A really great technique builder! The inital lieback right off the ground is pretty slippery, and a fall here before getting a piece plugged in could result in broken ankles. Fun, but be careful! Definitely 5.9+ or 5.10a PG13.
It's a lieback, so, yeah, pro can be strenuous to place. However, there is plenty of pro placements available on this route, so I don't see adding PG13 to a well-protected lieback route or we'd have to call almost every lieback PG13. 5.9, period.
Zeke- My impression of the PG13 is simply a cautionary statement, and that lets some of the noobs know that this isn't a pitch to be taken that lightly. Yeah, most liebacks are probably PG13, but it also depends on the leader's experience in placing pro and the reservoir of strength available. I didn't have any trouble placing any pro, but thought that others might...
It doesn't have to be a slippery layback; it can also be done just as easily as a straight up crack climb - better for gear placements too. It's an honest 5.9 with good gear and rests along the way (not 5.10 IMO). Definitely fun!
1st go plugged an orange tcu and slipped and pulled it for a ground fall. Second go it went free. I agree that you shouldn't add a pg 13 for a slippery start. It's a valley 9 for a reason. I climbed it as a straight in crack and felt that was easier for placing pro.
By Steve Blevins From: Central Coast, CA Sep 16, 2012 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 5a
I was baffled by all the 5.9 rates of this climb. Not 5.9+, just run of the mill 5.9. I can see why the 5.11 and 5.12 leaders thought this was 5.9. Most of the raters do not give their ability and whether they lead this climb, onsight or otherwise. I really don't care what number you give this route, it is what it is, and 5.9 routes like this are not uncommon in my limited Yose experience. In fact most areas have climbs like this, usually with the dreaded + designation. But there will be extremely few 5.9 leaders that can do this onsight (it is straight forward).
For those that put faith in safety ratings, a word of caution is in order. The route protects very well. But the chance of an ankle injuring fall is quite good until you can get a piece in high enough to protect getting to your 2nd or 3rd placement. There is a world of difference between making a 5.9 move and putting pro in while in a 5.9 stance on lead.
Classic Yosemite 5.9. I really think that Supertopo is screwing people by calling the beginning of this thing a lieback. Stand at the bottom, sink a couple finger locks and then see if it still feels like a lieback. It won't. Straight in all the way! Watched a dude lead it after me and he peeled off whilst liebacking the start, ripped his first piece, and busted his ass on the talus. Looked way strenuous. Awesome climb!
The corner is pretty greasy, but the start on this can definitely be climbed straight in as a finger crack. Perfect locks up to a nice pod, gear wherever you want it, just jam that left foot in the corner and smear with your right. Fun climb! I thought the moves exiting the roof higher up were more strenuous/thought-provoking.