|564 page views|
Easy Sailing ascends a large, right-facing dihedral in the center of the Granite Sea immediately above the finish of The Gardener Did It. Two starts are possible, one off of a boulder and into a fist/hand crack, or, starting lower, on a ledge beneath a bolted line, one can ascend a thin, left-leaning corner (harder?) that eventually joins the main dihedral system.
Enjoyable jamming, face climbing, stemming, and even a bit of liebacking will get you up this route until the angle eases, where you're greeted by still more fun, though much easier, jamming and face climbing to the top of the buttress. Gear is plentiful on this route, so belays can be had most anywhere along the way. However, the crack in the dihedral is often wide, so bring along extra gear in the #3 - #4 Camalot range (hexes would work well) for building belays.
Once a bit cleaner, this route will make a spectacular first lead for a budding trad climber. While there are some intimidating steep sections and face climbing, movement is always secure and rewards patience - faced with a seemingly non-5.6 obstacle, a little hold-browsing reveals bomber options. I would go so far as to suggest that with all the great gear available, complemented by a diversity of climbing, this route could stand toe-to-toe with Lumpy Ridge's Batman and Robin or just about any moderate Flatirons line.
Once you find the Granite Sea, it'll be pretty obvious where this route is - climb the huge, right-facing dihedral in two or three pitches to the top of the buttress.
A standard rack of nuts and cams to #4 Camalot will protect this climb. Extra #2 - #4 might not be a terrible idea if you're a 5.6/7 leader or looking to stretch out the pitches - hexes would work very well for this line.
|By Aaron Martinuzzi|
Feb 5, 2010
Subsequent climbers might argue that three stars is a bit generous for this climb, and, in its current state, it is - I pulled a serving-platter-sized flake off the left wall of the dihedral on my ascent, and noted a few other exfoliating flakes, flexing crimps, and licheny smears. However, with a couple subsequent ascents and some cleaning, this could easily become one of the better beginner trad leads in the Fort Collins area, if not the northern Front Range. I listed it at 5.6, the traditional guidebook rating, but a frazzled, inexperienced climber might not see every sequence - this isn't jug-hauling, hand-jam-slamming, no-brainer 5.6, but all the holds are there to make every questionable move pretty easy.