Southwest Pillar 5b
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The sensational flake on pitch six of the Southwes...
A very interesting, homogeous climb on very solid, steep red alpine granite. Interesting and engaging throughout, despite the very moderate grade. The line elegently weaves its way up the face, connecting various cracks and corners with relatively little traversing (except at the beginning of pitch two, for which there is also a direct variation - difficulty unknown, it looked good but a fair bit more challenging).
Pitches go at 5a, 5b, 5b, 5b, 5b, 5a+, 3b.
We found the final sequence in the first (long) 5a pitch to be crux of the route (and suprisingly demanding for the grade). A very short slabby sequence towards the end of the third pitch was also demanding for the grade.
The route begins undearneath and a bit to the right of the southwest pillar. The pillar itself really forms about 50 meters directly above the start, where there is a monstrous bulge/protusion on the face (with a fairly clear arete on the left side of it). The route begins underneath and to the right of two successive roofs perhaps 6-10 meters off the deck (if you look closely, a bolt is visible on the upper one). It starts in a recession in the face, ascending a chimney / corner. The topos suggests that there is an orange circle marking the start, but we didn't see it. The first bolt is the one at the aforementioned roof - it seemed to us to be suboptimally placed (somewhat far to the left). Thereafter the line is fairly clear, heading up and to the right towards large ramp/corner which it ascends.
Descent is by abseil down the route.
Except in the first half of the first pitch, where bolts are quite spaced, the route is very well protected. A small assortment of cams is very useful in the first pitch, and may be nice to have for the odd placement in the five pitches to follow.
Belays are all very solid.
2x50 meter ropes required.
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