Archive for the ‘2014 January’ Category

August 2014 Route Applications

July 28, 2014

Long Journey, 5.12-, West Face of Pebble Beach, Sacred Cliffs

Pebble Beach Overview: Proposed climb, the Long Journey, is route #16.

Pebble Beach Overview: Proposed climb, the Long Journey, is route #16.

Pebble Beach, perhaps one of the more “popular” areas of the Sacred Cliffs, includes 15 different routes according to the most recent guidebook. Two traditional routes, Imperfect Offwidth (5.8) and Perfect Hand Crack (5.9+), exist on the north face of Pebble Beach, and are located just left of the proposed climb. The proposed climb, Long Journey (#16 in the overview photo ), is currently a toprope with a 2-bolt anchor at the top, though it is not known when the anchor was installed or who did the first ascent. It more or less follows the blunt northwest arête of the Pebble Beach formation. Immediately right of this proposed bolted climb, from left to right, are Dan and Randy Show (bolted 5.10d), Ray Honed (bolted 5.10c), Mono Ray (top rope 5.10c), Catching Rays (bolted 5.10b), and Ray Ban (top rope 5.10d). All of the sport routes use bolts for protection, with little or no available natural gear.

Figure 1: All six clips on Long Journey (route #16) plus the anchors (to be upgraded).

Figure 1: All six clips on Long Journey (route #16) plus the anchors (to be upgraded).

A few more routes exist on a lower tier below the routes listed above (to the west and south). They are, from left to right, as follows: 98-pound Weakling (5.9 X chopped/TR now), Wide I Do It (trad 5.10a), Wishful Thinking (trad 5.8), Rip Tide (toprope 5.11a), Pebble Beach (5.10a chopped/TR), Crater Beach (5.10a chopped/TR), and Red Tide (5.9 X/solo).

Climber approach trail to the Sacred Cliffs, where it leaves the Green Mountain West Ridge Trail.

Climber approach trail to the Sacred Cliffs, where it leaves the Green Mountain West Ridge Trail.

To get to Pebble Beach, take the standard approach to the Sacred Cliffs, following the Green Mountain West Ridge Trail toward the summit of Green Mountain. Just a short distance below the actual summit, perhaps 200 yards below, the climber’s trail forks off right to the south; there is a visible trail and a white sign within view from the main trail.  The trail is thin but continuous, and mostly follows the south ridge on dirt or duff, staying just west of the ridge wherever large rock formations are present on the ridge. It’s about a half-mile walk from the main trail to the Pebble Beach crag.

Sign marking the climber-approach trail/boundary.

Sign marking the climber-approach trail/boundary.

The descent initially involves a rappel off the top of the route (Long Journey), approximately 50 feet to the ground. From there, follow the same approach trail along the ridge back to the West Ridge Trail.

Rock and dirt staging area at base of route.

Rock and dirt staging area at base of route.

The staging area is a rocky base area with little to no vegetation. Some small talus exists, but mostly large rock slabs are present. Not much soil is present nearby.

Rock belay platform and the first bolt of the route

Rock belay platform and the first bolt of the route

All recon work has been completed, and all portions of the route have been climbed on toprope. There is no loose rock anywhere; the natural rock is very clean and sharp! The climbing involves vertical to overhanging crimps in a beautiful position. The rock is crisp, incut, and rather sharp in general. Although the guidebook lists this climb at 5.11c, we thought it was quite a bit harder.

Bolts 1 through 4, showing the one existing, lone bolt now (which will become clip 2).

Bolts 1 through 4, showing the one existing, lone bolt now (which will become clip 2).

The initial climbing involves powerful 5.10 and 5.11 crimping, followed by a 5.12- cruxy move around a bulge. This is followed by sustained 5.11 crimpy climbing, then a final 5.12- crux near the top, followed by 5.10 slab moves to the anchor.   We are proposing 6 bolts to protect the 50 feet of climbing as shown in the following photo — there is no possibility for natural protection. One stray bolt does exist, about 15 feet off the ground — perhaps a partial installation of the climb before the bolting ban. We propose to replace this bolt with what would be the second bolt of the pitch. Overall, it’s a very sustained, high quality climb on bullet rock.

 

FHRC Overview of the application: Pending

Voting Results: Pending

OSMP Decision: Pending

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 
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Big Bruce, 5.12a/b, Southwest Face of the Goose, Fern Canyon

Figure 1: Southwest Face of the Goose, showing the proposed climb, with its bolts and anchors marked, as well as existing routes. Note that its previous name, Silver Linings, is used instead of the current application name, Big Bruce.

