So...you've hiked all the way to Sundance, and every 2-3 star mega-classic on you tick list is covered by helmeted tortoises. What to do? Well, there's this route that Rossiter's guide says is "seldom climbed" -- quite believable considering the looks of the first 60 feet and the complete lack of any trace of chalk on it.
Gillett's guide gives this route one star, so we figured there must be some good climbing, and there is, but you won't have any fun on the first half of the first pitch -- don't say I didn't warn you. The second half of the first pitch and most of the second and third pitches are steep, exciting, and sustained climbing on good rock though you will also encounter some brushy and dirty sections.
P1. Start 20 feet right of the thin crack start to Guillotine and thrash up past several nasty bushes toward a ledge under two obvious wide cracks visible from the ground -- long pants and long sleeve shirts recommended, we didn't have either and suffered the consequences. Gillett's guide makes it appear that the right wide crack is the route, but when I examined it, the first 20 feet looked very brushy, dirty and hard to protect, so I opted for the left crack which is clean and has perfect rock. Thrash through one last large bush into an easy chimney and climb up to two knots of back-off slings -- thanks for all the booty biners, guys. Undercling left at the bottom of a huge block, then climb up it and another. Climb 30 feet up the 3-4 inch crack above (5.8) and about 30 more feet up easy rock to a wide grassy ledge (beware a loose block on this section). Note that I actually broke this pitch in two because of rope drag and a lack of wide gear, belaying on top of the huge blocks. A good anchor can be arranged with 2-3 inch cams.
P2. From the left end of the grassy ledge, stem and jam the steep corner above on black rock with an abundance of large face holds. About 50 feet up, do a steep traverse right about 10 feet on large obvious foot holds and from the largest of these, climb straight up about 12 feet into another dihedral. Beware of grabbing a couple of loose flakes at the top of this section -- you can lieback some edges and get your toes high enough to reach past them to good holds. Continue up the second dihedral passing some small bushes and belay on a good stance about 20 feet above where the route Hypo Rock joins this one. [5.7 on the lower dihedral, 5.8 on the face section, also 5.8 in the dihedral above.]
P3. Stem up the corner for 30 feet 5.7 (brushy, poor pro and beware a loose flake in the crack) then continue up clean perfect rock another 100 feet to share the belay above Guillotine's squeeze chimney.
P4. Follow Guillotine to the top -- 5.6.
Standard rack to #4 Camalot with extra 3.5-4.5 inch for the first pitch.
Feb 21, 2011
Am I the only guy who looks at this review (which can only be described as a suffer-fest) and actually desires to do it? Clearly I need to get out soon.