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King Me 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

   
Type: Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 500', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Forrest Wilcox
New Route: Yes
Season: any
Page Views: 973
Submitted By: Forrest Wilcox on Dec 23, 2012
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BETA PHOTO: Blue dots are belays.

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Description 

P1: Slab climb up (5.6) past one bolt and pull up onto a big ledge. Make an anchor here (depending on how you want to start your second pitch make an anchor at the base of the chimney or to the left).

P2: There are two options either go right and climb the bolted chimney (5.8+, refer to the chimney pictures) or for an easy variation go left and pull up onto the slab column from its left side (5.6), but I highly recommend doing the chimney. It is one of the best I have seen. At the top of the chimney it helps to do a 180 and use the crack to pull onto the ledge. Once on the slab column follow 3 bolts and place some trad gear in between. Make a trad anchor in a horizontal crack once you pass the last bolt.

P3: trad climb straight up. Once you pull up onto a big ledge go left and find a big crack. Stem up the crack and then hand jam your way to another big ledge (5.7) and make an anchor somewhere on this ledge.

P4: climb the dihedral with a sotol at the bottom and you end up at the top next to a big old tree(5.8)

(The crack at the top of the climb has two old pitons in it and the last dihedral has one very old piton. This top-out was probably climbed in the 70s or 80s. This last pitch was once called the Ring Route and was rated 5.9)


Location 

This route is located directly left of Punch In The Nose and right of the off-widths. To get down either rappel Cross-trainer of walk off the top.


Protection 

There are 7 bolts. One set of cams, one set of nuts.



Photos of King Me Slideshow Add Photo
The chimney from above. It is bolted now and it is a lot better than it looks. It is one of the best portions of this route and is a must-do.
BETA PHOTO: The chimney from above. It is bolted now and it is...
The last pitch
BETA PHOTO: The last pitch
looking down the slab column
BETA PHOTO: looking down the slab column
second pitch
second pitch
Looking up at the last bolt. It is all trad past here.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the last bolt. It is all trad past h...
In the chimney
BETA PHOTO: In the chimney
Chimney
BETA PHOTO: Chimney
topo
BETA PHOTO: topo
topo
topo
Chimney
Chimney
Chimney up with your back where the yellow line is. Pull onto the ledge on the right side and jump left over the crack to the slab column. (bolted)
BETA PHOTO: Chimney up with your back where the yellow line is...
Showing some alternatives for P2:  <br /> <br />One can skip the initial bolts by starting deeper in the chimney and enduring a little more run-out.  With back to bolted side and deeper in it, this initial part is much easier than 5.8+. <br /> <br />Also shown is the alternative of continuing up the remainder of the chimney and finally emerging not far below the last bolt of the pitch - it's a #4 big bro way up there.
BETA PHOTO: Showing some alternatives for P2:

One can skip t...
Comments on King Me Add Comment
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By Forrest Wilcox
From: Las Cruces, NM
Dec 23, 2012

One of the bolts is a spinner, but it is solid don't worry. The holds and footholds on the climb are very solid, hardly any lichen. The stemming crack has a lot of grass in it so it still needs to be cleaned out.

By Karl Kiser
Jan 1, 2013

This is a good protected addition to the central portion of Checkerboard. The last pitch is the old Standard Finish. This finish usually went up the steep lieback corner and then right to avoid the last portion of the dihedral.
There was a leader fall and rescue (2nd pitch, fortunate outcome) Spring 1976 on the face left of King Me. We really do not want the event to happen again.

By Forrest Wilcox
From: Las Cruces, NM
Jan 1, 2013

Yeah, the last undercling part of that dihedral is hard, but it is the best ending to do. The main thing to make sure to do is find a certain jug to pull your whole body up out of the undercling at the end.

By franciscov
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 17, 2013

Francisco leading the first pitch of king me.
Francisco leading the first pitch of king me.

By franciscov
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 17, 2013

The first pitch has no needed bolts. The lead had natural protection within a few feet of all the bolts, and when led no bolts were used. The photograph above demonstrates this. You can see a cam placement just across from the unused bolt.

By Forrest Wilcox
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 16, 2013

The goal is to slab climb on the column of bolts it has lots of interesting holds and friction climbing, following the entire chimney is a different route.

By Marta Reece
Administrator
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 17, 2013

The full-slab version of the route is great - not just pitch 1, but the full 200-foot pitch 2, which goes from ledge to ledge on slab alone. We slabbed it above that for a stretch as well.

For the top out, we started in the crack with the sotol, the usual way, stepped to the right (a bit earlier, which is harder, but still close to the usual way), but then instead of finishing up the easy dihedral, we went up to the right and laybacked it up the next corner. It's a fun finish, if you hadn't had enough yet.

Thank you, Forrest, for putting up the route. It's one of the best on Checkerboard for sure.

By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Oct 18, 2013

True that the photo shows a lead going past where King Me exits to climber's left. Humbly, I think there is an argument here for not having any bolts in the chimney at all - even for the part that King Me uses.

By Marta Reece
Administrator
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 28, 2013

Guide to the slab version:

Approach as for Cross-trainer, going left on the slabby ground below it. Leave packs here. Scramble up the corner just left of a bulge with a large ocotillo on it. There will be some soft bushes in your way and then an opening to the left to a nice belay ledge.

P1 (70 feet): go up the slab to a lonely bolt. Climb up to the right of bolt on decent holds to a ledge with a sotol. Continuing up from the sotol is easier on its left. Stop at a large ledge with a solitary bolt provided for an anchor. The bolt can be backed up, but not easily.

P2 (200 ft): start up few feet left on a featured and easy terrain, then move right onto the column directly above Pitch 1 belay. Stay on this column going straight up for the rest of the pitch. The steepest part is about one third of the way up. The bolts are reasonably in line and your pro can be as well (after the first 20 feet or so, which some may not protect), so the drag should not be bad. The bottom two bolts and one higher up are spinners. The bolts and protection opportunities are both sparse, and because the route is relatively new, the rock is still flaking more than the Checkerboard usual. To be comfortable on this, you should be pretty solid on 5.7 to 5.8 slabs. You may opt for an intermediate anchor in a horizontal crack, but if you go the full distance, you'll build on the first large ledge you come to (it will take two 70-m ropes to reach it). There is a chock that looks solid and can be used with cams both above and below, as well as other placements.

P3 (140 ft): for a protectable way up, step to the right to a narrow, intermittent, vertical crack with a bit of featured, different-color terrain around it. Warning: reaching the horizontal crack above this is significantly height dependent. A shorter second can, however, clean the gear from the vertical crack and traverse left to an easier ground. Once past the steep part, continue up and left through easier and then walkable terrain heading for the left-leaning crack with a sotol in it. There is a piton left of the sotol. Layback up the crack almost to the undercling before using an intermittent finger crack in the block on the right to cross to the right and into the next dihedral. Take the dihedral to the dead tree above.

Deproach: Scramble up a bit and traverse right. Scramble down to the chains of Cross-trainer marked by a vigorous bush near the edge.