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Living Blindly is surprisingly good, considering its obscurity and location (One does not usually think of good routes on the Opossum or Tail). The moves are fun, the bolts are generously placed, and the rock is almost entirely solid. It even looks cool as you approach it and work your way through it. It's long, and provides satisfaction when you gain a couple of awesome summits that are rarely gained otherwise.
As long as you're up there, I would highly recommend summiting both the Tail and the Opossum.
The best moment on the route is the crux: 5.7 or 7+ balance moves on good feet with not good handholds. The crux looks harder than it is, and has exciting exposure. I might even hazard to liken it to the Panic Point on the Pioneer Route of Monkey Face.
Pitch 1 (5.7): Start as per Cave Route (2-3 bolts).
Pitch 2 (5.7+): Meander across heavily featured terrain to climber's right of the top of the Cave Route. The pitch cruxes at an awesome exposed corner with bolts everywhere. Once past these moves, the anchor appears quickly. Easily combined with Pitch 1, but use long runners to prevent drag (and you probably don't want to clip the anchor atop the first pitch if you're going to link them).
Pitch 3 (5.5): A fun, long, heavily featured pitch with good rock that gains the summit of the Tail, or the Opossum, depending on where you want to go. See below for a descent option that offers more climbing.
Living Blindly shares a start with the Cave Route, which is on the far side of the Marsupial crags, in a little amphitheater. Hike to the base of Brogan (from Burma road), and cut through an easy squeeze chimney to the backside of the cliff. Follow the cliffline uphill, and around a large slabby formation (forms the S Buttress of Brogan). You will find the amphitheater just uphill of this formation, and the Cave Route start is the line furthest on the right.
Descent: A couple of good options exist:
1) Watts says that a single 60 meter rope will reach the ground if you do two single rope rappels. First, rappel from the ridge to the anchors of the 2nd pitch. From here, a 60 will hopefully get you to the ground.
2) This one is more fun, and it offers more climbing. After summiting the Opossum, traverse the sharp ridge (5.2). There's no protection here, and it's fantastically exposed, so be careful. At the end of the traverse, there is a new anchor with rap rings. One 50m rope will get you to the ground (not that anyone has 50m ropes anymore).
Bolts. Bring 15 draws or so if you combine the 1st and 2nd pitches.
|Comments on Living Blindly
From: Mammoth Lakes, Ca
Jun 16, 2010
Fun, long, and adventurous for a 5.7 sport route. Do it in 2 pitches, much easier and you can see your belayer at the first station. Weird route that kinda does more traversing than climbing. The 3rd bolt (1st pitch) is hard to see, its up and right. Fun climbing, no harder than 5.7 at all. We did both the opposum and the tail, which you have to find a tricky way to belay both. Plenty of bolts, not runout at all!
From: Eugene, OR
Feb 6, 2012
Decent climb, great position. Don't blow the second or third clip or you could be in for a grounder, depending on how you clip and how attentive your belay is. Also, given the traversing nature of the first pitch both follower and leader can take some decent cheesegrater pendulum falls. I don't recommend this route if you have a follower unfamiliar with "do not fall situations" and traversing.