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Doubt 

YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ British: E8 7a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ British: E8 7a [details]
FA: Alex Kirkpatrick
New Route: Yes
Season: Cold
Page Views: 2,612
Submitted By: Alex Kirkpatrick on Oct 16, 2013
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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Description 

This is a very special route with an interesting history. It was the last route bolted by prominent AZ first ascentionist Ray Ringle. The story goes that he was unhappy with the level of chipping that had begun to characterize routes of the era, and after bolting and manufacturing what would become Doubt, he never attempted the route and abandoned route development entirely. The route lay dormant for likely close to 20 years until I stumbled upon it, labeled simply "unfinished", in the guidebook.

The route begins off a small ledge about 3/4 of the way up the Aegir gully from the bottom. A difficult boulder problem gets you off the ground, with the first major difficulties coming a few bolts after. This is the manufactured area and requires an elegant, technical, and powerful sequence. Traverse right on beautiful, perfect granite and continue up fun and unique climbing to the mid-anchor. (The route is roughly 13a to this point and is an excellent pitch in itself).

Recover what you can at a jug before continuing up to the boulder problem that defines the route. The sequence is improbable at best and requires extreme compression on smooth and marginal holds leading to a very difficult move out to a bad sloper. Exit via a heinous gastocling. A more moderate boulder problem directly follows this and could easily rob the redpoint.

From here, fight the pump up smooth laybacks to a great rest before launching into a vicious and delicate 5.12 sequence at roughly the 120' mark. Climb ~40 of 11+ terrain to the chains.

I have never climbed such a technical and complex route. The feet are marginal smears and edges for the majority of the route's 160' length. The sequences are wild and unique and very uncharacteristic of Mount Lemmon.

Those willing to deal with the 45 minute approach, the ~8000' of altitude, the fickle conditions, and the unrelenting technically, physically, and mentally demanding climbing will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful routes I have ever seen in one of the most profound places I have ever been.

Also it is hard for me to suggest a manufactured route get 4 stars (Although the vast majority of the climbing and the hardest crux is all natural), but that being said, this is a four start route in my opinion and will be for all but the most ethically discerning climbers.

This could be Mount Lemmon's hardest route to date


Location 

Listed as Unfinished in SQTL2 the route is just to the right of another bolted line on the NE face of the Aegir


Protection 

~18 bolts



Photos of Doubt Slideshow Add Photo
This is closer to the actual color of the wall but shows you how big the north face is.  AK is about a third the way up or less.
This is closer to the actual color of the wall but...
AK 47 in the business.
AK 47 in the business.
Lower crux.
Lower crux.
Comments on Doubt Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 23, 2013
By Luis Cisneros
From: Tucson
Oct 16, 2013

Great job Alex. This is incredibly cool.

By MJW
From: Boise, ID
Oct 21, 2013

BADaaasssss!!

By Alex Kirkpatrick
Oct 23, 2013

I originally called this route Atonement. Shortly after naming it, I was informed that a route was put up under the same name and in the VRG roughly a year ago. Since this route is new, I chose to rename it. Not that it really matters

By 1Eric Rhicard
Oct 23, 2013

For you it may be called Doubt, but for the rest of us it was Sooner or Later.

By Josh Janes
Oct 24, 2013

Atonement = much better name!

By John Steiger
Oct 24, 2013

Call me dense, but I can't figure out who was doing the atoning, although I guess it was for the chipping. Alex, by the way, do you think that route may have gone without RR's lapse to the dark side? Gorgeous wall, and 14a at the Reef! Wild.

By RyanJohnson
From: Tucson, Arizona
Oct 24, 2013

Doubt certainly doesn't have the same gravitas that Atonement had.

As to the chipping, it is doubtful that the crux of the first pitch would go without the manufactured holds. Specifically the path through this (Photo) section of rock, would not be possible. Maybe if one climbed way above or found a traverse way below, but the path of travel would be significantly different down low.

By Alex Kirkpatrick
Oct 24, 2013

Ryan and Josh, I agree. I am bummed about the self inflicted name shenanigans and liked the name Atonement. However, I feel that as much as we like to think climbing is a majestic pursuit, doing a hard project has a lot to do with hard work and overcoming doubt. I thought of a few other names with more gravitas, but for me this route was about process. Either way I think the route speaks for itself.

By Alex Kirkpatrick
Oct 24, 2013

Also Ryan is right about the chipping. The route would not take the same line. It would be possible to climb some ledges and begin the climb just below the mid anchor all natural, but I like the start.

By John Steiger
Oct 25, 2013

Thanks for the response. From the description, Doubt sounds to be one of the best elite-level pitches in Arizona, if not the Southwest. Not to detract from the tremendous accomplishment in redpointing this line, and acknowledging Iím a grumpy old wash-out, Iím concerned that some may champion Doubt as evidence that chipping is acceptable in southern Arizona. Particularly now that the worldís top standard is 5.15c (9b+), with 5.14d (9a) being recently on-sighted, itís hard to justify in my mind chipping (i.e., creating a hold where none existed) because of a belief that the route wonít go without. Put another way, I guess weíll never know whether the line now called Doubt could have been southern Arizonaís first 5.15.

By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 26, 2013

Alex kicks ass. His redpoint of this long-abandoned project is awesome. Aside from the manufacturing this route is enthralling to look at as it weaves up that colorful wall.

That said, I detest chiseling and gluing. Ethically I have a problem with this behavior, which is of course only my opinion. However, route manufacturing also brings practical and legal problems to climbers. We should avoid manufacturing holds at all costs, even if it means that we have to aid a move rather than free it.

The upside of this is that Alex did not chisel the holds and instead turned a mess into one of the hardest and most aesthetic lines around. So not only congrats is in order but also thanks.

By jbak
Oct 29, 2013

If the route would truly be better without the offending holds, fill 'em in or bash 'em off.

You're welcome in advance !

By JoeS
Oct 31, 2013

I really appreciate Alex's statement "doing a hard project has a lot to do with hard work and overcoming doubt". Well put and congratulations!

By Josh Janes
Oct 31, 2013

No offense intended but that's like saying "If your dog was better before being neutered, sew his balls back on."

Once it's done, it's done.

And it shouldn't have. That's why Atonement is such a perfect name.

By jbak
Oct 31, 2013

I think my dog would like his balls back. I'll have him PM you.

By Thomas Duke
From: Athens, GA
Nov 23, 2013

It's beautiful. It may be a little out of the way but this is my dream project. Well done with the FA, that's fantastic.