Follow the line of 12 bolts to an anchor at the top of the cliff. This route has three distinct sections separated by ledges. The second is the hardest and, if the leader falls at the wrong place, there's some chance of the s/he twisting an ankle or something on the ledge below that section. The climbing overall involves mixed crack and face climbing and is generally enjoyable.
This climb starts on left side of the same ledge system from which Geminae Cracks, Deus Ex Machina, and Dyno-Mart start. It's actually quite a bit closer to the top of Melt Down or the start of the Caboose than it looks from Rolofson's guide, but you can't scramble to the start from the left (e.g. from Caboose), but only from the right, e.g. from Geminae Cracks, etc.
Twelve bolts plus two-bolt anchors at start and finish.
|By Bruce Pech|
Sep 13, 2006
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13
We did this as a second pitch to Midnight Express. 3rd or 4th class diagonally left up a slabby ledge for 30' to reach the belay from ME's anchors.
Pros: tricky, strenuous cruxes on the 2nd and 3rd bulging/overhanging walls.
Cons: Serious ledge fall risk between the 2nd and 3rd bolts on the 2nd wall (just below the crux transition from the discontinuous layback crack to standing on a 3" wide ledge); some ledge fall risk between the 2nd and 3rd bolts on the 3rd wall. Nasty rope drag (on the 3rd wall and at the top anchors) if you use short draws or single biners to offset the PG-13 rating.
Maybe I was having an off day, but this felt a lot harder than .11b/c to me. I was reminded of a route description from Aaron Huey's Ten Sleep guidebook: "An .11 for solid .12 climbers."