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(d) Northwest Recess
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Incision, The T 
Long Climb, The T 
Magical Mystery Tour T 
Sahara Terror T 
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Swallow, The T 
Whodunit T 
Wong Climb T 

The Swallow 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 800'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Chuck Wilts and Royal Robbins, June 1952
Page Views: 3,735
Submitted By: Roger Linfield on Feb 24, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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BETA PHOTO: Possibly the Swallow... but nobody really knows, n...


This long, classic route is a good choice on a hot day. It starts just to the right of the prominent dihedral of Whodunit. Climb one or two moderate pitches up a crack system that splits the face, ending on a good ledge. Go up and left, then back right along a crack until it joins a larger crack system. Two more pitches up this crack system lead up to an obvious belay spot. The crux pitch involves a short splitter finger jam over an overhang, with good protection. Easier (5.6 and 5.7) crack pitches lead to the top.


standard rack

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By Russ Walling
Jun 4, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

We tried to do this route the other day (6/2/07) but even with printouts from the internet, a vintage descriptive guidebook and the latest and greatest modern guides, I don't think we found the route. But... we probably did most of the best of the Swallow and some of the well hidden Gulp.

For a 70m rope:
Pitch one: Run up easy ground until the fun looks like it is out to your left... you can continue up the low angle trough, or do some sporty moves out on the left face via poorly protected laybacks and a few smeary highsteps. Continue up to the base of a vertical fingers to hand crack and set up a semi hanging belay (1.5" to 3" stuff)

Pitch two: Hard-ish finger and hand crack moves out of the station ease soon enough and lead to the wide crack above. A fixed pin and a slung horn will semi protect you as you enter the squeeze chimney. A large cam is helpful here and you will be shimmying a ways up the chimney with no pro opportunities. If you squint a little as you struggle with your ill fitting heel-toes this thing will seem just like a real moaner OW for the Yosemite neophyte. Belay on the ledge with a semi loose tree. Belay pro 1.5" - 3" cams.

Pitch 3: Continue up the obvious crack system on the left. A good thin hands/fingers section awaits your digits a bit higher up. Cool moves in this crack soon end as you move up and right toward some small trees.... I passed the first set of trees with rap slings on them and went for the next tree that has a bolt next to it on the right side. Traffic will come into here from Consolation as they try to find a weakness that leads to the summit.

Pitch 4: You can go up and right on well traveled terrain to top out.... or you can go up and left toward the cracks and a fixed pin on the Whodunit, or.... you can go straight up into the summit overlaps and pull some really cool moves over a small roof. I suggest that you go straight up and bag some of the coolest moves on the route.... keep something about 1" to pro the lip of the roof. It is airy and scary, and just technical enough to keep your interest. After pulling the roof, wander back onto the summit and belay off some 2" to 3" cams in a summit crack.
By Jack Ziegler
From: Golden, CO
Jun 15, 2010

Isn't this route supposed to be predominantly know for the OW section or am I wrong?
By steple
Jul 8, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The offwidth part can be seen on pitch 2 in Russ' picture. Thanks for the picture, Russ, I finally figured out which route I did back then.
By Tradiban
May 31, 2014

Solid three stars. Off the two pin anchor on P1 (tatty white webbing) go to the left crack, straight up is chossy, and get into the off width (#5 c4 was useful for sure).

For the finish I pretty much went straight up, just right of Whodunit, nary a move of 5.10.
By nathanael
From: Riverside, CA
Jun 23, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

We forgot the big cams but the offwidth actually protects well with small stuff. If you feel around inside you can find small cracks to protect in. I forget what size, I think I placed a .75 and 1-2 other pieces, plus the fixed pin. It felt well protected, no need for a 4/5/6/?. But you need to feel around blind to find the placements.

I believe this gets 10a in the Vogel guide, and that didn't seem too far from the truth. The finger crack lieback on P3 (after the squeeze) felt 5.9/5.10 ish. The pitch leading up the the squeeze also had a body length of tricky 5.9/5.10 fingers, but we took the crack system to the right on Russ's topo. The movement was cool, pulling over a bulge on big jugs before the finger crack, but there is a LOT of loose blocks and I wouldn't recommend it. Can't comment on how hard the left crack system is.

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