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I stared at this face for ten years, stopping in amazement one of my first trips down.
"Wow!" I thought, "will it ever go?"
The more I climbed at Sams Throne, the more I learned what gear would, and wouldn't work, and what it took to do routes ground up in an area where cracks dead ended disappointingly, and finicky seams sometimes gave protection, but oftentimes, not.
The obvious blank green face is practically hold-less, but my eyes traced the most possible looking line; up the previously climbed arete, and into the seams cracking the face. Jim Karpowitz climbed this in the 80's with no fixed gear, and no pre-inspection.
This is the spirit in which 90% of the routes at Sams have since been sent. Last year, a rash of rap and retro bolters descended on the Throne spraying bolts, and opinions on anything within gunshot.
I knew it was a matter of time before they got to the green face. It's the most obvious remaining gem. Luckily, they left it untouched. I headed up with a small rack and figured out the "creative" gear placements; worked the crux, and came back two weeks later for the send.
This is how "the game" works at Sams, and hopefully will for a long time. Time moves slower here, and someday, someone will do the direct green face. I hope they will have as rewarding an experience as I did.
Begin on The Natural, protecting the left side of the arete as best you can. After thirty feet, traverse left on the handrail that leads fifteen feet to a vertical seam. Hopefully you have long slings on everything you placed and will not have any drag(consider using double ropes). The crux is the next 15 feet , working the tips crack, with the occasional face hold.
Once you hit the ceiling, you can get a good rest. Head out the ceiling left, nailing a jug, and pull through to the top.
Micro-cams and nuts. Micro-cams and nuts. Micro-cams and nuts. Oh yeah, and slings. Long ones. A couple thin to hand size cams for the top. Two bolt anchor over the lip.
By Gary Olsen
Jul 3, 2007
Great job jer and nice write-up. This was an example of a route that could have been done in a different style (rapp and drill) but fortunately, those who came before realized that true adventure was only to be had in the style that you did it in. To me this is the reason why some ground up areas should remain ground up. So that future generations can experience what you did. Great job!
By Tony Mayse
Aug 9, 2007
Nice work Jeremy. I agree with what my good friend Gary Olsen said.