This route follows a left-facing hand crack to an off-width finish. It has very solid jamming, but making your moves are tricky with thin footing and the way the crack is recessed. It is located to the right of the parabolic slab on the Southeast Side (left end). It is a prominent crack that is right of the large, detached flake that looks like a giant, shark's tooth.
The downclimb traverses to the right and descends a chimney.
I believe this climb to be under-rated at 5.9+.
The off-width finish can definitely eat up something large like a #4 - #4.5 Camalot or a Big bro. The rest of the crack is hand and fist-sized pro.
This climb is actually solid 5.11. ;-) I found the big piece for the top unnecessary as I placed a #3 Camalot at the bottom of the slot. One of the cruxy moves is getting into the slot, and for this move the #3 is at your feet, after that it eases up. A #4 Camalot is definitely too small for the slot. Take a good selection of thin hands through hands pro for the meat of the route.
I too made the classic mistake of getting on this route thinking it was Handjacker. Fortunately I correctly assessed that I was about to be whipped by a typical Vedauwoo sandbag. The route eats gear (if you can place it!) in the #0.5 to #3 Camalot range, and I'd give it more like 5.10b. Lots-O-Fun (especially on TR ;_)
Alright folks are you ready for the secret key beta? If you do not want too much beta then do not read any more. If you do, here goes. When you get to the wide section at the top use the really good feet out left and the good crimpers and it is one easy move past the "crux" that does not take you off route. Try it and see.
On the lower section, work a semi drop knee with the left foot on smears on the left face. This will square your hips to the crack and allow you to make big fluid moves. Really fun moving. If your thrutching, you havent figured it out. Like most Vedauwoo "grunt fests", a little technique goes a long way. Classic climb.
BTW, have to set a gear anchor with hand sized stuff and to get down down climb the chimney below Escalator, the left leaning hand crack back and to the right.
My beta would be different and I had no problems on the pitch. I loved the clean rock, excellent jams and tenuous smearing with my left foot. The exit was fun, I got to use my #6 Friend. I coulda used other stuff, just had to use the damn thing since I was in the land of big cracks!
By Brian Scoggins From: Eugene, OR Jul 17, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
There are occasionally slings at the top of Handjacker you can rap from, but don't plan on them being there.
New bolt anchors have been unnecessarily added to the top of this pitch. They have been placed in the worst of all possible places, set way back and down low where the rock is fractured into large boulders, there is clean solid rock two feet higher. Any attempt to lower off after a lead or a toprope ascent will result in a stuck rope. Not only can a natural gear anchor be set up in the same place but an easy downclimb can be found by walking around to the right (easier than it looks!) and downclimbing a v.easy chimney up against the main wall underneath Escalator 10b. Please think before placing unnecessary bolt anchors, and if you do decide that they are required please bolt better than this.
I was really surprised to see the new bolts when I climbed it on Tuesday.... True, they probably aren't necessary, and I would have put them above as well, but pulling the rope from the rappel did not result in a hang up. They were probably put there for some one to set up a simple top rope. Ball up and lead the damn thing, it's a wonderful climb.
By Aeon Aki Administrator Sep 30, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
My rope snagged as I pulled it which resulted in me having to climb up the chimney near Escalator to free it. Don't bother with the bolts, just throw your rope down and walk off. Maybe someone could paint them (read: remove them) so they're not completely hideous?
By Brian Scoggins From: Eugene, OR Apr 28, 2008 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
The bolts are just all around poorly placed. It's easy to get a toprope stuck, and we definitely got the rope stuck trying to pull from the rappel. Just walk off.
TR'd this one...but it might be one of the few Voo 5.9's that I could lead. Very good jams, and good pro. I thought the first move off the deck was the crux, although it's easier for more flexible climbers. Top piece would definitely be a #4 or #5 Camalot. The last few moves are OW but there are also medium-size crystals available to the climber's left hand, which helps quite a bit.
Vedauwoo 5.9+ is probably a reasonable grade, which is to say it'd be about 5.10b most places.
Props to Old Fart--and anyone else--with the finger strength to face climb this one!
I have quite often face climbed out left at the end of this one to avoid doing the offwidth finish. Think that is what the"Old Fart" is talkin bout.
By poundit14 From: Laramie, WY May 24, 2009 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
There are some good edges and crystals out left, through the whole crack, that make for good rests. There is especially a no hands rest before the offwidth finish. Also, a lot of people do face climb the slab at the end, avoiding the offwidth section.
Saying all that, I thought it was 5.9 even. You definitely was tight hands to hands for gear, and a big piece is nice for the end. Due to the flare, a few #1 Camalots are nice with 1 or 2 #2 Camalots, and a #5 Camalot for the end.
By prod. From: Boulder, Co Jul 5, 2010 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
I found it much harder than most other Vedauwoo 5.9+'s, I fell twice on lead and 3 times on TR (I was spent). The gear is all there to lace it up. If you feel the need to lace it up, bring some extra C3 #1s and #2s. I thought the crux was about 1/2 way up rattly fingers/ really thin hands for about 4 feet. Getting on the thing isn't too easy either. If you're worried about the top, bring something bigger than a #4, a #6 would most likely be perfect.
The bolts are the worst TR bolts I have seen. They should be chopped and replaced, or eliminated.
Excellent! Thin hands to a wide move or two at the top. Either belay from the top or, if top-roping, the crack at the top is a rope eater right before it gets wide. Maybe place a nut or 0.5/0.75 Camalot there to fill up the crack so the rope can't get stuck. Better yet to run the rope over the bulge (won't get stuck but will abrade the rope if weighted a bunch).
Awesome climb! Though I really wanted to stem my left foot on the low angle left wall, I found this made moving up a LOT more awkward. So best to stay straight in 'til the top, at least for me.
Also, I ignored the ample face features and stupidly tried left-side in at the top OW and got throttled. Right side in, using the great crystals for left foot & hand and working the arm bar/heel-toe combo with the right side made this feel spot on for 5.9.
For me personally, the #6 was the perfect finishing piece. It is not absolutely necessary to have, but it felt good to know I would not slide way down out of the wide and have to re-do those moves again!
Why do people write "how to climb" crux moves? The beauty of climbing is problem solving and learning. I am glad to have not known anything about this route except the name and the grade when I did it.
Rappelling off the new bolts is ok if you're careful about the line you take on the way down (don't follow the crack) and pull your rope from an angle where it won't end up in the crack. Toproping off these bolts is not a good idea at all.
The bolts are not at all necessary but worse yet are poorly positioned. I'd probably consider moving them if I ever lugged a drill and bolts up to the Nautilus but don't see that happening any time soon.
I thought this was easy for a Vedauwoo 5.9, and 9+ is a little soft compared to, say Middle Parallel sSpace, Poo's Corner, or Plumb Line.
In response to top roping if you have a Big bro, it can be placed in the wide section to let the rope run in the crack or a piece can be placed outside the rope-sized constriction (just before the crack gets wide), which helps, but the best thing for the rope is to belay from the top and have a partner who can flash it.