Half Man, Half Beast
|421 page views|
|Type: ||Trad, 1 pitch, 70 feet|
|Consensus: ||5.12a [details]|
|FA: ||Tony Bubb & Jason Haas, 6/25/06|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Season: ||It is north-facing|
|Submitted By: ||Tony B on Jun 26, 2006|
BETA PHOTO: A zoom-in on the crux top half of 'Half Man, Half ...
This climb is, like the legendary Sphinx, half-man and half beast though it seems unlikely that anyone will "brute force" the route. The meat of the route is classic climbing- both physically hard and also very technical. Excellent moves on excellent stone with gear as you need it, or at least where you are strong enough to place it in the fiercely overhanging first-knuckle and thinner fingercrack. The reason this is not a classic route is that the first 40 feet are easy, non-distinct, and loose in spots.
Belay from above on trad gear. The route is NOT easily top-rope-able. TR hang-dogging below the roof would be bad for your rope. To retreat, scramble to the West 5 meters and rap from some fixed slings on a flake. These need a rapid link.
Full disclosure- the grade is given for an on-sight, which will be very difficult, but I took one hang on the on-sight FA attempt while cleaning loose rock and lichens. I lowered back down and did it- the route felt a little easier (11+?) after I had done the sequence initially with a hang.
This route is at about the mid-point of the North face of the Sphinx. Hike up the North face past a lot of junky rock until you see a striking finger-crack splitting an overhang. Climb the face with flakes and edges to reach the roof, place a #3 Camalot in a good pod, then up the first bit of fingercrack (.75"?) and then to a red Camalot in a pod. Then the real fun starts. Get out your small cams and go!
A set of Aliens or TCUs from .3" to .75" (narrow cam width = good, small Camalots = bad). You might want an extra .4"-.7" piece. Also take a #1 and #3 Camalot for some bomber gear and to save your small stuff for the crux.
Also take whatever gear you want in the initial face + long slings for the pro below the roof. The initial face is runout, but maybe only 5.5 or 5.6.