||Trad, 3 pitches, 240', Grade II
|Original: || YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]|
|FA: ||D. Grandusky, B. Rogers, D. Kurtz, 1980|
|Season: ||Faces East, then South.|
|Page Views: ||145|
|Submitted By: ||Tony B on May 30, 2016|
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BETA PHOTO: Joseffa at the belay above the second pitch as tak...
"An obscure route worth seeking out...."
This quote is the opening line from the Levine book implied, to me, a good route, yet it was only given one star. I am the sort of climber who does EVERYTHING, but this piqued my interest even further. It's been on my list of to-do's for a while, but somehow I never got to it until recently, and it didn't disappoint.
The first pitch was like a scruffy Flatiron, unfortunately with some pine needles on it. The second had some odd, mostly sideways climbing on shallow and sloping heucos with sparse gear. The third pitch was the business. It is significantly steeper than it looks at first, the protection is pretty good and relatively close at any given time, and the climbing is thought provoking and employs a lot of tricks. The steep route folks from the gym would have to give a route-setter credit for a climb like that.
The first pitch is something you just have to do to get there, nothing special. It might have been more fun if it were cleaner. The second pitch was cool and thought provoking. Jo described it a 'Alice in Bucketland
-like' I guess I agree, but it is less steep and less positive. The pro is similar, but if you can climb 5.10, it hardly matters. It's not R/X but maybe PG-13. The top pitch is why you came here. My only criticism of it is that it isn't long enough. Then again, were it much longer, perhaps I'd have had a harder time of it and the grade would be higher for sure if sustained at the difficulty it was.
All in all, I understand Levin's grading. You can't give it 3 stars, because the first pitch is not worth much, but it is worth going to do for the last pitch for sure, and the second pitch is engaging.
This route runs from near the base of Kloof
up a slab for 130' to a rising traverse across a black, varnished face with a diagonal band of sloper huecos. Negotiate that to reach the chocolate and black boiler-plate face split by a lightning bolt crack. Pursue the left option up and through the arete on the left to reach the top.
Done as two pitches, linking the first two to make a 160' climb, then doing the top pitch on its own, we used a double rack to 3" and a handful of long slings. The belay options are a little fussy/tricky at either proposed belay, but I worked out the one at the base of the 3rd pitch with a green Camalot, blue Alien, and medium stopper. They were all reasonable placements but not A1/perfect.
The top belay was a cord around a torso-sized, wedged block.
BETA PHOTO: 'The Wizard' follows an interesting path to some g...
Leading the top pitch on The Wizard. Photo by Jos...