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Vertical Smile 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: FA: Lynn wheeler/James Alto FFA: Jim Dochery/Rick Wyatt
Page Views: 8,909
Submitted By: philfell on Jan 1, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (52)
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Great route that can easily be seen from camp. The first pitch and a half share Triple Overhangs, when you reach the arching fist crack these routes split the Overhangs goes left into the dihedral, Vertical Smile stays in the crack. Follow this crack until it goes into a small left facing corner where the climbing thins out and some technical stemming comes into play. Pull the roof and continue up and right, pass two bolts (we set up a belay at the second bolt). From here go up and right some runout climbing (5.6) leads you to a right facing corner the gear gets better here. At the top of the corner pull the roof by sweet hand jams. Continue up eventually joining the last pitch of the Undone Book. Follow the obvious line to the top.

There aren't many sizable ledges on this route; bring enough gear with you to make belays as you go, and be prepared to be hanging in your harness with ever-increasing exposure at each belay. We did this climb in 4 pitches. For what it's worth I thought the 5.10a rating was about right on (when compared to other 10a's such as Mexican Crack). It's all there and the pro is good on the cruxes.


Double set of cams up to #3 Camalot one #4 Camalot, small nuts for the first crux, a few fist size hexs wouldn't hurt the cause either.

Photos of Vertical Smile Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The big groove at bottom left is the Smile, crux d...
The big groove at bottom left is the Smile, crux d...
Rock Climbing Photo: Minimal offwidth skills required
Minimal offwidth skills required
Rock Climbing Photo: pitch 2
pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking into the smile wide crack.
Looking into the smile wide crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: N. Summit Wall Beta
BETA PHOTO: N. Summit Wall Beta
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up Pitch 1 on a Vertical Smile
Starting up Pitch 1 on a Vertical Smile

Comments on Vertical Smile Add Comment
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By tenesmus
Sep 4, 2006

The stemming corner protects very well and pulling onto that face gives wild exposure. If you trend left towards Triple Overhangs the climbing kinda reminds me of an easier version of the patina climbing throughout the Viewing on the Coffin buttress but with much much more exposure. The crux of Triple Overhangs felt a lot easier than this one but with the same grade so once you're through this the Vertical Overhangs is all cake.
By David Shiembob
From: slc, ut
Jun 26, 2007

Wow. The stemming crux is wild, sustained, and committing. It's funny that the triple overhang crux is supposed to be the same grade, when they feel so different.
By Alec LaLonde
Jul 20, 2008
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Unreal! Two distinct cruxes -- the thin stemming on the third pitch and pulling the roof at the top of the fourth. The roof felt stout for .10a, but the jams are solid and there is the corner to help you out. Get on it!
By bsmoot
Aug 18, 2008

If you traverse back to the regular Triple Overhangs route from above the stemming corner, that variation is called "The Vertical Overhangs"...this is what Alto and Wheeler climbed. Wyatt & Dockery freed the stemming corner and then added the 2 virgin pitches to the face above.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Jul 14, 2015

Don't think a 4 is necessary and we were fine with only one 3. Doubles or triples of 1's and 2's is nice. There is a good stance for the 2nd pitch belay where the smile crack ends veering right. The stemming corner can be sewn up with small nuts and cams. Save a 1 camalot for the 3rd pitch belay to backup the old buttonhead.

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