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Prima Donna 

YDS: 5.12+ French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

   
Type:  Trad, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.12+ French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Nate Sydnor
Season: Cool temps
Page Views: 219
Submitted By: Nate Sydnor on Mar 4, 2017

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BETA PHOTO: Joe about to make a TR attempt. You can see the co...

RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>

Description 

THIS ROUTE IS IN ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, AND SO IS SUBJECT TO RAPTOR CLOSURES. ADDITIONALLY, THE USE OF CHALK IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE PARK. THIS ROUTE IS HIGHLY VISIBLE SO PLEASE ACT ACCORDINGLY.

We'll see how this shakes out. This route is listed in Bjornstad's book as "El Segundo Top-rope - 5.11", with the FA credit given to Kyle Copeland. The local inquiries I've made hint at a few other top-rope attempts over the years, but the accuracy of these is unclear. Several potential top-ropers within the last 5 years have reported being unable to do the moves, which brings us to now. Either this thing has never actually been done in any fashion, or some time during the last 25 years something has fallen or broken off, making it exceptionally more difficult.

It now starts with what feels like a v5-ish boulder problem, which links into what for the most part feels like 5.11-ish climbing on amazing stone. The moves on this route are very good, and the setting is amazing. Hopefully others will come and see what it's all about, and I'm also hoping to hear if it has in fact been done before. As of now, I feel relatively confident that I've done the first true lead ascent of the pitch. The name Prima Donna goes along with the El Segundo theme, and has the added benefit of inserting some self-deprecating humor into the scheme of things.

The one shenanigan relates to the gear. In order to feel safe about it, I rappelled in and pre-place the first several pieces. Otherwise, I felt that I was going to be pulling a very hard boulder problem with no protection over death-fall potential. In the initial section of crack, not even the 000 c3 will fit in, and you're starting off of a sloping ledge 40 ft off the ground. If led ground up, with ball-nuts perhaps, MAJOR PROPS are in order.

I placed a black Alien, a BD .1, and a purple BD c3, all nested together, just about 10 feet up the route. All other gear was placed on lead. The ledge that the climb starts off of is also a bit of a logistical challenge, as gear for your belayer is hand-size pieces but in suspect blocks/rock. Scoping the whole scene ahead of time from above will clarify all this, and you can also scramble up to the ledge from below to investigate.

Location 

Almost directly underneath of El Segundo. The crack is obvious when you look for it.

Protection 

Multiple pre-placed tiny cams (mentioned above), with somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 in the BD .2/purple Metolius sizes. Additional tiny cams (grey Metolius) are also necessary, and I placed a single large (#13) stopper in a constriction mid-route. 70m rope to get all the way to the ground from the anchor - watch your ends


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