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Owl's Head Cliff (Oliverian Notch)
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Armstrong Arches. 
Beak Buttress (the nose), The 
Bert's climb 
Bert's Right Facing Corner  
Bolted face E3 or Black Velvet 
Bolted face Route E1 
Bolted Face Route E2 or Power Failure 
Bolted face Route E4 or Slab Happy 
Bolted face route E5 or Van Burren Route 
E6 or White Lightning 
E8 or Leading cause  
E9 or Leading Cause variation right side. 
Energizer E10 
giant dead tree corner, The 
Great Circle Route, The 
Left side of Boiler Plates Route E7  
Rapper, The 
Revelations or E11 
Spare Ribs 
Variations to Bert's Climb  

The Rapper 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b R

Type: Trad, 3 pitches, 300', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Bradley White , Lee the Flea, Jim Shimberg, 1987
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 268
Submitted By: bradley white on Jul 25, 2009
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Climb friction face besides right facing bush filled corner 20ft until there are moves past a shallow arch (5-7+) one bolt. Continue up friction 20ft. until mounting the top of the corner (rest) on top of buttress. Continue up fractured rock solid easily, until nearly to the base of the giant arch at a large belay stance. (The bushy corner from the ground up and the giant arch heading west upwardly were climbed, probably by the D.O.C.). Move right across face until large hidden inside corner facing right is reached (5-8). Climb sustained corner past one 6" lost arrow pin below the top (5-9+) thirty ft. Do face moves left to a bolt (5-9) [or directly up above the corner (5-11aR), led by Jim Shimberg] to make face moves right to another bolt 20ft. Directly up after last bolt is a rest below a shallow arch (2 short questionable upside down pins) do a crux friction step up (5-10) to reach hand holds on an outside corner edge of a shallow inside corner facing right. Continue up it (5-10) getting in fingers nearly blind to putting in gear. Reach the arch with shallow foot ledges and more gear. Traverse right (on the second ascent with Jim, we belayed here. Jim led and bolted the short 15ft sustained (5-10c) start to a ceiling corner). Get around the left side of corner to an easier finish at the midway belay/rappel station on Spare Ribs.

This route is best done by the experienced to Owl's Head first. Climb was established to a become the direct approach to Spare Ribs.

You'll either hate it or love it for the same reason. The climb is definitely in need of retro-bolting maintenance. The run outs were dangerous and that's a good reason not to climb it today. It should be climbed though. So make it safer, and make every bolted climb on Owl's Head safer, (that doesn't have stainless steel bolts) retro-bolt in stainless or better.

The climbed was named after the song, The Rapper and partially to it being seen as a climb while rappelling from the midway ledge of Spare Ribs.


East side of the boiler plate section. Besides the only right facing bush filled corner.


Trad rack, 5 bolts and 3 fixed pins. This route is likely a death pitch now if you fall.

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By David Powers
Sep 19, 2010

I replaced the first two bolts on this route. They were both old self drills and each protected a serious runout. The first one seemed in ok shape but the second broke off with a few whacks with a hammer. I plan to replace the other three and patch the holes. I also think the upside down pin above the second bolt should be replaced with a bolt. The pin is very old and the feature to fragile to replace the pin.
We did the route in two pitches to the belay at the crux pitch of Spare Ribs. Doing it this way works well, 15 draws, a full rack and double ropes are needed for the second pitch, still expect to run it out. Since some of Spare Ribs is climbed doing it this way (the 5.11 bit after the big traverse) i would rate the route 5.11a R. Although maybe the 5.10d rating should stay because sometimes i feel 5.10d routes are harder than 5.11a if that makes any sense.

By bradley white
From: Plymouth
Jun 17, 2013

Thank you for doing this important upkeep and there is so much of it too be done on all routes. The fragile rock pin was always an uncertain if it would hold a fall. I believe you carried through on your plans to bolt it and I don't know new protection about anything.