|Type:||Trad, Sport, 6 pitches, 550', Grade III|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]|
|FA:||Mark Tarrant, Richard Wright, August, 2008|
|Submitted By:||Mark Tarrant on Sep 24, 2008|
|Comments on King of the Mountain||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 24, 2008
|Damn fellas...good work! I am really gonna have to check this place out!|
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 20, 2008
King of the Mountain, a moment of reflection. KM is really Mark's route through and through. I had originally picked out the line from the Catwalk and had intended it as a memorial to Alan Nelson. If it would go, it would be the longest and possibly most challenging line at Empire. While this indeed turned out to be true, it is due entirely to Mark's effort to get KM installed. Nonetheless, with Mark's gracious consent, we have kept the name as planned where it can serve in tribute to Alan, a long, difficult, and inspiring route that incidently consumed more effort and expense than any other route at Empire.
My own view of the pitches runs largely in confirmation of Mark's description. P1 is a clean, bullet-proof 5.10 pitch with most of its crux sequences followed by good rest. There is a flake to keep an eye on a bit right of the climbing that can be used for a good chill, just don't pull out on it.
P2 can be done the hard way or the easy way. The trad climber is likely to start up the hard way !!! The initial gear is straight forward enough, but it will be a bit more challenging to place gear before reaching a thank god jug at 40ft. Think easier.
P3 runs as Mark describes. The mid section is a bit dirty still, but nothing significant. The moves up the arete are pretty nifty, powerful, and arise on great stone.
P4 is the meat. A deceptively simple start shifts into high gear instantly once the open book dihedral is gained. The "dihedral" is actually climbed more like a "trihedral" by stemming far left into the third plane. The climbing is intricate, powerful, and requires intense core movement between each foot placement. I do not think anyone less than six feet tall will have much chance of working the stems, and little other choices seemed to arise. The rock is perfect, the pro well placed, and the climbing great, if you can pull it off. At 5'8" I was unable to work the stems beyond the start, but it can be aided and this rescues the the rest of the climbing for all of the height challenged. Props to Mark for pulling it off whilst running from the pending thunder and lightning that accompanied us on red point day.
P5 is also difficult, but a full number grade easier. Great initial climbing at 5.10 yields up a hard roof sequence blow the anchor. My estimate is 5.11d/12a unless, again, you are tall. Overall a good pitch that still benefits from a small amount of brushing.
P6 should have been a gorgeous finish. The pitch is fine, has good climbing, but wanders a bit to avoid some hollow rock. Comfort beta: the third clip will seem super necky if done straight up. Instead, cut right after the second clip and look for a key incut for the right hand, the subsequent stand up and clip will seem much less stressful.
Overall KM is a terrific climb. I don't know what Alan would think, but my guess is that he would not be disappointed.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 24, 2009
|If you are just looking to get a few extra pitches in, then from the base you can head up 2 pitches on this (even linked) and keep it in the 5.10 range then rap down.|
By j wharton
Jul 27, 2014
|The crux pitch of this route is short, but very cool, and with excellent rock. For those of you like me with little-to-no flexibility there is an option to come in from the left at the second bolt of the crux dihedral via a technical gaston boulder problem...maybe V7ish. Then it's possible to "power-back" on rounded crimps to better holds. Zero stemming on the pitch this way, but fingers definitely required. Thanks for the nice route!|
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 28, 2014
|Nice find, Josh. I'm 5'8" and Mark is 6'1", so trying KM by stemming his way reaches a point where no matter how stretched I get my legs simply come off. We tried to locate some tiny fingers in the dihedral, but there is not much there. We never tried coming in from the left. It probably runs out a little, but a fall shouldn't cause you to hit anything. Cool solution.|