|West Ridge - part A - Verschneidung to base
The second and third pitches of this route are easier to see from a distance than is the first pitch. If you can not locate the first pitch initially, try locating the upper pitches and working your way [down] to find the beginning.
The Initial Route begins just left of Allosaur and goes left (West) just around the corner just after beginning. The route's third pitch meets at the top with the end of the [route] Allosaur as well.
Find P1 by scrambling up onto the main ledge of the amphitheater. Just left of the start of [Allosaur] is a left-leaning rotten band. Pass this to the left to a second left-leaning band, which forms a bulge/overhang at the top of the band. You are standing just left of a small shrub, looking up at a left-facing flake in the overhang which creates a "notch" in the band, where the roof is smaller. Still left of you just a few feet more is another left-leaning band that goes around the corner into a large and much more ominous overhang... and you can see the gaping start of "Initial Hangover" cutting through it from here.)
P1: From where you stand, climb up and left on the face to intersect the overhanging band, and then even more left and up to reach a left-facing corner. The underclings around here are key. The pro is not great or quite where you want it, but this is easy climbing. (5.5?) Climb up and left around the corner into a left-facing system which is more solid than it looks. Work your way up to build a belay for P2 after 60 feet total. You can continue on P2 if your drag is OK and the next pitch does not look intimidating.
P2: Look up into the flaring [squeeze] chimney. Step up on the ledge now behind you to reach up in and place a .5"- 1.0" cam where you can, without filling your fingerlocks. Now execute the crux of getting into the slot. (5.8-5.10, height dep.) This is very hard for short people because they can not reach into it before they loose their footholds. Use the fingerlocks and arm bars to get up into the crack. Rest and set gear, then struggle for the top of the crack this is easiest for me with my right side facing inward. Top out on a ledge with a fat juniper with a rap anchor. Belay at the tree or walk back to the obvious clean, acute dihedral, which goes from vertical to low angle after 30 feet or so.
P3: Climb the aforementioned dihedral for 60' or so (5.7?) to reach the top. The last few moves practically merge with the last moves of Allosaur, which came left from under the roofs to join your route.
There are multiple options for descent, as listed for Allosaur. Perhaps the best option to take if you've left packs up on the Amphitheater ledge is to scramble east, then South around the back side to arrive at the rap anchors above the amphitheater roof. Rap a single rope to the ground. A 50m cord should reach, but I've only tried 60-70m, so I am not 100% sure.
A standard Rack. One set stoppers, one set cams with optional #4. Too much gear will make the crux on pitch #2 difficult to do.
Brutal crux on pitch 2.
The super fun, last pitch. Photo: Eggleston.
|Comments on Initial Route
|By Jay Eggleston|
Jan 30, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
I'm of average height, 5'8", and found the move into the slot to be very difficult. It may be 5.9 if done with the perfect sequence, but it felt harder to me.
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 25, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c
I can definitely see how being tall helped on this route.