Figure 1: Southwest Face of the Goose, showing the proposed climb, with its bolts and anchors marked, as well as existing routes. Note that its previous name, Silver Linings, is used instead of the current application name, Big Bruce.

The proposed route is on the southwest face of the Goose, Fern Canyon. The southwest face at present is home to three existing climbs. From left to right they are: Raging Bull (5.12b sport; two pitches); Wild Horses (5.13a sport, with a shared start on the trad route Sweet and Innocent); and Sweet and Innocent (5.10b trad). There is also a new soon-to-be sport climb, Golden Goat, approved by FHRC and OSMP in early 2014, down and right of Sweet and Innocent. The proposed climb, Big Bruce, begins 30 feet left of the sport route Raging Bull, near the juncture of the south and west faces; it is about 30 feet to the right of the staging area for the west-face route Deserted Cities of the Heart (5.9 sport/mixed).

Trail to the Goose, southwest face, marked in blue.

Trail to the Goose, southwest face, marked in blue.

The approach is the standard approach to the south Face of Goose, a well-used, designated but unsigned climber’s trail through forest and talus. The trail begins just above the “Superfresh” block and heads north up the gully along the base of Fiddlehead. After 300 yards it moves right through a talus-notch between Fiddlehead and the East Ridge formation, to cross talus directly east to the southwest face of the Goose.

This will be a sport route with lowering anchors, so no descent trail is required. The climber will lower directly back to the staging area. The base of the proposed route is mostly rock and talus that will not be subject to additional erosion due to use. It is along the existing climber’s approach to the route Raging Bull and along the trail leading to the West Face of The Goose and the route Deserted Cities of the Heart.

Staging area below Big Bruce

Staging area below Big Bruce

Big Bruce with bolt locations

Big Bruce, showing the bolt and anchor locations.

The route has been toproped at a grade of 5.12a/b. It has minimal loose rock and will not deteriorate due to use. The climbing starts out with some vertical 5.11 moves to a first overhang with mid-5.11 moves through the roof and a section of vertical rock above. A decent rest can be had at this point before surmounting another roof and the crux section just above, where the climber reaches a third roof. Good holds appear at the lip of the final roof and lead to the proposed anchor above. The route will require 12 protection bolts and 2 bolts for the anchor. There is no opportunity for natural protection, so exclusively bolt protection is recommended.

FHRC Overview of the application: Pending

Voting Results: Pending

OSMP Decision: Pending

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 
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Old Chub, 5.12, North Face of the Matron

Upper north face of the Matron, showing Old Chub and its relation to existing climbs; upper 9 bolts on Old Chub and shared anchors are pictured.

Upper north face of the Matron, showing Old Chub and its relation to existing climbs; upper 9 bolts on Old Chub and shared anchors are pictured.

This route is located on the upper right side of the north face of the Matron, and starts behind a huge flake forming a wide chimney, about 30 feet left of the route Father Knows Best (5.11b). There are a total of 10 existing routes on the north face. Beginning from the eastern end and running uphill and west, they are: East Ridge (5.5 trad), No Stranger to Danger (5.9 R trad), Quiche on a Leash (5.10c trad), Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche (5.11a trad), Pasta Man (5.9 trad), North Face (5.6 trad), North Face Right (5.5 trad), Nordwand (5.7 A3), In Spite of Love (A2), Northwest Crack (5.10c trad), and Father Knows Best (5.11b sport). The proposed climb, Old Chub, starts approximately 20 feet up and right of Northwest Crack and starts about 30 feet left of Father Knows Best; meanwhile, Nordwand and In Spite of Love begin in a large right-facing corner about 60 feet left and downhill of Northwest Crack, and the remaining north face routes are farther downhill to the east and not in the vicinity of the proposed route

Starting zone of Old Chub, behind the detached chimney/flake.

Starting zone of Old Chub, behind the detached chimney/flake.

approach

Leaving the Mesa Trail for the Matron approach trail.

Both the nearby Father Knows Best and the old aid route In Spite of Love (A2) finish at the 2-bolt anchor atop the first pitch of the West Face (5.8R). The proposed route would also finish at these anchors, and all three routes converge at the arête about 4-5 feet below these anchors. At the top of the proposed line, the aid crack of In Spite of Love is within 6 to 10 feet in an area where two bolts are proposed. Although said bolts would be far enough away from the aid placements to make if difficult or impractical to reach the bolts from that route, we went ahead and contacted the first ascentionist, Eric Doub. He said he was fine with our proposed bolts and gave us encouragement to develop the new line. The line Father Knows Best is at least 10-15 feet away at all times except for the very top where all three routes converge. Take the standard approach to the Matron. The most direct approach involves hiking out of Eldorado Springs up the Old Mesa Trail to the Shadow Canyon Trail. Take the latter trail a short distance up to the first ravine encountered, and the Matron trail branches off right there. Follow the distinct climber-approach trail (mostly dirt) up another 10 minutes to the eastern toe of the Matron, and a thin trail through talus and dirt paths extends up along the north face to all routes.

approach trail close

Matron approach trail.

