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Pat and Jack Pinnacle
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Babble On T 
Boneheads T 
Chicken Fever T 
Desperate Straights T 
G-Man  T,S 
G-Man Extension (AKA Book'em, Dano) T,S 
Gilligan's Chicken T 
Jack Pinnacle, Left T 
Knob Job T 
Knuckleheads S 
Makayla's Climb T 
Nine Lives T,S 
Nurdle T 
Pat Pinnacle T 
Polymastia T,S 
Sherrie's Crack T 
Skinheads S 
Suds T 
Super Slacker Highway, The T 
Trough of Justice T 
Tube, The T 
Underclingon S 
Unknown (5.8?) S 

Desperate Straights 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Rick Sylvester, Mike Farrell, 1973.
Page Views: 2,256
Submitted By: Blitzo on Oct 16, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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BETA PHOTO: Desperate Straights corner. First belay at the oak...

Description 

This strenous route follows the corner to the right of "Trough of Justice" for two pitches.


Protection 

Pro to 3.5"



Photos of Desperate Straights Slideshow Add Photo
Dylan on lead pulling through the 10c undercling variation on P1
Dylan on lead pulling through the 10c undercling v...
Comments on Desperate Straights Add Comment
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By Osprey
From: ...
Aug 2, 2008

This is my favorite climb at Pat and Jack's. Thankfully the wide section at the bottom keeps the riff-raff out, so there is normally nobody on it.

There are two options for pitch one, and I always choose the 5.9. Awesome granite here and the moves are quite memorable.

Pitch two pulls a roof with hands 5.10 and eventually narrows into an all out stem with tight hand jams and fingers to a two bolt anchor.

Can be done in one pitch with 60m rope if mindful of rope drag. I take doubles for this option.

Rap from a bolted anchor to the tree, then from the slings on the tree to the ground with one 60m.

By Alexey
From: San Jose
Nov 30, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

on the first pitch there two variations 5.9 and 10c. I was thinking that 10c is if you going strait up the corner, and 5.9 is layback the flake on the right, but last summer one climber said that they rated opposite. Who is right ?

By Osprey
From: ...
Jan 7, 2010

The 5.9 is straight up with a big step over to the left and the .10c follows a short undercling on tips out right. It probably takes just as much skill to do the 5.9 as it does to do the .10c.

By Alexey
From: San Jose
Jan 7, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

So I was wrong, but hey climbing both variations I still felt that strait var. is harder than layback or at least they is about same .
Part of the problem can be the reach - I am 5.6

By tallmark515
From: San Francisco
Jan 11, 2010

Did the .10c undercling variation and I thought it was a lot of fun. Didn't seem too difficult, I have definitely done harder .10c's in the valley. Be mindful of where the pods are in the crack before you step off into the undercling, there are only a few good spots for fingers.

For the second pitch, we stayed in the left crack (the right one seemed dirty). Sustained 5.10- climbing.

For me the real challenge was the offwidth, squeeze chimney at the start of P1.

By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Apr 13, 2011

Pro to 3.5"

I brought a #5 and #6 Camalot and was glad to have them on the first pitch.

By Rob Dillon
Oct 5, 2011

Good choice if you show up early and climbing in the sun is too hot.
Also rarely crowded.

By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
Feb 27, 2012

Does anyone know how feasible it is to do the 5.9 variation by just taking the left slot with the tree midway up instead of the right slot? Although I've only led a handful of 5.10a's so far, I found the 5.10c variation a better option than attempting to step across to the 5.9 crack. That step across is wide and insecure!

Watch out for loose rocks on top. The bolts at the top are in more of a position for rappelling rather than belaying, so I set up a belay at some rocks higher up. The rope ended up sending rocks down on my follower as I pulled up the slack.

By Osprey
From: ...
Feb 28, 2012

I have never seen anyone continue up the OW to avoid the 10c var, nor have I seen anyone use the OW to the left.
I know I mentioned it as such earlier, but don't think of it as a step over as much as a reach/fall into the opposite corner. Once you fall into the corner, the jams are so good that stepping into it is easy. To get to the point where you are ready to fall into it, you must climb the crack until it peters out. Set small pro (mental crux) at elbo hight and save the upper finger/tips openings for your right hand. This is tough because everything is thin and small at this point. Then you can lean over and fall to the left into the opposing crack system. This is really a wild move, and the quality of the crack that you fall into is the best at Pat and Jack's IMO.

By revans90
Oct 18, 2013

Great climb with a little bit of everything on the first pitch. Took the crack on the right on the second pitch, fingers to hand jams to some 3''-4.5'' or stem. Bird poop everywhere. doubles to #3bd with one four.