This route follows a large flake on a gentle angle slab. The initial 40 feet are unprotected slab, but is low fifth class. Your target is a large left facing flake. Climb this flake using stemming and lay back (crux - some lettuce, should clean up with use) for about 40 feet (Two #4 Camelots come in handy here, but not critical), until a hand crack is reached. Climb the final 60 feet hand crack to a sling belay at a large pine (fir) tree.
This route is located above P2 of shoots and ladders, and about 100 yards WEST of the Gemstone area. You will traverse through the rockfall zone from a decade ago, and then around the nose of a short headwall. The large leaning flake is obvious.
As a historical note the OW route "Back against the Wall" was located between P2 of Shoots and Ladders and Pair of 4s. That route totally vanished during the major rock fall in the late 90's.
All natural gear - standard rack - extra #4 (or larger Camelot if available).
Rappel of sling at tree.
Note: This tree has succumb to the drought is now dead. Consider how solid this belay is before use.
|By Bill Lawry|
From: New Mexico
Aug 26, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
Howard Snell and I climbed this today. The initial easy forty feet may continue becoming more protectable as the small cracks are cleaned out. We used BD C4 #6 (2 ea.), #4 (2 ea.), #3 (2 ea.), and #2 (2ea). A #5 should be substituted for at least one of #6's or bring a suitable big bro. A solid 5.9 leader isn't going to need so much - up to the advertised pair of fours is probably fine.
|By Howard Snell|
From: Belen, New Mexico
Aug 27, 2012
Bill & I also moved the rappel anchor to a live tree about 20' climber's left of the dead tree at the top of the route. We were able to rappel down with a double-strand single 60m rope by working climber's left about 30' down and then along the top of a large ledge. I don't recommend that rappel route as the rope makes several turns, goes through several bushes, and passes within several large cracks. The chances of sticking your rope as you pull it seem really high. Better to use two ropes, a tag line, or sling a horn near the end of the large crack midway up the route as a 2nd rappel anchor.