|West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
This is a new route that climbs the smooth black and green face forming the left wall of the first pitch of The Side Wall (just left of Unbroken Chain). It can easily be toproped from the good double-bolt anchor atop the first pitch of The Side Wall. It was established headpoint style and the first two pieces were pre-rigged on top-rope.
The lower face is the crux, mentally and physically. A crimpy stand-up moves caps the sequence and deposits you on a ledge. Lean right and load up the flake on Unbroken Chain, then climb the arete via its less steep left side to the anchors on The Side Wall.
The Sidewall alcove is a nice warm hang on winter days, especially if the sun is out.
Two crashpads, RPs and stoppers, small TCUs and a skyhook.
|By steve dieckhoff|
Apr 2, 2004
Rolo repeated this today in true "Headpoint" style, but w/o crashpads. See attached photos of duct-taped hooks & Birdbeak and try to imagine the horrified excitement I felt as the belayer. Whew.
|By Brady Robinson|
Dec 11, 2011
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ E6 6b X
Fun toprope, no interest in leading this thing however.
|By Morgan Patterson|
Sep 10, 2013
There was a time in CT when Ken Nichols thought this form of protection was an acceptable and should be the standard instead of using bolts.... I really don't see the point to this; it's what, a 1% chance of holding if you actually whipped on them?
Sep 10, 2013
Some history on this lead with no "point": in Eldo, to bolt a new route, you need approval from a fixed hardware review committee, and it's certain this route never would have passed — it would have been a "two-bolt piece of shit," as Rolo Garibotti, who did the second ascent, pointed out ... if it even passed. And neither Steve nor I felt like submitting an app for a two-bolt POS.
So, Conversions is perfectly fine as a toprope, or if you want the mental challenge, you can lead it with the hooks. On my first attempt to lead the route, I chickened out at the highstep crux high above the hooks and so started downclimbing. I botched some moves down low, below the hooks, and pitched. The hooks actually held when I was below them, and I was grateful for the crashpad below as well.
Anyway, this isn't really an example of a contrived hook-protected lead eating up prime real estate, but more like, an interesting, easily toproped problem that can also be done as a headpoint for Eldo aficionados. Whether there's a point to this or not is debatable, I'm sure. Steve and I certainly had fun putting it up and playing with the UK Hard Grit-style.