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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Jim Yoder, 1984
Page Views: 1,808
Submitted By: andyf on Aug 12, 2008

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Pumpline circa 2005.

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For years, this has been one of the Icicle’s trad testpieces at the grade. Thin climbing up a thin corner with some thin gear leads to a brief but burly off-fingers crux pulling a bulge. Hope you can make the exit look elegant. I couldn’t.

This climb was written up in a 1988 Rock & Ice article by Alison Osius, who’d once spent a summer guiding for Leavenworth Alpine Guides (LAG) and had come back to revisit old friends:

"For my last day, Katie [Kemble] trudged me up a loose hillside to a ‘wild crack’ she promised no one had ever done. A steep corner up thin edges led to push-palming and bridging up the seam. At the roof that caps the pitch, I ran into trouble… I sunk awkward thumbs-down hand jams, moved my torso up with hands still low, and frogged my feet high. Caving in my ribs, I half-cornered the arête to get a foot up onto a shelf. Then I couldn’t pull either hand out. I pumped out and rattled down to the rest. Repeating the process again and again and again, every time I panted ‘Sorry…one more time,’ Katie would sing out cheerily, ‘Oh, no problem.’ So I ventured and retreated at least eight times. A gouge began to trench into one hand. But I really wanted to finish the climb, and to name it the LAG Roof for Katie, [Jim] Donini, Karl [Schneider] and Dave [Stutzman]. Then came the magic moment when the jam felt just that tiny bit better. Visions of glory trumpeted; a great new route—maybe some copy so I could write the trip off! Then I was up, belly-flopping over the top.

That night something woke me at 3:00 AM—electric pain in my elbows. In the morning, I tried to tell myself I’d been dreaming. But, I thought, at least if I’d hurt myself, it was on something emotionally satisfying, that tied the climbs and people of Leavenworth together. An epiphany, come to think of it. Then, the more I thought about it, the harder the route got. Pretty soon my internal dialogue declared ‘Eleven-d, fer sure.’

I called Yoder, and asked him about that crack. He listened to my description, asked a question or two. ‘Yeah, Pumpline. Eleven-a. I did it three years ago.'"

("Penned in Leavenworth," Rock & Ice No. 25, May/June 1988)


Uphill past the Regular Route, look for the thin crack through an angled roof to the right of a prominent bolted arete (MJB Arete).


To 2", include thin wireds/TCUs. Save some gear for an anchor.

Photos of Pumpline Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: After the Pumpline os, 2005
After the Pumpline os, 2005
Rock Climbing Photo: Pumpline, circa 1994.  Lookin' good now, but momen...
Pumpline, circa 1994. Lookin' good now, but momen...

Comments on Pumpline Add Comment
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By Brian B Ballard
From: Laramie, WY
Jun 27, 2011

Two shiny bolts have beena ADDED.
By Ben Kunz
Sep 5, 2013

Great write up and this excerpt from 1988 R&I is awesome addition! Thanks for putting that in. Definitely agree that this is a testpiece and a stout for its given 11a grade!!!

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