the climber's right end of the overhanging section of the big overhang. [See photo "Rap Line(s)"] From here rap directly down; at the "lip" you pass a foot or two to the left of a jutting flake, then continue down to a 2nd dbl bolt anchor. When you pull the ropes from here they will be well left of the crack in the jutting flake. (If your 70m rope is cut long, this rap might be possible with it as a single rope rap.) Another rap (dbl 60m's or a rope-stretching, cut-long single 70m) takes you to the tree ledge and the final rap to the base.

Location 

GPS: N44.466212 W71.068382

Left side of the cliff. It's a big cliff with thick vegetation, which makes it hard to locate climbs. You have two options:
  • Best option is to take the trail described in the "Main Slab Area". It leads directly to this climb. Also see picture in the North Bald Cap main page.
  • You can take the trail to the Lost Boys Area and bushwack along the cliff. There is not much traffic here and it can be a long arduous traverse.

Note: The cliff has multiple slab starts that look similar to each other, so pay attention. See pics in the Main Slab Area for other starts.

Protection 

Standard rack. First three belays are natural/gear. The last three are bolt anchors.


Photos of October Sundae Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: October Sundae & "Direct"
BETA PHOTO: October Sundae & "Direct"
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping down to rappeler's right on the 3rd rap fr...
BETA PHOTO: Rapping down to rappeler's right on the 3rd rap fr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Slab and Oct. Sundae
BETA PHOTO: Main Slab and Oct. Sundae
Rock Climbing Photo: RH on P1 of Oct Sundae; he's over the crux and...
BETA PHOTO: RH on P1 of Oct Sundae; he's over the crux and...
Rock Climbing Photo: The "Once Upon-a-Time" Rap Tree below th...
BETA PHOTO: The "Once Upon-a-Time" Rap Tree below th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rap Line(s) on October Sundae
BETA PHOTO: Rap Line(s) on October Sundae
Rock Climbing Photo: Dbl bolts under OH. Scramble (Cl4?) up to them fro...
BETA PHOTO: Dbl bolts under OH. Scramble (Cl4?) up to them fro...
Rock Climbing Photo: The "beautiful crack" at start of P4 (Ha...
BETA PHOTO: The "beautiful crack" at start of P4 (Ha...
Rock Climbing Photo: RW on P2
BETA PHOTO: RW on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Super-Telephoto of "the Beautiful Crack"...
BETA PHOTO: Super-Telephoto of "the Beautiful Crack"...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers just finished p2.
Climbers just finished p2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the top of P6 and P7 (as described.)...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the top of P6 and P7 (as described.)...
Rock Climbing Photo: RW on P5 After the initial move off the tree ledge...
BETA PHOTO: RW on P5 After the initial move off the tree ledge...
Rock Climbing Photo: RW at our P2 belay
BETA PHOTO: RW at our P2 belay
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking left towards the end of P2 and start of P3...
BETA PHOTO: Looking left towards the end of P2 and start of P3...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on the vertical crack on P4.
BETA PHOTO: Climber on the vertical crack on P4.
Rock Climbing Photo: P6
BETA PHOTO: P6
Rock Climbing Photo: Our approximate route and belay locations (bolts o...
BETA PHOTO: Our approximate route and belay locations (bolts o...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the top with the Outlook in the backgrou...
View from the top with the Outlook in the backgrou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fourth rappel used to go through the trees. Rap tr...
BETA PHOTO: Fourth rappel used to go through the trees. Rap tr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down towards P2 that goes on the left of t...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down towards P2 that goes on the left of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: P5 (Note how these climbers did the pitch slightly...
BETA PHOTO: P5 (Note how these climbers did the pitch slightly...

Comments on October Sundae Add Comment
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By Ron Birk
From: Boston, MA
Aug 22, 2016

I added a description to the direct variation through the roof/overhang on p3. See description above and photos.
By Nick Lambert
From: Bethel, ME
Oct 18, 2016

Long, fun, moderate route on great rock. We may not have set our gear belays in the recommended locations, but found manageable alternatives. Long raps, but we had no issue reaching the bolt anchors with two 60m ropes. I respect the choices of the FA party, but for a moderate route it might be nice to have a bolt protecting a ground fall on the first pitch crux, and on the 6th pitch runout (easy terrain, but potential for 100'+ fall past the anchor).
By Ron Birk
From: Boston, MA
Oct 18, 2016

I agree that a bolt on the first pitch would be nice. One can also do the first pitch of Ingy's to the right and move back to October. Doesn't have much pro either, but is much easier. Climbing wise October's first pitch is much nicer though.

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