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This bold line was the first route to venture above Karate Crack on the magnificent Karate Wall. The route was established in "Ground-Up" fashion, with all of the original bolts placed on lead, hanging from hooks. This was a common practice in the early 80's in areas such as Yosemite. However, to truly appreciate the boldness of this ascent, consider the (poor) quality of the stone on the upper half of the pitch.
In its current state, this route is still a bold undertaking, with massive runouts on very spooky rock, and bird's nests in key pockets. For this reason, this route is almost never climbed, even by the hourdes of topropers that monopolize the wall on a daily basis.
Rope drag on this pitch can be significant as the line wanders considerably, and even with the route's sparse protection you will be towing more than 30m of rope at the top.
Begin up Karate Crack. When the crack turns horizontal, head straight up to the first large hueco (as for Crossfire). If you desire, stuff a #3 Camalot in this pocket then head directly left to the other large hueco slightly higher and 8 feet left (as for Power Dive). Clip the bolt just above the hueco, (probably with a really long sling, unless you are using double ropes) then crank the crux move, a heinous crank on a sloping 2-finger pocket to a large rail. Traverse right along the rail, clipping Crossfire's 2nd bolt, then continue right-wards past Crossfire, to a dark brown, chalkless wall of creaking nobs and pidgeon nests.
The route continues, mostly from large pocket to large pocket, up and right, ever-steepening as you ascend. Pass two more bolts, then the final crux: crimping on rounded edges. A long runout leads to the final enormous hueco. De-pump and place a tipped-out #3 (or perhaps #3.5 or #4) Camalot in this pocket. 10 more feet on easing terrain lead to the last bolt, and a final runout on huge knobs and flexing flakes to the top of the wall.
In this day and age, it might make more sense (rope-drag-wise) to head straight up from Karate Crack, thru the Crossfire crux, then veer right, rather than climbing through the left hueco. However, the route was originally climbed as described above.
Karate Wall. Begin up Karate Crack, then follow the right-most line to the top. See above for detailed weaving beta.
5 bolts, gear for Karate Crack, and 2 x #3 Camalot. (3.5 or 4 Camalot may work in the upper hueco).
By Jon Rhoderick
Apr 19, 2017
I tried this today and backed off. I was very glad I did because a new Camelot 4 wont't fit in the big hole. A new style 3 probably wouldn't be tipped out.
Honestly this thing is a bit of a horror show, you won't find any chalk on it and many of the holds I found were slopey. The bolts are probably ok, but they are 34 years old at this time. It's worth noting that Crossfire has 5 bolts in the same section as Slow Burn has 3.