|Shirt Tail Peak
|Type: ||Trad, 2 pitches, 200'|
|Consensus: || YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a [details]|
|FA: ||T Beaman and S Woodruff, 1975.|
|Season: ||Faces mostly South, but has a shaded base in winter.|
|Page Views: ||121|
|Submitted By: ||Tony B on Mar 20, 2011|
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As I wrote the description for the variation called Moriarty's Mistake, and this route is mostly common to that one, I am pasting the relevant text (mine) into this route, and then changing the end as appropriate.
From the big tree, climb the seam up and left (5.9) to reach the trees. This slanting seam/crack is 5.9 and would be difficult to protect, so make sure the belayer has been firmly anchored into the great dihedral. Sling the rightmost tree and then head up the fun and interesting handcrack (great jamming in Eldo- a rarity) for about 30' before its abrupt end. This is 2-2.5" cam sized, which you will need again later, so take extras in this size.
From the end of this crack, look up above. There are two options across a section of unprotectable, vertical face. Either one will reach a new seam or crack after 10-15' of 5.9 face climbing. Either one could produce a spectacular fall if ill-considered or executed. This is the route's physical and mental crux. I chose to aim for the leftmost of the two cracks, as the right most had some dirt and grass in it. This paid off, as after some insecure moves, I once again placed gear and moved up on good stone, continuing on easier moves up and occasionally stepping left or right before reaching the roof. There were a few other runouts, but none were severe. With extra 2.5" cams, it would have been less exciting.
If you have a 60m rope, you may continue. If you are bound by a 50m rope, belay under the roof in an uncomfortable and dubious position.
Moriarty's Mistake is a variation route goes up and right under the roof and onwards to the summit. To do the original route, Moriarty's Revenge, head left under the roof, around its left end (5.9 again) and up and left above the roof before doubling back slightly right and on to the summit. This is slightly harder than Moriarty's Mistake.
Shirt Tail Peak is comprised of two main walls split by a massive dihedral/gully, which is climbed via "The Mountaineer's Route." The left hand wall contains the popular classic Gambit, and the right hand wall is generally the less solid rock.
Starting from up into the Mountaineer's Route, you can reach a very large pine tree after some distance. This is obvious from the ground below. About 40' past the big tree, up the gully/dihedral, you can see 2 small pine trees side-by-side on the left hand wall, 15' from the big dihedral. A left-leaning crack and seam leads up to these. This is the start of two great routes, Moriarty's Mistake and Moriarty's Revenge.
As described above, the route is fairly runout in a few sections, particularly between the cracks, on P1. I would advise only SOLID 5.9 leaders to attempt this route. The first crux move was about 8' above decent gear and was insecure. There were several other technical moves without nearby protection. The best way to do this route by far is in a single long pitch, so perhaps you should even carry a large rack overall and lots of slings considering the left-right action required to finish it. Take a standard rack with several hand-sized pieces. My notes to myself in my book suggest that 3 cams total between 2.5-3" (yellow Camalot) would be beneficial in the continuous zig-zag crack prior to the runout.
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