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In the summer of 2000 Greg Purnell put up a route through the main black sector of the Mission Wall. Gneiss Route starts roughly in the middle sector of the wall, in the main section that has been cleared of undergrowth. The climbing starts just left of the pegmatite band; this band holds a nice route in its own right.
P1. For Greg's route, angle up left toward a small overhang and a tricky 5.11 crux 15 feet off the deck. Some interesting climbing in the 5.10/5.11 range gets you to a double bolt anchor at 90 feet. This makes a fine 5.11 pitch all by itself, although it still needs a bit of cleaning at the belay ledge--you'll need two ropes to get down from the 120' anchor though.
P2. The second pitch jumps left a bit immediately for a questionable flake, straightens out and heads for the black overhang above. The overhang can be negotiated on some remarkably huge holds at 5.12a. You can stop just over this roof or continue up the slab for 40 feet more. This provides good access to the Surette Ledge without the hair-ball scramble used when approached from above. Two stars for a lot of good climbing, largely but not completely good stone, and the well constructed bolting job.
QD only. This two pitch route can be done with a 60 m rope, but double ropes makes much better sense all around both for the raps and for the potential to string pitches together. The first pitch is 5.11 and the second is 5.12a/b.
The first pitch anchor is at 120' so be careful if you're only doing the first pitch.
Two finishes can be had for the upper pitch. One ends just above the overhang. Alternatively, you can continue through the black slab above for another 40 ft and pick up a third double bolt anchor at the Surette ledge.
Jul 24, 2003
Gneiss route no longer starts just left of the pegmatite band. That description now belongs to Wild Child, which ain't too bad. Bring your helmet though!!
|By Darren Mabe|
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 22, 2004
With the 'questionable flake' (that Richard refers to) now gone, it makes for the starting moves of the second pitch more difficult (.12) and the 2nd clip quite a reach (I am 6'2", with go-go gadget arms).
|By richard magill|
Jun 11, 2004
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a
Dirty and a little chossy, but worth doing for the great exposure and cool position.
|By Matt Juth|
Jun 11, 2004
Warm up the forearms for the start! Also if you are worried about the clip at the first pitch crux, you can get to a jug above and left, and clip from your waist.
Very dicey clip at the P2 crux with the flake missing.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jun 15, 2004
What is the route that climbs the rap line (right side of photo) from Surette Ledge? I think we were lost last weekend.
|By Peter Hunt|
Aug 9, 2004
WARNING: The first belay is at 120' (as in the photo) not at 90' (as in the description). You cannot lower directly from the first belay with a 60m rope.
|By Alan Searcy|
From: Pine, Colorado
Jul 24, 2007
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6a
An excellent line with several hard bits, including the start to the second pitch. Very cool moves right off the deck and it keeps surprising you. The last 40' doesn't appear to get a lot of traffic to Surette Ledge.
From: Golden, CO
Jul 18, 2010
The first pitch of this is excellent. Definitely thought there were 3, 5.11ish cruxes from steep pulling to delicate face climbing. Cut all of the tat off the anchor today and added chains for a safe rap. A 70m rope will just barely get you down... knot your ends.
|By Kevin Stricker|
From: Evergreen, CO
Jun 27, 2011
You can rap this route from Surette Ledge with two single raps with a 70m rope.