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Mideast Crisis 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A2

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 13 pitches, Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A2 [details]
FA: Bosque, Corbett
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Page Views: 1,253
Submitted By: Dustin B on Dec 22, 2009

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The righthand (aid) path of P12. Excellent aid pit...

Description 

Climbs the east face of WC, right of astroman.

Approach as you would for astroman (it shares the first pitch).

P1. Climb behind a tree to access a low angle crack/groove system that leads up and left, then right to a two bolt anchor below a pine tree. From here A-man goes up and left, you're going up and right. 5.7

P2. Climb up past the pine tree and find a crack on the steep lefthand wall. This crack looks like it seeps in the spring, but in the fall when we climbed it was dry. Take crack up and right to a break, then hook left to another thin crack and up to an anchor above the pine tree. Great cam hooks. C1+

P3. Hooking on a slab leads to a crack and some more clean aid up and right to an anchor on the right side of a big hollow flake. C2/C3.

P4. Some easy free moves on loose rock (5.7+) goes to aid in loose rock then to the solid corner. Follow corner to a small penji to a small seam on the right, going up to a tree and the anchor. 5.7,C2

P5. Aid straight up from the belay going over a small roof and staying in the main corner. Follow corner as route steepens and leads to a great belay stance at the base of a big dihedral. C2

P6. Climb around/through some bushes and up the main dihedral, passing a bolt. and gaining a Nice 3-bolt hanging belay. C1

P7. Easy C1 off the belay turns into awkward aiding in the flare as the dihedral bends right. Some nailing takes you up to a ledge with a loose blocky corner above. Climb this up to another ledge and an anchor. Scramble ledge to the left and there is another anchor to haul from if your bivying here. Comfy for 2 maybe 3. A2.

-"P7's hateful flair can be avoided. Stay in the main crack , and don't go into the flair. A #4 cam is needed, and the crack has a little kitty litter, but we did it clean without ever venturing into the flair." -Moof


P8. Climb a crack system that leaves the ledge between the two anchors. A lower angle choss ramble to anchors in the white bowl underneath the massive roof system. 5.8

P9. Climb loose rock above to some hairy clean aid in the main corner with rotten rock. Continue up dihedral into the chimney under the roof and make a belay (some fixed pins around here) OR if you have the gear link into the next short pitch. C2+

P10. Climb out the roof splitter out right using #3 Cams for most of the way. Crack thins at the 2nd roof right below the anchors. 3-bolt anchor on the right. Short, steep pitch C1.

P11. Traverse the massive roof using cams. Turn a corner to find a wild steep dihedral with some bolts and an optional anchor, follow corner/roof up to an anchor next to a squeeze chimney. C1+/C2.

P12. Either climb the squeeze chimney (supposedly .10) or aid the steep corner on the right. Where these two cracks meet up aid up and left passing some bolts and up around a corner to another crack. Follow this up a short ways to a small traverse left and visible anchors. C2

P13. Topo says follow corner up and left to merge with the last pitch of A-man which goes at C2+/C3. We climbed the crack marked "original route, loose". It goes up the crack system on the right and connects to the same belay at some pine trees. Some nailing to get back left to the trees. Didn't seem too bad and we stayed out of the free climber's way. A2+.

A short scramble leads to the summit of WC and a nice tree to haul from directly above the belay.

Descend however you see fit. We took North Dome gully which is a blast with a haul bag, but I think it's the best way. May want to scout it if nobody in your party has done it take a trip up royal arches or something.

Strategy. We climbed to the top of P4. From there you can rap straight down 180' to a nice anchor on the slab, and another 150' to the ground. We fixed these,came back with the pig, jugged and made the bivy ledge on P7. The bivy on P7 was nice with great views of half dome. Most of the anchors would take ledges but in my opinion the best would be the anchors at the tops of P6, P10, P11, P12. This route may go clean, on P7 where the route goes through the awkward flare, there is a crack going straight up seemingly to the meet back up at the first ledge. Bring enough cams so you don't have to back clean the roof pitches.

Overall, I thought this was a great route. Nice and steep throughout with some wild roof pitches to top the route. Mostly good rock and all of the hardware we found was in great shape (Thanks ASCA!). The steepness made the route feel physical and burly for a grade V.

Location 

Climbs the east face of Washington Colum, following a system of corners and roofs to the right of Astroman (they share the first pitch).

Protection 

Standard clean aid rack with a small selection of KBs, Arrows, and angles. I think we placed about 6 pins total. Extra cams in the BD .5-4 size (4 or 5 each) and a few big ones, like two BD #5's and one or two#6. With a little creativity this route could probably go clean. Cam Hooks work great.


Photos of Mideast Crisis Slideshow Add Photo
Dirkka Doug climbs through the roofs on Pitch 11.
Dirkka Doug climbs through the roofs on Pitch 11.
Cleaning Pitch 11.
Cleaning Pitch 11.

Comments on Mideast Crisis Add Comment
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By Moof
From: Portland, OR
Dec 22, 2010

Extra comments (Beta above is awesome):

Planck's Roof Variation is an excellent alternative to P2&3. Take 2x #5 (old school size), 2-3 #4.5 (old school side) and a couple #4's for the roof proper. At the end it is necessary to leap frog the big green cams, so you have to zip these back to your partner for him to re-aid. This variation is wild, and avoids the wettest pitches in spring.

P7's hateful flair can be avoided. Stay in the main crack , and don't go into the flair. A #4 cam is needed, and the crack has a little kitty litter, but we did it clean without ever venturing into the flair.

P13, we also did the "original finish", but didn't need to nail. The crack is largely a runnel and needs a lot of gardening. I'm sure if it was cleaner it would be easy to free, but I aided most of it. About 80' out the runnel peters out, and I went left. There is a small horizontal crack that perhaps the other folks nailed. I got a blue alien to wiggle in there (nightmare to clean, sorry Stewart!). From there it was C1/C1+ cams to get onto a dirty bushy ledge up and left. Easy scrambling attains a tree to anchor at (set the haul HIGH).

The last 4th class section is best done by fixing a line and shuttling, as there is a lot of loose stuff at the edge.

Most of the belays are great. The one on top of P3 is a 1/4" plus a 3/8", but we didn't stop there (we linked from top of Planck's to P4 anchors). The anchors at the bivy ledge on top of P7 are only so-so, and we chose to stay at the main anchor and use our portaledge.

Great route!