Route Guide    Partners    Forum    Photos    What's New    Journal        
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Barber Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arete., The T 
Big Deal Rock Climb T 
Black Crack T 
Black Lung T 
Book of Solemnibeast (variation of Book of Solemnity) T 
Book of Solemnity, The T 
Chicken Delight T 
Double Vee T 
Dresden T 
Final Gesture T 
Hatful of Hollow T 
Jolt T,S 
Kim Jung Il T 
Layton's Ascent T 
Lichen Delight T 
Lichen It a Lot T 
Medusa T 
Nomad Crack T 
Nutcracker T 
Off the Hook T,S 
Perseus  T,S 
Reconciliation T 
Retaliation T 
Upper Refuse T 
Webster's Unabridged T 
Youth Challenge T 

The Book of Solemnity 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 190'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Joe Cote and Steve Arsenault-1971
Page Views: 14,243
Submitted By: m-earle on Oct 31, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (127)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Mark Synnott follows higher up on P1 of The Book o...

Description 

This gorgeous line starts to the right of the start of Upper Refuse and Black Lung.

P1- 5.10a- 80'- Climb the dihedral past two pins and traverse under the roof (crux) and up to a two bolt belay ledge on the right hand face.

P2- 5.10a- 120'- Step left off the belay ledge and continue up the crack system until it ends. Traverse left onto a small ledge (crux), and follow over to the top section of upper refuse. Belay from the top of Upper Refuse. If you are not using double ropes, don't place any gear on or after the traverse. If you do, your second could take a nasty swing.

Protection 

set of nuts and cams


Photos of The Book of Solemnity Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on the bolted belay ledge. Taken f...
Unknown climber on the bolted belay ledge. Taken f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Synnott follows P1 of The Book of Solemnity (...
Mark Synnott follows P1 of The Book of Solemnity (...
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch of The Book of Solemnity, Cathedra...
The first pitch of The Book of Solemnity, Cathedra...
Rock Climbing Photo: Book of Solemnity first pitch dihedral. Photo cred...
Book of Solemnity first pitch dihedral. Photo cred...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice Climbing.
Nice Climbing.
Rock Climbing Photo: Second pitch of the Book.
Second pitch of the Book.
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux of the second pitch, a traverse left unde...
BETA PHOTO: The crux of the second pitch, a traverse left unde...
Rock Climbing Photo: The second pitch corner.
BETA PHOTO: The second pitch corner.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch corner and roof.
BETA PHOTO: The first pitch corner and roof.

Comments on The Book of Solemnity Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 6, 2016
By Ladd
Administrator
Apr 20, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

If this is your max difficulty, consider top-roping it first. It has a strange slab move traversing under the roof. The second pitch has and equally strange step down into nothing.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Apr 20, 2007

I say grab a good belayer (and double ropes for the second pitch) and just fire it, the gear is good on the 1st pitch crux...and the second pitch crux has good gear, it's just the terror-inducing 5.2 move that ladd made reference to that's a scary one, but it's not hard at all....
By Ladd
Administrator
May 11, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Terror inducing indeed...
But yes, truly it is barely 5th class
By Ladd
Administrator
May 29, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I did this route again this past Saturday 5.26.07

That step down is probably only 4th class, but it does offer a keen pucker. Especially since I ran together the two pitches, and didn't place pro in the undercling like I usually do...oops.
By KCP
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Aug 25, 2007

A must-do introduction to 5.10
By David Aguasca!
From: New York
Oct 5, 2008
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Tastiest 5.10 slab masquerading-as-fingercrack-in-corner i've ever climbed.
By CTYankee
May 5, 2009

The second pitch crux is a lot tougher if you are short.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Sep 16, 2009

Just took a run up the book yesterday... I noticed 2 interesting things on the 1st pitch...

1: It had been cleaned really well since i had last been on it...

2:There was soooo much chalk on it i felt like i was at Rumney... The Difference is that there are holds at Rumney... Chalk your hands all you want, it wont make your feet stick to a polished slab :)
By David Stowe
Nov 10, 2009

Just did this route yesterday for the first time. What a great climb.
Several people have referenced the step down move as barely 5th class. I assume what they are referring to is the high traverse stepping down the the ledge. I went with the low the traverse and to me that is by far the crux of the pitch.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Nov 10, 2009

yeah, whichever way you do it the traverse moves are the second pitch crux... and both ways are fun... next time you should take the high road just to mix things up...

