Rain on the Mountain
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|Type: ||Sport, 1 pitch, 75 feet|
|Consensus: ||5.13a [details]|
|FA: ||Bernard Gillett, with Paul Foster, 2010|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Season: ||crisp temperatures are best|
|Submitted By: ||Bernard Gillett on Jun 25, 2010|
Paul Foster climbs beyond early morning shadows in...
Rain on the Mountain climbs the beautiful, vertical face on the right side of The Golden Hall (see topo) with immaculate stone. Once you get to the 2nd bolt, it doesn't let up until the very top.
Climb an easy ramp up and right to reach the first of 9 bolts (yes, you may use the corner to the right to full advantage in order to establish yourself on the wall). The first half is about 5.12- along a thin seam to good holds midway up the wall; the 2nd half is the business.
Be mindful of the sloping ledge beneath the first bolt (potential ankle breaker if you aren't careful through the first 3-4 bolts). I'd recommend hanging a draw from at least the 7th bolt (desperate clip otherwise); I hung draws on the entire route and pinkpointed it.
To access the chains on top, hike around the right side of the cliff and scramble up a dirty ramp system. Head out to the edge of the cliff by a big pine tree, and squeeze past a branch growing against the rock. Traverse a ledge 10 feet and clip into the anchors. It's easy (3rd class?), but you'd die if you fell, so rope up or don't fall.
As noted above, cool temperatures are advantageous for this route. Summer ascents are not out of the question (we did it on June 25th, a day forecasted to reach 99 degrees in Longmont). The cliff resides at about 7500', and if you leave the parking lot at 5:15 a.m., you'll be climbing as the sun rises over the hills. The wall gets first light -- you've got until about 8:00 a.m. before things start feeling greasy. The wall goes into shade in the early afternoon (summer time).
The route is located on the right side of The Golden Hall, right of GBD and Tres Cojones e un Cuernito.
1) Climb a route on the main wall or the Left Buttress. The Beak can be done quickly (combine pitches), and gives you a good warmup. Head right from the top of the route on a big ledge, and scramble up and behind a boulder. The first bolt route encountered is GBD, which is located on the left side of the wall.
2) Hike the gully on the west side of the Left Buttress to Moonlight Rock (go more-or-less straight up from the parking pullout), and traverse the ledge above Left Buttress to the Golden Hall. 20 minutes? The gully is kind of gnarly and unpleasant, with no good trail at present, and lots of loose terrain. Perhaps a trail that connects the end of the main Mary's Bust trail to this gully can be established in the future (though maybe not; the terrain is pretty rough).
3) Hike the normal trail to Mary's Bust, turn right, and head up the gully on the right side. A stream runs down this gully in the spring (can be icy in winter). About half way up, you should see a majestic cedar on a big ledge: Aim for the right side of the ledge, go behind the cedar, and continue along the exposed ledge to a mantle at its end. Above this, a short 5.0 slab must be negotiated: I've got a 20-foot piece of rope fixed there for a hand rail. Continue up the gully and go through the pass behind Mary's Bust to arrive at the base. Also 20 minutes, and my preferred approach.
Bring 11 QDs (two for the anchor); rappel 75 feet to descend. Edging shoes are recommended.
Paul Foster working out the moves on the upper cru...
|Comments on Rain on the Mountain
|By Bernard Gillett|
Jun 25, 2010
I'm not sure about the difficulty rating on this pitch -- someone who climbs at this grade on a regular basis will have to chime in. Seemed plenty hard to me, but I wouldn't argue with someone who called it 5.12d (or even 5.12c). Then again, things always seem easier after several redpoint attempts, so maybe my first impression (very hard) is reasonable.
|By jason seaver|
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 25, 2010
Nice job, Bernard. That pitch is SICK!
|By Phil Lauffen|
Aug 30, 2010
Nice job, Bernard. I remember you talking about this line, and I'm psyched you nailed it!
|By J. Albers|
May 1, 2013
Wow, what a fantastic route. Great movement, nice line, and high quality rock on a beautiful wall with great, colorful lichen. Bernard mentions that you probably want to pre-hang draws, but to be honest, I thought that the clipping stances were quite secure and the route is well-bolted, so there is probably not a huge need to hang draws from above (though make sure you are solid at the third clip).
Since Bernard asked for opinions and nobody else has chimed in regarding the grade, I will give my two cents. I spend a fair amount of time climbing techy, steep, slab-vert granite, because it's my favorite medium, but I always find it very difficult to grade (hard granite can often feel very difficult at first, but then "easy" when you get the subtle beta figured out). To make things worse, I find that granite grades can often vary vastly by area. For example, if this was at Devil's Head in the S. Platte or Pine Creek near Bishop, I think it would be solid 13a. However at my (now former) home areas in California, this would probably be about 12c or so. That said, those areas in CA that were my local areas were FA'ed by gentleman that are sandbag artists (I don't think they do it on purpose, they just climb steep slab very well...Tom Addison and Darryl Hensel are frickin' ninjas on vert).
Anyway, I thought that this route was about 11c/d or so through the first 5-6 bolts (superb seam climbing). Moving back right past bolts 6-7 was probably around mid-5.12, and then there was a distinct crux moving past the 8th bolt. I did not arc/traverse right past the 8th bolt as is shown in Bernard's topo, rather I climbed straight up through which turned out to be a very enjoyable sequence. The crux could very likely be 13a-ish when account is taken for the difficult climbing below. Probably what is most important is that the grade is consistent with other local areas, so I would defer to Bernard's judgment because he obviously knows the locale much better than I do (perhaps in the future one of the other locals like Mr. Siegrist or Mr. Anderson can give this thing a go and give a more well-informed comment).
Regardless, this is a wonderful and classic route. Thanks for putting it up, Bernard.
|By Bernard Gillett|
May 2, 2013
Thanks for the feedback, J.A.; good to hear you enjoyed the route.