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The Bends 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 1,002
Submitted By: Jim Hausmann on Aug 16, 2010
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BETA PHOTO: Second pitch can be seen to the right of center, s...
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This is burly on both pitches, involving about every crack climbing technique.

P1 (100', 14 bolts to 2-bolt anchor, 5.11c)
Start at a bolted, flared chimney. Scott originally climbed this clean with gear, but this would have warranted an R/X rating with the scarcity of good protection available. After the chimney pinches down, the route veers to the left on thin crimps, then up to a comfortable belay just below the large bulge.

P2 (100', 2 bolts & gear to 4" to anchor, 5.10d)
Follow the hand to fist crack through the bulge. If you are uncomfortable with this grade, bring one #4 Camalot in addition to the standard rack. This route was most likely aid climbed by an unknown party before being discovered and cleaned by Scott Sills in 2003. Old gear was found hanging in the crack.


This is the center route on the Main Wall, with pitch 2 ascending the beautiful splitter crack through the bulge.


Standard rack through 4". Good anchors at comfortable belays.

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By Dougald MacDonald
Oct 11, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

Four stars all the way: great rock, perfect protection, exposure, and, most of all, amazing variety. Bring at least two each gold and blue camalots or equivalents, plus one big piece and assorted smaller stuff, for the steep final crack.

By david goldstein
Oct 11, 2010

What Dougald said: great climb.

I'm not too dialed into the rating system these days, but pitch 1 seemed very soft for 11c. The crux entailed crystally tips jamming of the sort sometimes found at Lumpy Ridge. There are some similarities between the crux of P1 and Lumpy's Dead Boys Direct which is rated 11+ and is vastly harder than The Bends.

By Mike Willig
Sep 15, 2012
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

Fantastic route! Highly recommended. 0.4, #2 x 2, #3 x 2, #4 x 2.