Pinch an Inch
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Passing the crux on the FA.
The crux is getting through the first 20'. Perhaps the hardest part is placing gear: though good pro is available, the stances are very strenuous.
The upper section consists of runout but mild 5.6 knob-hopping.
Pinch the rightmost crack's edge and pull up into a steep lieback. Bump to good knobs to the right, then make a tenuous pinch/jam/cling left (difficult but solid gear placement at this point). Step up onto a slabby niche, climb a right-rising crack to a horizontal, then climb straight up wonder-knobs, right of a rounded nose, to the ledge below the anchor.
NOTE: A lot of ice forms over the lip of the Birthday Corner early in the season. It falls from >30m up, landing among the base of all the Amphitheatre area routes. Even after the main winter's accumulation has fallen, nightly formations continue to bombard the area. Be watchful, wear a helmet, and if big ice is looming above on that crystalline spring morning, maybe climb somewhere else.
The rightmost two groove/cracks of a series of parallel cracks, 16' right of Amphitheatre Crack, 6' left of a right-facing corner with an offwidth chimney/crack in it.
Descent is via the 2-bolt anchor.
Small to medium cams to #3 C4. Small TCUs (C3s) help at the crux.
Aug 7, 2012
I thought the intricate lower crux sequence was significantly harder than some other 10a sections I've done -- and harder than anything on Black Arches Arete (but that route is more sustained + exposed).
Surely worthwhile to play on the crux as a top-rope from the shared anchor with Broken Broom and Amphitheater Crack.