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Wailing Banshees S 

Wailing Banshees 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Sport, 62'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: FA (toprope): Ralph Menikoff, Chris Foster, Norbert Ensslin-- late 1970s. Bolted, then led by: Tom MacFarlane, Brian Riepe-- May 1989
Page Views: 2,466
Submitted By: Jason Halladay on Apr 18, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (26)
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Tom MacFarlane on the first ascent, 1989


A very sweet arete route just right of Adam Ant. Nice, positive pockets on both sides of the arete serve up great hands while little edges and points on the arete give it up for the feet. Be sure to look on both sides of the arete for the pockets. A small crux comes above the second bolt trying to get to the great ledge and then another crux heading to the chains on a hold that looks good from below but is not quite as positive as the lower holds.


This route is the sharp arete just right of "Adam Ant". Shown as route 13 on Monomaniac's center routes photo.


4 bolts to shared chain anchors with "Adam Ant". The first bolt is way high up the route but the climbing to that point isn't too difficult and there's a good clip hold.

Photos of Wailing Banshees Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin on his first red point of Wailing Banshees. ...
Kevin on his first red point of Wailing Banshees. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Going for the flash of Wailing Banshees (didn't ge...
Going for the flash of Wailing Banshees (didn't ge...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wailing Banshees offers some excellent arete climb...
Wailing Banshees offers some excellent arete climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking full advantage of my wings on Wailing Bansh...
Taking full advantage of my wings on Wailing Bansh...

Comments on Wailing Banshees Add Comment
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By Scott Beguin
From: Santa Fe, NM
Nov 8, 2007
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

A bit of history: this route was first attempted with gear placements before there was consensus to bolt it, and that was before any anchors were put in. Might I note that two of the lead bolts could stand to be replaced(2nd and 3rd). You wouldn't really want to air on them. Hanging on them seemed ok.
By Dave Wachter
Mar 13, 2008

Awesome arete climbing. Difficult onsight from the last bolt to the anchors, but unless you're under 5'8", you shouldn't have to use any less-than-sinker pockets. Full credit stars.
By Jason Hundhausen
From: Bozeman, MT
Apr 30, 2008

I'm 210 lbs (I'm not fat! I'm big-boned!) and I aired onto the third bolt...and although it's kinda crooked, it actually feels very solid - certainly no reason to avoid this route IMO. I do agree though that it wouldn't hurt to replace it. As for getting to the (high) first bolt: it's easy to get to if you come in from the big ledge on the left - falling while trying to make this clip could get pretty ugly.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Apr 2, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This climb was bolted by the team of Tom McFarlane, Brian Riepe, Chris Pollard, and Peter Gram, according to Peter.
The last 2 bolts have been replaced recently. Thank Jason if you see him.
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Mar 27, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

We moved the anchor shared by this climb and Adam Ant up about 5 feet. I think this provides a better and more aesthetic finish for both climbs, and allows for top-roping Adam Ant without taking big swings in the event of a fall at the crux.

On both routes, you now have to make a few more moves before clipping the anchors, but the original anchors bolts are still there, so you can clip them if you are feeling insecure (the climbing is relatively easy though). If you do choose to do this, it's probably a good idea to remove these draws on the way down if someone is going to top-rope the route. The anchor setup still isn't perfect, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to comment.
By Jason Young
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 2, 2012
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

This is a really good route. Good idea on repositioning the anchors and replacing bolts. I like to do a more "direct" start from the bottom right. It could really use another bolt down low for this.
By Chuck Calef
Apr 25, 2013

In 1989, my first summer in Los Alamos, I learned to climb this route with Miki Enoeda, a visiting Japanese chemist at the lab. I immediately realized the climb's abundant pockets would provide ample natural protection for a clean ascent; indeed, if the route was at an area with strong ground-up traditional ethics (like the Gunks) it would have been sent back in the seventies. But it was not till 24 years later, on March 18, 2013, my sixty-sixth birthday, that I finally got it together to accomplish this ascent. I'm a poor face climber who always struggles with this route, and not wanting to die in case of a tumble I rehearsed placing the pro on top rope. On my ground-up ascent I placed twelve pieces of gear (and of course ignored the bolts). I climbed on two 9 mm ropes, one for placements left of the arete and one for those right of the arete. The sketchiest pieces, unfortunately, are just before the first crux section between the first and second big ledges. I had a #3 orange Metolius wire in the large flared pocket right of the arete a few feet above the first ledge, a blue Metolius TCU in a horizontal slit about 1 foot left of the arete, and a black "tri-sham" in the same slit. Half way up the route is the second good ledge where one can get a two-hands-off rest by clever body positioning. At this ledge I placed four bomber pieces -- a red trisham, two wires, and a green alien. They had to be good because there was no way I was going to stop while climbing that last 15 overhanging feet of rock to fiddle with gear. If I plopped off from the final move of the climb I would take a long fall but not hit the ground. I messed up the final crux section somewhat by stepping too high and thus putting more force on my tired fingers, but it all ended well. A ground-up, on-sight, clean ascent of this route would be a proud achievement.

You get a great buzz from accomplishing a climb like this even if it's not a birthday present to yourself. It makes you think, what next … Flesh-eating Ants?, Scandinavian Airlines?, Monsterpiece Theatre???

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