If I Only Had A Brain
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Congratulations Ben on numero 100. He hit 100 on...
Pitch 1: Gain the large bedding seam 40 feet up via the path of least resistance. I bouldered up about 15 feet onto a bulge, then traversed back left and climbed up a corner at about 5.9. Beware, you only get 1-2 pieces of gear and must climb a good way above them to the ledge (bedding seam). 5.9
Pitch 1 1/2: Traverse (walk) 20 meters right on the ledge to the obvious flake. No good belay for p2.
Pitch 2: Aid under the roof and up the flake on ok cams (.75 camalots). End in a corner just above and left of the notch of the two summits of Mars Hotel. Natural belay in better rock. C1
Pitch 3: Aid up the thin seam C1 to a sloping shoulder. Turn left and aid up very sandy pockets. Once the pockets end, climb 5.10 for 2 moves and traverse across the large shoulder to a big ledge 60 meters out. Natural belay in poor rock. 5.10 C1
Pitch 4: 3rd class up the boulders to the southern point of the tower. We then left aiders on two cams and climbed these to the top. There is no anchor on top, so downclimb the aiders and return to the top of pitch 3. C1
Descent: As there is no anchor (that we found) atop pitch 3, we replaced some slung cordage and rapped to the anchors in a small notch we saw from the ground. This rappel is about 60 feet. Then rappel from fixed pins to the ground 165 feet.
On the east side of the formation rap slings are visible in a notch about 75 meters left of the start of If I Only Had A Brain. These are anchors for Lost in Space and the second rap. The route is briefly described in Eric's red desert rock 1.
This was some of the softest rock we've ever climbed on, even understanding it is entrada. Beware if you are not seeking a true adventure.
Standard double set of cams from green aliens to #3 camalot. Bring extra runners, even some 48 inch runners for really big extensions. We had nuts and tri cams but were not necessary.
By Ben Kiessel
Jan 17, 2008
"This was some of the softest rock we've ever climbed on." Now that is saying something! The only thing that I can think of that is close is Church Rock. Gotta love that brown sugar!
Also we got our rope stuck on the last rappel, be careful.
I will never consider climbing this route again. If you want to climb Mars Hotel I would suggest the route Lost in Space. I have not climbed it but it looked more straight forward and less scary.
By J. Hickok
Aug 14, 2012
I think this route can be freed at hard 5.11.