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Super Cat of the Desert 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ British: E6 6b

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Jonny Woodward and Scott Carson, 1992
Page Views: 1,545
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Mar 18, 2009
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Michael Sokoloff on the thinhands splitter. Still...

Description 

Super Cat is one of the best climbs I've done at Indian Creek. Like Desert Shield and Pistol Whipped, it is both magnificent and fully deserving of the glorious grade of Indian Creek 5.12. Awesome!

Begin with a reachy/bouldery move up the bedding rock well left of the obvious crack line. Arrange some thin pro, reach right and clip a bolt (looks good despite the old hanger) and perform some fun face moves up to the obvious horizontal. Plug in a #4 Camalot here and hand traverse right for 15 feet before stepping up to a huge, hollow flake. Ascend this with bear hugs or by jamming the left side (pro here seems better, but I didn't want to fall). The top of the flake is a good rest and you can finally reach right and place bomber pro in the start of the actual crack system. Even though you've just done 50' of climbing, things really begin here.

Climb splitter tight hands up gently overhanging rock to a pod rest below the roof. Pull this with difficulty and then punch it up the 50' headwall splitter. This section narrows from tight hands to perfect fingers, and is sometimes slightly offset.

Here's the heavy-handed beta: I climbed this with a single 70m cord but employed some shenanigans to make it all come together. First, I tied into both ends of the cord and climbed the first stretch up to the top of the hollow flake (only clipping one end of the rope). From here I reached over to the crack proper and placed three pieces (a mini-anchor of sorts) and clipped the other end of the rope to these, and untied from the first end and dropped it to the ground (making sure to completely undo the knot so it could slide through all the gear). Meanwhile, my partner switched the belay from the first side to the new active side of the rope. From here I climbed to the chains and was able to lower back down to the ledge at the base of the climb after unclipping all the gear on the way down. A 69m rope or less would not have reached, nor would the 70 if I had left it clipped through any of the gear. This was a good way to do the route with a single rope and, more importantly, minimize drag on the upper two-thirds of the climb.


Protection 

The meat of the climb takes #1 Camalots (6 or 7 should be OK), but a bunch of 0.4's, 0.5's, and 0.75's are important too. A #2 Camalot protects the move off the ground (a #2 can also be placed in the hollow flake and also just above the cave/roof). Black and blue Aliens are good for getting to the bolt, and a #4 C4 was key for the horizontal break, but a #3 might fit too. A FULL 70m cord is essential and two ropes are probably better.



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By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Oct 14, 2009

Great description Josh!

I used your rope beta and it worked great.

I'm not really sure what is holding that hollow flake on the wall. If a climber pulled it off it could be ugly!

Despite the issues in the first 50-feet, this is still one of the best climbs on the Cat Wall.

By chris Kalous
Nov 11, 2009

Yeah, am I the only guy that is scared of the pillar? Most people just blow me off when I say that its not worth laybacking up that death nugget. I fully expect it to be gone one spring in my lifetime. Did it once, never again. The upper part is a splitter, sure, but you know what, I know where I can find some other splitters to do.

By Brad G
From: Yosemite and else where
Nov 25, 2009

Theres only about twenty feet of good crack climbing on this thing IMO

By Scott Bennett
Nov 28, 2009
rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a

I'm inclined to agree with Brad, the choss on this route make it hard to earn true classic status on a wall stacked with gorgeous splitters. Worth doing, but don't fall before you get to the splitter.

By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Sep 3, 2011

I see what you are saying Chris, Brad and Scott.

This is not the cleanest line on a wall full of clean splitters. There was some adventurousness (can't think of a better adjective) to this route which perhaps elevated my perception of its quality. Often times on the more splitter cracks I can look up and envision how I plan on climbing it and am often right (at least up to mid 5.12). I really had no idea what to expect on this thing from the chossy bottom to the awkward roof to the splitter up high which really didn't climb like your typical splitter and is a bit sandy and brittle. The splitter after the flake was, well splitter and the one part of the route that was readable from below. This route had somewhat of a "tower" feel to me in its variety, commitment and imperfection.

Not exactly sure what I'm saying. I guess this really is not a 4-star route on Cat Wall. I did have a 4-star experience on it though.