An all-time classic with some unusual climbing. Hike to the Rincon Wall, and head west (uphill) to the "left-facing dihedral area". The climb is identified as a long, acute, thin dihedral with a tree near the top and another just above the top. There is a semi-detached flake about twenty feet up which marks the start of the difficulties.
P1 - Climb the dihedral, with a full-body 5.10 stemming down low, and another awkward crux exiting the dihedral (optional belay at the first tree, but why?)
P2 - From the shelf above the dihedral, move left (moving the belay, if desired), and find a thin 5.9 crack up a beautiful steep slab. As good as any 5.9 pitch I've ever done.
Belay on top and descend down ledges and gullies to the west.
Standard rack with lots of thin stuff (up to a #3 Friend).
The fixed pin at the bottom of the dihedral has been replaced (summer 2000), so no more worries when the RPs pop out as you commit to the stem. Skip the cramped belay by a small tree between the two 5.10 sections, and head for the broken ledge. Watch knocking off loose rocks here. For the bored, or gimmick-hungry, can be led in one 60m pitch, with some rope drag. A popular route, so if folks are up there be wary of rocks coming down while you power-lounge at the base of the route. Summer shade until late-morning, excellent afternoon sun in the winter (but bring a headlamp for the hike out). Named by Erickson and Ament because, in their late 20s, they felt old...have mercy on us forty-somethings.
I have to agree that the 2nd pitch is as good as it comes....I led it yesterday as a 2nd pitch to Over and out...I still wanna climb the 1st pitch of Over the hill but haven gotten the nerve to, yet...soon, very soon.
Even though the route's high quality should be apparent by all the other comments, I have to spray a little more on it. I've only done a few routes where each pitch has such continuous, excellent climbing with fantastic position and exposure (especially on P2).
The crux pitch gradually increases in difficulty until the last move before a "thank you God" jug. Like Pat said, quite fun stemming--bring shoes that can smear and hold a small edge. The second pitch has several 5.9 cruxes that are all very entertaining.
This route should be on everyone's to do list if you haven't already. Ok, I've rambled long enough now.
I don't know what it is worth, but I have to reiterate the quality of this route as well. The first pitch (I guess technically two run together) is my favorite in all of Eldo so far. Desperate, thin gear, balancy, and so on. And I apologize to anyone who had to witness my cuss-fest getting to the first pin...and my thanks to whomever replaced the pins, although, as a general rule I try not to fall on pins in Eldo, it is nice to know you can.
Loved Every minute of this climb's first 50-60 feet, though it was delightfully entertaining thoughout especially when you utilize the addition of Bachar [Yer] Arian as a TR from the top. Back to that first dihedral, Kick ass stemming lots of fun fancy stem work and tall boy opportunity. I would do it once a week if I didn't live in the Gunks. Had the honor of chatting briefly with Richard [Rossiter] about his thoughts on the climb later that day. Rick Clark
Followed the lower pitches of this yesterday and got spanked. In that upper dihedral there's 3 pins hammered in roughly 5' apart. Its a stretch clipping the first, but the smallest purple alien will fit just below the first one if you can't reach the pin and want security before launching up. Higher up, near it s finish, look for the thin quarter size crimper out on the right face for the final crux pull. Took the sharp end on that upper face, and it put a smile on my face. An awesome pitch, with a perfect finger crack, that was sustained, but not as difficult as I thought it might be. As others have posted, small nuts are the ticket for the 1st 3/4 of the pitch. Then slip a small cam (yellow alien) in the upper flake and your home. As good as it gets for the grade.
Just another Eldo classic with all the spice that goes with it !!!!
By SirVato From: Boulder Mar 22, 2004 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
I know, I know but, I gotta say it...THIS ROUTE IS THA [BEST!] Awesome stemming the entire way. IMHO the moves off the ledge, to get to the first pin are rather FREAKY, solid but freaky, At least the tree would slow your fall!!! Seriously, if your short you gotta do quite few movs to comfortably clip that first pin (thank god they're solid) Did anyone else find use for that little one finger pocket?? I sure did!! The lower portion of the route was pretty hard as well, The stemming after the flake was pretty tricky_ As for the second pitch... I vote three stars at 8+, The crack is oh so fun but not that hard. Led it one day after Emerald City and thought it was quite a bit easier. Any how Over the Hilll is one of the funnest routes I've led!!!! Enjoy. climb on!!! rs
Funny Rich...yeah that one finger pocket was sweet. It's hard to believe how positive it was. I've never done stemming like that. What a route! At the crux, my calves were burning more than my arms. I wonder what it was like to finish the first ascent of that line? Jim must have been smiling ear to ear. Classic.
Classic line. Did this in 45 degree temps, and the open-book nature of the dihedral made it quite balmy in the sun. While Aerospace and Aerial Book were experiencing sprindrift and ice fall, I soaked up the rays on this beauty.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Mar 12, 2007 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b PG13
After doing this I think 1/2 dozen times over the years, I had the best time on it yet on Sunday...doing it as a single 65-meter pitch! I ran out the bottom of the 3rd pitch a little way, until I was in the finger crack and then used a 2' sling on the first piece or two and had surprisingly little rope drag after I flicked my rope a few times to make it run down and right to the top pin of the second pitch. It was not difficult to pull rope for clips even on the last piece of the pitch. Disclaimer: I was climbing on a new-ish 9mm rope. Using longer slings on the top two pins of that would have probably made drag a complete non-issue even on a fatter or older rope.
The PG-13 rating I am assigning to this is to take note of the awkward moves at the start of the "second pitch" that could produce a somewhat bad fall into and through that little tree.
By Andy Laakmann Site Landlord From: Bend, OR Oct 17, 2008 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
Both pitches are stellar. If you are solid at the grade, get on it! Not good for someone breaking into the grade though, as the moves before the first pin in the upper dihedral would have a fairly nasty fall....
Stellar route, hardest stemming I've done to date! I led P2 only, but I don't think we placed anything over a #0.75 Camalot anywhere on the route. P2 eats thin nuts and cams, I placed a #1, #0 and #00 Metolius and a few small Aliens on the way up.
Loved the first pitch. Fine, sustained stemming. I thought the second pitch (the 5.9 crack off the ledge that folks seem to love so much) was only fair. Uninteresting face climbing around a finger crack, and some hollow rock up high. OK as a second pitch, but I wouldn't bother with it again. Now the stemming corner on the other hand was superb. I'd just rap off from there and do one of the other brilliant pitches at Rincon instead.