The descent initially involves a rappel (about 85 feet) off the top of the first pitch of the West Face, then you can return down along the north-face trail to your backpacks, etc. Follow the same climber’s trail down to the Old Mesa Trail. Very rocky base area with little to no vegetation. A few scattered raspberry canes were present around the base area during mid-July 2014. No “soil” is visible anywhere in the base area; mostly talus and large rock chunks. The standard rappel off the West Face lands in this same area, though it is possible to trend west and rappel to the base of the West Face too (located perhaps 15 yards up and right of the staging/ base area). Because of the vertical nature of the climbing and the availability of natural protection up high to rig directionals, all recon work has been completed and all portions of the route have been climbed on toprope. The route starts by stemming off a huge flake that forms an approximately 40-foot-wide chimney at the base of the north face. Upon pulling onto the face with conglomerate holds, the line trends up and right along for approximately 35 feet along sustained 5.11 knobs and pockets. Then, the holds get much thinner and the climb goes up and left into sustained 5.12- climbing across a smooth face. The rock is extremely clean here and the holds are small but sharp. The climbing largely involves long reaches to decent holds, with little else in between, resulting in lots of high steps, mantel-like moves, and dynos.

Staging area for Old Chub.

Staging area for Old Chub.

Once through this relatively blank section, the climbing trends back right, about 10-12 feet below the roof, and follows easier 5.10 and 5.11 climbing to the arête. Other than a small crack about 35 feet up, there do not appear to be any possibilities for natural protection. As such, we recommend 4 bolts from the ground leading up to the crack, a piece of protection in the ½” to 1” range would be placed next (in the crack), and then 7 more bolts would be used to protect the remaining upper portion of the pitch, which contains no natural protection opportunities. There is little to no loose rock, save some softer rock in the last 5 to 10 feet of the pitch, under which the natural line traverses. Due to the high quality of competent rock present, very little cleaning (mostly a light brushing) would be required for a very clean and safe route. We would also like to replace the existing and aging anchor at the top of the first pitch of the West Face (also used for Father Knows Best and to be shared by this new route) with ½-inch stainless steel bolts, a ring, and chain set for rappelling.

FHRC Overview of the application: Pending

Voting Results: Pending

OSMP Decision: Pending

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Dinosaur Jr., 5.10-, West Face of Dinosaur Rock Dinosaur Rock is home to a handful of easy (5.0–5.6) traditional slab routes on the east face; five 5.11+-to-5.13a sport routes on the north face (Pretty in Pinkler, 5.11+; The Shaft, 5.12b; Patience Face, 5.12a; Milk Bone, 5.13a; Ultrasaurus, 5.13a) ; one 5.12- sport route on the upper west face (Pink Man’s Burden, two pitches, 5.12a), and three 5.9–5.10 sport routes (Tracks are for Kids, 5.10; Big Bob Cranks, 5.9+; and Triceratops Tracks, 5.10c) on the lower west face on the semi-separate fin. There are no other routes on the small pinnacle containing the proposed climb, which is in the saddle due west of Dinosaur Rock’s summit. It will be possible to toprope a few variations of the Dinosaur Jr. face from its anchor (pending approval).

West face of Dinosaur Rock, showing Dinosaur Jr.

West face of Dinosaur Rock, showing Dinosaur Jr.

To access this climb, follow the Mallory Cave Trail to the point where a short climber’s trail cuts off to the left for the sport climbs on the north face: e.g., The Shaft, Milk Bone, etc. Follow the main Mallory Cave trail up two more switchbacks past here then follow an established climber-approach trail up and south through a notch. This is the trail that leads down to the west-face walk-off and the routes on the lower west face of Dinosaur Rock: Tracks are for Kids, Big Bob Cranks and Triceratops Tracks. An included photo shows the view from the saddle to The Mallory Cave Trail down along this climber’s approach trail. Once you start downhill south from the saddle, it is only 40 more feet on solid rock to reach the base of the proposed climb, Dinosaur Jr.

Climber approach trail from Mallory Cave to notch west of Dinosaur Rock summit.

