Sir Hector's Highway
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BETA PHOTO: Sir Hector's Highway
Clean rock, this route is a bit more continuous in nature than most of the routes on the cliff; nominally rated 5.8+ or 5.9- until there is more input.
Sir Hector was another knight in the Holy Grail legend and the half-brother of Sir Lancelot.
This climb is located on the semi-independent "East Slab" (climber's right) of the routes "Dick to the Rescue"/ "Picnic Table". See "LOCATION", and photos, for directions to this slab.
Rap with a single 60m, [Originally this said "70m". As explained on the "Merlin Rap" the rope I was using and thought was a 70m was actually only 62m, a single 60m should work. Always tie knots and "be prepared"! ] from the double bolt anchor at the top of the climb. [See "Location" for directions how to get there.] Swing / step right to a fine ledge just below, and to rapeller's right, of a small pine tree and other small trees. TCU's and/or small-med. nuts for the gear anchor.
P1 - Step down and left off the ledge, then up leftwards [TCU in flake] to the first bolt. Past this (crux) and up and slightly right passing two more bolts to reach a left-facing flake [ TCU / Yellow Alien]. Now up to the left on dark, but clean, rock to a ledge. [ Red (#1.5) Camalot in a hole to the right ] Step left, then back right to a 8" partially-formed pocket, then up to the final headwall (bolt). 120-125 ft 5.8+ / 5.9- ?
"P2" - scramble up and right along the rock to the path you came in on. 70 ft 5.2 +/-
This route is on a slab to Climber's right of the main slab. The slabs are separated by several feet of mossy, somewhat chossy rock, which forms a rotten "cave" at the bottom of the cliff. While it might be possible to reach the dbl bolt belay by climbing up and right from the "Dick to the Rescue" mid-cliff belay, the following approach is better:
APPROACH: From the open slab of the hiker's trail, 25-50 ft above the climber's path down to the "Bugs" rap station, move down to viewer's/walker's far left on the open slab below the hiker's trail until stopped by a drop off (see photo). Here move left on the sandy top of a boulder [small cairn and tape], with perhaps the assistance of a pine-tree branch, to a crude path that leads left (facing OUT) and then down to a dirty slab.
While it may be possible to downclimb (5.0 -5.2 X) the 75-80 ft to the anchor, the slab currently has quite a bit of gritty dirt, so it is recommended to set up a short rappel which takes you nearly horizontally to rappeler's left", past a small pine tree, further left to an Aluminum-Bong Piton. [Note: 80 ft of 8mm or 7mm makes this rap much 'cleaner' than 'messing' with 200 or 230 ft of rope!] Clip [both strands if doing a regular rap, the one strand if using a single 80 ft rope] of the rap rope through the bong for a directional (have a sling with 2 biners ready). Then down to a sloping ledge and the 2 bolt anchor on the left. It is easier for the second (and 3rd) if they pull [both] the end[s] of the rap rope up though the directional's 'biner and then re-clip through the directional, rather than arrive and have to unclip and re-clip. Retrieve the sling and/or the 80ft rope on the way out.
It is possible, but currently not recommended, to reach the bottom of the climb from the bottom of the cliff by climbing up the steep slope beyond the "cave" (25-30 ft right of the start of Picnic Table) and then moving up, left and up. Look for "daylight" up and to your left. Take care on the sandy ledges and scrambling, as well as the steep slope at the beginning which is easily steep enough to maintain a fall if you slip or dislodge a lose rock from the dirt.
"Red" is the watchword; two red micro Camalots, or equivalent TCU's, and a Red (#1.5) Camalot. Nuts or TCUs for gear belay at the bottom.