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The Ruckman guide rates this at 5.7. My second easily climbed Outside Corner (5.7) a month ago, but had to aid up the rope on the last pitch of this route. This route is NOT for the faint of heart. What an adventure!
P1-2 160' 5.7 Can be broken up into two pitches if you belay at the first large chockstone (there is a pin). Be cautious of the large hollow flake at the top of the second pitch (there is a pin prior to reaching it). Look right (West) for the anchors for Weed Killer (5.11a) and avoid the hassle of setting up a gear anchor. There is a nice ledge there for belaying. If you need to bail here, a 60 meter rope will get you to the top of the gully to the West. There are a few roof pulls that are fun. The vegetation and loose rock detract.
P3 100' 5.8- Look to the left (East) for the cave belay on Outside Corner (5.7). There is a large crack that starts in the cave and diagonals down towards the belay. Climb up and then over into this crack (about 30 feet). Find a crack that leans right and climb up for about 20 feet (there is a pin here). Traverse up and to the left (East) along a crack system that is about 20 feet below the roof. Protect the traverse well for your second, and watch for loose rocks. The chimney through the roof should be readily apparent by this point. Set up a belay at a pin about 10 feet below the chimney. You should be able to see a pin with some cordelette 15 feet directly to the West and underneath the roof. The rock here is of poor quality, so plug as many pieces as you can and test them to make sure that the rock is good. There may be a better spot to belay, but we found that this was a good spot to avoid being struck by falling rocks.
P4 90' 5.8+ Climb up into the chimney and squeeze through (backpacks are NOT recommended). Turn around and continue up through another pin. A blade-style pin protects the crux roof pull that is exposed, sequential, and requires some balancey pulls. There are still a couple of good moves through chossy rock to gain the summit. Set up a gear anchor (there is a small horn that is easy to sling and a crack in the ledge that just screams "plug your red camalot here!")
Large, loose rocks, lichen and other vegetation abound on this route. This route needs a serious cleaning before I'll climb it again. Still, the route is long, sustained, and gets harder and more interesting as you approach the top. The exposure on this route is difficult to beat.
On the North face of JHCOB, between Outside Corner and Deep Dark Crack, there is a crack that splits the face. There is a big roof low and to the left of the crack and a series of roofs up higher on the right of the crack (Weed Killer). This is the same start for Straight Up.
Walk off to the West, turn North and then surf the scree to the "Remnants of an Ancient Sea" sign.
Standard rack should suffice; however, doubles in the cam department would certainly help. Occasionally, there are good nut placements. Bring lots of long runners to reduce rope drag. Helmets should be mandatory.
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