|By Ken Trout|
From: Golden, CO
Oct 12, 2007
9/13/08: Nice beta photo!
The original 1950s CMC route to the summit follows the sun/shadow arete. I think it was rated 5.6 in a club bulletin. The offwidth/squeeze cracks, leading to the notch, looked like the crux. Maybe 5.8; protected by big stuff (#6 C4?). I've only top-roped the exposed, 5.6, arete pitch from the summit and not done the offwidth.
The approach is via the back-side gully. We always used a packs-off, subterranean, chimney at the gully's crux, on the way down.
For the descent I personally avoid the Center Route rappels, too much rope-eating crack nearby. Rapping the CMC route looks bad too. I just do one short rap down Class Act to the top of Center Route, then either a 50m rap to the backside gully or two 25m raps. The final rap anchors can be used to top-rope an amazing, overhung, 5.10+, finger crack.
I think the standard CMC descent was one, very steep, 50m+?, rappel down the back. We used to do it with two 50m ropes. Not recommended because the anchors are too far from the edge and when enough slings are added to the summit bolts it is really spooky to start. On the other hand the old rappel does land close to where packs might be stashed for the CMC route.