Ps. david, i am surprised you hadnt dont it yet... classic huh?
By David Stowe
Nov 10, 2009

Every time that I am in North Conway to climb it always rains. The past three days were the best weather I have ever had in North Conway for climbing, and in November, go figure. We shared the entire cliff with 3 or 4 parties.

The Book is a superb climb. My partner did both options while seconding(he asked me to lower him back after doing one) He thought that the high traverse was far easier than the low traverse.

Will have to hope for more good weather next time for Recombeast, Last Unicorn and others.
By MJO
Jun 13, 2010

Tremendous Climb! You'll need a #4 nut for the second pitch crux. It'll hold on a whipper, trust me.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 13, 2010

where did you place the #4?
By MJO
Jun 22, 2010

Sorry for the late response Lee;

I placed the #4 nut about 8 feet below the crux on pitch 2. I made the move and my right foot blew off. It was quite a fall; the wire on #4 is bent to this day!

It was my first time leading The Book and my first lead on anything higher than 5.9. I made the move and finished the climb. This was some years ago, and being more experienced now, I suspect there may be better placements than I made.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 22, 2010

thanks for the story :)
sounds like the gear was fine, there are bigger options you can use... but if it saves your ass it was good enough right? haha
By MJO
Jun 22, 2010

it all worked out for the best!
By James Simone
Mar 10, 2013

last time I led this there was a fixed nut lingering in the undercling just before the leftwards traverse. the step down does indeed induce a keen pucker.
By stephen arsenault
Apr 29, 2013

Wait till you guys become senior citizens and can't see the holds. You will think it is harder!
By john strand
From: southern colo
Apr 29, 2013

SA--- holds ? Mallery called them " finger buckets" back in '79

a tremendous climb, well worth many stars. i rarely repeated routes on Cathedral, but this is one to do over and over
By Jcomeau
From: North Conway
Sep 13, 2013

When climbing with one rope, would it be acceotable to place gear after the travers then lower down and clean it?
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Sep 13, 2013

that would be a decent way to handle the situation so long as rope drag was manageable on the way up...
By Jcomeau
From: North Conway
Sep 13, 2013

Lee, I am planning on using long runners on everything and a minimal amount of gear up to the bolted belay just right of the 3rd pitch on Upper Refuse. I just want to make sure my second is protected through the traverse.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Sep 13, 2013

yup... sounds safe :) very similar to how i do it... but safer...
By M Bageant
From: Cambridge, MA
May 10, 2015

I climbed this yesterday and found the second pitch crux to be ridiculously hard if you have a reach smaller than 5'9". It felt more like 5.10+ to 5.11 to me with my stumpy 5'5" reach. I tried both variations and the higher one seemed most tractable, but both were hard if short. Fellow shorties, consider yourself warned!

Also what's up with the bolts being at your feet on the big white belay ledge atop P1? Super awkward. Pick your poison I guess, if you want a semi-hanging belay in the crack or bolts at ankle height on the ledge.

The crux moves on P1 are brilliant! The crux moves on P2 just made me cry.
By john strand
From: southern colo
May 10, 2015

Did the belay bolts get re done ? i never remember them being to low.. the farther left you go on p2, the easier it gets. in fact you can go all the way left and finish scenic Route 5.8 up the edge.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
May 10, 2015

I heard lore that the belay was put low to hide them from view since the FA party didn't have time to do the second pitch on their first push and didn't want others to get and ideas...
By M Bageant
From: Cambridge, MA
May 11, 2015

Ah, good to know there's a story there! I thought there had to be an interesting reason for the low bolts.

Looking at the photos on here of the 2nd pitch crux traverse from 2009 makes me wonder if part of the hold just under the roof has broken off. I'll have to take a photo when I have a rematch.

Maybe I am just doing it all wrong and making it harder for myself!
By john strand
From: southern colo
May 13, 2015

Geez, i never heard that one before. i'll have to ask a member of the f/a team.
By stephen arsenault
Jun 7, 2015

We didn't put those bolts in on the 1st ascent. Those chain anchors weren't even available back in 1971, nor were cams.
Those crux moves on the 2nd pitch have gotten harder, since I've shrunk 2 inches.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 8, 2015

I had never imagined that the current bolts were the originals, I know the kind of gear you all were using back then. As the story was told, they were left that way because that was the original placement... Thank you for debunking this myth! Now... if that old story is BS then will someone please put that anchor in a better place haha...
By Russ Keane
Nov 9, 2015

This climb is brilliant. But the traverse left on P2 was a perplexing mystery. My leader went high, did the step overs, (he thought it was quite intense), and then for following, I tried my hardest to figure out the low way, but there was nothing there I could see! So I just pulled the classic "weeeeeeeee!" and swung over to the ledge and the easy remainder of climbing. Oh well. Uber-classic route!
By JayMorse
From: Hooksett, New Hampshire
Oct 5, 2016

Amazing climb with unforgettable cruxes and climbing that's so fun in between them you might forget to place gear!

