Comments: Anyone who knows me understands how long-term a project this was for me. For some reason, Renaissance Man weaseled its way under my skin, and the crux problem languished in my subconscious, seemingly never to leave or resolve itself. How hard is it really? Well, I'm not sure, but considering how many people have tried it, how long it stymied me, and the angle of the cliff, I think the route can claim a pretty stout grade. 5.13b/c is only a suggestion, folks.
Comments: Yes, Thom exited straight out the lip. The "right" exit, which is known as the Arrakis Project, climbs about thirty feet of diagonally traversing rock, with a not-so-great landing. We think it's probably about the same grade as Enter Sandman.
Comments: According to Bernd, something has broken on this relatively recently. He wasn't sure if it still goes; if it does, then the sequence appeared to be drastically altered. Take care, potential suitors!
Comments: The "direct" line of travel which everyone seems to be talking about doesn't have a name that I know of. We always thought it should have been bolted as a completely separate line, especially down low, since the moves are distinct and autonomous from the arete. Great, sustained, and technical climbing at 5.12b. William, I think 5.12+ might be a little generous for the upper headwall. The mini-roof you're talking about (the one before the anchors) is actually the 5.11 finish to Goulara. Pumpy? Ye... more >>
Comments: Wait to go, guys! The first encounter I had with this problem was back in 2010, with my friend Jake Novotny. After scrubbing the holds one afternoon, we started the problem down and left of the bump-rails, with our left hand on that sharp pocket thingy. From there, we climbed straight up in to the "bump" moves. Beginning on Dancing Outlaw looks better. At the time, we thought the top was pretty hard. We suggested a potential grade of V9 (we never did it) back then, and it looks like we may have ... more >>
There were certainly some yells of success/elation. I was so relieved! I felt iffy on the LAST crimp moves of the Self Reflection headwall, and was thinking to myself "man, if I slipped right now, it's sure going to suck to have to do all that again..."
Comments: The crux down low features some bad feet and a fantastic "mini" roof which you can undercling or gaston. After that, there's a nice romp up a right-trending edge-system. At the top of the edge-system, you will find a flat ledge, about eight inches wide. You might cop a rest here, but keep in mind that the edge isn't long for this world. I could easily flex it about 1/16-1/8 out from the wall with mild hand pressure. Take care! Other than that, this route sports excellent rock.
Comments: Fresno Dome has exceptionally hard rock. In fact, it vaunts some of the best "chickenhead" climbing anywhere, with bullet-hard patina slabs to boot. I was shocked by how amazing the routes were—and the curious (but not lamented) lack of crowds! This place is a GEM. With great camping, a relatively short drive to town, and gobs of routes at all grades (including lots of potential), Fresno Dome is a fantastic alternative/addition to Yosemite Valley.
Comments: Well, I'm glad we're finally talking about this.
Bob, thanks for clearing up the Mutants Amok issue. I thought the glue was keeping the hold on the wall, and I did interpret that as "reinforcement" on some level. And, to add my voice to the consensus: I agree with Bob that glue simply doesn't last in SB, or on any of the choss in proximity to SB (again, read: Echo Cliffs, where you undergo paroxysms of terror whilst grabbing every single glued hold). So based on that issue alone, I think gluin... more >>