The 3rd Rail
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Joseph starting up The 3rd Rail at Beacon Rock. FA...
Jim Opdycke had sent Joseph up into the vertical wilderness looking for "an old pin up there somewhere" thinking there may have been a previous ascent. Joseph had originally boldly led up through the moss and choss belayed by Jim and had lowered off, then came back and finished it ground up to the belay shared with Reasonable Richard and Local Access with Bill Coe. It was one of those full on sun 100 degree days, with sweat rolling every which direction (No chalk of course) so he could retrieve his gear. Then he just kept going up. Bold lead. Joseph came back and did the 2nd ascent lead as well with Bill Coe and Ujahn Davisson in tow, Ujahn took the pictures you see here.
Later learned that there is a strong possibility this was a line which had been cleaned some by Mark Deffenbach 2 years earlier but not done.
The climbing starts easy on the lower slab and gets harder as the wall becomes vertical. The pro gets better as you ascend, however, be good at putting in your own gear as the route has challenging placements although the long runouts become less long as you get higher up.
This is a good first pitch for the upper routes: Blood Sweat and Smears, Flight Time, Flying Circus and Flying Swallow as it ends on the ledge which signifies the start of those routes. The start is just right of Reasonable Richard and Local Access about 30 feet right of the 3rd tunnel. Rap with a single 60 meter and watch the ends of your rope, you may need to downclimb a few feet.
Small to medium wired nuts and a few TCU's or Aliens. Josephs first piece was a crack-N-up about 30 feet off the deck as Ujahns picture indicates, and it has a few crap pieces interspersed with a few good ones.
Joseph Healy leading the middle section of The 3rd...
Joe's 1st piece of pro: The 3rd Rail at Beacon Roc...
Joseph leading 1/2 way up the 3rd rail. Photo: Uj...