I thought a more intricate description of the top of pitch 2 would be helpful for those who are wondering why double ropes would be useful and how it can be done with a single rope.

About 40-50' up on Pitch 2 you need to make a traverse far to the left. There are some gear options right before the traverse, and the swing back to the right if you fell would be mostly air, so as a leader you are reasonably protected (But its definitely enough of a swing that the fall will be in your head...). After you complete the traverse, which is both the technical and mental crux (and most unforgettable part) of the route in my opinion you will find yourself on the ledge of Pitch 2 of Upper Refuse, which you can not use as a belay for this route, because you are now something like 25-30' to the side of your last piece of gear, and you would be setting your second up for a nasty leftward swing into a wall right at the technical crux.

So what you need to do from here is climb the end of Upper Refuse, which is about 50' of 5.5 climbing that angles back to the right. The Upper Refuse tree anchor at the top of this section is at a reasonable angle for your second to both reduce the swing when doing the Book of Solemnity Traverse and protect them while they climb Upper Refuse. If you only have one rope, you will need to free solo this section, as placing any gear would leave the rope angle too far to the side and set your second up for the nasty swing. Another commentor mentioned that if using only one rope you could maybe place gear, climb to the top anchor, have your second lower you to clean the gear, and then climb back up and that may be a solution.

With two ropes, you will be able to place gear on this final 50' stretch of Upper Refuse, and just make sure not to clip the gear with the second rope.

Also note that you will not be able to see your second from the Top Upper Refuse anchors, and will have to shout to communicate, and keep in mind that the nature of the traverse is that you will need to give rather than take slack during the traverse. Your partner could simply fall and swing over to the ledge, bypassing the traverse, but if they are trying to send and enjoy the traverse moves, being able to communicate and watch them is very nice.

My solution for this was to set up a belay at the chain anchors of Webster's Unabridged (I think?) which are located on a nice ledge down and to climber's right of the tree anchors at the top of Upper Refuse. Using these chain anchors and a couple pieces in a crack to the left of those anchors equalized in the perfect spot to protect the second during the traverse while being able to watch them and communicate easily from a comfortable ledge. Once my second finished the Book of Solemnity traverse and landed on the Upper Refuse pitch 2 belay ledge, I had her go in direct to the tree anchor there and hang out on the ledge for a few minutes while I cleaned my anchor, climbed back up to the Upper Refuse pitch 3 tree anchors (5.0 or 5.1 climbing), which were at a much better angle to protect her while finishing Upper Refuse, set a new anchor, told her she was back on belay, and she finished it up. I think it was the safest possible way to protect the second, though it was admittedly at the expense of my own safety since I had to free solo the final pitch of Upper Refuse as well as the descent and ascent to and from the Webster's Unabridged belay ledge.

I will use double ropes if I ever do it again. I hope this helps explain the situation to those who have never done this climb before so you can be prepared.
By S. Neoh
Oct 5, 2016

Reading all the above makes me think I did not follow P2 as described at all. My friend Leo led P2. We used doubles that day. Leo had done the route before so he protected the second (me!) well after I had led up P1 for my first time ever on the route. I remember Leo only clipped protection with one rope so the second strand ran almost straight down from the belay after P2. I felt well protected when I did the traverse on P2 with some Beta from Leo. I believe I did it "the low way" almost all the way and went up some corner/arete feature to finish P2. I thought mid .10 was a fair grade even 1st go ever at it. Maybe everything fell in place for me on that day or we took an easier way up P2. Great outing all in all.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 6, 2016

The solution to P2 is to NOT go all the way over to Refuse..go a bit left then straight up over the bulge. it's commiting but gets easier quickly. John Mallery used to call the holds "finger buckets" You actually are on Casual Route, the liet that avoids the cluster on Refuse, brings you to a nice ledge,,,hang off a bit and you can see the second most of the way.
By S. Neoh
Oct 6, 2016

It has been a long while but that sounds about right, John. P2 was over quite quickly for me if memory serves.