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The Trough 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Tom Wezwick and Karl Kiser
Page Views: 943
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Jul 15, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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BETA PHOTO: The Trough (5.7), Winter Wall, Diablo Canyon, NM. ...


This isn't really a finalized route description. I tried to follow the line named "The Trough," which is route #17a in Beverly (2006:219-220), but I failed. This current route description is more of a mini-trip report, warning where not to go when you try this route. When I figure out the correct line, I'll update this page. Anyone have any beta?

Beverly notes that The Trough is an 'easy crack in cornersystem with bushes' that has a 2-bolt anchor. His topo indicates that the anchors lay at about the same elevation as those of Sunbaked and Protein Supplement to the right.

Although I couldn't see an anchor from the ground or from the top of Sunbaked, I set off up Beverly's illustrated line for The Trough. After pulling through two fairly fun little roofs, the dihedral got rapidly dirtier and looser, although it stays at 5.7. By the time I was above the level of where the anchor was supposedly indicated, the crack system degenerated badly. For example, just below a beautiful 2-foot-diameter dish on the left face of the dihedral, a microwave-oven-sized shattered block is poised to fall out at the drop of a pin; this block will certainly take out your belayer if it goes.
Most importantly, I found no bolted anchors anywhere in this vicinity or to the right. Although it appears to stay at about 5.7 above that point, and you might be able to top out and walk off, it'd be a loose nightmare. I chose instead to downclimb the whole 'route'.

In retrospect, I may have gone right after the first roof when I was supposed to go left (see the beta photo for the possible left option), but I still didn't see any anchor bolts in that area. However, there is a mystery bolt line way up high, between, and well above the tops of, The Trough and Vitaman (see the beta photo); anyone know what that is/was?


The start apparently proceeds up a crack and dihedral on the left side of the nice face containing Sunbaked and Protein Supplement.


Standard trad rack. Still can't confirm whether there are anchor bolts up there or not.

Comments on The Trough Add Comment
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By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Dec 8, 2008

Chris Wenker wrote:
However, there is a mystery bolt line way up high, between, and well above the tops of, The Trough and Vitaman (see the beta photo); anyone know what that is/was?
Chris, after talking with Sharon and Greg today, those bolts you saw are for the line they call Old Sling Straightened. It's really quite good with mostly cruiser terrain with two bolts protecting the final, crux moves at the top.
By Karl Kiser
Mar 6, 2009

Tom Wezwick and I put up this route so that Protein Supplement and Sunbaked could be put in. The climb indeed goes up the "trough" but cuts right and goes to a separate anchor slightly uphill from the mentioned climbs. There is loose rock on the route but in no way does the route go anywhere close to the death blocks.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Nov 28, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Yeah, Chris, you wanted to traverse right from your high-point (at least, that's how I went).

Basically you want to be climbing the crack system immediately left of Protein Supplement to stay on this route. Yes, it's bushy, and sometimes the rock is suspect. There is indeed a 2-bolt anchor, with tat attached to rings; it is on the left end of the grassy ledge above the Protein Supplement anchor, and wasn't visible until I was right at it. It would probably be smart to replace the webbing before trusting it. I suspect a single 60m rope will suffice for the rappels; however I scrambled off 3rd class ledges to the right, so I don't know for sure.

Oh yeah- this is the bushiest climb I've done in New Mexico, and I'd bomb it; the only nice thing to say is that it may be worthwhile for someone looking for a 5.6/5.7 at Diablo, as there aren't many of these grades here.

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