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 ADVANCED
Main Rock
Select Route:
Access Route T 
Handcrack T,TR 
Major Groove T,TR 
Minor Groove T,TR 
Rappel Route TR 
South Ridge T 
When Free Climbers Wore Hammers T 

When Free Climbers Wore Hammers 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 110'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dan McNamara & Rob Javier 1998
Page Views: 1,020
Submitted By: TobinPetty on Sep 1, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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BETA PHOTO: North aspect of Main Rock formation; thi...

Description 

I felt like I was back in the Wasatch while on this route! For the Interior this route deserves 4 stars for these reasons: committing moves over runout terrain and excellent exposure; great length of pitch and aesthetically pleasing, quality rock; and the approach allows you to be on a great route within an hour while feeling very alpine and out of the way. The cruxes hit you at the beginning as you access a great hand crack, and up above where you meet a funky dihedral and squeeze section that leads to easier terrain to the top of the formation. Gear heads need to make this a yearly must do!

Location 

Route on the North aspect of the formation. Locate a magical grassy ledge and a Birch tree and scramble up to this terrace. Hand crack is located 20-25 feet off the deck lookers left. The Rappel Route is your ticket down.

Protection 

Cams and nuts on this route. There are some pins that the FA's encountered and I also encountered one of those pins moving out of the dihedral and transitioning into the squeeze section. Utilize the anchors (slings with rap rings) of the Rappel Route for anchor or set up your own gear at the top.


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By Daniel McNamara
From: Golden, CO
Mar 28, 2008

Hello,

When Rob and I walked around to the "other" side of the main rock we were amazed to see this good looking line. Then realized that someone had already been on it when I hit the rusty old pin under the roof.

So, thanks for the FA credit but there is a very strong chance that someone else did it first.

We figured it was Carl Tobin or Roman Dial since they seemed to have been on everything else in the area.

cheers,
Dan
By Noah.J
From: Carrboro, NC
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Fun route, I'd venture that it doesn't get climbed very often though, judging by the amount of lichen I contended with. I rated it PG-13 only for the first 20 feet or so, as the rock is exfoliating fairly badly there. I had a (admittedly a borderline ripper piece) pull when the rock/lichen my feet were on decided it'd had enough. I was saved from a groundfall by a small nut a few feet below though, so the rock is good in places. Further up the rock quality becomes very good for the interior, and the easy roof and fantastic views are highlights of the route.

Also, for descent be aware of an iffy looking sling over a partially attached block. Might hold, but I wasn't inspired. We opted to use the bolts to the south side of the top of main rock (the only bolts I could see up top). If you go this route, you'll have to swap your rope to the bolts over Minor Groove, otherwise the friction is too much to pull your rope down, and you'll have to either solo a 5.5 or jug up to fix your conundrum (ask me how I know...). The bolts over minor groove could use quick links, as right now there is just a sling running through the hangers. I'll try to get out and fix it later this month, but if someone is headed out there soon, bring some hardware if you're feeling like helping the community out.
By Richard Shore
Sep 10, 2012

4 stars? Um, no.
By Kentner
From: Fairbanks, AK
Sep 11, 2012

I agree with Noah, this climb deserves a PG 13 rating for the, um, questionable rock quality. With enough traffic, this climb would clean up to something awesome. As it stands, the moss and loose rock are horrifying. A small nut or an orange mastercam protect the first moves. Protect the belayer from flying off the ledge. Also cleaned the webbing mentioned by Noah.
By Terramariner
From: Cordova/Fairbanks, AK
Oct 29, 2012

I thought this was one of the more involving, fun and varied leads I did this summer. Lower third could definitely use some laps and wire brush love.

Gear and rock was definitely better on the upper two thirds of the route. Seemed that the piece I wanted to place at any given time was the one I had just used...anyways bring slings or else the rope drag can be horrendous.

Three stars for length and variety of climbing if it gets a bit of traffic. Agreed with beta for placing gear right off the deck. I wouldn't recommend this for a new leader in its current state/lichen and the kinda sketchy start.