No Country For Old Men
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A modern classic and one of the best in Whitney Portal. Ghostrider might have better rock quality, but No Country has more varied and memorable climbing and fewer crowds on the route. It's also a step up in difficulty from Ghostrider.
Pitch 1 (5.9) Start in an easy ramp to gain a brushy ledge about 50 feet up. Traverse right along this ledge for a while to a short section of 5.9 face on knobs past a bolt. Gain another ledge and traverse back left to the anchors.
Pitch 2 (5.10b) A long pitch of sustained face climbing past many bolts. Skip the intermediate anchor and belay at the bolts below the lieback pitch.
Pitch 3 (5.10c) A leaning flake/corner provides nearly a ropelength of sustained, awesome liebacking on offwidth crack. Leave the big cams at home and bring all the quickdraws you own, because this baby is bolted the entire way - something like 17 I think, but I lost count. Punch it all the way to the anchors at an awkward stance on the edge of the corner.
Pitch 4 (5.9) Up some more lieback flake, but with more features. Then cut right on a face past a couple bolts to an undercling flake. Then climb up the right side of the flake which is a little scary because the flake is very thin and the pro behind it is questionable. Belay on a big ledge.
Pitch 5 (5.?) The tunnel pitch. Start up some cracks near the right side of the ledge and then traverse left into the giant chimney/cave above. Chimney up and through, past a couple bolts to belay at another big ledge.
I actually couldn't figure out the start to this pitch and did a variation by just climbing up the left side of the chimney/tunnel. This variation was loose but easy, with pro behind the occasional chockstone. I would rate it 5.6R.
Pitch 6 (5.10a) Another great pitch of face climbing on Tuolumne style knobs. You'll probably want to first move the belay from the bolted anchors above the chimney to the left side of the ledge below the bolt line. Then wander up and right past many bolts and a short crux at a left facing corner that you pass through.
Pitch 7 (5.7 R/X) The "death-flake horror-show pitch". Up a shallow corner and then past a precarious loose block that is somehow still clinging to the wall. Then, ever so gently, climb up the super-thin, super-scary flake for about 50 feet. Carefully avoid another pile of loose blocks poised at the top of the flake. Belay at the bolted anchor at the top of the flake. It's hard to say whether it's more dangerous to lead this pitch or belay it.
Pitch 8 (5.9) Up and right on a fun and easy white dike. Then just before reaching the anchors at the top of Ghostrider, climb up and left past a stout 5.9 crux to a bolted anchor.
To descend rappel the route with 2 ropes. At the top of the 4th pitch (after rapping through the giant cavern), rappel straight down the face twice more.
The beautiful lieback corner on pitch 3 is easily visible from most places in the portal. Hike up to Whitney Portal Buttress as per Ghostrider, but then skirt left aiming for this feature. Beneath it are ledges. Begin at the left end of these ledges.
Gear to 1.5" and an upwards of 15 quickdraws.
Starting the third pitch of No Country for Old Men...
Third pitch anchor - No Country for Old Men.
Rappelling through the tunnel pitch.
BETA PHOTO: My first attempt at drawing a topo.
|Comments on No Country For Old Men
|By J. Albers|
Jul 22, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b
Nice job with this page Bryan.
|By andy patterson|
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 14, 2011
Pitch 3 is one of the wildest pitches I've EVER encountered. Worth the price of admission.
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 17, 2012
One of my favorite routes on the Eastside! The pitches are varied and some of them are wild and unique. More interesting and fun than Ghostrider. Still cleaning up a bit but mostly clean. I don't remember the 5.7 pitch being R/X. A little loose but fine.
|By J Smith|
Aug 26, 2012
The 3rd pitch is really cool but I thought the rest of the climbing was just ok. I like both Ghostrider and Gangway better. On the 5th pitch if you start on the very right side of the ledge you can chimney up a groove for 20ft. to access a left facing dihedral that takes good gear and has reasonably solid rock. At the top a 10 ft. undercling traverse left (3" gear) leads directly to the first bolt.