Howling at the Wind
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This incredible route attacks arguably the most striking line on the entire Book, the huge dihedral which splits the right side of the Book on its lower half. This description is dedicated to Patrick Vernon, who led the crux pitch but no longer has access to the internet! Note: all the guidebooks have this route as .11b but neither of us felt it could be this hard--however it is a fairly scary lead.
Hike up to the Book, bearing left just before the rock. Go around an outcrop and then back right to reach the huge dihedral. Pitch one is a long hand and fist crack in the corner, and the crux is easily visible above: a triangular roof on pitch two, about 130 feet up the corner.
P1-climb the long, excellent 5.9+ hand crack in the corner. An nice variation, requiring a smaller rack, starts up a thin crack which branches out left low in the corner (5.10a), and then traverses back to the hand crack at either a small tree or higher at a scary foot traverse. Belay from a very large block wedged into the crack.
P2-clamber over the block, up the corner, place a few good pieces, and then undercling out left and go around the left edge of the roof (crux, with the potential to slam back into the corner, as the crack under the roof narrows to nothing). Thin but excellent 5.10 liebacking continues straight up to a good belay ledge.
P3-continue up a thin, short 5.9 corner, and then head up and right on easier ground for a long pitch to the cave area. Exit via the cave or pick something more compelling such as Outlander, Cheap Date, Final Chapter etc.
Bring a standard rack, with extra #3-3.5 Friends and a #4 Friend to sew up the top of the first pitch. However, if doing the .10a variation to P1, no doubles are necessary (though the optional #4 Friend still applies). A piece such as a 0 TCU could be a help or hindrance, as it might be your best pro, while blocking your best handhold at the crux. RPs are a psychological aid.
Rob following P1...
A close up view of the roof crux on P2.
BETA PHOTO: 'Howling At the Wind' (5.11a) follows a large left...
Joseffa Meir turns another corner on 'Howling At T...
|Comments on Howling at the Wind
|By Anonymous Coward|
Sep 28, 2001
It is most definitely an excellent route, complete with the mental crux on the thin roof! For a slightly more comfortable belay stance on pitch 1, set the belay above the wedged block. This eliminates having a total hanging belay stance.
Perelandra is also another good one with similar characteristics that parallels "Howling..." for the first two pitches before joining it at the roof.
When I climbed it, my partner pendelumed on the crux pitch. He then had to climb through Perelandra's crux to get back onto Howling's crux!
|By Joe Collins|
Jul 27, 2003
Great climb! There is nothing scary about the crux... there is good gear under the roof and then in the dihedral just before pulling around the roof (watch out for wetness in this section during T-storm season... the crux holds were wet yesterday). I'm trying not to sandbag anyone, but I gotta say that this has to be one of the easier 5.11s in the area, and is a good choice for those who are trying to push into the grade.
The 2nd and 3rd pitches can be linked all the way to the large block below the Cave/Cheap Date with a 60m rope if you don't mind a little rope drag on easy ground. Make sure you set the first belay on top of the wedged block below the crux roof for this option.
|By Nate Christiansen|
Jul 31, 2003
The day I climbed this, it was actually dry. The hardest part about this route is trusting those slimy feet, which look really crappy, but stick believe it or not. This is a pretty bold climb too for any kind of fall on the crux is really bad and you will take a good 10 footer into the dihedral. Good climb.
Jun 12, 2006
Awesome route!! With a 70m rope you can get to the top in 2 pitches.
Link 1&2 then shoot for the top.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jul 4, 2008
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ E3 5c
The climb is a little smarmy ("humid") it seems. I agree that the route is easier than other Lumpy 11's, but I will say this- it is not for the faint of heart. I got a piece under the roof and pulled to the corner, which I found slippery (maybe it was the heat and the sun, maybe the crack just wasn't quite dry yet) and couldn't get gear in the corner. So I went and kept going. I stopped for gear after about 15 feet, at the grey "jug" which was also slippery. I was placing gear with a big pinch on the hold when "pop" like a watermelon seed. And that produced a 35 or 40 foot fall right past my belayer. The most disconcerting part of it was going up there to do it again, heart in my throat, swearing not to stop there for gear the next time and running it out even further, perhaps 25 feet or so. Thankfully with success, as I was looking at 60+ foot fall potential before reaching good solid and secure footholds.
|By Brian Weinstein|
Jul 5, 2008
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c
Funny Tony, I took that same fall and remember a similiar feeling. It was a little slippery as well when I did it but I think that's the nature of that pitch. Attempting to place gear in that corner above the roof is difficult, running it out is the way to go.