That Hideous Strength climbs one of the more prominent pitches on the Book—it’s curious that it was left alone for all these years.
Pitch 1 (110 feet, 5.10a): Climb the first pitch of Perelandra
, but belay about 6 feet right of the normal stance on some good footholds in the dihedral that defines the right side of the Fat City
alcove. This belay can also be reached by climbing the first pitch of Howling at the Wind
(5.9). Upon reaching the wedged block at the top of that pitch, undercling left and up to the belay. The latter option requires some larger cams (up to a #3.5 or #4 Camalot).
You may notice a 3/8-inch bolt hole at the first belay: I have no idea who drilled the hole, or for how long it's been there. Could have gone in at about the same time the first pitch anchors on Fat City
were updated (I seem to recall Lawrence Stuemke installed those, though I may be way off). The belay on Perelandra
always felt a little funky, so maybe someone wanted to beef it up with a bolt? It may be an indication that someone tried this route at an earlier time, though I doubt they did the undercling section (lichen, many chips/small flakes that needed to be cleaned, etc.).
Pitch 2 (50 feet, 5.11): Jam up the corner (beautiful 5.10 off the belay) to reach the spot where Perelandra
breaches the roof. Continue with the corner, which soon bends left into a pumpy undercling section (5.11, with a very helpful fixed wire near the end of the undercling). Face climb for a short distance to the very top of the Fat City
slab, and then perform a burly 5.11 undercling up and left to reach the lip on the Fat City
roof. Pull through the overhang (feels harder than normal due to the pumpy climbing that precedes it), and belay as with Fat City
Continue to the top of The Book with a route of your choosing.
Though pitch 2 probably covers only 35 feet of new climbing, it’s as good as everything else in the vicinity (superb describes it well), and it deserves a spot on the Lumpy Ridge 5.11 must-do list.
Please leave the fixed nut in the undercling section. It’s in a sheltered spot, and should remain in good condition for many years to come.
The three books that comprise C.S. Lewis’ well-known space trilogy are Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.
That Hideous Strength connects Perelandra
to Fat City
, following the obvious, prominent corner/overhang all the way to the roof on Fat City
. See photo for exact location.
You may want to save this route for a day when you don't expect a lot of company at The Book. If there's a party on Fat City while you're on this route, one team will have to wait it out.