Gallows Pole (direct)
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Technical, yet powerful start to fairly sustained 10+/11- knob smearing up high. The beginning of this route requires good body tension and technical footwork to make progress on a vertical rail that gets progressively worse as you approach the third bolt. The first three bolts are the technical crux of the direct start; the climbing in this section is well bolted and 11++. Great climbing up fantastic rock.
Next trend left to some easy flakes before heading back up and right onto a beautiful, orange and white face. Expect sustained technical smearing just when the holds are the worst. Weave your way back and forth before eventually heading left and up past the last two bolts and the anchors.
The original start to this route climbed Harding's Chimney and then stepped out right onto the face at the flakes mentioned in the description above (around the 4th bolt). Done this way, the route is 11b.
Gallows Pole shares the same start as Harding's Chimney. If you can find Farley, the next chimney system to the left is Sheister and the one after that is Harding's. You can scramble up to a really nice platform and belay. Gallows is the first obvious bolt line immediately to the right of the chimney.
My partner and I were able to clip the first bolt by climbing up the initial ramp past the first bolt and then reaching back and up to clip it. If you are sub 5'10" this may be difficult. Be careful because a fall on the initial ramp would likely lead to a fall off of the ramp which is 20-30 off the ground (a #3 Camalot can be placed below the first bolt to protect this if you like, but you will surely want to retrieve the gear after clipping the first bolt).
If you climb the direct start, bring at least 9 draws for the bolts plus draws for the chain anchors. If you skip the first three bolts, then bring wide gear for the beginning of Harding's Chimney (not sure about the size, but I would bring the biggest stuff you have...it looked quite wide).
We brought two ropes because the book states that the route is 120 feet. However, when lowering, we measured and a 60m would have almost made it. Thus, I think the route is probably 115 feet or less and a single 70m rope would work. However, check to make sure and watch your ends.
|Comments on Gallows Pole (direct)
|By J. Albers|
Dec 20, 2010
I graded this thing 11d, but I could very easily be convinced that this should be 5.12. I will wait and see what others think before changing my grade though. Suffice to say, at any sport crag, this route is solid 12a.
From: Vacaville Ca.
Dec 28, 2010
rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a
.11d/.12a sounds about right. What's the difference really?
It's got a reachy type move and a razor thin high step so it could be height dependent for short people and tall people alike.
.11d sounds about right, .12a is not far fetched either. Split the difference and call it .12-. Or just call it hard .11+... whats the difference really???
|By J. Albers|
Dec 28, 2010
Thanks for the input Sal. I actually think there can be quite a big difference between an "easy" 11d and a "hard" 12a. Perhaps for you it is splitting hairs though, which is fine. Cheers.