|2. Duet Area etc
|Type: ||Trad, Aid, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700', Grade III|
|Consensus: || YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a C0 [details]|
|FA: ||Bradley White, Bill Hardigan and Andy Crane, Joel O'Connell, Andy Byerly, Anders Kressy (1985-86) FFA first pitch-Dave Karl, Ted Hammond, me|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Page Views: ||1,542|
|Submitted By: ||bradley white on Jun 22, 2009|
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Scanned photo. First pitch myself leading.
This was a Diamond in the rough. Bill Hardigan belayed me as the first pitch began up the central crack that splits the Duet Slab in half. The climb enters the slab from the left and then proceeds directly up the crack. I was applying a lot of torque onto the rope from my protection so I placed a large piton at this height (just in case the torque pulled my gear out if I fell). Mid way up the climb near the end of the crack (crux) I fell ripping all the gear out above and below the pin. The torque in the rope pulled every piece of gear out of the cliff except the piton. I came to a stop in the bushes at the base of the cliff and I put my feet on the ground. Time for some thought and afterthought opposition wires to get past where I fell and another piton. That worked. I climbed ahead to do a tension traverse right (A0) into the strenuous arch difficult (5-10+) shallow corner arching lay back. After that I belayed Andy Crane up to the right end side of Duet Buttress's large ceiling.
Dave Karl freed the first pitch later on that summer with Ted Hammond and I.
Joel OíConnell climbed most of the route with me. Joel and I did the 'Wrong Crack' 2nd pitch to get to Sextet's new third pitch. A superb (5-8) hand crack, the furthest left crack of 3 cracks from a shared belay station of other climbs. Crack ends at the next large ledge also shared as a belay for other climbs. Moving right and up is the connector pitch with its nuisance bushes at first, then the hard severe (5-8) ramp onto the wall between Duet Buttress and Icarus midway corner. The climbing becomes moderately easy (5-5) up this wall traversing up to a excellent belay with large medium cams, hexes in a crack. The fifth pitch went moderate (5-5) diagonally up traversing with no protection until gained is a series of steep little protected cornered slab ramps (Icarus) climbed to an excellent belay ledge (5-4). Joel and I stopped and rappelled from here.
I returned with Andy Byerly to include a second pitch for Sextet with an extreme difficulty (5-11b A0) crack climb on the wall to the right. Cool two slab cracks. 200ft of slab cracks at least. I led and nailed the crack 100ft+ free climbing it. I had to hoist myself up with aid (A-0) on the crack after a rest ledge. Fingers aren't small enough for the crack. This is the the same crack as 'Wrong Crack' from here moved to Wrong Crack's belay Station. After that we climbed Sextet to where Joel and I had stopped before. I led on up the corner to a giant house size block was climbed under and over to a belay. After that I led the 6th pitch right and up diagonally moderate (5-5) poorly protected to the bottom of the fifth pitch of 'Samís Swan Song'. Then I led up and left of Sam's at (5-7) variation and we finished up Sam's.
A Large Rock slide happened that winter and removed the house size block and smashed up Sextet and the Icarus Route. This altered the fifth and sixth pitches. Anders Kressy and I went up Sextet in 1986. I led through the debris field and Anders cleared the (some car sized) rocks. Now the fifth pitch ends to the right. A new start to the sixth pitch is a newly available corner to the unprotected face (5-5)from the original climb that ends up on Sam's. The climb overall has excellent rock and superb variable techniques. The fixed gear is badly rusted, especially on the second pitch.
starts up crack in slab, right of Duet, goes till Sam's Swan Song start of 6th pitch.
Standard trad. rack. Knifeblades are rusted on first and second pitch and not safe! Its a run out now. These two pitches are excellent and pro for belays is excellent on the entire climb. Escape is doable anywhere on this climb but it'll be necessary to know the terrain and have pins and trad gear to leave behind most of the time. There's no room for pins and fingers on the first and second pitch again. They should be retro-bolted.