Formerly a trad route with somewhat shaky rock, retro-bolting and aggressive cleaning have created one of the better 5.9 sport routes in BCC. The first three bolts protect increasingly steep climbing, culminating in a wild overhanging layback up a hollow flake (the creaking plank). Above, three more bolts protect a slabby but airy traverse and spectacular climbing just left of an aręte. Above, stay left of the Red Gorilla/Nimbus chains on the face of a block-like feature past a bolt, then up to the last bolt protecting a boulder move to hidden chains. See the photo-topo on the Orbital Decay page.
Follow the approach for Starstruck (also see the photodiagram on the main page for Strone Crag). Once on the ledge system from which Starstruck starts, walk east on the ledge, eventually passing under the bolt lines of Red Gorilla and Nimbus, to a point where the ledge begins to die out and downclimbing would be necessary to continue east (but don't do it; the route starts here). Above this point the first three bolts of Creaking Plank should be readily visible.
Eight draws, plus biners for the belay. A small cam or medium size nut may be useful for getting to the first bolt, but the climbing is easy (the exposure, however, is a different matter). Consider using a shoulder-length runner for the third bolt to reduce rope drag later, once above the roof. Rappel (85') from the hidden chains. Lowering is not recommended; with the rope running through all the draws and over the edge below the anchors, the friction is so severe that you might need to pull yourself down.
Sep 15, 2012
Fun route and plenty juggy hence the rating.
As stated, rap to get off as there is a lot of sharp rock up there. And it's easier to bring your 2nd up to the belay.
Sep 17, 2012
I'm not gonna lie, the coolest thing about climbing choss is that you have tons of huge holds. The bottom looks like crap but it climbs really well. This is about 50 times more fun than Hollow Man and only 10 more minutes up the trail. If only the crowds knew...
Bring long runners. The upper faces are super cool too.
May 3, 2013
Yes, it's more fun than Hollow Man, however, it'll never get even close to the traffic of hollowman because hollowman is so easy for groups to lap and TR (creaking plank isnt). There are some awesome moves, but only for three bolts which are followed by face climbing that reminds me of the slips (def not bad). The exposure had me puckered up to the first bolt. If you don't protect it or the belayer and take a fall, you are both going down...way down.
|By Landon McBrayer|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 30, 2013
Fun climbing. Needs a belay bolt. Weird finish. Awful belay "ledge" up top.
|By John Steiger|
Sep 5, 2013
There’s a large horn to sling for the belay for those concerned about it, and like the description says, cams or nuts can protect the moves to the first bolt if really worried. No more bolts are warranted, IMO.