|Sheep Mountain Rock
This route is in the center of the face. The Gillett and Rossiter guide books tend to describe other routes in relation to this one. They also describe a trail that is supposed to end at the base of this climb, which my partner and I could not find, either from the tourist trail or the base of this route. If this climb were on The Book, you would have to wait in line for it. The first pitch reminded me of the first pitch of Loose Ends, only at a higher grade. It will become a trade route someday, but, for now, offers solitude along with first rate 5.10 cruxes. It climbs a prominent, left-facing dihedral but is probably most easily ID'ed at ground level by the recess it starts in. The 5.8 Lambskin -- with an optional hand traverse start -- is easily identified on the left side of the recess. This climb starts in a hand crack on the right side of the recess in a vertical crack.
P1. Climb the hand crack to a short horizontal dike. Catch a breath before ascending the awesome finger-tip layback crux. Follow the dihedral around the left side of a roof to an obvious, comfortable belay. The second pitch could probably be linked with a 200-foot rope and a couple extra hand-size cams, but Chuck and I didn't do it that way so we'll describe it as three pitches.
P2. Traverse a short distance left and ascend the obvious, left-facing flake/dihedral for 70 feet to a semi-hanging belay below a point where the dihedral leans more sharply left, becoming a roof. (You may notice that there's another 10a option to the right from here. It looks good.)
P3. Layback and jam around the roof. Continue up and slightly right on buckets to a layback and continue until the angle tapers off.
Descent: Walk west over slightly higher ground until you encounter metamorphic rock and an obvious descent gully winding south.
Standard rack to #4 Friend. Doubles of hand size and smaller would allow you to link pitches and probably be more comfy.
The second pitch is the easiest, given the rests, ...
|By Jarrett Tishmack|
Jun 15, 2006
All in all a good route, but rated a little harder than I think it really is. In my opinion, nothing is harder than 9+ especially compared to other 10a's such as Turnkorner or The Nose. Rossiter describes this route as "possibly the best on the crag." I would recommend doing Double Fantasy before Gimmerton.