REI Community
North and West Faces
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Better than Bitter S 
Broken Thumb T 
cTr S 
Diminishing Returns T 
Falling Apart at the Seams T 
Flamin' Freddie T 
Guilt Trip T 
Hollow Man S 
Nuthin' Tuff T 
On a Whim T 
Pins and Knickers T 
Split Seam T 
Tuff Enough T 
Tuff'n Up S 
Winky and Waxman Go Bolting S 
Wrecking Ball S 

Pins and Knickers 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R

Type:  Trad, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R [details]
FA: Stuart Ruckman, Gordan Douglass, Eric Stroud, and Libby Ellis, 1987
Page Views: 231
Submitted By: John Steiger on Aug 17, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Pins and Knickers (at least how we did it) is mark...


The topo in Ruckmans' 1998 guide shows this route climbing up the left side of the Winky and Waxman pillar then diagonalling left to a short, right-leaning, left-facing dihedral followed by a 5.10+ face section to a large horizontal break. Since Stuart did the FA as well as co-wrote the guide, a reasonable assumption is that the topo correctly shows what he climbed. However, I was told by a knowledgeable local years ago that Pins and Knickers is the left slanting thin crack system starting above the very top of the pillar, about 5 or so feet left of what is now Better than Bitter. In any event, I'll leave that mystery to others and post up the latter line, which IMO is one of the finest trad pitches of its grade in BCC.

Although the guide rates P&K as an R, the line we did is adequately protected (microcams, unavailable in 1987, may be the reason). As usual on steep quartzite, though, hanging out to place the gear can give a similar sense of unease. From the top of the Winky and Waxman pillar, finger jam up the left-leaning crack until it pinches off then pull the crux -- bona fide 11a -- into a rest of sorts, place an excellent brass nut in the back of a pod that also can take a No.3 camalot, and gain the horizontal break. Traverse a few moves right along the break, then step up and left onto the headwall and airy climbing to the belay. Feel free to snicker at those on the sissy sport routes on either side.


Between the Hollow Man and Better than Bitter bolt lines; the real climbing starts above the pillar of Winky and Waxman Go Bolting. Descend from the Better than Bitter chains.


Probably can get by with one set of cams from micros to 3”, supplemented by 1 set of brass nuts. Gear belay on top.

Comments on Pins and Knickers Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kevin MP
From: Redmond, OR
May 29, 2015

In an effort to follow the original line in the guidebook, I climbed the right slanting seam to the left of the one described here (the one that follows straight up from the corner between Hollow Man and Winky and Waxman) and this seemed right, although I would like to try the right variation too. It goes at about .11a and there is certainly a section in the middle where you have to work to get the gear just right; the large ledge below is what merits the R getting through here! After the horizontal break the upper section is amazing and airy for sure! Small offset nuts seemed key for a few placements on this route, otherwise single rack to #3. Possible to finish up and right on the arête to the Better than Bitter anchors, if those are busy you can build a natural belay back on the ledge, bring up the second, then easily walk to one of many rap anchors atop the Challenge buttress.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About