This is an overlooked but quality line that climbs out the left side of the funky cave/alcove about 30 yards right of the Polly-nator (please don't go doo-doo or wee-wee in here, as people actually do this route from time to time).
It can be recognized by some deep pockets and a round hole down low on the route, and is the leftmost route in this particular alcove. A project just right ends at half-height anchors, whereas Salty goes all the way to the top of the wall.
Boulder up and clip a high first bolt (or better yet, stick clip it). A hard shoulder roll gets you into good pockets, followed by another bouldery crux to gain some good jugs. Pumpy, very sustained climbing up the blocky headwall leads to a high set of anchors. Don't blow it at the lip of the final roof -- though the holds are good, you'll be plenty pumped!
|By Darek Krol|
May 15, 2007
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b
I did this route in 2005. Since it is done very rarely, be prepared for major cleaning all along the way - filth on lower and mid sections and post-rain dirt on upper section. Holds at the lowering anchors are taken by lichens and crap and it makes clipping harder than it should be.
Now, the bottom part - the business is there. It had a few holds reinforced by pounds of glue by first ascenders. The obvious big hold at the second bolt used to be a jug, now it is just an OK hold. Another key hold - a sidepull for the right hand at the second bolt went down in pieces and to my face and now you may not see it at all (but it is there and plays a role). A few other features went down too and it was very deceiving to loose holds like that at every move. I am not that heavy (155 lbs) but the holds were breaking too easily. I was ready to give up on the climb but it would not be fair for the Canyon to just leave this route in such miserable shape. The rock is surely friable and you may expect more breaking features. I did a LOT of cleanup and most importantly, I added some concrete to save the remains of that "jug" at the second bolt. I decided to not re-create the glued holds as it would take too much glue/concrete and to leave everything in the new state. The crux is now harder than it used to be but still logical. Some may feel that the whole climb is now closer to 13a than 12d because of that.
"Salty" is a good climb overall, typical Rifle-one - just be prepared that you will need to clean the holds before you send, the rain is doing its dirty job. Certainly, more traffic would make this route a better offer. All that said, I recommend to do it when you find no more goals in 12d,13a range in the canyon like it was in my case.