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BETA PHOTO: The Owls West face routes.
The road to the Crack of Fear: Tiger's Tooth -> Turnkorner -> Twister -> ??? - to Crack of Fear!
The day after ascending this full body workout you may wonder how it is possible, despite climbing and/or training as much as you do, to feel so sore after only three "moderate" pitches.
Ascends the obvious chimney system about 100' right of Crack of Fear. The first pitch starts on a ledge about 50' of easy scrambling above the ground.
P1. 80', 5.10. In your face from the get-go, the pitch starts with a difficult reach from a slot into a mantle. This is followed by approximately 20' feet of easy chimney which delivers you to the crux, 10' of "full body jamming" well protected by #4 & #5 Camalots. I went left side in, employing anaerobic thigh-heel bars, hamstring stacks and solar plexus pivots. My partner slithered right side in. After a while (time-long, distance-short) good edges appear and progress improves. Above is some more moderate chimneying protected by a #3 Big Bro and/or a (back cleaned) #5 Camalot. After this, traverse left out of the chimney and establish an almost comfortable belay on a long narrow ledge system. Note: there are rap anchors at the left end of this ledge from which escape is possible; these anchors can also be used, now that you're warmed up, to top rope Peaches and Cream, an 11c off-width.
P2. 60' 5.9 or 5.10d. The traditional, 5.9, way to do this pitch is to continue easily up the chimney for about 20', pass a chockstone and chimney about another 25' to ledges; the last section, which is about 3' wide appears to have little or no pro. Alternatively, just below the chockstone, move right into a hanging crack, make a couple of hard (~10d), Eldo-style moves (stem, pinch, jam etc), traverse right a few feet, then head up to the ledge above the chimney. This variation, which had been seldom, if ever, climbed, involves stemming on thick lichen, but provides some good, decently protected climbing which might be upgraded to semi-classic if it ever cleaned up. On the other hand, staying in the chimney is much more in keeping w/ the character/purpose of the route.
P3. 150' 5.9. Continue up obvious cracks for about 50'. Traverse left under a long roof flake and continue more or less straight up (easy) for about 50' to a toothy bulge, "The Barracuda", which is defanged at 5.9. Continue at easy 5th for another 30' to the top.
1 set small to medium nuts. Single set of SLCDs from green Alien to hand sized. 2 #3 Camalot, 1 #4 Camalot, 2 #5 Camalot, 1 #3 Big Bro.
The 2nd #5 allows you to really lace up the crux. We could have gotten by without the Big Bro.
Greg Sievers taking his lumps on the first pitch o...
Oct 6, 2003
Ouch! Some how some way - I managed to follow my partner up this glorious off width! Folks with big feet will have an easier time for there is a decent toe heel jam in the back, otherwise if you have smaller feet, like me, lots of palming, and foot knee jams are the only way to move up. Hard right away, two number 5 Camalots are nice to have. Second pitch has some spice as well, but nothing like the first pitch. I heard that this is a great warm up for Crack of Fear.
|By Greg Sievers|
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 25, 2006
This thing is heinous. I think Crack of Fear is easier. The pinch start on the first pitch may not be the crux: which means it'll only get harder. I had to yield to the All Mighty OWM (pronounced OOHHMMM). That's really "Off Width Master" -- John T.
I received a firm spanking. :(