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Gemstone Gully
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Blue Feathers 
Fear and Loathing 
Tri-Burro Bridge 

Fear and Loathing 

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

   
Type: Trad, 3 pitches, 400'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Richard Harrison, Nick Nordblom. 1982
Page Views: 1,635
Submitted By: J. Thompson on Apr 16, 2010
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Looking out at the climb from the descent.

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Description 

Pitch #1: Begin at the left side of a "tunnel" at the base of the wall. Climb up to a good ledge at the bottom of the main crack system. 5.7, 75ft.

Pitch #2: Climb the steep varnished crack. Mid way up you encounter a roof that is, obviously, turned on the right. Continue up to a nice trianglar ledge and belay. The belay takes acouple of small pieces where the wall meets the ledge and or #1 camalots. 5.10+, 110ft.

Pitch #3: Continue climbing the sick varnished crack. Starting out #1 camalot size and the progressing through the sizes to a #4. Belay near the top of the formation. 5.9+/5.10-, 215ft.


Location 

The route is located on the obvious varnished wall at the top of the Gemstone Gully.
After gaining the notch between the Approach gully and the Gemstone gully, drop down and then go up the middle of the Gemstone gully. When you reach a cliff/ impasse go up and left. Leave your pack here. Go up the chimney on the left. Continue going up left until you can traverse out(right) onto the terrace directly below the varnished wall. Scramble up to the base and pass through a short "tunnel". The climb begins from the left side of the tunnel.
To descend, go down to the left of the wall. Either drop down into the stick gully(which I did not do) or head back east aiming for a large pinon pine. Do a short rappel off the tree(currently no slings) into the chimney to the east. Scramble north down the chimney to a rappel off a large scrub oak. After this rappel scranble down onto a large ledge. On the east side of the ledge rappel from a large block aiming for another large Pinon Pine. From this pine it's possible to scramble back onto the terrace at the base of the wall. Towards the center/bottom of this terrace is a good bolted rappel anchor. 1X 70M rope puts you back at your pack. Then descend the Gemstone gully.


Protection 

Nut's 1 set.
1 Green and 1 Yellow Alien.
2 each Red Alien to #4 Camalot.



Photos of Fear and Loathing Slideshow Add Photo
Looking back down 1/3 of the third pitch.
Looking back down 1/3 of the third pitch.
The start of Pitch #2
BETA PHOTO: The start of Pitch #2
Really pretty view in the morning from the notch before descending into Gemstone Gully and the base of the route.
Really pretty view in the morning from the notch b...
Joanne at the belay a top pitch #1
Joanne at the belay a top pitch #1
Fear and Loathing. The obvious varnished crack.
BETA PHOTO: Fear and Loathing. The obvious varnished crack.
JU near the top of pitch #2
JU near the top of pitch #2
Gotta love a varnished splitter!
Gotta love a varnished splitter!
Start of pitch #3
BETA PHOTO: Start of pitch #3
What a pretty corner/crack that just goes on forever.
What a pretty corner/crack that just goes on forev...
The "tunnel" at the base of the route
BETA PHOTO: The "tunnel" at the base of the route
Dave at the the top of the second pitch, having pulled through the roof.
Dave at the the top of the second pitch, having pu...
Comments on Fear and Loathing Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 16, 2014
By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 16, 2010

Ok personal comments.

This route is sick good. One of the top 3 crack climbs in Red Rock. The rock is as good as it looks in the pictures, maybe better.
A true splitter the climb itself is easily 4 stars.

The approach and descent, however, are quite involved. If this wasn't the case people would have been screaming about the quality of this route for years.

So if you want to go have a long adventerous day, and do a kick ass climb this is a good choice.

As far as the grade goes, I gave it 5.10+. My partner seemed to think it was closer to 5.11-....I wouldn't argue that point. Go decide for yourself.

Have fun!

josh

By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Apr 21, 2010

That approach and descent are HEINOUS! Went up to climb Gemstone last year, my girl has never let me forget that one. You do so much more hiking than climbing, it means you really have to want these routes. For myself, I thought F+L looked good, but haven't been able to muster the interest in the approach a second time. My legs got cut to shit THROUGH a pair of Levis, I remember a big scratch on my neck from the approach got a lot of comments from work about vindictive ex-girlfriends. Glad the route's good-it HAS to be for me to brave the "Nightmare on Elm Street" hike...

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 22, 2010

More like the nightmare on OAK street.

josh

By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Apr 23, 2010

Incidentally, what do you consider the other top 3 crack climbs here? And do you have to hike through, under, and over as much scrub oak to get to them?

By Jon O'Brien
From: Nevada
Apr 23, 2010

psyched to see peeps getting up there, thanks for the post

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 24, 2010

Well Killis as you know there aren't very many pure crack climbs in RR. Definitely not to many longish ones. So for the longer ones I'd have to say Cloud Tower, and maybe Triassic. Jet stream has some good crack climbing but is more facey/stemming at it's cruxs, as is Adventure Punks. The Warrior Might deserve an honorable mention.
For short ones I'd put The Fox, Atman, and Out of Control. Handbone is defiantly in there as is Desert Gold. I've not done the Schwa, but it looks pretty classic and Splitter.
I've done a bit of climbing in RR over the last 11 years or so and those are the CRACKS that stick out. To figure out my true top 3 I'd have to really sit down and think about it. I think I'd have to have 2 different lists...one for short routes and one for long.
Why don't you hike up there and see for yourself?
What did you think of Gemstone?


