Close To The Edge
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A so-so climb marred by some spots of crumbing rock and a few trees, but highlighted by some very nice exposed positions and some nice mellow climbing. The most spectacular climbing s that which is 'On The Edge' teetering out and left on dinner plate sized puzzle pieces above the massive corner and roof that dominates the appearance of entire dome.
Still the climb is only one star overall, compared to others in the area. There are better routes here, for sure. But if you are going to be here for a while, then sure, get to this one too, or perhaps make it the second route of a long day.
P1: From near the top of the ramp, just past a small tree, look up into the sickle-shaped dihedral and start climbing. Head up and right on easy territory to reach the base of the crack, place solid gear, then pull the route's crux to move up and left into the crack. You can place a 1.5" cam before the move, and a 2.5-3" cam above the move. Continue on decreasingly difficult climbing up and left, passing the now steeply overhanging corner below on good footholds. As the corner ends, head upward on good puzzle-piece climbing and up and right through a moderate bulge heading for a ledge just right of a large shrub. Eek out a belay on this ledge on one large cam just behind you and some medium stoppers to climbers right.
P1a: When your partner arrives, head left on a ramp and large crack behind a tree to a left-facing corner with a better stance and gear. This will avoid rope drag on the next pitch.
P2: The fun pitch! Place good gear in the short corner and climb up and right from below the massive roof and corner above. As soon as the roof is passed, head up and left, staying as close to the roof as you like. While you can go directly up to the next belay, you can also hang onto the arete to the left that is the edge of the roof for a while and ride the wild exposure. Either way, protection will be slings on chicken heads and an occasional stopper between flakes. Eventually you will head back right to a ledge and belay (poor gear) or continue for quite some distance to a ledge near the top. I went right of a rather nasty section of rock to the right of a shrub and dirt-covered sloping ledge and found a belay that turned out to be perhaps only 40' from the top. In hind-sight I should have kept going for a 60M+ pitch and topped out on the second pitch, with only medium rope-drag
The belay up top was to sling a huge boulder (car sized) to the right of a tree.
The route is toward the right side of the Out Of Towners Dome. Once you have arrived at the base, walk to the right to a ramp system, as for Out Of Towners. Scramble up this system to the base of an obvious left-facing, sickle-shaped dihedral. The corner starts as low angle and right-leaning, but becomes left-leaning and quite overhung. This is the first and hardest pitch of the climb.
Protection is spotty at best in some places. Loads of long slings could be used on chicken heads in the mellow puzzle-piece climbing of this climb, and also to reduce the rope-drag which might be incurred due to the wandering nature of the route.
Good gear placing skills and solid judgement of rock quality are required to safely ascend this climb, which should not be a place to push limits.
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