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Whitney Portal Buttress
Routes Sorted
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Beckey-Callis T 
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Ghostrider T,S 
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Nimbus T 
No Country For Old Men T 
Tanager (aka "5.11 Crack") T 
Unsorted Routes:

Ghostrider 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, Sport, 8 pitches, 800', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Mike Strassman, Raleigh Collins, Mark Husbands, Charles Byrne, and Jackie Carroll
Page Views: 8,599
Submitted By: ttriche on Dec 27, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (19)
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BETA PHOTO: Ghostrider topo (courtesy of Range of Light Produc...

Description 

Great route -- well-protected face cruxes and some wild, varied trad climbing on pitches 1-3, transitioning abruptly to sport-bolted knob pulling for the next 5 pitches. You can leave your packs in the bowl atop P4 if you plan to rap the route, since you will pass by here on the way down and won't need the gear after this point.

P1: tunnel through a bizarre chimney to a two-bolt belay, 5.9.

P2: tightly bolted face climbing (5.10c) to a wide crack (5.10a).

P3: wild, airy underclings protected with multiple big cams (5.10a) culminating in a small bolt-protected roof (5.10a). This pitch is the reason you should ignore the Satoris start variation!

P4: face climb past 4 bolts to a large bowl-shaped ledge (5.8).

P5-P8: bolted knob pulling for 4 solid pitches of carefree sport climbing (5.9, 5.9, 5.10a, 5.10a or 5.10c variation to the right).

Descent: rap the route (see topo for most efficient sequence).

Variations:

Satoris (5.8) joins this route at P4 but you miss the fun of P3, which is one of the highlights of the route. Bring wide gear.

Wonderwall P1 was used for the FA, giving one pitch of runout 5.9 to a short linkup at 5.7 below the 5.10c bolted low crux. This avoids the fun tunnel-through on P1.

Rumor has it that MS and an itinerant grad student are planning to bolt a finish to all this...

Location 

A full topo with more beta can be found at rangeoflight.com/Portal.htm (Mike Strassman's site).

Look for a cairned turnoff from the hiker's trail beneath the buttress, and head up to the start under Satoris.

Protection 

Draws for P4-P8, full trad rack (multiple #4 and #5 Camalots helpful on P3) for both Ghostrider and Satoris start variations. Unless you plan to summit via Wonderwall or Satoris, two 60m ropes are MANDATORY to rappel the route!


Photos of Ghostrider Slideshow Add Photo
Pitch 7 face.
Pitch 7 face.
Pitch 2, just past crux moves.  Awkward here for a couple more moves.
Pitch 2, just past crux moves. Awkward here for a...
The big ledge where you can leave your cams etc.
The big ledge where you can leave your cams etc.
Ghostrider
Ghostrider
Pitch 3 of Ghostrider (5.10a)
Pitch 3 of Ghostrider (5.10a)
Nice knob climbing on the upper pitches of Ghostrider.
Nice knob climbing on the upper pitches of Ghostri...
Pitch 4, before the big ledge.
Pitch 4, before the big ledge.
Looking up the pitch 1 tunnel through.
Looking up the pitch 1 tunnel through.
Pitch 5, starting on the pillar.
Pitch 5, starting on the pillar.
Looking back into the chimney, from pitch 1 belay
Looking back into the chimney, from pitch 1 belay
Maybe the crux move... pitch8
Maybe the crux move... pitch8

Comments on Ghostrider Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 3, 2014
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Jan 20, 2007

I would like to add my two cents worth. I found the crux pitches harder than I expected (felt like 5.10d to me, and the undercling was tough too!)), and the top face pitches seemed to go on forever. Still, a very good adventure, and a worthwhile climb with a short approach. And you can have a burger and fries at the end of the road resturant too when you get done!
By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Feb 26, 2007

Don't be intimidated by the Grade rating of this climb; this eight-pitch climb is much shorter and less demanding than those Grade IV's found in Yosemite (in fact, in my opinion this route is a Grade III unless summitting). The cracks protect well and the face pitches are well-bolted and in addition go extremely quickly. Also, the huge ledge half way up the route makes for a great place to kick off the climbing shoes, rest, and have lunch.

Due to the above reasons, this is an excellent climb for those wanting to do a longer route that haven't yet done so. The short approach and brainless, non-committing descent (rappel the route), also add to the friendly quality of this route.

In my opinion, pitches two and three--the best pitches by far--should be combined. This makes for an awesome, strenuous, and long pitch with both cruxes of the climb (10c face and 10a roof traverse) combined in one pitch.

I would love to go back to this route again!
By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Mar 7, 2007

Another option for starting Ghostrider is via the first pitch of Gangway. 4 bolts, some gear. Wandering face to a two-bolt belay at a ledge.
By Bruce Willey
From: Bishop, CA
Jun 22, 2007

Anybody "run" into that weird "bolt" on P-2? Third one as you move past the belay and before rounding the corner. You can't clip it; the eye is too small. Looks like something you'd find at a hardware store.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Sep 10, 2007

Bruce, I saw that bolt and took a photo. Nice unit.

