Easier Than It Looks
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From the top of the boulder, the climb follows a series of small ledges and dishes up and right, first to an overlap, then to anchors below and left of Fat Man Flake, which dominates the skyline from the start (about 110 ft up and right). If the sun is right, you can see the P1 anchors from the start. ETIL shares the P1 anchors and upper two pitches with Harder Than It Looks. For P2, climb up the flake and continue up the unprotected slab to a ledge with the P2 anchors (60 ft). P3 goes up the slab for another 100 to 130 ft (depending on where you choose to build an anchor). You can also just clip the P2 anchors and continue to the top of P3.
This is a good route for a novice leader, although the start is a bit run-out (fall potential is low). Crux is probably the first 20 ft of the third pitch which is the steepest part of the slab and unprotected, although there are small crystals for footholds. Overall itís an easy route to work on slab climbing.
The route starts at the top of the huge boulder that leans against the Devilís Slide slab to the left of Harder Than It Looks. The top of the boulder is reached by going about 50í left of Harder Than It Looks and climbing 4th class for about 25 ft.
You can walk off the dome after P3, look for the rap anchors to the right of the cracks at the top of P3, or stop after P2 and do two raps. A single rap from P2 with 2 60m ropes will just reach the bottom. The rap from the P1 anchors is about 140 ft (two ropes required) to the bottom of the slab next to the starting boulder.
Protect via nuts, TCUs and cams to a Camalot #1 along the route, larger cams to build the P3 anchors. The first possible pro is about 25 ft up in a couple of crumbling flakes. There is another small flake about 50 ft up and right, then a sizeable overlap about 60 ft up. The climbing to the overlap is no harder than 5.4. Above the overlap the climbing is slightly harder but there are a couple cracks for ample protection opportunities. There are two-bolt anchors at the top of both P1 and P2. You can get a couple pieces of pro behind Fat Man Flake at the beginning of P2, but that is the last pro youíll put in until the top of P3.
BETA PHOTO: Belaying on lead from the first belay station.
|Comments on Easier Than It Looks
|By Matt Richardson|
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 4, 2009
A long time ago, I had a really noob experience on this route. We were planning on only doing the first pitch, so one person was going to go up and top belay. My friend decided to take the first lead and be the one to haul everyone's ass up afterwards. He had no experience on longer routes and hadn't ever top belayed before. I tried to impress on him how important it was to maintain control of the rope, but it didn't quite sink in.
Problems set in when he got to the top and only had two quickdraws to belay from turning a somewhat comfortable belay on a small ledge into an uncomfortable hanging belay. He then proceeded to thread the rope through his Gri-gri that he was going to use to belay. Not realizing that the Gri-gri operated by cinching on a dynamic force, he let the rope go. The rope then rapidly slid from the device leaving him hanging from only two quick draws in an incredibly uncomfortable situation.
As I watched the rope slither back down, I about fell to the ground laughing. I gave him a little bit of time to think about why this situation went so wrong before taking off to retrieve him. Needless to say, when I reached him he was quite uncomfortable. I don't think he has climbed since that time.
|By Zach Wahrer|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 6, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
We were able to rap from the P1 anchors to the start boulder with just one 60m rope, barely.