Jon, it was good to meet you when I was in town.
Cheers,

josh

By slim
Administrator
Apr 26, 2010

maybe add red zinger in there as well. good list josh!

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 26, 2010

I've not Done Red Zinger, but I hear it's a sweet and splitter route.

The photos I've seen of the OW "Bro's before holes" might put it on the list as well. Anybody done it?
Anyone have any others?

Cheers,

josh

By Branch
May 15, 2010

The approach hike was cairned. We found a rope coiled near a tree well below the climb. Interesting. We approached the climb from the north, not Gemstone Gully. There are some very tight slots that would be tough getting a big pack through.

By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Oct 20, 2011

Way late replying-Gemstone felt sandbagged as hell at "10a", the anchor was "interesting" as in we had to re-cord the whole thing and still backed it up until the last/lightest person went down, 2nd pitch wasn't obvious and Captains Forethought and Preparation goofed on a topo/description. Rock was way crunchy where you place gear, kind of a separated patina that was pretty easy to bust out, not encouraging in terms of confidence in the pro. I remember saying I'd bring every .5 cam I owned when we came back for P2, that's still the plan when I feel like paying my karmic debt and getting leg-caned by scrub oak. It looks sexy as hell but I bet F+L's probably a better line. When I do the 2nd pitch I'll post up a decent description. The Tricam in the P1 anchor is home to a way rotted sling; don't get on this one without a real-deal backup plan on how to get down or one of those snazzy Cliffhanger things that everyone seems so infatuated with.

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Jan 14, 2012

I climbed Red Zinger a couple of weeks ago...it should totally go on the cracks list.

josh

By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Feb 3, 2012

What's with the discrepancy in route descriptions (J. Thompson v Handren)?

By SexPanther aka Kiedis
Feb 8, 2012

Josh has obviously been on it. Jerry did a shitload of legwork for the guide but it doesn't mean he repeated everything. I'd trust the most recent description, with the caveat that everyone's experience is subjective. I still maintain that the "10d" crux of La Cierta is more like 5.9 cruiser. Your impression may vary. The only constant is that the hike sucks donkey balls.

Oh, and Josh: Weenie Juice. Has to be climbed to be believed.

By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Feb 17, 2012

Andy,

There's been alot of different info about these routes over the years.
Supposedly when the FA's went up there both of the "cracks" had been climbed...one being named "fear" and the other "loathing". When they got up there they figured out quickly that neither had been climbed (and the one on the left looks awful)...thus creating the route.

When we went up there we used Handrens description...and what we found was very different. The route is very obvious, and there is no way we were off route. So what you see above reflects my experience climbing the route.

The more routes you climb the more you'll take even Handrens quality book with a grain of salt.

BTW...you've been climbing a lot of obscure routes lately, congrats! And thanks for adding them to the database, I've been enjoying seeing them pop up.

josh

By Xavier Wasiak
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 12, 2012

Climbed this today with Lisa Buchina. I thought Josh's info was spot on. Some may want additional #1-3 for the third pitch. We had doubles and still had long run outs on the sustained 200+ third pitch. Great job with the cairns, Branch! It got dark and they saved our butts. Added a sling to the first and last rappel.

By Andrew Yasso
Jan 16, 2014
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

Four star climb in a a four star setting on four star rock with a 2 star approach. The best pure crack I have been on in Red Rock so far. Would really like to see more people getting on this. Extra incentive? We got a #3 stuck on the third pitch so you don't have to carry as many up there (and you might get a free cam in the process).

My thoughts on the beta:

The approach is no longer hard to find or heinous at all via Dale's Trail and the North side gully. It is extremely well cairned and takes you right to the base of the route. We found the directions as to how to approach the base of the route mildly confusing so we just walked a great trail until we were right under the route, and bushwalked for 30 feet until a short scramble led us to the "tunnel" described above. The approach took us around an hour and 30 minutes with a little bit of looking around.

The descent from the top of the route was also straightforward, with no rappels required. We simply walked West from the top of the climb for roughly 40 feet before picking up a cairned trail down into the Stick Gully, before following cairns back up towards a notch which led us into our packs. At first we thought the cairns were taking us too low, but we descended to a bench/terrace of white rock which led us back up to the notch, quite straight forward. From the top of the climb back to our packs, maybe 30 minutes.

P1 is essentially an approach pitch on mediocre rock.

P2, in my opinion, was 5.10+ but only for a move or two. Extremely well protected and fun, exposed, committing movement. I highly recommend bringing three BD #1 cams and saving at least two for the belay. The "small cams belay" was on the ground, making for an unnecessarily awkward and annoying hanging belay, whereas having two #1s and a baggy .75 cam would make for a bomber three piece anchor.

P3, 215+ feet of what I felt was still upper 5.10 climbing. There were sections of pure jamming, and less straight forward jamming that kept it strenuous enough for me. I brought 4 #3s and still bumped them for a little bit. Sadly, we fixed a #3 which I'm more bummed about because the route has no fixed gear and I would loved to have kept it that way. Someone go clean it off! If you happen to have a 2.5 cam, you'll avoid any of the tight placements I had to make with my #3s.

We descended by retracing our approach. Didn't make much sense in my opinion to try and find a new descent with rappels, etc. when our approach was cruiser, and really pretty at that.