Old Habits Die Hard
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BETA PHOTO: Northwest face, select routes: Orbital Decay - r...
Old Habits is best identified by a striking right-facing, right-leaning dihedral, beginning just above a roof, high on Strone Crag’s northwest face. The route crosses the bolt-line of Mad Calf Disease at the roof, but its cams and nuts all the way unless one of the bolts becomes too much of a temptation.
The best way to reach the dihedral is to climb the first pitch of Cersei. From the belay atop the first pitch of Cersei, rather than stepping right to Cersei’s bolted arête, move left toward the two-bolt hanging stance of Mad Calf, place a bomber piece of gear an arm’s reach over the lip of the roof (and consider not clipping into the two bolts to reduce rope drag), then crank over it to get established in the dihedral. An alternative (and original start) to reach the dihedral is to climb what is now posted as the first pitch of Cost of Business, but this likely will put you at a gear-protected small foot stance about 10 feet straight to the right of the two-bolt hanging stance of Mad Calf, which could make for some awkward pulls on your protection once you get established in the dihedral – hence the recommendation to start on Cersei.
Once established in the crux dihedral, climb it to its end (5.10-), then continue linking features more or less straight-up, keeping Mad Calf’s bolt-line to your right. Two sets of anchors on top; choose one. The dihedral is a bit “shaley,” but the bad stuff is easily avoided.
Follow the approach for Starstruck. Once on the ledge system, walk east for about 40 feet, to where the trail begins to slope down. Above is a clean-looking buttress with a bolt-protected arête to the right (Tyrion), a thin dihedral/crack in the middle (Cost of Business), and a bolt-protected face leading to broken cracks on the left (Cersei). The original start took the bush-infested corner to the right of Tyrion. If following the recommendation above, start by climbing the first pitch of Cersei (see the Cersei page for a beta photo of the start). See the Starstruck page for descent options.
Standard trad rack, maybe supplemented by microcams for the section above the crux dihedral. If starting on Cersei’s first pitch, consider adding brass or steel nuts. If taking the original first pitch (now the first pitch of Cost of Business), consider taking at least one 3.5-4 inch cam for the belay.
By Sam Cannon
From: Holladay, Utah
May 15, 2014
The belay, as described in the beta, makes starting the 2nd pitch very awkward with upward and lateral pull potential on your first few pieces in the crux dihedral, as initially you'll be below and far left of your belayer.
By John Steiger
Jul 30, 2014
Thanks for the input Sam. I’ve changed the beta to recommend a new approach pitch to the crux dihedral that should minimize the lateral pull potential mentioned in your post. The potential can be completely eliminated by using an oppositional piece or two at the start of the dihedral if necessary.