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Narcissus Cave
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YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 75'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
Fixed Hardware: 6 Lead Bolts, 1 Anchor Bolt, 2 Rappel Bolts [details]
Page Views: 7,975
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 11, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (62)
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Kane working Narcissus


Description provided courtesy of Ladd Raine:

A truly memorable and classic climb!

Start in a short low angle dihedral that has a crack that seeps forever after it rains. Make a few moves into a no-hands rest, clip your bolt and start the pumpy section of the climb, the rest of it! Using jugs, and big crimps make the traverse quickly clipping as you go. Breathe and then get ready for the meat of the route, make a long reach off of some crimps (shorter climbers sometimes dyno, sometimes use a bad intermediate), then grab the big rounded lip, traverse out onto the arete bear hug it and get up a heel, make the hardest clip of your life (MUCH EASIER WITH PRE-HUNG DRAWS), then grab some jugs and fight the pump for the last 30 feet of this climb. Beware the pump crux--- Clipping the chains!

This climb is rated 5.12a, although I give it a 12a/b because I've never felt so worked after any other 12a, yet it isn't a technically demanding as many 12bs I've been on.


6 bolts to a 3 bolt anchor. Bolts 2, 3, 4, and 5 now have permadraws on them.


This climb can be found on the left side of the huge cave at the short dihedral that is under a long wandering line of chalked holds.

Photos of Narcissus Slideshow Add Photo
The starting dihedral of Narcissus can be polished...
BETA PHOTO: The starting dihedral of Narcissus can be polished...
Eddy Ramirez on Narcissus.
Eddy Ramirez on Narcissus.
Meat of the climb
BETA PHOTO: Meat of the climb
Kevin Umbel making it look easy on Narcissus.
Kevin Umbel making it look easy on Narcissus.
Kevin Umbel making it look easy on Narcissus.
Kevin Umbel making it look easy on Narcissus.
Blanco nearing the chains.
Blanco nearing the chains.
Doug Fischer climbing Narcissus
Doug Fischer climbing Narcissus
15 year old sending Narcissus
15 year old sending Narcissus

Comments on Narcissus Add Comment
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By GoSharks
From: CA
Oct 10, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I found that it was far easier for me to hang and make the 5th clip late, ie after the big move to the jug, and not have to deal with getting a heel onto that ledge and still having to lock off for the bolt. I'm 5'8"
By LeeAB
From: ABQ, NM
Oct 31, 2009

As of now, there are only 5 bolts on the route, the only one I noticed missing was the 1st, so beware. The 3rd clip, a bad place to fall seems like it is the one mentioned as being easier to clip from above, I clipped it from small crimps to the right of the bolt. I don't know if this will change or not or if it is intentional.
By skinny legs and all
From: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
Jan 28, 2011

This might be the best 5.12a sport route I have ever been on.
By camhead
From: Vandalia, Appalachia
May 16, 2011

fun route. Since the first bolt has been removed, I am not really sure where exactly the hard clip is that everyone's talking about. The (now) second bolt has a very large, incut, right crimp to clip from, and the third, while high, is clipped from a secure jug/left heelhook stance.
By Tyler Quesnel
Nov 18, 2012

If you're not comfortable with the first clip being 20 feet off the deck, bring a 15' stick clip (or be prepared to improvise one with the many sticks lying around from others doing the same).

Pumpy climb, nothing too individually difficult, but I found my endurance seriously lacking to be able to go for the red point. Very fun and well protected. I did not feel unsafe going for any clips, though the anchor did get in my head a little.
By Chris Whisenhunt
From: Fayetteville, WV
Dec 27, 2013

The first bolt was just recently re-added.
By camhead
From: Vandalia, Appalachia
Mar 30, 2014

So, since not enough Ohioans in basketball shorts were taking their hangdog skills from Orange Oswald and throwing themselves at this route to impress their college outdoor club freshman girlfriends, we decided to make it easier for them and put some steel climbtech permadraws on this route. Yaaaaay! Even LESS commitment! Don't forget to thread your gri gris the right way!
By Sharkbarf
Jun 26, 2014

Far less intimidating with permadraws but still very pumpy. Fun and committing climb.
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