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Sespe Gorge (Black Wall)
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The Wasp/The Sting 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b R

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b R [details]
FA: unknown
Season: summer shade at 2pm
Page Views: 1,426
Submitted By: Alex Bury on May 23, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: Start of "The Wasp"


The most engaging line on the wall.
Steep and demanding climbing out of the cave leads to the long, low angle face above. The route is capped with a small roof, which contains several variations.

Although it is possible to link pitches, managing the lower and upper roofs is more reasonable when the climb is broken up into three pitches.

Pitch 1-
two options:
-The Wasp [5.8] lieback out the left side of the cave. The crux is getting into the lieback.
-The Sting [5.10+ R] big moves on overhanging terrain out the cave. The crux is pulling the lip.
Both first pitch variations end just above the cave at slung huecos.

Pitch 2-
Easy climbing follows a system of huecos upward. Continue upward until a crack opens up, offering better pro.
Belay at the small but sturdy oak, down and right from the high roof, or construct a belay.

Pitch 3-
Steep and exposed moves past a roof, 200+ feet off the deck. From the belay, head left to the roof and surmount it via one of three weaknesses.
The leftmost crack is 5.9, the middle is 5.8, and the rightmost is 5.7.
Getting to the 5.9 crack from the oak belay includes a great hand traverse beneath the roof.
A large oak with slings makes it easy to rappel back down and sample each top-out variation.

*tattered slings marking the top of pitch 1 on 'The Sting' replaced with black webbing and tan ring Oct. 19th 2013*


The route begins in the back of the obvious cave left of the platform.


Double rack of cams; BD (#.3-3), One #4, nuts

This route is 100% bolt free.

A top-rope can be set up on The Sting by first climbing pitch one of The Wasp. At the slung huecos, equalize several more huecos to create a bomber TR setup. There is webbing and a fat ring to lower from when you are done.

Photos of The Wasp/The Sting Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: BETA -- How to get down
BETA PHOTO: BETA -- How to get down
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of the Wasp.
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the Wasp.

Comments on The Wasp/The Sting Add Comment
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By Richard Shore
May 12, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R

Heady lead. The R rating is very real; mostly at the start in my opinion. You are committed into the crux with the slung horn as the only pro that could (maybe) stop a fall. I placed a 2 c4 in a crack high up and left, but the rock was so sandy and poor that I don't think it would have held body weight. As as I got towards the lip of the cave, I looked down and saw the sling fall off the horn. FML. Felt like i was free-soloing with a rope. As I was clipping into the anchor I was stung by a bee - how fitting.

If you opt to do just the cave section and lower off, consider bringing a knife and a good length of natural-colored webbing to replace the aging slings.
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
May 12, 2011

Way to get out there and tick off those old lines, Richard!

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