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YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1100', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Kris Wild and Reuben Shelton, Aug 6th 2007
Season: Gulley, shady, wet early in season
Page Views: 2,770
Submitted By: Jeremy Blumel on Aug 17, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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Looking down at the start of the crux 12a 9th pitc...


5.12a (5.11b, A0) 10p
FA Kris Wild, Reuben Shelton, August 6, 2007

Approach: As for Angel's Crest. 200m up from the entrance to the North Gully. (100m uphill from the "tree start" to Angel's Crest) It's on the left and it's the only corner.

Gear: One set nuts, double set cams up to #2 camalot size, one #3 and 3.5

P1. Up right facing corner, past ledge (old belay) up the next corner through roof and out right to belay. 5.10b, 50m (This pitch was originally Nostromo, 5.6, A2, John Manuel, Bruce Fairley, 1982.)
P2. Start left of station and climb into the steep open corner, (pulling on the bolt at the top of the corner will drop the grade to 5.11a) then face climbing and cracks to a large ledge. Watch your rope drag! 5.11c, 55m
P3. Out left past flakes and up a widening crack to the base of THE corner. 5.9, 20m
P4. Up! Exit via the chimney and use the right-hand station to belay. 5.10c, 40m
P5. Scramble up the chimney on the right behind the large pillar, then on top of it and across the balanced boulder. Discontinuous cracks and face climbing lead up and left to a belay beside the main corner. 5.10a, 30m
P6. Tune in to your inner ninja for the puzzling crux entering the corner (or pull on the bolt and skip it, you sissy), up the corner to belay at the cedar tree. 5.10c, 30m
P7. Up the corner passing 2 trees. At the roof, head left past 2 bolts to belay on a ledge. 5.11b, 55m
P8. Face climbing up the white wall, out right to belay. (One #3 camalot optional.) 5.11b, 50m
P9. Step right into the crack. Follow it with increasing difficulty until it is possible to clip a bolt and step left to a ledge. (Pulling on a couple of pieces of gear and the bolt make this about 5.11a.) Traverse up right to a perch below the roof, then pull wild moves through the roof and left to the belay. 5.12a, 30m
P10. Up nice cracks to the final belay. 5.10c, 30m

Descent: Either rap the route with 2 ropes or walk up and right the same as for Northern Lights.


Zodiac Wall of the Chief


Traditionally protected. Some bolts on pitches and Bolted Anchors.

Photos of Polaris Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of p4. "The Offwidth"
Beginning of p4. "The Offwidth"
Rock Climbing Photo: Slammin' perfect hands on p6
Slammin' perfect hands on p6
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of the route Polaris, 12a, 10p
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the route Polaris, 12a, 10p

Comments on Polaris Add Comment
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By Colin Moorhead
Oct 22, 2009

Excellent, sustained route with a lot of straight in jamming. A nice change from the endless lieback treadmills off other area grade IV's.

Great Job Chris!
By KrisW
Sep 23, 2012

If you print out this great topo, the grade for p9 is missing. It is 12a
By Alex Shainman
Jul 22, 2013

Climbed Polaris yesterday and deciding to offer some safety advisories for future ascents...

First off, this is a good line, great FA vision, challenging climbing and I imagine a monumental undertaking to prep, equip and clean. Kudos!

The exfoliated rock quality in a few places has some potential dangerousness. I will break it down and add a couple more heads-ups...

P1-3 are relatively safe. [edit 7/24/13 the fixed ropes have been removed] On pitches 1-3, a fixed line is clipped into anchor and protection bolts and only slightly in your way. On the flip side, if rappelling, I'd recommend coiling the ropes at top of P3 anchor and rapping fixed line to top of P1 anchor, then use your ropes to rap P1. P2 has a powerful crux move to devious climbing...almost as hard as P9!

[edit 7/24/13 the tree has been removed and a new first bolt added][edit (7/23/13), apparently a solution is already in the works concerning the tree/chockstone issues] P4 Classic OW: The tree stump at the start is totally bogus now. It is rotten, broken and super flexible and hard/sketchy to pass. If you blow the first few moves and/or the tree breaks, you're falling onto the anchor. If an additional bolt is not added, I think a #3 Big Bro or #6 Camalot will fit (size-wise it's thigh-jam width, for a guy). Near the top of P4 is a large slung chockstone which appears very loose and easily rotates when touched. Maybe it can't fall out but we didn't test it too much.

Except for one loose anchor bolt nut (or two, I forget) P5-8 are relatively safe without anything extraordinary to report. Pitches 6-8 have great climbing.

P9 is kinda heads-up I thought. It's the crux pitch and has totally awesome moves for sure BUT the first flake you have to yard on above the 1st bolt is quite hollow/expanding as is the rail passing the 2nd bolt. The first 3 of the 4 bolts on this pitch need to be inspected. The nut of the 3rd bolt (in the roof) is finger-loose. Sorry but I am already totally spacing out if it's the 1st or 2nd bolt, but one of them is potentially bad due to how it is wobbling in the hole, the nut is also finger-loose.

P10 is fine.

The 2nd rappel (over the crux roof), is a long one and in space and you'll need to pull into trees to get to a ledge with a yellow fixed rope-pull to get to the next rap station (not one of the belays).

In all, it's a good route with great climbing but there's some perma-choss and some bolts needing some TLC. Don't let my whining deter you! Get on up there and climb this rig!
By Sky Sjue
From: Santa Fe
Aug 25, 2013

Thanks for the great route, guys.

Based on parts of the previous comment, I'd like to add my two cents: the stump at the beginning of the OW pitch seemed sketchy when I led it July 22 or so. A TCU placement protected it well enough ( picture of TCU to protect p4/offwidth start ) but it took some shenanigans to place it. So that is a potential protection option there. No objections on my part to another bolt if the FA party decides to place one.

We walked off.
By Luke Stefurak
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 12, 2015

Wow this is an amazing route. Killer exposure, hard moves and nice bolting.

P4, The Corner, is almost fully bolted now. Bring 12 draws/slings and a .5, .75 and #1 camalot. No need for the rest it will get in your way. The wobbly chockstone with the blue sling is still there... Sketchy.

P5 The description above didn't help us, although its pretty obvious what to do. Here's my take. Walk up through the chimney to the back side of the pillar. Scrable up the back of the pillar to gain the leaning block and clip a bolt on the main wall. Mantel a ledge and climb a hands to fist crack. Clip another bolt and traverse left to the belay.

Get on this route it requires face skills and OW finesse.

Also it's possible to skip a few of the anchors when rapping with two ropes. We did a total of 7 raps.
By KrisW
May 14, 2016

As noted above, the stump on p.4 has been removed, and an extra bolt added. The "loose" chock stone at the top of that pitch does rock back and forth, but as of summer 2015 was still as solid as when I cleaned the route. Close examination of it showed that although it wiggles, it would have to be lifted straight up about two feet to come out of its cozy little notch. Sling it, grab it, mantle it.

Yes there are some hollow sounding flakes on pitch 9, but everything that would come off with a crowbar and hammer was removed. The bolt in the roof gets pulled in different directions when leaders and followers fall. This leads to the nut loosening as the hanger it torqued around. Give the nut a check as you clip it. I'm intending to take some thread-lock up there on my next foray.

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