This route (apparently) is the easiest way to the tree ledge and the climbs that leave from it. It begins on some easy face climbing following a crack that tends left. Once at the large tree, follow the offwidth crack (protectable by some big bros or a #6 Camalot) to the Tree Ledge. Set up your own anchor to belay. Two ropes to get down from here are necessary.
People comfortable with easy, unprotectable, friction climbing will find the face on the right of the crack the best route up. However, those not comfortable with this style will likely find the runout a bit heady and the offwidth a huge pain.
This route is located about 75-100 ft. to the right of U-slot and about 25 ft. to the left of The Pulpit. It can be identified by two cracks (one from the ground going to the right, one from the ground to the left) that meet at a big pine tree. Descend using the rap anchors near the top of the route.
Some slings and a couple cams at the beginning...some extra large stuff for the offwidth.
There is a good placement on the right side of the offwidth, just below the crux. Look hard for the short red alien size crack. Many times, I've seen people solo this route carrying packs and wearing sandals. Though I still think this is the hardest 5.4 that I've ever done.
As of about ten years ago, there was a hangerless 1/4" bolt a few feet right of the crack part way up the off-width. I have no idea if it would hold a fall, but it made me feel (marginally) better to sling it with a small nut on the way up this otherwise unprotected pitch.
Ive actually placed 2 small flaring cam placements in the small crack to the right of the offwidth just to see them walk out after being mostly up the pitch. I too remember the old hangerless bolt. ahh the days.
By Shawn Heath Administrator From: Forchheim, Germany Aug 18, 2010 rating: 5.44a12IV10VD 3c R
I read a comment or trip report or something where this guy decided to do this climb, then got up into the crack and found himself slowly inching his way up with his whole body buried in the crack and trembling with fear. I thought, "What a whuss!" Then I showed up at Stone and hopped on this only to do the exact same thing... Talk about humbled.
Awesome way to access tree ledge! Easy climbing, but that huge crack at the top throws many people for a loop. If you have a #6 Cam bring that sucker for a bomber placement, but if not don't worry because run outs are the name of the game at Stone. It is almost easier to trend right of the crack onto the face and continue up from there.
By Walt Barker From: AZ Sep 5, 2012 rating: 5.44a12IV10VD 3c R
Certainly the most spicey 5.4 I've ever led. Walked a #5 and a #6 Camalot up the OW section to feel protected. Worked great until the #5 tipped-out less than half-way up and then the same with #6 about 20' above that, at which point I traversed right to easier but exposed ground. Also, after much fiddling, I did manage to plug a #1 C3 into the afore-mentioned crack below the crux.
I did this climb on the day before Christmas, 1986. I didn't have a guidebook other than "Dixie Crystals," and I sure didn't have a #6 Camalot (they didn't exist then!). In fact, I don't even remember placing any pro after the tree. I thought it was mentally more difficult than anything on the Great Arch Route that my GF and I did subsequently.
By SinRopa From: parts unknown Sep 7, 2013 rating: 5.54b13IV+11MS 4a PG13
The #5 Cam didn't work anywhere except the first few inches of where the crack gets really wide, and you're decently protected on that move anyway. On all subsequent climbs I saved weight and left it behind.
This one can feel tough for the grade Russ. I remember trying to cram myself into the crack the first time I did this route. But once you get your slab head on right the climbing begins to feel more mellow. Fortunately no fatalities on this route in the 50 years since it was first put up.