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BETA PHOTO: Count Dracula, 5.10d
This is the first route to the right of a slanting chimney/crack on the midsection of the northwest face.
Boulder up fairly high past some stiff moves to a bolt and continue up past two more to the top. Gear needed for anchor and walk off right (climber's).
An interesting bit of trivia - On the first ascent the resourceful climbers dragged a picnic table over to the base of the wall, stood it on end, and drilled the first bolt standing atop it.
3 bolts (3/8"), take pro (to 3") for anchors
|Comments on Count Dracula
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 14, 2003
The holds on this were slick and polished. Agreed on the edging shoes- edging power will beat sensitivity on this climb. The technical crux is just before the first bolt and the security crux just after it. For the technical crux, I had my right hand in the upper right "circle crimp" and my left hand in the lower left one. I smeared up on the left toe (as I couldn't hold the available edge with what I was wearing) and matched my right foot to my right hand, then stood up on it off of a sidepull in that circle. The "security crux" above was a mantle off of a tiny crimp and a gaston. Several people in my party either tried or attempted to TR this afterwards and nobody made the first crux without the match described. The question is, did we miss something, or is this thing more like a 5.11 these days? (Broken holds & It needs a good brushing too.)
Aside of this, FYI- you can load a flake way up above it with a down-pointing horizontal crack with a load of small cams for a directional to keep your partner from swinging if they follow you. Take up a set of TCUs or Aliens and a piece of cord.
|By Vernon Stiefel|
Apr 14, 2003
I thought this was a typical "old school" Josh 5.10d face climb on crimpers when I lead it a few months ago. I don't remember any potential pendulum problems for someone following the route if they came off.
|By Kevin Powell|
From: Joshua Tree, Ca.
Mar 3, 2006
Just wanted to clarify the comment about the picnic table. It is true, that is how the first bolt was eventually drilled. But, first Hensel and I spent about an hour climbing up and down, taking turns standing on the holds that you clip the first bolt off of now and hand drilling. Back then the drill bits we were using were brittle and if you hit the drill handle a little off center the bits would sometimes break. Just as I was finishing the hole that is exactly what happened. Rather than repeat that whole process over, we brought the picnic table over stood on it and redrilled the hole. KP
From: Visalia, Ca.
Apr 1, 2007
great route, did it during the winter when my hands were frozen and couldn't feel a thing! don't know still how I did it.
|By john durr|
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Jan 9, 2010
Thanks Kevin for this and all the other great routes you've put up, I love 'em!
|By Choss Chasin'|
From: Lawndale, CA
Sep 11, 2010
|By Benjamin Chapman|
Nov 28, 2010
Great route! Felt like a solid 5.10d (not so old school if you climbed in those days). My partner and I did what KP & DH did, we climbed up and down feeling the crimps below the 1st bolt and once the bolt was clipped, sent it. A bit sporty at the top, but trust your feet and lean to the right to enhance the fiction. I also didn't feel there was a pendulum issue as we loaded the horizontal with small cams and tricams. A crash pad might be useful to cushion falls prior to clipping the 1st bolt.
|By Adam Kimmerly|
Feb 6, 2012
Notably harder than "That Old Soft Shoe", this is probably the best route at Belle. The rock is impeccable - reminiscent of the stuff on "Run For Your Life" - and the climbing is much more interesting than the average JTree slab (crimp, smear, high-step, repeat) with side-pulls, hand-foot matches, and some tricky route finding to weave through the weaknesses the rock offers.
A crash-pad would be a welcome addition for most, as one of the cruxes is the move getting to the first bolt. Shorter folks may have trouble reaching the clip from the "good" stance. Some more cruxy moves lead away from the first bolt, and then the climbing gets a bit easier for the run-out from the second to the third.