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Laurel Knob
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Defective Sonar 
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Fathom Escape Hatch 
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Nanna Gets Her Groove On 
No Sir (?) 
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Old Times' Sake 
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Pirate's Cove 
Pirate's cove Alt start 
Pirate's Cove direct finish 
Puff The Magic Dragon 
Quantum Mechanic's Arete 
Rejected Radar 
Route Of The Living Dead 
Squirrely man 
Steep in the Teacups of Laurel 
Stegg, Roy Fathom ALT. 
Stellar Sonar 
Stemming Laurel 
Use It Or Luge It 
Use it or Luge it Direct Start 
Walkin' Da Plank 
Wild Turkeys 
Wild Wild West  

Fathom Escape Hatch 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c A2

Type:  Trad, Aid, 7 pitches, 875', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c A2 [details]
FA: Mike Fischesser, Joe Lovenshimer, Brad Wilson 2012
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 874
Submitted By: BradWilson on Dec 25, 2012
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2013 Closures MORE INFO >>>


This is a fun and varied route: slab, aid with mandatory free, and water groove. Two ring anchors at each belay.

P1 (5.9) 160' Climb up and right passing bolts and natural protection. You will find a bit of a runout to the first bolt on the easy slab, some natural gear out right, and then a couple bolts by the crux moves reaching the belay.

P2 (5.10) 185' Climb left off of the belay via somewhat of a mantle move (if my memory serves me correctly), then straight up passing bolts. When the bolts run out you will find natural protection. Stay to the left of the mossy ledge, find a cam (#3 C4) above the mossy area, and pull the few moves up to the anchor and ledge.

P3 (5.9) 100' Follow the crack to its top, step up onto the slab, then climb up and right passing protection bolts to the anchor beneath the awesome next pitch.

P4 (5.11 A2) Free & aid your way up this imposing pitch. The pitch has been led at 5.11 C2. Bolts, rivets, natural protection. I found a large DMM offset nut to be essential in two places aiding over the bulge (back clean it after you clip a bolt above) The hard mandatory free climbing is just a bit of stemming as seen in the picture. Above that you will find some steep jugs, then a few more moves of Aid to reach the exit mantle. This is the most awesome mantle I have had to perform at Laurel. If it were a boulder problem, Id say maybe V4?

P5 (5.10 A0) Stem up to & A0 from a bolt. Climb the groove past bolts and natural protection. This pitch really is fun, the A0 move is no gimme, even with the bolt, it is quite tricky and fun to stand up into the scoop. The rest of the pitch is awesome LK grooving in a phenomenal position on the head-wall.

P6 (5.10) 55' Climb the groove past bolts.

P7 (5.10) Continue up the groove passing bolts and natural protection.

Rap the route


Start right of "Cruising With the Top Down/Fathom ALT start" & the 1972/3 Fulton/Mitchell attempt & left of the high pine tree where Fathom Direct begins.


(2) 60M ropes
(2) 000 C3 - .75 C4 (orange alien and green yellow offset alien helpful)
(1) #1 C4 - #4 C4
(1) large offset nuts
(1) rps/offset brass nuts (optional)
(2) KBs
(2) Rivet Hangers

Photos of Fathom Escape Hatch Slideshow Add Photo
Old bolt ca. 1972 down and left from the 1st pitch anchors.  Initials are for William Fulton
Old bolt ca. 1972 down and left from the 1st pitch...
Nathan Brown photo
BETA PHOTO: Nathan Brown photo
Joey Wolf Photo
BETA PHOTO: Joey Wolf Photo
Pitch 3 Anchors
Pitch 3 Anchors
Comments on Fathom Escape Hatch Add Comment
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By nbrown
From: western NC
Dec 31, 2012

Thanks for posting Brad! I always wondered about that groove. You think this thing will ever go all free?

By BradWilson
Dec 31, 2012

Pitch 4 may go could be 5.13+ or even 5.14?? I tried to place the protection bolts for the aid and the eventual free climber. If you want a specific 'spray down' of what the crux pitches entail, then keep reading. If not, then you might want to stop reading now. What seems like a few moves of upper body strength specific bouldering (think hard body position/friction dependent compression to what looks like a left one arm pull-up followed by a good left foot hold dead-point, to leave the apron). Once established on the overhanging bulge, a few angling--but actual--holds lead to slopers (the sloper section may not go, but I am not sure), to stemming (see picture), to a rest. Then hard 5.12 face climbing leads into another hard face climbing sequence (maybe 5.13-) to reach the exiting jug, where you must perform a lead-with-your-knee V4 ish exiting mantle into the scoop. If P4 is freed, it will be CLASSIC--even with the good rest mid way. I've never climbed anything like it anywhere. The A0 "hourglass" move on the fifth pitch might also be free climbed by a future slab-master. I would describe the move as friction stemming to a mystery move mantle, and is very comparable to stemming up the inside of an hourglass. Maybe someone can jump from the stem into a palm down mantle? This beta may have potential. An indirect variation may go left around this move, if it is impossible to free climb the hourglass. I really hope some strong climber can send this in the future!

By burlap submariner
Jan 24, 2013

Looks fucking awesome!!!! nice style too, will be a classic free direct when it goes! great work guys.