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This route can be found on the SW Face of the Morning Thunder wall on the lower West Ridge. Approach as for Morning Thunder, but this climb is around the corner "left" of M.T., just past "Thunderbolts From Hell." A broken system of far overhanging flakes (mostly solid) goes up and left through an alcove. Most of the protection is 2-2.5" and most of the holds can be jammed. The rock is rough and sharp, so it grips well, but also cuts/abrades. Tape up. Place gear at the lip and mantel up. [Reaching] the bolt from the lip will be nearly impossible for those under 6'0" and difficult for those who are. A reasonable move with a cam in a horizontal at your waist/knees protects the move to get on the face, then clip the bolt. Ascend while traversing to the right past the bolt (crux) past a slanting, slightly sloping, BROKEN(*) hold, diagonaling up to a [incut] "bucket" on a rail near the arete. Easier moves are made to reach the summit, near the right hand arete.
Belay from the top on whatever gear you can wrangle. Descend as for Morning Thunder.
(*) A 4" by 6" flake has obviously been broken off, just right of the bolt, this is crux hands, then crux feet. It is apparent from the print left [on the] rock that the top of said flake was once flat relative to the earth's plane, and also inches higher, [definitely] providing a higher hand and foot and presumably one less insecure. [As] the grade felt more difficult than S.D.'s other routes near that grade, IE, Saturnailia, (11b) and nearly as hard as Thunderbolts from Hell, (12a) I felt it was most probable that this hold was broken off after the grade was assigned, and perhaps even recently. It gives the [appearance] of such as well.
Can anyone answer the question: Is the route graded to account for this? If not, what is the route's present grade? I am giving 11c as my best guess.
A few large stoppers and cams from 1" to 3" with an extra 2" or 2.5" if you like to sew it up. A single bolt protects the true crus of the route.
|By steve dieckhoff|
Nov 21, 2003
The hold was broken when I first got there. I drilled the bolt (3/8") by hand on the lead.
|By Bruce Hildenbrand|
Jan 29, 2009
Just as a bit of FA history, Tom Ballard and I climbed the overhanging flake and then exited left at the top in spring 1987. I put the route as an FA in the book at the Boulder Mountaineer only to have Dan Hare call and tell me that he had done the flake as well two years previously and even then he didn't feel like he had done a FA. Dan agreed that the flake was about 5.10+.
So, it appears that Steve and Gray added a direct finish to an already established route.