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John Howland at the belay.
One of my top five ORG routes. Perfect rock, sustained, intricate climbing and a unique belay, nearly in the river, combine for a memorable sport pitch.
From the very right side of the Social Platform, climb down a man-made rock wall, then traverse above the river to a scaffolding where the belay is established. Santana itself passes 8 bolts on immaculate rock with three cruxes: getting to the roof above the 2nd bolt (long way from B2 to B3, may want supplemental yellow Alien or small nut), above the 5th bolt and above the 7th. The upper cruxes are somewhat atypical for the gorge -- off vertical technical face moves. There are anchors after the 8th bolt (if you rap here, it takes work to keep your ropes out of the river), but for full value, keep going onto the Abraxas finish, 8 more bolts of vertical face (rock quality deteriorates a little) with a 10d crux near the end. From the end of Abraxas, rap 90' to the top of the Hotcake Flake whence another single-rope rap will get you to the ground.
Note: the route was put in before the river was restored. The original start is now underwater as is, I believe, the first bolt.
17 draws if you go big.
Before the start was under water. I think this was...
Mar 27, 2007
still a classic, but more fun when you climbed off the mini "beach"
By Simon W
Sep 3, 2014
How big of a deal is it getting out to the belay platform?
I was scoping it out from across the river the other day and it looks like a long way from the first platform to the second, without much to work with on the wall.. If it weren't for all the cow shit I'd love to take a swim in the Owens River, but I don't want to get my rope wet!