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A bold route for the times... Very typical of the climbs that were popular around this time, following a line with trees and other natural options for protection such as boulders and threads... The crux however is still not well protected even now with our modern gear...
Since it was done in the early 30's you might say it could be a good beginner trad route but it doesn't lend itself to safety for the less experienced climber... Loose rock, run outs, and awkward moves are all things that might make for an epic if you are not well practiced... That being said i would recommend doing Thin Air, Fun House to Upper Refuse, and a few slab routes before this one... But thats just me...
Pitch 1:(5.5) Start up the right leaning ramp as for Turners Flake (5.8) and continue right to the to the base of Toe Crack, the moves stepping right are tricky but not hard once you get it... Belay from Here...
Pitch2: Head right and in to the chimney... Follow the chimney up past a chockstone to a fixed belay in the cave... Fun chimney climbing...
Pitch 3: (5.7+ R) This is the R crux section, take a deep breath and be cool... climb up the right hand wall (5.6 R) making some hard for the grade moves to clip a fixed sling, what a relief, you are safe... After this you continue up the chimney on easier climbing to a tree belay (watch out for loose rocks)...
Pitch 4: (5.5) Follow the gully to the top (this part is a little less classic and dirty from what i remember but its been a few years).. From the top walk to the right or hitch hike down...
A great climb of this type but bring your spirit of adventure... have fun...
The obvious chimney that marks the right side of the Thin Air face...
Standard rack will do...
|Comments on Standard Route
|By Romain Wacziarg|
Jul 17, 2008
With all due respect, rating P3 5.6 is a clear sandbag. Even the guidebook calls it 5.7+, and that is about fair. The crux is steep, slippery, and most definitely not 5.6.
|By lee hansche|
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 18, 2008
Sorry i was going by Ed Websters book which had it listed at a nice old school 5.6 R... i personally agree with you and Jerry Handrens book so i will change the description and leave this comment as a historical reminder of how things were... though im always torn about things like this cause i do respect those who came before me and the bold way they graded there climbs...
|By Romain Wacziarg|
Jul 29, 2008
True - these old timers were bold, and their ratings reflect that. There's been a lot of grade inflation in climbing as well as in schools!
Dec 1, 2008
I could be wrong, but I thought that the true pitch one started in the dike almost directly below (and slightly right of) toe crack. Whether it's pitch one or not I found this variation way scary since tight chimneys with old pitons for pro tend to raise my blood pressure anyway. Using the Turner's flake ramp is way better climbing not to mention a lot less stressful (for me at least).
From: midcoast, maine
Apr 15, 2012
That's a direct variation, and a 5.7+
|By Don MacKenzie|
From: Somerville, MA
Jul 20, 2012
rating: 5.6 R
I climbed this today (well, pitches 3 and 4 after starting on Toe Crack) and I am going to dissent and say that I think that 5.6R is about right for the third pitch. The moves were maybe on the stiff side for 5.6 but certainly not 5.7+.
I was able to get a medium cam maybe 7 or 8 feet off the ledge. It doesn't protect for long, but it let me go up, clean off some holds, and work out the moves, downclimbing in between. The hardest moves were above this gear, probably looking at a fall back to the ledge (so the R rating is justified), but it's a short crux and the climbing eases up before you are looking at a really nasty fall. Just watch your step and don't overgrip.
That said, I'd stay well away if it were wet.
All in all I thought the climbing on pitch 3 was fun and worthwhile. The second chimney sequence and the roof above it were good fun. With a little more traffic it would be a lot cleaner too. But as it was, it was clean enough to climb with no drama.