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Birthday Brushings 5.7+ G / 5.6 PG-13 T 
Inspectrum T 
Lucky Charms & Lucky Charms Direct T 
Pillars of Dickulese T 
Watermelon, The T 
What's Up Yankee?  T 
Wit's End "Without" (the branch) T 

Wit's End "Without" (the branch) 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Paul Ross, Hugo Tosco, Isabella Tosca Sept 1980
Page Views: 26
Submitted By: Robert Hall on Oct 26, 2014

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A tough one to rate, either by difficulty or stars. 35 years ago the FA party 'stepped off a branch onto the slab' at a flake and rated the climb 5.6R. The (oak) tree's main trunk has now died off, although 2-3"-diameter new growth is coming out of the stump/roots. Soooooo.. you can wait another 35 years and hope there a new branch to step off of, or "do without". As for stars, if you are solid at 5.9-5.10R, OR you take the suggestion for "protection" of the crux moves, then I'd up the stars to 2 or 2.5.

START - about 10 ft left of the end of the tree ledge, where a small oak tree grows about 1.5 - 2 ft out from the slab. On the slab a 6-8" streak of golden rock descends between much darker rock, and there are a few partially-formed solution pockets.

P1 - There is no protection until well up the slab. Making long reaches (height-dependent grade?) climb up the solution pockets, finally establishing a foothold in the largest. (5.7+ / 5.8) Then make a thin move (5.8? R/X?) up to a nice 2-3" ledge.
Continue (easier) up the golden slab (really nice climbing!) passing to the left of a large dark flake (somewhat hollow, although a med. solution pocket to its left might take a TriCam or larger Alien). Continue up, passing one good bolt (3/8"SS replaced old 1/4 stud) at about 90-100 ft up. About 60-70 ft further, at the horizontal cracks (good gear) either go up and left to trees below the final overlap, or move up and right and finish over the overlap as per "Pillars". 180- 200 ft 5.8 R/X? (with 5.4 +/- R)

Descent(s)- An ancient rap sling was found on the tree below the overlap on the left, probably either from the FA of "Wit's" or "Watermelon." Re-establish this and rap once with 2 ropes to the tree ledge, or finish to the trees and Rap from the big pine with 2 ropes to the "Pillars" top rap station, then a 2-rope rap the ground. Finally, if you only have a single 70M walk climber's right (approx 50 beyond the "Pillars" top rap station) to the top belay/station of B-Day Brushings and rap twice.


Gee, I suppose you could climb up "Pillars" and clip the bolt, then return to the ledge.... a swing-over is better than a ground-fall.
Otherwise, no pro for the crux. Small-to-medium cams or nuts above the crux. A med.-sized TriCam, or a red-or-orange Alien may be just-the-thing for the pocket left of the large hollow flake. A med.-large (#0.75 / 1.0) Camalot if you're going over the overlap at the top, per "Pillars".

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