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BETA PHOTO: Clean slab climbing on pitch 2 of Penny Lane. The...
Penny Lane is a high quality 4-pitch slab climb that is seriously overshadowed by its famous neighbors, Total Soul and Silent Running. But the climbing on Penny Lane is just as good, despite having fewer pitches. Each successive pitch gets a bit steeper and more difficult as you get more comfortable making those delicate slab moves. By skipping the last pitch(s), you can make it a fine 2-pitch 5.8 or a 3-pitch 10a. Or you can use this to reach Total Souls upper pitches for more 5.10 climbing. Lots of options in this neighborhood.
The route starts to the right and above the start of Total Soul. The first belay can be reached by class 4 slab climbing or, more safely, by a leftward traverse from the first belay of Silent Running. If traversing, don't head up the first bolted route left of Silent Running, which is Revolver (5.10a).
Pitch 1 (5.7) The warm-up pitch, with moderate (5.7) slab climbing past 5 bolts.
Pitch 2 (5.8 PG) Left and up past four bolts to a small horizontal overlap. Place a small cam, step over and run it out on 5.8 slab to several more bolts and the belay. A great pitch but slightly spicy for the grade.
Pitch 3 (5.10a) is fabulous, with sustained climbing up scoops past many (9?) bolts. Scoops get progressively slopier as the difficulty shifts from 5.8 to 5.9, then a bit of 5.10 to reach the chains.
Pitch 4 (5.10c) heads left and up steeper ground with small chicken-heads to a distinctive black friction slab (10b). Once up that, traverse leftward toward the fourth belay of Total Soul. The last few moves around a bulge are the crux of the route (10c), with excellent bolt placement. Others tell me there are small holds for the traverse, though I couldn't find them.
Descend: Double-rope rappels down Penny Lane or Total Soul.
North Buttress of Three O Clock Rock. Approach as for Silent Running to the right.
Entirely bolts, aside from the overlap on pitch 2. Rack with 10 draws and a few cams to 2.5. Belays have double bolts and chains.
BETA PHOTO: Nearing the top of pitch 3 (10a) of Penny Lane, on...