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Leon Islis leads Bender-Axen
The Bender-Axen pitch starts about 20 feet right of the toe of the buttress where Chiboni is located. You can identify it as a nice straight up crack that peters out about 15 feet above the base. This is (IMHO) the best moderate starting pitch for the Standard Route or Black Quacker. Not as much of a thrash as the chimney or the wide crack to the left. From the base, start left of the bottom of the crack and work your way up and right to gain the crack. This is a bit polished and getting a spot from your partner until you get that first piece in the crack is a good idea. After that, just enjoyable easier crack climbing up (and a bit left at the top) to the a ledge system and big tree (with slings, usually). Very nice!!!
Small to medium pro will suffice. Might need more gear if you continue to the top via another route.
Jul 25, 2003
Agreed... Was my first lead ever, around 13 years ago. Nice to have the crux so close to the ground. Since there is no pro anyway, no fiddling with gear through the 5.8 part. I take most of my new climbers there for their first lead. Fun with light exposure, protects very well, and a no brainer belay.... Watch out for the ants on the ledge!
|By Luke Bertelsen|
Mar 28, 2005
This climb is a great way to start a number of the moderate routes which climb the south face of Rap Rock. If you want to avoid the hell chimney, which I consider to be no fun at all, on Black Quacker I definitely recommend this as an alternative. The gear is great the whole way. Curve left at the top and belay at the enormous Pine tree on the ledge.
Feb 14, 2006
The easiest 5.8 on earth. The only worthy form of ascent for this route is free-solo while carrying gear to do one of the upper routes.
|By brad schierer|
Oct 9, 2006
I agree that this is the best start to Black Quacker, no probably about it!
Feb 25, 2007
Only one "move" of 5.8 (to get to the crack); then it's 5.5ish and really fun.
I really like this route because it's casual, long, and in a beautiful setting.
|By Joseph Stover|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Jul 9, 2008
That slab is harder than the start on Chiboni. the easy way is to do the running start!