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Higher Education Ridge, West Face
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Academia Nut T 
Basic Aeronautics S 
Big Man On Campus S 
Dr. Luval Goes to Harvard T 
Dweeb, The T 
Egghead S 
Frat Boy S 
Friends in Low Places T 
Grading on a Curve T 
Graduate, The S 
Mr. B Cranks a Feces T 
Party Girl S 
Physics of Flight T 
Pop Quiz S 
Professor, The S 
Trail of Tiers T 
Tuition Hike T 
Vocational Training T 

Trail of Tiers 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Stuart and Bret Ruckman, 1990
Page Views: 201
Submitted By: John Steiger on Aug 23, 2011

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BETA PHOTO: Apparently the pin placed by the Ruckmans on Trail...


More sustained and varied than Academia Nut to the right, this may be the best route in the Gully of Higher Education, except for maybe Merrill Bitter's Ms. Luval Cranks a Thesis (that's going to take some sucking up to get on).

After spotting the first bolt, start about 10 feet right in a right-diagonalling thin crack to get established on the slab. The topo in the Ruckmans' 1998 guide shows a pin somewhere near here, but it apparently rusted out (see photo) and is not needed in any event. Catch a left-leaning crack and stand tall to clip the first bolt. From here thoughtful and occasionally powerful climbing leads over several tiers to a desperate pull over the lip of the last and largest one to gain the anchors.

The Ruckmans' guide says of the route, "Neat headrests"; this perplexed me for years until Bret told me they were referring to protrusions under one of the tiers that gave a no hands rest. I think those protrusions have fallen off. Expect some minor looseness.


See the page for Academia Nut. Once at the base of Academia Nut and its immediate neighbors, take another set of switchbacks to a flattish are near a large tree stump. (Beware of small patches of poison oak above the flattish area.) The first bolt of Trail of Tiers is about 15 feet up and slightly to the right of this point; it is just above a small roof.


A selection of cams from micro to a .5 (purple) Camalot will provide sufficient options to protect the moves on the slab to the first bolt; draws from there. Rap or lower from chains.

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