Climber approach trail from Mallory Cave to notch west of Dinosaur Rock summit.

The climb is in a beautiful south-facing spot overlooking Bear Canyon, but the route won’t be visible from the Mallory Cave Trail. Rapping/lowering from the anchor will land you on an established climbers trail directly back at the base of the route, at the staging area. All recon has been done. The route has been top roped.  It is mostly near-vertical face climbing with no opportunity for natural gear placements, and so bolt protection is recommended in the form of four clips (plus possibly one optional/supplemental piece of gear between bolts 1 and 2, over the lip of the roof) to double-bolt anchors. The climbing is reminiscent of Bidoigt (a 5.10a on Der Freischutz) in length and difficulty with the exception of the start.

Staging area, Dinosaur Jr.

Staging area, Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. has a very unique start. It begins in a cave-like feature and requires some bizarre body positions and techniques to exit the steep cave and reach the face climbing. After exiting the cave, delicate balance and pebble crimping lead up the steepening face. Diagonal rails provide fun sloper holds along the way to a crux bulge about 3/4s of the way up. After the bulge there are some solid gear placements that would be optional since it’s an easy jaunt to the anchor. There is no loose rock and no notable cleaning will be required.

Chimney start to Dinosaur Jr.

Chimney start to Dinosaur Jr.

 

Upper face on Dinosaur Jr.

Upper face on Dinosaur Jr.

FHRC Overview of the application: Pending

Voting Results: Pending

OSMP Decision: Pending

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 
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Proposed New Route, 5.12a, the Goose

January 4, 2014

The proposed route, Golden Goat, is on the south/west face of the Goose, right of Sweet and Innocent. It starts by pulling a small roof onto a steep wall with powerful, reachy moves (5.11-), followed by sustained 5.10 and 5.11- climbing on vertical to slightly overhanging rock with large holds. At the top of the pitch (last 10 feet), the holds get smaller and the angle increases, requiring hard pulling on crimpy holds (5.12a crux).

West face of the Goose, showing Golden Goat and other climbs.

West face of the Goose, showing Golden Goat and other climbs.

The rock quality is good, and little or no cleaning is required.  There are only a few random natural gear placements near the line, but they are too far away to be used for this pitch, or in some cases are in more friable rock in the dark-brown roof bands. As such, placement of bolts (9 1/2″ by 2.75″ bolts) is recommended for safe lead protection.

The climbing ends on a large ledge just above the last bolt shown on the topo/photo. The proposed route includes 9 new bolts, plus two anchor bolts above the ledge on top of the pitch. The rappel anchor will consist of a bolt with a ring, plus a higher bolt with chain and ring. Climbers will be able to safely rappel or lower from this anchor using a 60-meter rope. Or the party can continue with Sweet and Innocent to the summit of the Goose. If continuing up, traverse left along a 5.7 crack about 15 feet till joining Sweet and Innocent, then follow that route approximately 80 feet to the top. Once back on the ground, reverse the approach hike described below.

Start of approach along East Ridge/Fiddlehad

Start of approach along East Ridge/Fiddlehad

There are only three existing routes in the near vicinity of the proposed route (Golden Goat). Golden Goat is a completely independent line located approximately 30 feet right of Sweet and Innocent (5.10), and is roughly 200 feet left of the route Batman (5.10b). Wild Horses (5.13a, a variation finish on Sweet and Innocent) and Raging Bull (5.12b) are also located left of the proposed line, and both share their start with Sweet and Innocent. All of these existing routes are trad with the exception of Raging Bull, which is a bolted sport climb. However, all of these existing trad routes also include bolts in addition to trad gear placements.

The approach as for the East Ridge (of Fern Canyon) is recommended, as a small climbing access trail already exists.  This approach trail leaves the main Fern Canyon trail just past the Superfresh Block. After hiking past the lower East Ridge routes, a large gap is encountered at the top (north) end of Fiddlehead… head directly east through this gap and over talus to the Goose. The base of the west face of the Goose is approximately one-half mile (15-minute hike) beyond the point above Superfresh where you leave the main Fern Canyon Trail.  The hike is mostly on rock and talus, with very little soil or duff along the way except for near the start when leaving the main trail.

Notch between Fiddlehead/East Ridge.

Notch between Fiddlehead/East Ridge.

The base of the climb is bedrock outcrops and talus, with no vegetation. There is no soil at all in the vicinity of the base of the route.

 

FHRC Overview of the application: Approved

Voting Results: Approved

OSMP Decision: Pending

Staging area below Golden Goat.

Staging area below Golden Goat.


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