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Gemstone West
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Shoots & Ladders 

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

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 772
Submitted By: Bill Lawry on Sep 6, 2008

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P1: The "shoot" is a left facing dihedral with a large crack in it. Continue up the shoot past the crux perhaps using a variety of techniques until on easy terrain on a jigsaw-puzzle face (ladders). End on a large ledge with huge boulders and a little vegetation, after about 35 meters from the base of the climb.

P2: The easy second pitch trends up and left between a cactus and the rock before going up cracks (5.4?) at the right edge of a northerly face; another great option is to take the obvious right-trending crack on the ~westerly face until it ends, then up (5.6?) to a bolt and continue up.

The rating of 5.9 came from Barry and Rita Loucks' guide although that guide also lists Gemstone as 5.9.

For a fourth class walk-off descent, see comment at the bottom of a marked-up version of a photo from Monomaniac on the Gemstone West page.


The start is below a 'shoot' roughly 15 feet to climber's left of the aid boulder. See a marked up version of Monomaniac's photo on the Gemstone West page.


Standard rack up to 3 inches. First pitch has a crack which widens in the mid-section to roughly 4 to 6 inches - an old style #5 DB C4 fits well in about a two foot section. However, there are adequate smaller placements along the way.

A #5 DB C4 is mentioned above but is overkill. If you really want to sew up the big part of the crack, it can be done with a 4 inch piece or two.

The first and second pitch can be combined with a 60 meter rope, so long as the belayer is close to the start and so long as rope-stretch at the crux is not an issue for the second.

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