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McHenry's Peak
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Dog Star 
Hands of Time 
House Of Cards 
Kidnapper Van 
NE Ridge or Arrowhead Arete 
Pair Of Jacks aka Jacks or Better To Open 
SE Ridge 
Stimulus Package 

Pair Of Jacks aka Jacks or Better To Open 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 850'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b [details]
FA: SK and JJ , 8/28/05
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 323
Submitted By: S. Kimball on Jan 1, 2005
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It seems for years climbers have been getting lost ascending the often confusing granite of [McHenry's] 300 meter, N.E. Buttress. But any climber with an eye can't mistake this routes 1st pitch corner; after that you are on your own! A linkup of this routes first 3 pitches with the final 3 of House Of Cards produces a near classic ascent on a major RMNP alpine wall. Scramble to the left end of the lower wall, left of Dog Star, up an easy ramp to a nice ledge under black water streaks. Above is a pronounced, gray, inside corner that lies left of the black streaks.

P1. Begin up a 5inch flake/crack 5.8, that leads to the gray corner. [Lieback] and stem for a good 25 meters up the thin corner 5.10. Near its top is tricky RP and Alien/TCU placements. Finish straight up a short 5.7 corner and belay on a flat cut stance with small stopper and Alien/TCU anchors.

P2. Move right in a clean crack and past a wide flake onto the wall's slabby midsection. Run the rope 60 meters to a ledge belay, 5.7.

P3. Do a slabby pitch up past black streaks originating from a prominent bench. Belay 2/3rds up the bench, 60 meters, 5.6.

P4. Here you may angle rightward past the bench and link with House Of Cards stellar, 4th pitch fingercrack. Pair Of Jacks takes a 5.8 right-facing flake/crack above the bench's middle. After, follow the main right-facing corner past an horizontal 5.10 undercling section to a good ledge, 50 meters.

P5. This pitch angles leftward following the obvious weakness passing some exciting hummock (fortunately good pro) mantles. Stop at a large ledge, 5.8, 45 meters.

P6. The final pitch unfortunately does not take the beautiful looking, seam tight corner directly above, but the next system left, that tops out on the summit ridge some 20 meters up from an distinct gargoyle feature, good 5.8/9, also with a few hummocks, 45 meters.

Descend Stoneman Pass.


Standard to 4 cam, heavy on RPs, TCUs, small stoppers.

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By s.kimball
Mar 14, 2011

AKA: Jacks or Better To Open. Getting up the steep snow apron and onto the rock in early season could be dicey.