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"Opener, Can, Hand, Folding, Type I" is how the military describes what is often called, "the best Army invention ever." Indeed, the line was named after the can opener, but was, in fact, inspired by the passing of a climbing mentor, partner, and my close friend, Michael Brown. Like the can opener, Mike embodied many of its best traits--the P-38 is light, fast, compact and, perhaps, most importantly, cheap and reliable--all characteristics which serve to describe the alpinist he once was, and the philosophy he lived by.
The P-38 climbs the obvious, right-facing corner system at the far right margin of the recessed Gold Wall, just left of the prominent chimney that separates it from the South Summit Wall. Climb the corner through a small roof, then belay at a stance (.10-). Pull the bulge above the belay, then follow a blocky "staircase" up and left past a pin and two bolts and into the dihedral above to a belay on a small ledge (.9+). Above the ledge, delicately change corners onto the face, into another right facing corner. Pull the bulge to a ledge, then climb the white slab above past a bolt then lieback a splitter corner to a stem box, then a belay (.10+).
The start of the P-38 is marked by a conspicuous, comma-shaped black diorite at the very mouth of the Gold Wall gully--the continuous corner system just left of this feature is the line. Rappel the route with a single 70m rope or scramble up the notch to the gain the ridge and the standard descent via the Collin's Highway.
Bring a standard LPC rack--up to 3.5"--with doubles in the finger-sized gear and plenty of long slings. There are 3 lead bolts--two on P2, one on P3--and a fixed LA; all three belays have been equipped with rappel anchors.
Mikey Brown in his element
The splitter corner of P1. Photo, courtesy Andrew...
Drilling the lone bolt on P3 during the FA. Photo...
BETA PHOTO: The route follows--approximately--the line in red@...
Sep 3, 2010
i know that line well... mikey and i climbed a good bit together at the gunks, where one of his favorite tricks--especially if we were climbing on my rack, which was most of the time--was to place a pink tri-cam in some exposed, tenuous position--probably in some roof, perhaps, on modern times--and to clip into it, bounce on it a bunch of times, then continue to the belay. this type of shenanigans was always met with much consternation; another one of his trademark crag-antics was to start hand-rolling a cigarette while belaying, especially if the leader was failing to "commit to the whip!" indeed, the hallowed stone of the gunks was the site of many mis-adventures with him, many no-headlamp "crab-walks" down the talus to the carriage road, and even a morning when, after a wicked night at bacchus, i ran over the iron bridge from camp slime to the nearest port-a-potty, only to have mikey go through my pack, take out my rope and proceed to wrap the stall with the full 60m, trapping me inside for nearly an hour as i could hear the passing hikers laugh out loud at my predicament. good times. i hope all's well there in good ol' ulster county; be sure to crack open a full-strength cold one for us down by the swimming hole at split rock after a great day in the trapps! s
|By Rob Duncan|
From: Salt Lake City
Sep 7, 2010
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c PG13
I am pretty confident that the 25 feet at the start of the third pitch are easy 5.11, but definitely 5.11. A fall on the initial boulder problem could potentially be a ledge fall. After you get to the obvious flake (after the boulder problem), pulling the bulge above the flake is kind of on you, as well. Good climbing, need to go back and get it clean!