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BETA PHOTO: Beta Photo showing "Unknown", and its relation to ...
This route isn't brand new (I've seen the bolts here for a few years at least) but isn't in any guidebook I own. It provides a better way to get to the good climbing on the North Face route (avoiding the low-angle 5.7 bush-filled corner).
The route starts from the same bench as Hound Dog
. Scramble up and left (5.0) on blocky ground to the base of a slightly less than vertical face with several thin cracks. You encounter a bolt as soon as you arrive on the ledge. It doesn't protect much -- perhaps the intention was to start the route here, making this a belay bolt. Regardless, head up the thin cracks with a mix of face moves and fingerlocks. It is possible to stem off the blocky wall left of the face, which drops the grade significantly. After ~30' the cracks pinch off, and two bolts pull you right, onto the face (10a).
The route merges with the North Face
after these two bolts, at a small ledge. There is a 2-bolt lowering anchor here, but you should just clip it and keep going up. The next ~35' of North Face
is fun crack climbing with another spot of 10a.
The next ledge has a similar 2-bolt lowering anchor. I lowered from here, all the way to the ground. My 60m rope was barely long enough to do this -- tie a knot in the end!
I stemmed to the left wall a few times the first time up this route, making the cracks feel about 5.9. On a second lap, I tried sticking to the main face, and felt it upped the grade to solid 5.10, particularly when you consider hanging out to place the gear. I actually think it is a better climb if you do this. I'll leave it at 10a -- the difficulty of the face moves -- but recommend avoiding the left wall as much as possible without it being contrived.
"Standard rack", but I don't recall placing anything bigger than a red Camalot (including the finish on North Face
). Mostly, the route ate up stoppers and finger-sized cams.