The Lowe-Spark is a free var of an old Jeff Lowe aid line. This route has it all from steep roofs to super thin face climbing. By far one of the best alpine rock routes in the US!! This thing needs to get some traffic. FFA Team -- Justin Griffin, Hayden Kennedy and Kyle Dempster September 2013
P1: 5.6R corner to slab climbing with not much gear to a good ledge.
P2: 5.9R face climbing. From the belay ledge trend left until a thin crack leads back right -- some Jeff Lowe pitons are on this pitch, cool history for sure!!
P3: 5.10R face climbing strait up from the belay -- there are some old bolts to the right, do not follow them. Belay is on 2 bolts just underneath the huge roof
P4: 5.13 A0 1st crux pitch -- start off with wild 5.12 climbing off the belay protected by bolts to a left leaning traverse with cams. Long slings help with the drag -- climb strait up to a 4 bolt 5.13 traverse just above the lip of the roof. This pitch still hasn't been fully free climbed -- all the moves have been done but not linked. Belay on 2 bolts at a small stance. MEGA PITCH!!
P5: Unreal 5.12 climbing with bolts and gear with two amazing crux sections. After the second crux follow the left trending crack to the slung block belay.
P6: A short 5.9 pitch that gains a nice ledge just bellow the second crux pitch. Belay on 2 bolts on a good stance.
P7: 5.13 second crux -- this pitch is as technical as it gets! Natural gear just off the belay to 5.12 face climbing with bolts. Wild mantle moves and steaming leads to the crux -- desperate boulder problem on the edge of an arete to a hard mantle finish. Thin 5.11 slab climbing to a pumpy roof with #3/#4 Cams. Truly amazing climbing!! Belay on a great ledge with 2 bolts
P8: 5.10+ crack climbing up twin cracks. Natural gear anchor on a ramp.
P9: 5.10+ face/crack climbing to a strange flare section. Belay on small ledge with natural gear.
P10: Burly 5.11 wide climbing right out of the gate to a small roof and then amazing 5.11+ fingers in a corner. Belay on slung blocks.
P11/12: Easy 5.8 and easier terrain to the summit.
You can walk off Haystack or rappel the route with two 70 meter ropes
Doubles in fingers/hand size cams, #3 & #4 Cams, set of wires -- the purple C3 is helpful on the first 5.13 pitch.
Looking down the 2nd crux pitch
Kyle leads the 2nd pitch
Looking down the third pitch -- 5.10R
Hayden on the the 2nd crux pitch -- the mantle sec...
Justin on the amazing 4th pitch -- this is the res...
Hayden on the start of the 2nd crux pitch
The crux traverse on the 4th pitch -- this is the ...
The final roof on the 2nd crux -- wild moves pulli...
A good topo drawn by Justin Griffin
Evening light on Haystack
Kyle on first crux on the 5th pitch -- So good!
Jan 25, 2014
Don't you have to free the route to call it a FFA?
|By Hayden Kennedy|
Jan 26, 2014
Thats totally true Steve...The route still needs a proper FFA. Someone should get after it!
|By Dennis Horning|
Feb 1, 2014
The route still needs a proper FFA
And this discription lacks the right rating?
How about 5.13, A0 to be consistent with the rest of the tale?
Feb 4, 2014
Well, Hayden, you know how well I fared... psyched you figured out how to climb the 13b pitch up high! Maybe you should come back for a day and fire it...I'll even go belay you.
|By j wharton|
Jul 14, 2014
This thing still needs a true FFA. I red pointed pitch 4 properly. (Climbing it from the triangle jug as HK did, is really a minor difference since it's such a good rest...maybe a letter grade at most. However, it is psychologically tough since the traverse is so low percentage, and the first part of the pitch isn't that fun.) I also sent the other crux pitch, so we were on our way to the first true FFA. Unfortunately we had to bail in an epic thunderstorm two pitches from the top.
Some tips: you can 3rd class to the big grassy ledge a 100' off the ground, and save a pitch down low. Also if you don't put any gear in on the 5.9 section, you can skip the belay atop pitch 5. Offset RPs help on pitch 7, but offset cams seemed unnecessary. The pitch 7 crux will be really hard if you're short.
It's stretch to call this one of the best alpine rock routes in North America--just a little too much scabby rock--but it is pretty damn fun, and located in an amazingly beautiful place. Approach is a casual three hours. This route would make for a nice 5.12 if you pulled past the 12ft of 5.13 climbing. Thanks to the folks that put in the hard work to turn this into a free climb!