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Livin' Astro 

YDS: 5.14c French: 8c+ Ewbanks: 34 UIAA: XI- ZA: 35 British: E9 7b

Type:  Sport
Consensus:  YDS: 5.14c French: 8c+ Ewbanks: 34 UIAA: XI- ZA: 35 British: E9 7b [details]
FA: Dave Graham
Page Views: 5,810
Submitted By: James Otey on Jun 27, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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Lee chillin' in the 5.14 alcove. Photo taken on m...


Livin' Astro is perhaps the most stunning and Aesthetic line in the entire east. Before the holds on Jaws were broken in 2006, this was the hardest route east of the Mississippi (The Fly I guess...).

Livin' Astro is easily recognized by its stark and intimidating 45 degree black arete, which appears to be void of holds and absolutely impossible to ascend. As is the case with many lines at Rumney, Livin' Astro holds extremely bouldery sequences separated by decent rests.

Start by climbing "That Crack," working up past stances where the first 3 bolts can be clipped. Bust out on to the arete proper using a left hand crimp and right heel hooks, navigating past poor pinches and micro edges. After clipping the 5th bolt, make a big move to a cutout block on the corner, which holds a sloper that allows for a quick shake. This deposits you at the first crux: a leftward traverse on a slopey crimp rail involving heel hooks, toe hooks, and a huge body tension intensive crossover move to a sidepull.

After gaining a massive rest jug and recovering to your hearts content, the final boulder problem crux can be mounted. Match a poor undercling and reach up to a left hand mono-stack, busting out right to the arete and making a final big move to the slopey lip where the anchors can be clipped. Phew...

I have never tried this route, but figured it warranted a spot in the database. I've watched enough people on it to have a very good idea of its nature, but would love to see other opinions added.


The 5.14 alcove on the far left side of Waimea. The rightmost route


7 bolts, draws almost always in-situ

Photos of Livin' Astro Slideshow Add Photo
One more of Mike on Astro...
One more of Mike on Astro...
Mike Foley low on Livin' Astro.  Photo by Lee Hans...
Mike Foley low on Livin' Astro. Photo by Lee Hans...
another shot of Mike on Livin Astro...
another shot of Mike on Livin Astro...

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By M Sprague
From: New England
Jun 27, 2011

Nice Description, Otey.

Dave Graham paid me $100 for the route after hounding me to get on it practically before the glue for the bolts was dry and I had finished cleaning it. So I asked him if he would mind paying for the bolts so I could go bolt another project for myself. He could have saved himself the $100 bucks if he had waited a week or two for me to realize it was going to be way too hard for me, but that was his donation to Rumney, as I think I used the money to re-bolt other routes.

It really is an aesthetic line with cool moves. The cruxes are pretty reachy, especially the top one. I know Iker Pou was shut down by the reach. One thing I would like to make clear: I heard Chris Sharma didn't want to get on it because somebody told him it was chipped. I think they were referring to the finger pocket near the top. It was not chipped. It is a natural pocket, that may look worked from when I cleaned the crud out with my screw driver. It is absolutely not a drilled pocket. If there was any argument for me having gone over the gray line while cleaning, it would have to be the removing of some loose flakes on the arete, which didn't make any holds or otherwise change the difficulty. So don't let a rumor keep you off a beautiful piece of rock.

Another line, right next to it, that often gets overlooked , but is really cool and worthy of a post and more ascents is Catch the Wave, the 12b/c that takes the undercling flake out left from the top of That Crack.
By M Sprague
From: New England
Jun 27, 2011

Has anybody climbed up to the first bolt yet (with a stick clip) staying out of That Crack?
By James Otey
From: NH
Jun 27, 2011

Thanks for the history and clearing the route's good name Mark.

I've never heard of anyone attempting the direct start- perhaps to avoid making a nearly impossible route harder :)
By S. Neoh
Jun 27, 2011

Fascinating story, Mark. Makes for a good read over lunch. Iker got shut down by this route, huh? Wow.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 27, 2011

yeah good history mark... and thanks for the info about the alleged drilling... i've been eying Catch the Wave for a long time, it looks rad... recently while shooting photos from that anchor i decided i should rap in at some point and clean it off a bit then give it a go...
By S. Neoh
Jun 27, 2011

Lee, I have heard from several sources that Catch the Wave is really good. It was already established when I started visiting Waimea in the early 90's.
FA by Scott Stevenson & Alan C according to Ward's guide. How are the bolts today? (Too hard for me now.)
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 28, 2011

everything looks good just a little mossy, should clean up well :)
By M Sprague
From: New England
Nov 7, 2013

Josh Levin | Livin' Astro (5.14c) at Rumney
By S. Neoh
Nov 7, 2013

Wish I had seen this video before bumping into your at Metro the other night. Nice send and you're climbing great, Josh!!
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