Gutenberger Wall Direct
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BETA PHOTO: Right up the line is between Gutenberger Wall and...
Pitch one: climb "the easy way up" 5.7 to Grand Central. See Tim's topo photo for a good visual description. The mental crux for many is crossing the Cosumnes on river-polished rocks! We started in and belayed from the dihedral at the bottom right corner of the Iraqi Wall; Cottrell's guide may suggest starting on the north side of the boulder instead, clipping a single bolt on it? The dihedral seems more natural to me. Cruxy and exposed 5.7 off the ground, walking fingers through a crack on one side, and occasional chimneying or stemming off the boulder opposite it. Once the boulder is passed, take a long hand traverse right under a small roof, using a finger crack and friction steps below, until a weakness opens in it. Don't let your rope slot in the right-facing crack just before the 5.7 roof ascent! Friction climb the face above, moving left to a weak flake that should not be used for pro, and past it to the bolted Grand Central belay station.
Climb three pitches of Gutenberger Wall Direct, each one ending at the bolted anchors. Pitch two follow a crack up, and is said to be 5.easy.
Pitch three may have two choices of crack near the start. Keeping right follows the true Gutenberger Wall Direct route. Going left may take you to the top of Lichen Us, but not sure what grade this left line goes at.
Pitch four is shorter, 5.easy finishing in a scramble to the final anchors.
Rappel twice, using two ropes. If you try to rap on a single rope, some runout downclimbing may be required to reach some rap stations.
And as always with this side of the river, be cautious with the slippery crossing (including planning ahead for your return later in the day), and don't try it unless the river is low and calm.
[Note: I haven't climbed this yet, compiling notes from guide, conversations, and other routes' comments here; seems some folks are confused between this route and Gutenberger Wall the 2/3 pitch sport climb. I'll update the description from other's comments and/or after I lead it.]
The obvious crack line straight up the middle of Gutenberger Wall.
All belay/rappel stations are bolted. Gear to 2".
|Comments on Gutenberger Wall Direct
Feb 25, 2013
I am not a hater, and usually have good things to say about routes, but this one did not live up. 3* for the setting and views, but 1* for the climbing, which is sometimes in shallow, mungy and flaring cracks. Although traffic has cleaned the face a little, there is still a good deal of moss and lichen to be found. The route is very low angle, so this is a good place to practice your friction skills. Belays 2&3 are semi hanging. If it's winter and you must climb multi pitch on granite, then this might not be a bad option. Otherwise, Lover's Leap is very close and offers far superior climbing.
P1 is the climbing highlight, with a fun finger crack traverse while you smear your feet. There is a bolt on the approach boulder, but getting on it is optional. Small/micro cams can protect the traverse, along with two fixed pins (keep your follower in mind). You can also reach high after you've clipped the second pin to a bolt above the lip. The guidebook shows the route as surmounting the lip, but that looks >5.7. Otherwise, keep traversing right until the lip lets up and then head for the obvious flake up and left, which accepts fingertips for a lieback. Two bolt belay at Grand Central.
P2 is mostly easy slab hiking with a couple of moves thrown in near the end. Two bolt belay. Rap slings attached directly to bolt hangers - someone should add links/chains.
For P3, head left and then up, following the main crack. Mostly easy climbing up to 5.6, but take the good protection opportunities when you see them as the crack is flaring, dirty and shallow on the whole. Three bolt belay (one new, two older).
P4 is *very* low angle dirty slab. Climb it if you must, or rappel from here.
Two 50m ropes will get you down.
Rack: medium-large nuts, single set of cams to 2". Micro cams will help in a couple of places. Long runners to reduce rope drag on P1.