BETA PHOTO: Greedy Little Varmint is in blue, belays marked in...
Location, Description, Protection, and Sermon
Hiding in plain sight intermingled with Ewephoria is one of the best routes on Sheepshead. GLV is entirely natural - not a bolt anywhere. While it's doubtful it will ever get as much traffic as its alter-ego, this route is well worth doing. Ewephoria is a re-imagining of the GLV, providing alternative bolted pitches. It's not a rebolting of GLV.
Pitch 1: Same as Ewephoria, except at the top of the crack downclimb left to a ledge to belay. Ignore the bolts if you can! (5.7+)
Pitch 2: Climb up excellect rock on the left side of the ledge. This pitch had just enough natural pro to be safe but it was still a bit spicy. Finish a bit right to the bottom of a grungy dihedral. (5.7+)
Pitch 3: Climb the dihedral (almost a gully). Brush and a little loose rock make this pitch forgetable. I used to lead it without pro so the second could climb the clean slab to the left. Belay on a good ledge. (5.3)
Pitch 4: Climb up and left to a chickenhead covered face. Follow these up to a hanging belay from the topmost ones. Great climbing. (5.6).
Pitch 5: Angle right to an intermittent crack leading diagonally right to a corner which slants back left. Another spicy lead. Belay on the big ledge below the summit. (5.7+).
Pitch 6: Up the wide crack to the top. (5.6).
Back in the day (about 20 years ago) I suggested to Scott that a bolt or two on the slab to the left of P3 would be a good idea. At the time he just laughed and talked about all the people who had climbed the slab with no pro. Things have obviously changed!
Unfortunately I haven't been able to do Ewephoria (always been a line there when I've returned) so I don't know how GLV and Ewephoria relate to each other.
By Geir From: Tucson, AZ Oct 27, 2008 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c R
This is a fun route, and like John indicated, a separate route from Ewephoria. (The two routes share part of pitch 1, but afterward cross only twice.) GLV also has some interesting problem-solving involved in protecting the second on a few sections.
A couple of notes to build on John's description of the route:
On pitch 1, we downclimbed down and left from a solid 2" cam placement at the top of the crack before Ewephoria's bolts begin. Protecting the second from a nasty fall is tricky here. One option would be to leave a bail biner on Ewephoria's first bolt to protect the downclimb.
On pitch 2, there is a long runout at the end of the pitch. Belay at a large tree on a flat ledge about 15' up the dihedral.
On pitch 4, climb up and right from the ledge (no pro, but easy ground). Continue 30 feet around a blunt arete. From here there is 5.7 path leading up and left to the chickenhead covered face.
On pitch 5, we climbed up and right past two holes to the intermittent diagonal crack. Both holes could be nicely protected with cams. There is a long diagonal runout from here which also makes protecting the follower tricky.
By Jon Ruland From: Tucson, AZ Mar 16, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c R
this climb is kind of hard to follow without ending up on ewephoria or another route. you basically end up just finding your way up the sheepshead, and in that regard it's kind of adventurous.
Consider first looking over GLV during a climb of Ewephoria.
I've never seen anything like the downclimb to the belay at the top of pitch 1. Using a bail biner at Ewephoria's 1st bolt is a good idea ... or be very confident your second is up for sparse pro on the downclimb!
Regarding pitch 2's "Finish a bit right to the bottom of a grungy dihedral. (5.7+).":
If you are not familiar with Ewephoria, there is a good chance you will head too far to climber's left on pitch 2 and so end to the climber's right of the wrong grungy dihedral. You'll know you've done this if you end pitch 2 at the very end of a 60 meter rope on run-out 5.6/5.7 climbing with scant placements for an anchor.
I haven't correctly done GLV's pitch 2 but suspect it allows sharing some bolts with Ewephoria's pitch 2 before heading more rightward to the correct grungy dihedral. Not sure though.