A thought provoking climb that starts in the obvious left angling discontinous cracks about 10' left of G.I Joe in what looks to be an easy romp to some roofs above, (the cracks directly behind the "G.I. Joe" caption).
The difficulties start immediately as the easiest moves (and pro) are very well "Camouflaged" and require a bit of care. Mostly thin wire pro with a few runouts will get you past the thin section and to the nice hand-crack above. Follow the hand crack over several bulges and a small roof. If you go heavy enough on mid to mid-large cams you can run the whole pitch with a 60M rope to a great belay from a large tree. The final 20' above the last roof to the tree is excellent fun in a wide crack with a hidden hand-crack inside. Absolutely bomber holds!
A few small wires and micro-cams for the start than a standard rack with doubles in the larger sizes to run it in one 60M pitch. A couple of long slings around a tree for the anchor.
Great route. We did it in two pitches, but I suggest doing it as one long pitch up to the tree as suggested above. The climb has some interesting face moves which are protected by small passive gear (BD-swedges). Once in the crack by the roof [Camalots] work well (#'s 0.5-2).
I want to add a warning comment on this route. The protection is somewhat run out in spots, specifically as you make the moves into the crack system to the left of the roof. Falls from here can result in serious injuries such as broken bones.
Bring small wired stoppers, an alert belayer, and avoid caffeine. The crux on this route is figuring out how to protect it. The stances and holds are positive, however, and the climbing itself is easier than many 5.8 routes I've done. It's much easier than pitch one of the Diagonal, for example. Nonetheless, the fall from several points would be ugly for a leader.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Jul 8, 2006 rating: 5.9-5c17VI16HVS 4c PG13
Mo' beta: The gear's solid in places, but it's sketchy in others. At the crux, a tiny BD wire (#1?) placed 1/2 way was all I found. The crack before the 1st belay is fairly vegetated. Cams in the #0.75 to #2 Camalot size are useful for the belay. Glad it didn't get bolted. Can rap with 2 x 60m ropes to the ground (L of P2) in the event of electricity.
Don't let the above comments scare you away. If you bring small cams and RPs you can keep the runout minimally small. The face climbing through the thin-pro section is very positive with awesome footholds the whole way. You're going to be focused and the climbing is very positive; it's hard to imagine a 5.9 leader falling off here.
This is a really fun route with a lot of variety for one pitch. I thought it a touch more sustained than Diagonal. Highly recommended!