This route is the evil twin of the Flatirons classic, Death And Transfiguration. The route is similarly long, steep and wild. Were it on better rock the route would be a classic, but it isn't. 3-star moves and position around some poor quality rock in several places.
This climb starts as for "Quiche On A Leash" on the shady N. face of the Maiden. Reach the N. Face via a trail below (to the east) of the rock and head uphill on the North side until a massive, left-leaning, overhanging, broken dihedral is seen. Perhaps 20' up the route there is a ledge to the left and a 10' length of purple webbing hanging down from a fixed pin, as if it were an extended draw to clip; its quality is very, very dubious. (it was already very dubious in 2003) The corner ascends to a needle's eye near the top of the wall, through that and to an anchor/rap station up and left of the top of the route. This is all perhaps 200' from the lowest/East-most edge of the N. Face, or 100' East/below the Standard N. Face route.
Quiche On A Leash goes up the initial dihedral to reach the ledge, passing a 10b layback move with slick feet. From this ledge the ORIGINAL climb (QOAL) walks out left and face climbs back to the dihedral and then up and on, all the way left to the tree below the needle's eye. Refer to Rossiter's Flatirons climbing book.
Rather than do this, place a TCU in a diagonal seam in the left-side wall at waist level (even with the purple webbing's end) and start heading up and right, into the right-most corner, not the left.
Remain there, stemming back and powering up though an initial bulge to reach the right side of the large dihedral. There is a little bad rock in this section, although none of the moves require using it for holds. Continue up to where the pin is anchored and place some good small-med stoppers, then continue up the right most of the twin corners, going through bulge after bulge, trending left with each one as the corner goes that way. There are at least four 5.10 or harder cruxes. Many of the moves were done in a horizontal body position on our ascent. The hardest crux (10d?, tricky & powerful) was protected by the two smallest HB cams I had, a #0 and #00 HB micromate- similar to the smallest 2 Metolius or Alien cams. Later, as teh corners converge you will reach a 1/4"-driven angle and some fixed hardware above that might be the worst I've ever seen, Circa 1950s. No doubt this was an old aid line, but modern climbing gear can back it up. I presume this to have been the first FREE ascent of the right hand side of the line.
The grade is 'old school' and may not compare to other recently developed routes. Our ascent felt a little harder, but that was likely due to cleaning and testing suspect rock on the lead, even in the middle of the cruxes. The grade is very similar to that of Death And Transfiguration.
A standard trad rack including stoppers and cams + a few tricams. Extra in hand size (2.5-3.5").
The hardest crux (10d, very tricky & powerful) was protected by the two smallest HB cams I had a #0 and #00 HB micromate- similar to the smallest 2 Metolius or Alien cams.
The climb is rated PG-13 for the possibility of placing pro in bad rock or having difficulty hanging out to place it. I felt safe, however, and did not feel that a fall from any given point would have been dangerous. It's just not a good intro to leading, that's all.
BETA PHOTO: Tony Bubb on lead on the FFA of 'Real Men Don't Ea...
Joseffa Meir starts up following the FFA of 'Real ...
Joseffa Meir about to tunnel behind the huge flake...
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2006
I dunno what is up with the webbing, but I suspect it was used to protect the Q.O.A.L. with the fixed pin that is not on that route. Perhaps that is the "leash" and this route is a namesake? Regardless, it was in place and looked bad in '03, so don't trust it. You can get a small piece in right next to it anyway.
It's yours to decide to call this a variation or a new line, whatever you like. Since it shares perhaps only 30' of climbing with the original route and climbs about 80' of new rock, I figured it was a new line. The crux and character of the route are defined by this new territory, but it depends upon how you choose to view it. either way, it is around a corner in a different corner system, and out of reach from the other route in question.
I named it what I did to preserve the idea that it shared something with the former line, but also that all of the "climbing around" the cruxes was unnecessary, and that the direct line did go.
I'd love to hear how this route goes for other climbers should anyone get on it. I know it's hard, but Joseffa and I disagreed about how hard, perhaps as she does not usually do as well on super-steep stuff. I felt it was harder than Death and Transfiguration. Then again, I was cleaning while leading which I know took extra effort. I would give either route "old school" 5.10+.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 15, 2007
It's had a second ascent and cleaning. Ratings of 5.11b and 2/3 stars were suggested. The party recently to have lead this route also suggested it was a bit harder than D&T.
My original rating of 10+ reflected my opinion that 'Death And Transifguration' is 10+.