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Gemstone East
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Emerald City T 
Opal T 
Revenge of the Elderly T 
Sapphire T 
Surf Naked T 


YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 280', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Mark Gillis, Greg Rix, 1985
Page Views: 111
Submitted By: George Perkins on Oct 25, 2009

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Heading up the big left-facing corner just after t...


Sapphire is a variation to pitch 2 of Emerald City, to its right. It's perhaps slightly easier, less classic, and more runout than Emerald City, but is on good rock and is certainly worth doing if 5.9 La Cueva slabs are your thing.

The first pitch is shared with Emerald City, and pulls through the right side of a square roof, then gains easier slabs as you aim to pass just right of a small tree. A piton-protected tricky thin crux (rated 5.8+) comprises the last moves on the slab before moving right to the 2-bolt anchor.

Begin the 2nd pitch by easy downclimbing from the belay to the right about 10', a tricky step right, where you'll join the biggest left-facing dihedral in this section of cliff. Follow a crack in this corner, which begins as hands and turns into a seam on the slabby face above. The crack peters out, clip a pin (replaced w a bolt) and slab up to a (2nd) bolt, and angle left for a 20' slab runout to the Revenge of the Elderly 2-bolt anchor.


Sapphire is the right variation of Emerald City for pitch 2. The first pitch is shared with Emerald City, which begins up and right of the Revenge of the Elderly sort of in a high alcove-like area between two black water streaks.

Rappel the route (or Revenge of the Elderly). Both require 2 rappels with 2 ropes to descend.


Nuts and cams to 2", include micros.

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By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
May 31, 2010

In the old Loucks guide, the route name was spelled "Safire".
By Will Vining
Sep 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The pin on the second pitch is no more... It appears to have been replaced by a bolt.

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