The Fin Left
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Start up a wide but short chimney. Work past the roof (crux) being careful of loose blocks. Continue up through interesting climbing while staying mostly on the left side of the fin. The easy second pitch ascends on the left side of the upper face.
Almost gave this three stars except that the second pitch is so much easier than the first. Also, the rating of 5.9 came from Barry and Rita Loucks' guide although that guide also lists Gemstone as 5.9.
For a fourth class walk-off descent, see comment at the bottom of a marked-up version of a photo from Monomaniac on the Gemstone West page.
The Fin starts about half way between the aid boulder and Gemstone route. Watch for the obvious fin-like rock structure on the first pitch. See a marked-up version of a photo from Monomaniac on the Gemstone West page.
Standard rack up to 3 inches.
The first and second pitch can probably be combined with a 60 meter rope, so long as the belayer is close to the start. However, we did it in two pitches to better protect the second through the low crux; first pitch could be cut short for this purpose.
May 24, 2010
There were originally 3 "Fin" routes listed in the original guide... left, center and right. Bill's description sounds more like the left Fin - which goes straight up the stating crack, while the photo appears more like the center route which follows the crack on the very fin.
P1 of either the left or center are very nice pitches, I have never done the right version, which traverses way right at the large roof after ~60 feet of crack climbing.... as Bill said P2 is very easy.
|By Bill Lawry|
From: New Mexico
Jun 6, 2012
I revisited the route. "The Fin Left" seems correct. Thanks!