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g. V3 - Middle Earth
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Bombs Away Dream Baby 

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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Ray Dobkin and Stan Hayes, 1980
Page Views: 1,228
Submitted By: JSH on Feb 13, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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The first two pitches of Bombs Away are unremarkable, but the third pitch is one of three gems capping the Middle Earth area.

P1: Begin just right of Middle Earth at blocks below a tree. Wander up the face, pass a short overhang, then up a steeper face to the Middle Earth tree. Starting out, it may feel contrived to avoid Middle Earth, but the climbing later in the pitch is worthwhile. 5.6, 100 ft.

P2: Climb easy rock to the GT ledge. The Williams guide describes an independent line, but by now the only reasonably clean line is to run up P2 of Middle Earth to the big ledge. 5.4, 100 ft.

P3: There are three right-facing corners above. The middle corner, directly above a tree with roots that seem to be levering out some slabs of rock (this used to be the rappel tree), is Bombs Away. Gain the face by stepping right to a shallow right-facing corner, then traverse left to just below the major overhanging corner. Up you go, with your last pro at your feet -- I promise the jugs above are huge. Then follow the cracks and horizontals to the very enjoyable coda on tight white rock. 5.8, 80 ft.

Rappel from trees; 3x60m to the ground, which is best done in a double-rope rappel to the first tree so that you skip the bad tree on the GT ledge. However, if it's a busy day, it might be best to do 3 separate raps.

It's also easy to walk just a bit north (right) to the bolted rappel line at Arrow.


Just right of Middle Earth.


Standard rack.

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Feb 13, 2011

Long ago, my friend D. posted to a forum: "What route did I fall off of yesterday?" after she'd come off of some route up here, tumbling so far that her ankles brushed the ledge, and everyone on the ledge gasped. Because the Bombs Away roof/corner is both harder and less at-your-waist protected than Middle Earth, I think we eventually figured it was Bombs Away.

The guidebooks have been somewhat unclear in distinguishing the three top pitches. Looking at mine now, I think it's because Dick described an independent line for P2 of Bombs Away that is right of Middle Earth; then at the GT he says to step 15' left. If you climb the only clean rock for P2, which is Middle Earth, you'll come up directly below Bombs Away P3; and then stepping 15' left seems to make no sense. To add to the confusion, Middle Earth steps right at the GT and ascends the next-right, right-facing corner; in other words, Bombs Away and Middle Earth cross at the GT.

In any case, I tried to straighten it out (no pun intended) above.
By SethG
Feb 15, 2011

Descending over Middle Earth isn't the best choice in my opinion. It is a very popular route with nervous newish leaders on it, and you are rapping from fixed junk on trees. If you go to the top of Bombs Away (or Middle Earth or Thin Slabs), I would suggest you take the short walk to the Arrow bolts for your descent. Two easy raps from bolted stations and you only interfere with Arrow if there's a leader right at the top.
By worth russell
From: Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2011

freaky/dangerous crux move. gear is gtreat but if your belayer isnt spot on youre gonna deck
By Galen Rahmlow
From: Weehawken
Apr 28, 2012

Lots of options. Middle earth, wisecrack, and wonderland all meet for the final pitches. Very easy to mix and match. We finished on wonderland which is great.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Apr 28, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

I wish I had read these comments before doing the third pitch. Very scary crux move that could easily result in decking if you blow it. Next time I will see if it's possible to get a tiny piece higher up before committing to the roof, which is pretty tricky and has no gear. I somehow envisioned this as one of those roofs where you reach up high and grab easy jugs, but in fact you have to make a few interesting moves first.
Apr 29, 2013

I don't think there is any gear available besides what you get that ends up being at/below your feet as you reach for jugs.
By Kurtz
Aug 23, 2013

There are a lot of big, loose rocks on the GT. Tread carefully. The crux at the start of P3 was great fun. Try to spot the first, doorknob jug before you make the move. Reach for it and pull!
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