|Type:||Trad, 3 pitches, 300'|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]|
|FA:||Pat Callis & Larry Reynolds, April 1966|
|Season:||Spring - Fall|
|Submitted By:||C Miller on Jan 20, 2006|
|Comments on Surprise||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
By Shawn Mitchell
Jul 18, 2009
I remembered from boyhood this climb was runout, but I didn't remember how runout. After the 20 foot p.1 crack, you go all the (easy) way to the belay. But the shockers was crux p.2. After the short traverse to the one bolt--and not so modern a bolt--you do the crux, then go the rest of the way, with a bit of 5.6 at the top, to the belay.
Easy stuff, but you better be comfortable on friction WAY out from gear.
Oct 26, 2010
|Like nearly everything else on the Weeping Wall this route is all about the correct foot sequence. The runout section makes one reconsider those sequences with a little more forethought and rehearsal.Great warm-up for 10K Gold.Taken together these two runouts make for a great day of face climbing.|
From: Carlsbad CA
Apr 23, 2012
|This is a fun climb. P1 5.0 runout has a bolt smack dab in the middle, for anyone who wants to clip it.. leave it unclipped for the full experience ;). On P3 I opted to skip the flared chimney and use the right thin flake. Some parts are hollow, loose, and BIG, however it eats gear and finishes just well.|
By Jim Dover
From: Los Osos, CA
Jul 12, 2012
On pitches 2 and 3 I found pin scars that accept a #2 Offset Mastercam. Higher up on pitch 3--if you stay out of the gulley and do the right crack--some smaller gear works well--0.4s, 0.5s and 0.75s mostly. There are few places for larger stuff but the climbing is really positive so running it out isn't that scary.
Oh, and saw a big ass black rattler in the bushes at the base today. Yikes!!!
By Robert Hall
Aug 26, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Gee...and I thought the climb was named for the "Surprise" move you find off of the big rest step after doing the 5.8 sequence on the old bolt. Maybe it's "only" 5.6 or 5.7, but it was certainly the crux for me.
I did this 2 yrs ago, and even then the (original?) bolt was pretty "manky", even if it is 3/8". It should be replaced.
Oct 28, 2014
|I linked 1 and 2 with a 70m no problem. Only the one distinct crux on P2 was 5.8.|
Apr 10, 2015
Led this when I was 16 (fall, '71) for my first 5.8 on the sharp end. Those klettershoes edged that crystal dike like mad, but the friction was a bit lacking. I give this all the stars for its historic importance, climbing aesthetic and short crux sequence.
When you are a 5.6 climber, Surprise is an excellent gateway into the next level of slab climbing...as long as you can ignore the monster ground fall presented by the very easy first pitch.
The Weeping Wall can be thought of as one wing of Climbing College, offering "Slab Climbing 101, 102, 103." Like a progressively demanding series class, by following an ascent of "Surprise", 5.8, with leads on "Serpentine", 5.9, and "Revelation", 5.10a, one will acquire the essential skills for climbing slabs:
Butt out,"Stink Bug" style body position
don't over-reach, keep those hands local
isolate body parts, freeze all but the one in motion
drop the ankle if you get "Elvis Tremors",
Chalk bag in the front,
do not "kick start the Harley" just place the feet and stand,
if you start to slip, straighten the elbows,
treat the feet like buckets of sand, and when you hit an edge, then pour a
all the sand (weight) into that bucket (bootie)....
...That sort of behavior stuff that becomes habit only with lots of vertical on slab...
Indeed, my first 5.9 lead was Serpentine...and I'll always be thankful for the gifts this wall has to offer any climber, but especially the Newbie lead climber.