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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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The Pitts 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 220'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: R. Briggs, R. Candelaria, 1976
Page Views: 1,209
Submitted By: Mark Tarrant on Feb 20, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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Moving left to get into the crack.

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  • Description 

    The Pitts is an overhanging hand crack about 200' off the ground on the left side of the crag--left of the North Face Route. This good climb is hardly ever done due to the requisite approach pitches; the most hideous in Boulder Canyon. The horrible approach gully can now be avoided by climbing P1 of Bell Air.

    Pitch 1: 5.9, 160', 12 bolts, med. cams, 3 bolt anchor. Unless you want to suffer through the original gully pitches (negative 3 on a 3 star scale), you should approach The Pitts via Bell Air (see description).

    P2: 5.11b, 75', units to 3", 2 bolt anchor. Climb into a short corner then up the steep hand crack to the top. Carefully protect the overhanging crack to start (units, 1.5 Friend), then move right, up a slab for 8'. Make a committing swing left on an obvious horn into the main crack where you'll get solid pro the rest of the way. Though the pitch isn't very long, it's one of the better cracks in Boulder Canyon.

    Descent: Walk off the top or return to the belay anchor below the last pitch, then rap twice to the ground. Rap #1: 50' down the slab to bolts in a V-slot about 10' right (west) of P1. Rap #2: 80' to the ground.

    Hopefully this pitch will get done more now that the approach has improved and you don't have to walk off the top. You might as well do P2 of Bell Air while you're up there.


    About 15 draws, gear through 3" (dbl 1.5"-2").

    Photos of The Pitts Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Moving right after the main crack ends.
    Moving right after the main crack ends.
    Rock Climbing Photo: A little blurry, but shows what the route is like.
    A little blurry, but shows what the route is like.

    Comments on The Pitts Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By steve dieckhoff
    Dec 14, 2004

    This is an excellent route. I believe it has been soloed by Eric Goukas.
    By Rich Farnham
    Sep 6, 2009

    Fantastic climb! The first pitch of Bell Air is a nice pitch in its own right, and gets you up to this cool crack.

    I'll post a few pictures of the route, but this is a hard route to photograph. The pictures distort what the climbing is all about. This is an overhanging, right-leaning crack that involves gymnastic climbing (i.e. not a plug-and-chug steep handcrack). The movement reminded me of Death and Transfiguration, albeit much shorter.

    The pro is a little strange until you are established in the crack, but if you look around you can keep it safe. I was very happy to have a red metolius TCU (1.5 Fr. size) to place in a small pocket at the start of the bulge. Doubles on .75-2 Camalots were nice.

    It's not obvious what to do when the main crack peters out. Another crack angles right, or it looks like you can rock left onto the slab. I went right and found great climbing. Moving right was one of the cruxes of the route, but it felt like this is where the route goes. The slab would go, but would probably be runout, and looked covered in lichen.

    2 rap bolts at the top (i.e. no rings). This would be a hard route to set a TR on without a lot of directionals.

    I cannot comprehend soloing this route. Bad-ass.

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