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A long, slightly meandering route that wanders up ledgy climbing to the left of the main East Face routes (Jim Dandy, Peek-a-boo, Skip to My Lou, etc.). The "hidden crack" is all of 20 feet long - the climbing is much more traditional Table Rock slab. It's good, with bolted anchors on every pitch (except the last due to some unknown choppers). The climbing is fun and can be used to escape some of the crowds. It's hard to find the start.
P1(100 ft, 5.7): From the tree on the right side of the narrow ledge (described below), head up and right, generally following lichen-free rock up the outside of the bulging buttress. After the "hidden crack", clip a few bolts that protect some slabby moves (crux) and then finish up and right at a two-bolt anchors. (Note: there are two sets of bolts up here; one is for Hidden Crack and the other is for Persistence of Vision (5.9), a route that climbs the left wall of the Peek-a-boo gully. Either set will work for this route.)
P2(60 ft, 5.5): Climb easier ground up to the right end of the large tree ledge. There is a two-bolt anchor down and right, slightly below the ledge. You can also use trees on the ledge.
P3(110 ft, 5.7): Locate a bolt under the right side of the big roof. Climb to the bolt, clip it, then move up and right on big, funky holds until established above the roof. Then, climb up and left past another bolt, eventually reaching a two-bolt anchor above the slab at a little ledge. (Note: from this anchor, one 60 m rope will get you to the tree ledge.)
P4 (100 ft, 5.7): From the anchor, move left and up through blocky ground, aiming for a corner/crack system that trends slightly right. Move up this a little, then move back left around the overlap, following the biggest holds and cleanest rock. Above, move up slabby ground, eventually trending right to the 3rd class terrain on the left end of Lightning Ledge.
Descent: Scramble up Lightning Ledge and trail to top, or go back to Lunch Ledge and rappel from two bolt anchor above P3 of Cave Route (also called "The Block"). This rappel requires two ropes or some nontrivial downclimbing.
Start is left of Peek-a-boo at a dirty, slightly blocky gully just right of Tall Climb to be Good On (look for the finger crack on that route). Scramble up blocks, trending slightly right, for 30-40 feet, until you get to a narrow ledge with a tree on its right end. The climb moves up and right from here.
Gear to 2".
BETA PHOTO: Up the scramble (somewhere between 3rd class to 5....
By Matt Westlake
Oct 24, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Start is sort of hard to find - don't get suckered into the 5.5 The Wasp, the "hidden" crack is the FAR right side of the start ledge up some easy unprotected slab. Can't see the first bolt as it's over the first bulge.
Rapped down from top of P3 with a single 60m (might be sorta stretchy though). From P3 to P2, doesn't put you AT the bolts but a little ledge above requiring a little down gully scramble and hike over mossy hummocks. Not bad but could be slippery, so take care. P2 to P1 anchors don't forget to swing left a bit to find them and probably wise to knot your ends! From P1 anchors we went straight down to what we thought was the start ledge but it was actually another rap station just left of Peek-A-Boo, maybe Wooly Aphid? Anyway, one more short rap and we were down. Good bolts the whole way.
By Mike Holley
From: Boone, NC
Sep 16, 2012
ANother great full length route of its grade. Can be difficult to find as stated above, but don't give up, its totally worth it! An unclimbed classic, get on it!
By Ezra Ellis
Aug 26, 2013
A true classic, protects well after the initial runout on 5.4 terrain.
Anchor the belayer to the large tree.
By Jeff Gregory
From: Columbia, South Carolina
May 18, 2014
I absolutely loved this climb. Vertical and exposed sections on hero holds, flaky crack sections with loads of gear, long pitches, an adventure element with the tree ledge at the pitch 2 belay...etc etc.
We topped out after a fairly run-out pitch 4 on crispy lichen-encrusted slab. Maybe tricams would have helped us protect this pitch better?
The belay anchors on top of pitch 4 are literally 8 ft or so from the top of Lightning Ledge. You can walk off to the summit from there.