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Fat City Direct 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Dick Williams & Dave Craft - 1966
FA (Direct): John Bragg & John Stannard - 1970
Page Views: 7,057
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006
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1981. The Fat City Direct crux en route to the fir...


This is the best route in the Nears -- it weaves its way up an impossible-looking wave of rock at an accessible grade and on almost entirely natural pro. I believe it is typically done in two or three pitches, but it makes for a spectacular single pitch -- just use lots of long runners. The Fat City wall is pretty obvious: 'Direct starts below a small roof with a hand crack in it. This area is before you reach the Birdland area.

You get a good rest before the crux, then you must perform a difficult move up to an undercling, pull right of this, and then up to a cramped stance. The crux is pulling out of this small roof/corner and is very well-protected. Good rests follow. Later on, head right and tackle the incredibly exposed, wild, second crux (protected by a 25-year-old fixed pin). There are a couple tricks to make these moves easier -- such as climbing very low and not clipping the pin until you have the jug just next to it. It's only 5.9+ or easy 5.10, but it gets the heart going. After that, you're in Fat City.

Descent: walk back to the road, climber's right.


Standard Rack, lots of long runners.

Photos of Fat City Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Fat City Direct
Fat City Direct
The climber is just underneath the difficult undercling mentioned in the description.
The climber is just underneath the difficult under...
Into the crux
Into the crux
JAG on P2 of Fat City sans clipping of the pin.
JAG on P2 of Fat City sans clipping of the pin.
clipping the pin at the second crux
clipping the pin at the second crux
Evan does the big rappel on my skinny doubles.
Evan does the big rappel on my skinny doubles.
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By John Peterson
Feb 23, 2006

I'd definitely go with an "R" on this one. The moves to the (2nd) crux pin are very committing and you're looking at a 20-25' whipper if you screw up. I backed off there after having no problem with the lower crux.

By Micah M
Apr 19, 2009

The fall from the 2nd crux is pretty clean air, granted lots of it. I think PG-13 is right. One of the fixed nuts is still on the crux, and the crack takes small cams. Amazing route!

By paulmadry
Sep 12, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b PG13

I say the route is not R. There's an 8-foot traverse with good pro (1 pin, unlimited small cams) before you get to the second pin. I onsighted it and thank God for the chalk marks! I would not have believed that those moves were the route without the chalk, it looked much harder than 5.10. But it's not. Stay under the roof, move right until you see the second pin ... then YOU decide what to do. It looks super-intimidating from ground. The good news is that at least half of the overhanging climbing is 5.8 or easier.

By Chalu Kim
Oct 3, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b PG13

An epic will ensue if you get rope stuck early in the 5.9 crack. After you finish the initial 5.9 section, get your rope away or out of the crack. It will be an epic for the leader, and 2nd, to lead and clean.

By Jeffrey Gagliano
From: Pennsburg, PA
Apr 9, 2012

This is a really amazing climb. On par with Carbs & Caffeine and Matinee. The 10+ direct is quite difficult but well protected. P2 is R IMHO. The pins are manky, backing them up is not possible, the crux pin is bent (I've never even clipped it) and that crux...while barely earning the grade is tenuous until the finger-jugs are reached, then it's a cruiser.

By whiteknight
From: Arlington, MA
Apr 29, 2013

An R rating on the second pitch is only deserved because of the age of the two rusty pins. I backed up the first with a small cam. Falling on either pin seems inadvisable. It should also be mentioned that the follower can take big swings on the crux moves of both pitches, though serious injury seems unlikely.