Archive for the ‘2010 September’ Category

New 5.13/14, Southwest Arete, the Maiden

October 1, 2010

The proposed route climbs on and near the Maiden’s overhanging southwest arête. The following description accompanies the photo below.

There are two possible ways this route could go. The applicant has inspected the route on rappel and climbed the upper section free. The upper section climbs on the steep face just right of the right arête of the west face. Because of the overhanging angle, it is impossible to inspect and climb the lower section. At the very least the upper portion of the route can be done by climbing the first 25ft. of the West Overhang (using trad gear to protect that section) and then climbing rightwards across the slab to the arete. This is the red line and would require the placement of the two bolts marked in blue. However, it looks like it may be possible to climb the arête (yellow line) directly below the upper line. The feasibility of this can only be determined once the bolts on the upper wall are installed. This direct version is preferred if it goes, and would require the bolts indicated in yellow. In terms of difficulty, the upper section is mid-range 5.13. The traverse (blue bolts) is in the 5.12- range. The direct start, if it goes free, appears to be anywhere from 5.13 to 5.14. The attached image depicts the number of bolts required for each variation.

The applicant’s approach in establishing this climb would be to first install all the bolts on the upper section (red bolts). Once those are installed he’ll be able to determine if the direct line (yellow) is climbable. If he can climb this (yellow) and it is not significantly harder than the upper section, he will install only the yellow bolts and not install those marked with blue. But if the direct start is significantly harder, it could be worth adding the blue bolts to make the upper section of the route accessible at an easier grade. If the direct line does not go, the applicant will install the blue bolts to protect the traverse accessing the upper section.

The staging area for this route is the same as that of the West Overhang. The route is just over 100ft. long and would thus require a 70m rope (unless the second follows the pitch). The nearest bolt on this new route would be approximately 15’ from the West Overhang route and thus would not interfere or cause confusion with that route. The applicant has inspected the route for natural-protection options and found only marginal placements in questionable rock (at the chocolate-colored band at midpoint).

The style of climbing involves steep and very physical pulling on edges and sidepull features. The rock is very sound throughout and will not require much, if any, cleaning.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete
Voting Results: Approved
OSMP Decision: Pending

Pebble Proj, the Hand, Dinosaur Mountain

July 23, 2010

The proposed route is on the South Face of the Hand, climbing the  green, pebbled streak forty feet right of the first pitch of Rock Atrocity. The climb will end at 75 feet over a finishing bulge and looks to be a very sustained power-endurance climbing on small holds up overhanging rock.

The climb begins with a hard boulder-problem start moving right to shallow pockets and pebbles in a groove-like feature, then goes straight up the green streak on pebbles and crimps to a finishing mini-bulge. The climb is continuously overhanging and difficult with little opportunity to rest, save a nice stance before the finishing bulge. The rock is well-featured with small holds throughout, solid, and visually appealing. Applicant estimates a very hard opening boulder problem to continuously difficult moves in the streak/rib to sustained 5.12+ up high.

There is no safe way to rig a toprope for this climb. The top of this pitch sits eighty feet below and forty feet to the side from the nearest anchor, on the summit of the Hand Flatiron. Even if there were was a way to build a natural anchor for this climb in the scoop directly above it, the overhanging wall below provides no natural protection and the climber would swing violently into the ascending slab behind the route. At present, it is too dangerous to work the moves; however, it is possible to closely inspect the route from the nearby slab and see that the quality of the stone is excellent and that there are positive holds for the entire pitch.

The only way to approach this a climb is to install an anchor directly above the line, halfway up the Hand’s south face, and to use three or more  directional bolts (ideally sited where one will end up clipping anyway) to sort out the moves and the best line. The total estimated bolt count will be eight bolts to double-bolt anchors.

The staging area will be the same as for Power Bulge/Back in Slacks/Rock Atrocity, an established, flat staging area directly below the formation and with no vegetation. There is no possibility for natural protection, and the applicant proposes using all-stainless half-inch hardware.

FHRC Overview of the application: Application withdrawn.
Voting Results:
OSMP Decision:

New First Bolt, Street Hassle, Dinosaur Mountain

July 23, 2010

The proposed route addition would be for a new first bolt on Street Hassle (5.12c), Frankenstein’s Castle, Dinosaur Mountain. The climb at present has four bolts, the first one being 20-plus feet off the ground. This new bolt would bring the total to five bolts.

At the time of the first ascent, the applicant and his friend, who established the climb, thought the opening crux sequence should just go as a boulder problem. However, repeat ascents have almost invariably taken advantage of a long stick clip or climbed between the tree and the rock (scary) to pre-clip the first bolt, as the crux comes eight feet off the ground on very insecure, small holds. The applicant recalls that “We didn’t really know what we were doing, and being young didn’t mind taking multiple ground falls off the bouldery start. If we had known better we would have bolted it correctly.” When one stands below the route, it is obvious that the first bolt is simply missing.”The applicant says he would have added a first bolt long ago if not for the bolting ban (through 2003) in the Flatirons and feels that this aspect of the route, if not really unsafe, is not in keeping with other (sport) routes in the immediate area.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete
Voting Results: Approved
OSMP Decision: Pending


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