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The route climbs the face just to the left of Lotta Balls. The second pitch involves a serious runout, with 5.9 climbing on questionable rock.
Pitch 1: climb into the initial dihedral of Lotta Balls. However, do not follow the flake out right, but rather continue straight up the corner. The climbing becomes progressively more difficult as the crack turns into a hairline seam. Use your best thin-crack protection skills (as well as a Number 1 Camalot) until the crack ends on a blank face. At this point a delicate step to the right allows you to clip the top protection bolt on the second pitch of Lotta Balls. Continue up a short distance and set up a gear belay at the base of the dihedral. A variation (due to Josh Thompson) avoids the bolt by means of runout 5.10+ face climbing up and slightly left from the end of the seam.
Pitch 2: Step left and climb the steep face (5.9R) straight up over fragile rock. Protection is essentially non-existent for the first 40 feet. Above this point, the difficulties ease and a wide crack leads to the spacious second belay ledge of Lotta Balls.
Pitch 3: Step left from the belay ledge onto the sweeping slab to the left of Lotta Balls. Aesthetic, moderate friction climbing without much significant protection leads up the middle of the slab and eventually joins the crack on the right.
Pitch 4: Easy climbing leads to the top.
Descend left with a couple of short rappels. The serious nature of the second pitch may limit its popularity, but the first and third pitches are quite good and could be combined with the Lotta Balls dihedral for a much more relaxed climb.
Wires, small cams, and Ballnuts are useful. Include doubles of a cool head and inner calm.
|By J. Thompson|
From: denver, co
Jun 9, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
Be careful that second pitch could result in serious injury...maybe worse.