What is the ultimate slab route?


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Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 2, 2010 - 03:00am PT
Two contenders have been posited in the Southern Belle thread.

Being a lover of slabs, I find the question really interesting.

what are the criteria?

Peter tossed out these ideas for SB...

length, placement, difficulty, history, quality of rock, nature of the climbing, drama.
Clint added Hall of Mirrors...

especially in the smooth and edging departments. It has had only one repeat.
but indicated also...

Southern Belle is harder, has the hard crack climbing start, and of course is notorious for being more runout than the Bachar-Yerian.

For a single pitch slab climb? less than 90 degrees, preferably with the fewest features possible, so knob climbs may be out.

Let me throw out a controversial idea to get the ball rolling....

the Grack Marginal

I'm biased toward this one. What would make another line better?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:03am PT
Lembert Dome.

Trad climber
carsoncity nv
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:21am PT
Crested jewel, North dome

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:28am PT
First Pitch of Rainy Day Woman at Stone Mountain. (NC)

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:30am PT
I guess "ultimate" is going to be relative to the skills of the beholder and how strong/fresh the memories are. For me, Goodrich Pinnacle Right Side is the latest...

It had me saying stuff like "Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass" and "Take the Leap of Faith", while thinking of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when I was strung out on lead committed on fingernails and squeaky wet rubber.

Dec 2, 2010 - 03:50am PT
Table of Contents, Stately Pleasure Dome

Excellent slab, quality rock, and relatively moderate in terms of difficulty for us "mere mortal" climbers.


Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:51am PT
Lucifer's to the Oasis is one of my favorites, not hardest for sure. (5.9) long run outs as I recall, But a great line.

A nice bit of writing about the route by Karl Baba. http://www.yosemiteclimber.com/LucifersLedgeSolo.html

Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 2, 2010 - 03:57am PT
Only one repeat on Hall of Mirrors?

Dec 2, 2010 - 04:05am PT
I don't know about "ultimate", but some memorable ones are:
Rawl Drive in Tuolumne: scary!
Smoke Screen at Cal Domes: fun
Miroir d'Argentine in Switzerland: long cruiser
Honeymoon in Almo at Castle Rocks State Park, ID: short but fun


Dec 2, 2010 - 04:07am PT
Southern Belle is no slab route.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 2, 2010 - 04:18am PT
care to elaborate?

are you saying it's not pure slab, so it is disqualified?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 04:33am PT

> Only one repeat on Hall of Mirrors?

Read all about it here:

Trad climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 04:46am PT
I kinda like this one my self
I kinda like this one my self
Credit: o-man

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 04:53am PT
Ivan Couch
Ivan Couch
Credit: dogtown
The classic Valhalla (5.11) at T&S also comes to mind as well.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 2, 2010 - 06:24am PT

Galactic Hitchhiker, Short approach, dozens of pitches, great views and you finish at the railing of Glacier point and Hitchhike down!


Crest Jewel with the direct start is pretty bitchin and great rock.


Check you Natraj you fools. Very few ascents of a great climb!


Hall of Mirrors has an ultimateness about it. One of the only routes where my shoes squeeked on the granite polish. (didn't get past pitch 7 ever though)

SOme longs ones over on Arches Apron are amazing too



Spider Savage

Mountain climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:59am PT
Suicide Rock, especially the Weeping Wall, has an abundance of fun slab routes.

I think the ultimate slab is hard but not that steep because the joy of slabbing is facing the fear of the unspeakable consequences of the low-angle fall.

Nice low angle slab out at my favorite choss-pile:
Hyperion Slab at Texas Canyon. A fun & easy romp.
Hyperion Slab at Texas Canyon. A fun & easy romp.
Credit: Spider Savage

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:00am PT
As an aside, I find it interesting that slabs were considered cool stuff 30 years ago, certainly not trivial, but something with the right approach in your head, you could develop the style and mental/emotional strength to do well. Now, 99% of the climbers around here are really quite good at the sport thing, like doing 12s and 13s and some even 14s, but they think slab climbing is absolutley insane and scary and make all sorts of vague statements about how they're going out to Lankin Dome and Moonstone and get on those 10s (because holy sh#t, I'm a 5.12 climber and I can't let this 58 year old geezer skunk me on some low angle 5.10, heavens no), but they never seem to make the trip. I'm not all that great on the sport thing, it sometimes hurts too much to throw around 180lbs on that stuff, but it gives me an evilly good feeling inside to still be good at something they are totally freaked about. HEEHEEHEE.
Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:07am PT
How about Beacons From Mars at Cal Dome? I have only done the first 3 pitches but they certainly got my attension.
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:13am PT
yea, weeping wall--sweet tastes of old slab.

has hensel's Someone You're Not ever been repeated?

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
Lots of great candidates here! and oooooh yeah Ron is right about the incredibly high quality of those routes on Lo-cal (Hammer) Dome; for that matter, LOTS of the slab routes in the Cal Dome area are incredibly good. We went over to Set the Controls or the other one next to it, 20-25 years ago, these routes weren't in some bootleg topos I'd somehow gotten a copy of (probably originated with Smith or Crawford or somebody - or maybe Ron!), so we had no idea of where routes went, rating, or anything. Figured we'd just follow the bolts and climb. First pitch of some kind of 10 went fine, but the next one, it was about two zip codes from each set of two little bitty black bumps where the leader had drilled, to the next. And what fantastic climbing in between! Seemed you could hardly clip even if there were more bolts. Two, three of these runouts went great, but at the end of the last one before it was obvious the difficulty was about to ease off a lot, I just couldn't keep enough focus to accomplish the thumbtip/toe mantle to stand up and clip, and ....aiiieeeeeeee! the big butt-slide. Wanted to get back on it all these years, and do all the others too. Great place.
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