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Polaris 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1100', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Kris Wild and Reuben Shelton, Aug 6th 2007
Season: Gulley, shady, wet early in season
Page Views: 1,487
Submitted By: Jeremy Blumel on Aug 17, 2008

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Looking down at the start of the crux 12a 9th pitc...

Description 

POLARIS
5.12a (5.11b, A0) 10p
FA Kris Wild, Reuben Shelton, August 6, 2007

Approach: As for Angel's Crest. 200m up from the entrance to the North Gully. (100m uphill from the "tree start" to Angel's Crest) It's on the left and it's the only corner.

Gear: One set nuts, double set cams up to #2 camalot size, one #3 and 3.5

P1. Up right facing corner, past ledge (old belay) up the next corner through roof and out right to belay. 5.10b, 50m (This pitch was originally Nostromo, 5.6, A2, John Manuel, Bruce Fairley, 1982.)
P2. Start left of station and climb into the steep open corner, (pulling on the bolt at the top of the corner will drop the grade to 5.11a) then face climbing and cracks to a large ledge. Watch your rope drag! 5.11c, 55m
P3. Out left past flakes and up a widening crack to the base of THE corner. 5.9, 20m
P4. Up! Exit via the chimney and use the right-hand station to belay. 5.10c, 40m
P5. Scramble up the chimney on the right behind the large pillar, then on top of it and across the balanced boulder. Discontinuous cracks and face climbing lead up and left to a belay beside the main corner. 5.10a, 30m
P6. Tune in to your inner ninja for the puzzling crux entering the corner (or pull on the bolt and skip it, you sissy), up the corner to belay at the cedar tree. 5.10c, 30m
P7. Up the corner passing 2 trees. At the roof, head left past 2 bolts to belay on a ledge. 5.11b, 55m
P8. Face climbing up the white wall, out right to belay. (One #3 camalot optional.) 5.11b, 50m
P9. Step right into the crack. Follow it with increasing difficulty until it is possible to clip a bolt and step left to a ledge. (Pulling on a couple of pieces of gear and the bolt make this about 5.11a.) Traverse up right to a perch below the roof, then pull wild moves through the roof and left to the belay. 5.12a, 30m
P10. Up nice cracks to the final belay. 5.10c, 30m

Descent: Either rap the route with 2 ropes or walk up and right the same as for Northern Lights.


Location 

Zodiac Wall of the Chief


Protection 

Traditionally protected. Some bolts on pitches and Bolted Anchors.



Photos of Polaris Slideshow Add Photo
Topo of the route Polaris, 12a, 10p
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the route Polaris, 12a, 10p
Slammin' perfect hands on p6
Slammin' perfect hands on p6
Beginning of p4. "The Offwidth"
Beginning of p4. "The Offwidth"
Comments on Polaris Add Comment
Show which comments
By Colin Moorhead
Oct 22, 2009

Excellent, sustained route with a lot of straight in jamming. A nice change from the endless lieback treadmills off other area grade IV's.

Great Job Chris!

By Kristian Wild
Sep 23, 2012

If you print out this great topo, the grade for p9 is missing. It is 12a

By Alex Shainman
From: the best place right now!
Jul 22, 2013

Climbed Polaris yesterday and deciding to offer some safety advisories for future ascents...

First off, this is a good line, great FA vision, challenging climbing and I imagine a monumental undertaking to prep, equip and clean. Kudos!

The exfoliated rock quality in a few places has some potential dangerousness. I will break it down and add a couple more heads-ups...

P1-3 are relatively safe. [edit 7/24/13 the fixed ropes have been removed] On pitches 1-3, a fixed line is clipped into anchor and protection bolts and only slightly in your way. On the flip side, if rappelling, I'd recommend coiling the ropes at top of P3 anchor and rapping fixed line to top of P1 anchor, then use your ropes to rap P1. P2 has a powerful crux move to devious climbing...almost as hard as P9!

[edit 7/24/13 the tree has been removed and a new first bolt added][edit (7/23/13), apparently a solution is already in the works concerning the tree/chockstone issues] P4 Classic OW: The tree stump at the start is totally bogus now. It is rotten, broken and super flexible and hard/sketchy to pass. If you blow the first few moves and/or the tree breaks, you're falling onto the anchor. If an additional bolt is not added, I think a #3 Big Bro or #6 Camalot will fit (size-wise it's thigh-jam width, for a guy). Near the top of P4 is a large slung chockstone which appears very loose and easily rotates when touched. Maybe it can't fall out but we didn't test it too much.

Except for one loose anchor bolt nut (or two, I forget) P5-8 are relatively safe without anything extraordinary to report. Pitches 6-8 have great climbing.

P9 is kinda heads-up I thought. It's the crux pitch and has totally awesome moves for sure BUT the first flake you have to yard on above the 1st bolt is quite hollow/expanding as is the rail passing the 2nd bolt. The first 3 of the 4 bolts on this pitch need to be inspected. The nut of the 3rd bolt (in the roof) is finger-loose. Sorry but I am already totally spacing out if it's the 1st or 2nd bolt, but one of them is potentially bad due to how it is wobbling in the hole, the nut is also finger-loose.

P10 is fine.

The 2nd rappel (over the crux roof), is a long one and in space and you'll need to pull into trees to get to a ledge with a yellow fixed rope-pull to get to the next rap station (not one of the belays).

In all, it's a good route with great climbing but there's some perma-choss and some bolts needing some TLC. Don't let my whining deter you! Get on up there and climb this rig!

By Sky Sjue
From: Santa Fe
Aug 25, 2013

Thanks for the great route, guys.

Based on parts of the previous comment, I'd like to add my two cents: the stump at the beginning of the OW pitch seemed sketchy when I led it July 22 or so. A TCU placement protected it well enough ( picture of TCU to protect p4/offwidth start ) but it took some shenanigans to place it. So that is a potential protection option there. No objections on my part to another bolt if the FA party decides to place one.

We walked off.