|West Ridge - part A - Verschneidung to base
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This West Ridge climb is good clean fun, although it is relatively obscure.
Hike up the West Ridge to just past the amphitheatre, as it goes out of sight, you will pass the Initial Overhang (see that entry on this site) and then come to a solid section of rock with multiple ovehangs split by thin cracks. The "solid section" just out from the rest of the ridge, lying just uphill from the amphitheatre and a small distance below the High Anxiety area. The buttress is perhaps 40 feet wide and 100 feet tall, in all. It is split laterally by two ledges rising up and left and vertically by a few cracks going up from each of those two ledges on the wall.
Climb in from the right (lowest area) of the buttress or pull through a bulge below the buttress and climb up about 30' to gain a left-leaning crack on the first buttress. Climb up this crack and a right facing corner (slab) past a good section of crack that will take a 2.5" cam. Pull out left [from the] corner as it ends and into a vertical crack- place a large stopper or cam and climb up the steep wall to a good stance below an overhang. Set a 1" or smaller cam in a fingercrack just above and climb out and left through a brief [overhang] to more vertical rock and up onto a sloping ledge (optional belay). From the ledge look up to see a short section of thin crack that you must use and protect to reach a series of 4 good holds. The pro here is a 2-3" cam at waist, thin stoppers overhead. The crux is now, so MIND THE LEDGE. The sequence is devious, but as it turns out, is really only 5.9 or 5.9+. A key starting hold may be out of reach for anyone shorter than 5'6", bumping the grade up to 5.10. There is a key "flake" up and left of the crack that you will use; although it looks scary, it seems to be good. I certainly would not place a cam behind it though. Pull up past that (jugs) over the overhang lip (jugs) and up onto the slab (jugs) and then up to a solid tree to belay.
From this line you can finish on Party Pooper, the upper part of the Initial Route, Quo Vadis, or rap off from above Up The Downclimb.
CRUX BETA: From the sloping ledge to through the overhang... there is a small scoop up high facing left where the crack is offset, some 7 feet off of the ledge. Handjam with the right hand in the wide section of crack, step up on some small feet, use the left hand to "pinch" the offset, with the left fingers in the scoop and left thumb around the corner above your head. Set feet hard left and PUSH to the pocket up and right. Match near the pocket, set feet hard right and PUSH left to undercling the big flake to the left. Reach up over the flake and match there. You can put an arm behind it to rest whil placing a small nut, ball nut, or micro-cam overhead for the finish. Reach up and right of the crack at the lip for a big jug on a corner and pull the lip.
You will need Cams from 0.75" to 3" plus one set of stoppers and one set of brass nuts. Micro-cams could be placed, but are not needed. The line is zig-zagged and passes ledges and overhangs, so some number of longer slings would be a benefit.
|By Chris Beh|
Mar 23, 2009
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b
This is a worthwhile route. The flake at the second step feels like it could rip out of there if it was yarded on too hard. We managed to use it for only one hand move. Be careful pulling on it.