The Middle Way
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This is for the semi-obscure aficionados. This is a feature that sees little traffic. This scar in the landscape has yielded a few briefly pleasant, 65-degree-angle slab climbs. Approach via the Mesa trail from NCAR or Chataqua. There is a faint trail to its base, not too far from the Mesa Trail.
This is the route up the middle of the slab, just right of Non-Friction. There is no fixed protection here.
Follow tiny edges and scoops up this smooth face (which apparently can get licheny with disuse) to a tiny seam higher up. You can belay off trees above.
2 ropes useful if you TR this, especially if you have 50m ropes.
Per James Garnett: Anchor possibilities are good. The tree at the top is currently alive and strong, and it's possible to fit some smaller nuts and even a #2 Camalot if you like triply-redundant anchors, which you do. A 60m rope is pretty much required, especially if you top-belay. It appears that there might be people rapping off a tree to the left; its trunk is fairly scarred. No reason to do that: the walkoff is loose, and there's a bit of scree rattling around, but it's better then killing the tree....
|Comments on The Middle Way
|By James Garnett|
From: Bellingham, WA
Apr 12, 2003
....Rossiter gives this climb one star, but it deserves better; I've never seen other climbers here, and the friction is great.
This climb starts out a bit weird, goes easily for a while, gets interesting at the crux and then finishes fast. The rock is rather licheny now, despite Rossiter's description, and getting off the ground may pose a challenge. Above the large, obvious scoop just above the base, there are a series of nice (but tiny) ledges that make an easy climb to the crux, at which point the handholds disappear completely. The handholds are never great (something you can get a fingertip onto is bomber on this wall), but at the crux there aren't even fingernail holds. Past the crux---about 2/3 of the way up---the rock breaks up and makes for a quick finish.
Anchor possibilities are good. The tree at the top is currently alive and strong, and it's possible to fit some smaller nuts and even a #2 Camalot if you like triply-redundant anchors, which you do. A 60m rope is pretty much required, especially if you top-belay. It appears that there might be people rapping off a tree to the left; its trunk is fairly scarred. No reason to do that: the walkoff is loose, and there's a bit of scree rattling around, but it's better then killing the tree....
The biggest drawbacks to this area are its proximity to the Mesa trail and its spectacular view. Normally those are good things, but they attract a lot of day hikers. Expect an audience, and possibly kids tossing rocks on your right. Another more minor irritant is the dirt: very fine, very dusty. Expect a grungy rope after climbing here.
|By Jake Wyatt|
From: Longmont, CO
Jul 28, 2003
I found this to be a perfectly pleasant and fun climb to finish off the morning, coming down after climbing the Fifth Flatiron. I can understand why the Quarry might not be a popular destination area, but it's certainly worth a run up a toprope or two (or perhaps the bolted routes -- although they're a bit too widely spaced for my ability) when you're in the area. The crux moves are definitely interesting - palming and willing yourself up through the holdless section was great.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Mar 20, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b
Significantly easier than the similarly rated route (TR) to the right called 'Diatribe.'
A 70m rope is all that is needed to TR this, with rope to spare.
|By Joshua Merriam|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 11, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a R
I may have wandered a bit, but I lead what I think was this route. I placed some questionable gear on the first half, and slung a tiny wired nut over the broken off bolt. Then I clipped that old rusty 1/4 with the SMC hanger and straight up to the trees. Felt much easier than 10a though.
|By Rodger Raubach|
Apr 30, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b X
I've never seen this led; normally toproped. This is a fun practice climb either after school or work. One of the few places along the Mesa Trail that I've seen a rattlesnake, too.