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The Middle Finger - History is Tradition 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: 
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Page Views: 1,076
Submitted By: Airbiscuit on Aug 17, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: Looking down on the shoulder.

Description 

You cannot crag at the Tiara Rado Buttress without looking across the bench to the other side of the cove and somehow feel that the Monument is flipping you the bird. Uninspiring and typical Monument funk from the front, the backside of this tower reveals excellent stone and a pleasant surprise for the would be adventurer.

Approach from the bench trail, and hike up and around (climber's right) into the alcove to a point where the scree end and the cliff begins.

P1: cross the slabs and go up into some easy chossaneering. Once in the chimney proper, bypass the thrutch via engaging thin fingers up a shallow corner on the left wall to a great ledge and a gear belay on thin cams and nuts; 100' +/-, 5.9.

P2: this is an awesome pitch on awesome stone. Fire up from the pedestal on rattly fingers and climb 110' of varied and sustained bullet hard Wingate that's mostly in the thin hands/fingers to hands size. This pitch deposits you on a large flat shoulder; 110+/-, 5.11.

P3: piece together the face climb to the summit via excellent fixed gear. Pretty fun kinda scary, similar to the summit pitch on the Monolith Spire but not as long or committing; 40' +/-, 5.11.

Descend to the shoulder, then do one long rappel to the ground.

Location 

It is located on the Bench Trail just past Jolly Tower.

Protection 

Doubles from 00 TCU - #6 Friend, triples in the 00-#2 TCU, triples 0.75 - #3, nuts, long runners, and two 60m ropes.


Photos of The Middle Finger - History is Tradition Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit shot w/ Oompa's backside in the distance.
BETA PHOTO: Summit shot w/ Oompa's backside in the distance.
Rock Climbing Photo: From the bench trail.
From the bench trail.
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch.
1st pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Leaning finger awaits.
The Leaning finger awaits.

Comments on The Middle Finger - History is Tradition Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
May 29, 2017

I would categorize this as an adventurous route - a Monument tower, not an Indian Creek climb....

Pitch 2 has challenging but fun OW climbing - don't be shy letting your partner lead this ;)

Pitch 3 is a sandy, scary desert face climb. The first bolt is quite high and committing to get to (preferably the desert rat with the longer reach to the oh-so-sandy crimps takes this one). Once the first bolt is clipped, you can aid up to the 4th bolt - it felt harder than 5.11 due to the rock quality. Past the 4th bolt, the angle mellows to the summit, though it's still sandy - beware of many theoretical hand and foot holds that will crumble when touched....

Thanks to those who installed nice rap anchors at the top of pitch 2. 1 short rap from the summit to top of pitch 2 is followed by a double-rope rap to the ground.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
May 30, 2017
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

A good climb, but not a great one. 4-star routes in the area like Medicine Man, Desert Solitaire, Kissing Couple, etc... those are a solid set of quality higher, and with fewer detractors.

To note: a set of 70m ropes can get you down from the top to the low angle stuff in 1 rap from the top, and a set of 60s (and no doubt 50s) from the lower set of anchors.

The belay between the first 2 pitches is not obvious or great, I guess. I linked P1/P2 as a single pitch and did it as single a 170' lead to the anchor from the base of the slabs. That felt maybe 11a/b when linked.

Rack from your tiny TCU' to a single #5 and #6 Camalot with about 4 of any given size to link pitches.

I knew something was up when I read the description posted stating that the 3rd pitch went on 'excellent fixed gear' but was still scary, and indeed,
I broke a foothold off just before clipping the first bolt and just about decked to the ledge, which would have been 'unpleasant.' That is a euphemism for an unknown outcome somewhere between tragic and unfortunate.

While I respect the FA party's decision to not put a lower bolt in, I personally would have, and I suggest reconsideration on their parts. Runout to a 1st bolt on an otherwise tightly bolted pitch seems a little gratuitous when the rock quality is a leading factor with consideration to the odds of falling to the ledge. Height/reach is probably the second leading factor.

Of course, a stick-clip could have fixed this, but we didn't take one. I expect that this pitch will get harder and less secure with time, and thus more dangerous. Sure would be a heck of a walk out with a broken ankle or wrist.
By Airbiscuit
Jun 3, 2017



Sometimes you Just have got to go old school!

Please keep in mind some of the other "4 star routes" in The Monument such as Kissing couple or Fast Draw? \ are only so because of traffic. Yours was the 4th ascent. Good job getting off the beaten path. Anybody venturing here in this venue should know this is not "The Creek" and needs to respect that fact.

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