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Plague of Pestilence 

YDS: 5.13b/c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: X- ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 45'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b/c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: X- ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Heath Bailey
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 818
Submitted By: Heath Bailey on Jun 17, 2014

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Heath getting after it. May 2014.


From the start of Double-Blind Study use a variety of hueco holds through a V6/7 sequence to gain the face at the 1st bolt. Clip the 2nd bolt before venturing through a balancey sequence of slopers, pinches and less-than-positive holds on your way to the crux. Make a body-length left hand move out to a decent pinch on the arete from a poor one-pad half-moon pocket with the right (V8). Stay composed through a blind slap to a slopey sidepull jug left of the arete, from which you clip the 3rd and last bolt. Breath here and get ready to charge the redpoint crux. Paste the feet high and drive by with your left hand groping the coolest and worst of unlikely slopers to the finishing hand-cup jug (V5). From here, hold on briefly and you are confidently clipping the anchors on this beauty of a bouldery line!

I assign a conservative 5.13b to the route as it is in my style, but shorter climbers will find several of the hard moves to be a stretch. It could very likely be 13c. If Mainliner is 13c; however, this is not. Either way, it is a wildly aesthetic line with amazing moves on great stone. Almost the entirety of the route is opposition, and requires the climber to deadpoint not to holds but to positions. Consensus feedback is appreciated.

I opted to leave the 1st bolt high as I believe the coldest and highest friction days could very likely yield a direct start through the low portion of the arete via more big moves on bad holds. This variation would easily push the difficulty of this short route into 5.13+ consideration.


This gently overhung and slopey arete is situated immediately right of the open book/stemming line Double-Blind Study.


3 bolts and cold shuts. Stick clip the first bolt from the deck.

Photos of Plague of Pestilence Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Some alternate beta going static to reach the hold...
BETA PHOTO: Some alternate beta going static to reach the hold...
Rock Climbing Photo: Setting up for a throw low on the route. May 2014....
Setting up for a throw low on the route. May 2014....

Comments on Plague of Pestilence Add Comment
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By NickTarasenko
Mar 27, 2017
rating: 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a

Heath, great vision on this route! Thanks for taking the time to clean and set it.

Some thoughts:
1. 3 stars rating: balancing the superb 4 star movement with the 2 star sharpness of the holds and crumby nature of the patina that seems to always go right under the shoe before you step on the footholds.
2. 13C rating: I don't normally rate climbs since I'm 6'4" & 175lbs and my beta & grade assessment rarely align with the norm. Thought I'd do so anyhow, since you requested some feedback. First and foremost, the hold in the crux section, the one you are throwing to in the picture, broke yesterday before I sent it (the large crystal popped off). Secondly, while I have few 13's under my belt, I have been working this route with John Watt who is able to compare to other 13's he's been on.
By Heath Bailey
Apr 7, 2017

Nick, that's awesome! Way to get after it! I'm stoked people are trying this thing. Thanks too for the feedback. I'll post some other beta photos when I can dig them up. I'm still convinced the direct will go from the ground in uber-cold conditions! Cheers.

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