This route climbs the face between the crack systems of East and West Lark. The route-finding is tricky at times, and there are some runouts. Start to the left of East and West Lark, climb up and right (crossing East Lark) to a small belay stance. Climb the face and flakes up and right for another pitch, sharing a belay with West Lark. Then move up and left to easier ground. After another pitch, the climb merges with West Lark.
|By Mark L|
Jul 10, 2007
I recommend doing this route with someone who knows the route if you want to stick to it. On the other hand getting off route is likely to take you onto easier terrain rather than harder terrain so its not as risky of a climb. I'll give some more accurate beta though as it is really easy to get off onto easier terrain.
Pro is there but a little runout not so solid on this route. Most cracks are flarey or too shallow (as with several other easy moderates on the north face area) - smaller pro often works better and thin TCUs work better than nuts generally. Hexes seemed useless. There are a lot of hollow sounding and a few loose flakes and blocks on the route so be careful where you place your pro or pull on.
With a 60m rope, is done in 5 pitches, about 940' of climbing.
First pitch: Start something like 40' left of the west lark dihedral. You'll see face with cracks lower for the first 30' that provides some pro. Then traverse up and right over 5.5 or so face for maybe 30' to the mini left leaning ramp that is the east lark. Once on the ramp you can look around for a rusty bolt on top of the ramp (really a 6"-1" ledge upward). From the bolt you will climb up and trend right again towards more pro. Do not go so far over that you cross into the West Lark 5.5 crack until you are about 20-40' below the small 3-layer roof above the west lark. Look to the right and you'll see about 20' below that small roof a kind of bucket in the west lark crack. Belay here. There are probably 2 cruxes on this pitch of runout 5.7 face between the intermittent cracks. 200'
Second Pitch: climb up maybe 10 or 15' and then break leftish to a slightly runout face traverse to another crack system. Climb up some more till you need to do another left face traverse (again slightly runout). Continue as straight up as possible after the second traverse, belaying in a semi crappy shallow vertical crack as the rope runs out. The 2 leftward face traverses are 5.7 cruxes with a little runout. I followed that pitch and thought that would be the most mentally challenging pitch. 200'
Third Pitch: Get his lead if you like an engaging 5.7. From the belay you will see a crack continuing up and petering out below a set of 1 foot tall overlaps or dihedrals 30 or 40' up that trend up and right and arch to the right where they end at a dead mountain mahogany. The dead mahogany is maybe 100' up and 60'right from the belay. You are going to follow the cracks under these small overlaps to that mountain mahogany. The feet aren't that great and the pro takes a attention to place properly under the overlaps as they are flarely until you near the dead mahogany. From the dead mahogany you can place so-so pro and move over the small roof to friction up 15' or so before trying to trend back left. The easy 5.5 West Lark crack system will be just 15' right of you now but keep going up and trend left again and then up until for about 170' total till you get in a easy gully 25' below a largish roof. Belay above bushes. One crux is making the moves under the overlap to the mountain mahogany. Another is getting from the mahogany on friction up and right to the next crack system. The book would have you join west lark here but stay to its left to something different. 170'
(If I remember right) Head up to the left of the main roof and overcome a small roof (not hard). Head up pretty straight on easier climbing till you run the rope out. Probably 5.3-5.5 for the most part. 200' Should be belaying 25' below a decent sized outward jutting block.
Pitch 5: go up and traverse left to a crack system about 15' over. follow it up a little more to the outward jutting block and go left around this. Follow the easy gully system after that with a few 5.5 or less moves to the top.
|By Justin Tomlinson|
From: Monrovia, CA
Jul 24, 2012
Route finding on this climb bewildered me.
From: Claremont, CA
May 19, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Helpful to be an experienced 5.7/5.8 leader and good at placing pro. Pro is all there, but you have to work at it at times. Small wires (many) and micro cams are very useful. Some cracks can be shallow and/or dirt-filled, thus may need some cleaning to uncover good placements.
| || Mike Margala on pitch 3, just before undercling on overlap to dead mountain mahogony. |