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Food Baby 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Aaron Rough
Page Views: 1,141
Submitted By: Rough on Sep 13, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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BETA PHOTO: The climb follows the pink rope - Jen McAllister l...


Start on the junky ramp, traverse right for a bolt then straight up the water shoot. Huge holds, fun moves. Should clean up nicely to be a good "1st time lead".


Rightmost route on the main face.


5 bolts + anchor

Photos of Food Baby Slideshow Add Photo
Another first lead on Food Baby - it looks   steep...
Another first lead on Food Baby - it looks steep...

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By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 14, 2009

When exactly do you think you got a first ascent on this?
By Rough
Sep 15, 2009

About 3 hours after I bolted the anchors in, lowered down the face clearing off a ton of loose rock, TR'ing it to mark bolt placements. Rapping back down to bolt the lead bolts, pulling the rope and then leading it for the 1st time. That's how sport climbing FA's are done :)
By Aron Quiter
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 15, 2009

I've got a few friends that solo'd that route 5 years ago... and they thought they weren't the first to climb it.
By Rough
Sep 15, 2009

Oh, I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear someone had climbed it before, as it is in a relatively obvious and short approach area. There are some other bolted anchors on the formation as well though there weren't any over either Food Baby or Soul Sister Thunder. I can say for sure that I was the 1st person to actually clean the route of loose rock as there was a ton of it.

I am sure Native Americans and Miners free solo'd all over St Helena before "we" modern rock climbers arrived. Doesn't mean it can't be developed in a more modern capacity, thus giving NorCal sport climbers another area to be able to explore. Give it a run the next time your out there, it's definitely a fun and easy route!
By Floyd Hayes
Mar 15, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Very crumbly and very easy, although okay for beginning climbers learning to lead.
By Patrick Sanan
From: Lugano, Switzerland
Nov 27, 2011
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

Very easy, but my partner did her first outdoor lead here to practice! I solo'd up afterwards to clean it. All low angle with abundant holds. Loose like the rest of the crag.
By Phil McAllister
Jan 15, 2012

This is a great climb for a first lead...all the bolts are easy to clip . It wanders just enough to teach a first timer that they need to watch the rope around their legs. Easy enough to learn the techniques. The kids and first time climbers with us enjoyed it too.
By Rough
Jan 16, 2012

Phil, That is good to hear and was always the intention of the route. I literally bolted it for my kids to have fun on, and they did. Sure it is a little more grungy being the lowest angle of all of the routes, but for a 5.5 I thought, and still do think, that it was fun.
By Julius Beres
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 3, 2015
rating: 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c

Calling this 5.5 is very deceiving. It is going to mislead people into thinking that 5.5 is way easier than it is and maybe try things they shouldn't. This is 4th class or maybe 5.0 if you are feeling generous. A fun scramble. Nice to have a TR anchor for kids.
By Rough
Feb 4, 2015

Julius: I think I understand where you are coming from. The route is actually bolted to have the same start as Soul Sister Thunder which the first few vertical moves are at least 5.5 and would be considered the crux of Food Baby. I know most people start up the ramp and immediately climb into the scoop / large runnel clipping technically the second bolt as the first bolt which avoids those moves (See pictures for an exact example of this). I don't disagree with that approach as it frees up a shared start and allows more people to climb on the wall at the same time, but I would agree it does shift the grade. I am not sure I would agree with 4th class, but it is a beginner climb, and as such is serving its designed purpose.
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