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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: ???
Page Views: 144
Submitted By: Rich Farnham on Aug 22, 2011

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BETA PHOTO: Beta Photo showing "Unknown", and its re...

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  • Description 

    This route isn't brand new (I've seen the bolts here for a few years at least) but isn't in any guidebook I own. It provides a better way to get to the good climbing on the North Face route (avoiding the low-angle 5.7 bush-filled corner).

    The route starts from the same bench as Hound Dog. Scramble up and left (5.0) on blocky ground to the base of a slightly less than vertical face with several thin cracks. You encounter a bolt as soon as you arrive on the ledge. It doesn't protect much -- perhaps the intention was to start the route here, making this a belay bolt. Regardless, head up the thin cracks with a mix of face moves and fingerlocks. It is possible to stem off the blocky wall left of the face, which drops the grade significantly. After ~30' the cracks pinch off, and two bolts pull you right, onto the face (10a).

    The route merges with the North Face after these two bolts, at a small ledge. There is a 2-bolt lowering anchor here, but you should just clip it and keep going up. The next ~35' of North Face is fun crack climbing with another spot of 10a.

    The next ledge has a similar 2-bolt lowering anchor. I lowered from here, all the way to the ground. My 60m rope was barely long enough to do this -- tie a knot in the end!

    I stemmed to the left wall a few times the first time up this route, making the cracks feel about 5.9. On a second lap, I tried sticking to the main face, and felt it upped the grade to solid 5.10, particularly when you consider hanging out to place the gear. I actually think it is a better climb if you do this. I'll leave it at 10a -- the difficulty of the face moves -- but recommend avoiding the left wall as much as possible without it being contrived.


    Starts at the same bench as Hound Dog and the North Face, and merges with North Face about 60' up.


    "Standard rack", but I don't recall placing anything bigger than a red Camalot (including the finish on North Face). Mostly, the route ate up stoppers and finger-sized cams.

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