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This route is named in memory of Ryan Keller (son of a good friend), who died much too young in a tragic car accident a few years back. This route is aesthetic, elegant, inspiring, but it ends far too quickly. It took a while to find an appropriate route to name in his honor.
The rock is still a bit raw and gritty. Nonetheless, it inspired a second, lengthy approach up to climb it.
With rain and hail pressing, a toprope ascent was all Mother Nature allowed us. It could be led, but it would be heady for sure...maybe R or R/X.
Start on the right side of the arete. Be careful with the loose-appearing block. You can climb delicately around it. Squeeze the arete and straddle it, kick around to the left side (potential cam placement for directional or lead), move back to the right side, continue past a blue Alien placement (for directional), and finish up easier rock to the top of the arete. The optional block up top seems precariously perched in metastability.
You can downclimb ~8' off the block to a stance ~60' up where you could thread a long 1" sling through a tight, natural slot. A long Abalakov hook/coat wire is necessary to pull the sling back through the slot. Alternatively, you can downclimb the left side in the corner (a la Kelly Cordes) or traverse out right on Rain Man to the ledge above and the walkoff.
Note, there appeared to be bear scat in the area.
This is the obvious arete at the base of middle of Observatory Dome. Count on over an hour approach with the new trailhead if anyone ever comes up here to try it.
To set up the TR, you can ascend the nice, 5.7, right-facing dihedral to the right of the arete.
TR is probably best. Smaller cams with double green Aliens? blue Alien may work. A #1 or 2 Camalot, or #4 Friend above with a small wire works for an anchor.
A shot showing the left side. 5/07.
Jul 8, 2007
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b
Thank you so very much for honoring Ryan with this route. The location is beautiful and your tribute to him is from the heart.
Your friend and Ryan's dad,