James Loveridge leading Oz. September '07. Photo: ...
HISTORY: "Oz" is the cleaned-up free version of "The Road to Emerald City". Mike Dahlberg worked the botom pitch (on TR) and did the FFA of the 2nd pitch (on TR). Dave Groth did the first Lead (on-sight I might add) of the of what used to be the second pitch. J.Lo cleaned-up the first section/pitch (The first 80' before the crack starts) removed the old belay (it was unnecessary, an ancient time bomb and extremely awkward to get to anyway) and did the FFA (Lead) of the whole thing in one go (Oct '06)
Oz is located about 30' climbers left (south) of Danger High Voltage. Look for a large tree growing about 10 feet down a Dihedral with a big ledge 30' below (there's a obvious crack in the ledge). It's best to set-up an anchor on the slight promontory to the climbers left of the tree Dihedral. NOTE: You need 2 Ropes tied together to get to the belay rock at the base! That, or fix a single line to the anchor and take your lead rope with you.
Rap in (fixed single or 2 ropes tied together as it's about 55M to the base ). Set up belay on sloping rock at base (about 30feet from the water). Use single camo GI on the face above block and a #4 Camalot to set up belay for lead. From belay, move right to short chunky buttress and up through bulge passing 2 camo GI's. Continue with the line of least resistance placing good gear in slots and funky pods as you go. When yu gain the juggy, left trending block feature, look for one last camo GI on the left. A few more slots and edges get you to the base of the crack proper. Climb Stunning crack for 65 feet or so to the big ledge. Head up corner (kinda tricky to get off the ledge...) to the top of the cliff. The route has no super hard moves but it's an enduro pump-fest for sure! Plumb line, incredible position, amazing rock (especialy on the 70' crack section!) IMHO, this is one of the best routes at the Head.
Bring a set of Stoppers , a double set of cams from BD #.3 (or other 1/2") to BD #.75 (1.25"). Plus a coupple other small C3/TCU/Alien up to 1/2" (A single BD #3 is helpful for one short section where the crack widens. Some draws and a couple shoulder length (24") runners. NOTE: For the first half of the route (before the crack starts) the gear takes some skill-planning-thoughtfulness to place. Also: The gear on the start is more than adequate, if a wee bit run out (you have to go 8-10 feet or so between a couple placements). There is NO chance of hitting anything if you do fall so just give'er and climb to the gear.
Photos of Oz - (AKA The Road To Emerald City) Slideshow
By chris deulen From: Merriam, Kansas Oct 18, 2008 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+26E5 6b
Classic test piece. James, you have done a great service to climbers at Palisade Head. I hope other people realize this some day, and how good the climbing is here. P.S. We dropped a silver dmm walnut on this. If anyone has the good fortune to find it, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a note!
Nice job to Mr. Deulen on this send the other day. As if it weren't bad enough that he had to use my shitty "JV rack" on this climb (which consists of several questionable first generation cams, old-school forged friends, and several missing sizes, etc.), I then forgot my harness and all the quickdraws as well. But he didn't seem to mind. I lowered down with him (on a swami belt) fully expecting a long day of belaying and smoking cigarettes. To my surprise, he did not take my suggestion of toproping a 'mock lead' at least once since he had never led it and might like some sort of warm-up. But he was too psyched to just do it. He placed each of my shitty pieces like he'd rehearsed it 100 times, and ran it out. As he topped out the crack, it appeared like he had just climbed a 5.9. Kinda reminded of me of Arno's book, "The Rock Warrior's Way". I guess he was having a good day though, because right after this, he went up to Sawmill and sent two more of his projects; "Jaws" and "Counselor Moon".
By BIATHLON From: Duluth Mn Oct 5, 2009 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+26E5 6b
Wow, what a stunning line!!! What a pumpfest, it was 45 degrees when I climbed this today and I was pouring sweat like it was 80. Best climb I've done at the Head.
By ScottRiz Oct 9, 2009 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+26E5 6b
Just led this yesterday after top-roping it obsessively all summer long. What a long, beautiful pitch up the tallest wall at The Head! Took gear like a dream too. A big Thank-You to Mr. Loveridge for cleaning this thing up and doing a prudent job with the protection down low.
Just one comment I wanted to make about the amount of chalk I've found lately on this and other routes at The Head. I understand that the No-Chalk Ethic on the North Shore is just that: an ethic. Even so, if you CHOOSE to use chalk at Palisade, please show a little restraint. Just be mindful of the difference between splashing loose chalk on every hold, and carrying a chalk ball or eco-ball for those moments when you most need it. I don't mean to accuse anyone or start a flame-war here. Nor am I endorsing any amount of chalk use on the North Shore. Let's keep this Midwest treasure in the best shape that we can.