Variation to Lower Meadows
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Start up the reddish, slick ramp and stay to the outside. The climber is soon forced to make a downward step to a large foothold on the main face to get around a bulge and regain the relatively straightforward climbing to a cozy belay alcove. This first pitch is probably scary 5.5 PG for the uninitiated to Eldorado climbing. The business of this variant lies immediately above the belay, which is a tricky and somewhat hard to protect, slanting overhang. There are good holds above, but shorter climbers usually have some difficulties. Using good footwork, move as far right as possible to surmount this obstacle at the shortest reach. Although tall climbers may call this "only" 5.6, I've seen many very good climbers struggle and many have fallen here. Hence my assignment of a 5.7 PG rating. After surmounting the overhang, good rock and easier climbing leads to the base of the infamous Black Ramp on Redguard
. Either continue up Redguard
or rappel to the ground if 2 ropes are available. It's possible that a single 70 meter rope might reach, but just be careful.
The route is a variation to the Lower Meadows and meets up with the "Birdwalk" variation of Redguard
after two 75-80 foot pitches. It follows a slick and rapidly constricting ramp just to the left of the normal start for Redguard
by the "Birdwalk," and then progresses directly up, to intersect....
A light but well spaced trad rack is all that's needed...nothing big. I usually carried some smaller wires, a few QDs and maybe a #2 cam.