|Lower Grotto Wall
Rated .13b and referred to as #15 in Perkin's book, this route is among the best hard climbs on the Pass, deserving of a proper name, a realistic grade, and more atention. Originally bolted by Kurt Smith, and extensively projected by Dave Pegg and Phillip Benningfield, this route resisted all attempts untill Tommy sent in his typical crushing style. Very technical, slightly overhanging climbing on small crimps and sidepulls. Granite climbing of this style doesn't get much better.
From Cryogenics walk around the corner to the short, long shield of smooth rock that hosts a handful of hard sport routes. Walk slightly uphill between the rock and the base of a large dead (fallen) tree. Before There Were Nine starts on a boulder directly behind the large live tree before the trail steepens uphill. Another hard route (Unknown 13b?) starts just to the left of this boulder; both routes share the same anchor high on the slab. Before They Were Nine can also be identified by the mix of bolt types and the old rusty buttonhead to the left of the 2nd bolt.
7 bolts, anchor
|By Chris Beh|
Jul 2, 2008
I cleaned this old aid pitch in 1987 right after I sent Scene of the Crime. But this thing was a whole different animal and I turned the proj over to Kurt. Way to keep cranking, Josh.
|By Mike Anderson|
From: Dayton, OH
Jun 5, 2012
Where is this route located? Please help.
|By Alvaro Arnal|
From: Aspen, CO
Jun 5, 2012
Mike- I've updated the route description to make this route easy to find. I'll also add the other routes that climb this lower shield of rock.