~Susan

By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Sep 12, 2007
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Pitch 1: Topo has 5.6 with some 5.9 at the top. Don't be fooled. The 5.6 must be the walkup, and in the chimney is at a minimum 5.8 and a hassle with a pack. Great pitch though, and worth doing. Once you exit the chimney, it might be 5.4 to the station. Chimney takes good pro in the back using 2.5" to 4.5" cams. It protects well and is nothing to be worried about. Anchor is a 1/4" bolt and a fairly old 3/8 bolt. Back it up with a large stopper out right. Bomber!

Pitch 2 & 3: String these together for sure. The moves to pass the bolts are pretty hard, right away. Topo shows 4 bolts in that section, but there are actually 3, with the top one the weird 1/4" guy that is not really needed. A 3.5" cam protects the transition from face/layback to crack. Easy laybacking leads to another bolt and the nice undercling. A couple of long runners is all you need. Pro in the undercling is 4" at the start and gets smaller. Use a 2.5" cam to get set for the roof moves. A bolt protects the moves over the roof.

Pitch 4: Easy and short. Maybe 5.7 with a few bolts. A bolt protects the hardest move, just before getting onto the big ledge.

Pitch 5 and onward: Start on the top of the pillar.... follow bolts upward. No real cruxes on the 5th, 6th, or 7th pitches. Maybe 5.8+, not 5.10. 7th pitch use a long sling on the second to last bolt.... it zigzags a bit. Pitch 8 starts out easy and then has a small boulder problem that is probably 10a minus. We went left and it was easy past this to the anchor.

6 raps with two 70m ropes to ground, following the route.
Rack:
7 -8 draws
7 - 8 long slings/draws
few Med to Large stoppers
1ea 3/4" - 1.5" cams
2ea 2" - 3" cams
1 #3.5 Camalot
1 4" Cam
1 #4 or #4.5 Camalot (for first pitch if you push cams)
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Sep 14, 2007

RIP Michael Strassman....
By Russ Walling
From: www.FishProducts.com
Sep 14, 2007
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

While we are handing out R.I.P.s, I'll toss one in for Raleigh Collins too.... this route really is becoming a "ghostrider".
By Darrell Hensel
May 6, 2009

Tanager can now be done as another alternative for a first pitch. Might be the best start of them all. (See Tanager for specifics).
By Nick Barczak
Oct 4, 2009

As stated above, definitely string pitches 2 and 3 together. It's not only more fun, but it skips an awkward belay. Also, the first pitch of the knob climbing has what looks like a 2-bolt belay after only about 50 feet (not indicated on the topo). Don't stop here, it's pointless. Also, thanks to anybody who was involved in bolt replacement on this route. The belay at the top of P1 currently sports a nice shiny bolt in place of the old junker; two good bolts now reside there.
By Ben Collett
Aug 14, 2011

Just a note on gear: Reading the above description I brought way too much wide stuff. A good rack would be a single set of cams to #4 C4 with doubles on #3. The roof traverse is mostly 3 camalot.
By J Smith
Sep 5, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

As everyone else has stated, definitely link 2 and 3. I found two C4 #4 cams useful, had two C4 #5 cams and never placed them, dead weight.

The last four pitches after the ledge have been described as "carefree sport climbing" and in the guidebook as "heavily bolted" face climbing. At best I would describe them as adequately bolted, with 8 or less bolts per 150+ft. pitch, you could be looking at quite the fall. Granted if you have made it this far you probably won't fall.....
By Jeff Mahoney
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 23, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Haha, probably should've read the description before jumping on this. If you're 6' or taller, and/or a bit wide in the shoulders, be ready for a battle in the tunnel. (And probably a good thing to take more than one #4 & #3 -- unless you like inching them up for 50+ feet of awkward.) Oh, yeah, and a lot of the "x"s on the topo are merely for decoration...
By Richard Shore
Sep 17, 2012
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Quality line. 2x #3 camalot, 1x #4 is perfect for the undercling. The knob pitches up top become monotonous and less fun after a while.. especially when your toes are already hurting from the endless knobs AND you endure a mostly hanging belay atop P6.
By Ryan-G
From: San Diego
Sep 23, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Classic route. Linking 2 & 3 makes for an incredible pitch of full value climbing. The traverse under the roof is definitely wild. As others mentioned, I wouldn't call the upper pitches tightly bolted, as I couldn't seem to find many of those x's either, but the climbing is never hard, especially after what came before. A must do.
By Connor Newman
From: Denver, CO.
Jun 3, 2014

Just an FYI, the bolt protected pitches can be run out. Unless we were off route, the fifth pitch (when combining the 2nd and 3rd pitches as described in many posts) only has three bolts on it in what seemed like over 100 feet of climbing. The climbing is easy, probably 5.4 or 5.5, but you could definitely take a long fall if you botched it. Just keep following the biggest knobs and you'll find the bolted belay.