|Colchuck Balanced Rock
This route tackles the wall to the right of the prominent corner, which houses the West Face. Start ~200' right of the obvious corner which is the 'West Face'
We did a mix of aid and free climbing on the first ascent, with occasional storms and copious wetness. The route saw its (First?) free ascent in August 2010, when Ben Gilkison and Drew Philbin teamed up to go base to summit, no falls, placing protection as they climbed.
P1) Follow cracks and corner past a small tree, up right to a ledge to a belay below the obvious roof. 5.10d
P2) Up the finger crack to the roof, then out the crack, turn the lip, and 12 more feet up to the belay ledge. Multiple #2 cams required. Belay takes finger-thin hand gear. C1 or 5.12d
P3) Move right on obvious flakes and knobs, then up the wonderful dihedral. Can rope stretch all the way to the big treed ledge. 5.9+
P4) Follow easier ground on runout chickenheads to the base of the treed ledge, just left of a R-facing corner/pillar. 5.7
P5) Up the corner to the top of the pillar, then move right, up and into the cave/alcove. 5.10
P6 and 7) Splitter cracks up the headwall 5.11a. Up the flaring slot, then pull into the splitter .75" L-facing corner. Try to find some gear, clip the piton, and commit to delicate stemming and thin moves up and right to the good ledge. Belays (semi-hanging) can be made in several spots, including just below the OW/Flare.
P8) Follow a short chimney back and left to an even better ledge. 5.8
P9+) Simulclimb blocky ground up and left to the summit. Do the Boulder problem.
Begin at the center of the face, below the middle of the long bulge/roof section. This start is a couple hundred feet right, and lower than the start on the 'West Face'.
Pitch 2 can easily be aided with a couple #2 camalots on 2' slings attached to your harness. The rest of the route is 5.9 to 5.11-
Rack: Doubles of cams from Blue Alien to #3 Camalot, with one #4 camalot and four #2 camalots. A selection of small nuts, and offset aliens is nice, but not required. Pins aren't needed.
May 24, 2013
First free ascent was by Tom Ramier. Fall of 2010, I believe.
|By Thomas Ramier|
Jul 17, 2013
My ascent was in August 2009.
Ben and Drew ticked it the following season. I actually saw them on the trail on their way down.
Here is some additional info on climbing the route free. Some of the belays as described by Blake are a bit different when freeing the line. Also there is a two bolt station in the corner following P2 that allows easy return to the first belay, and all day fun climbing one of the best roof cracks on planet earth!