What is the ultimate slab route?


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Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 2, 2010 - 06:30pm PT
Isn't Solid Gold - the first pitch, anyway - almost all edging on sharp flakes, on a fairly steep wall? The second pitch is a flake crack, then a traverse crack that leads to the top.

Trad climber
Dec 2, 2010 - 06:35pm PT
The Last Tango, Whitehorse Ledge, NH

Credit: Tye

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 06:39pm PT
"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."

For myself, I would modify this to say that the joy of slab is in getting away, just barely, with moves on holds so tenuous as to be almost unbelieveable to you. And when you're done, you feel a bit mentally taxed. It doesn't matter what the rating or run-out-ness is, whatever rating evokes that feeling in you.

Is that masochistic?

In Yosemite the pitches that have stuck in my mind are the ones on the south flank of Daff in TM, with those amazing glassy patches, and things like Dead Babies and Lean Years on GPA. Another slab that has stuck in my mind over the years as being very satisfying was one called Spud meets Hammerhead, in City of Rocks, Idaho.

The most mentally shattered and satisfied at the same time I've ever been after a slab was after the 11.c pitch on Piece de Resistance on Fairview, and I didn't even lead that one. I was already feeling a bit mentally taxed going into it from leading a few of the pitches before that. My partner, Chan, and I were trading off wearing the pack. He had just onsighted the crux pitch lead, calling out at one point, "I can't believe I'm doing these moves". I seconded, acutely aware of the disturbance of equilibrium of the pack, that slight sway with every move, and just got away with not falling by the slimmest of margins. I'm ashamed to admit that I was so mentally shattered after that pitch that I declined to lead anything else on the route, even though the hard climbing was over. Chan was annoyed to have to lead the rest of the pitches and I don't blame him - it's not good to let a partner down like that.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Dec 2, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
Ask Bridwell.

Dec 2, 2010 - 07:10pm PT
Wings of Steel?
A to Z

Dec 2, 2010 - 07:34pm PT
Looking Glass and Stone mountain have good slab climbing. The kind of slap moves that have no handholds and it is all footwork friction. Slab always gets good when it becomes climbing from foot dish to foot dish and not worrying about any handolds, just a palm down mantle move now and then and smearing away. In my opinion it seems like a lot of "slab" climbs are just low angle face. If there is an edge to crimp even with finger nails it is loosing slabness.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:34pm PT
Grace under Pressure..

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:38pm PT
Stick to what??? (Only Josh 5.9er though).

There are tons in Josh, I haven't read the whole thread....

Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:45pm PT
All of Hensel's stuff is the sh#t. Period .
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Dec 2, 2010 - 08:46pm PT
I'm not sayin' ultimate, but here are a couple good ones.

Stoner's Highway-Middle C.

Wind Rider- Portal Butt.

No Pie A-la-Mode- Portal

La Jolla- Mex.

Autobahn- 1/2 Dome

Figures on a ...-JT

Golden Eagle-Margaritaville

The Edge- Tahquitz

Serpentine- Suicide

Rock Warrior- Black Velvet


Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:01pm PT
Wings of Steel? Donít start this sh#t again. Although Mark and Richard are Brass ball climbers. I think we have heard enough.



Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:25pm PT
The one with a 100' offwidth roof in it.

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:29pm PT
Ciebola, Medlicott Dome

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:36pm PT
Not sure about "ultimate", but...

I always think of Suicide Rocks when I think of slab. Some great ones already mentioned there, but I'd add Rebolting Development and Season's End.

Matt M

Trad climber
Alamo City
Dec 2, 2010 - 09:55pm PT
Pretty sure Hall of Mirrors has had more than two Ascents. One of the guys I learned from said (If I remember correctly so don't hold him too it if I get this wrong) he did it and it was a "career climb" for him. Tony Calderone is his name.

Squamish Slab: Dream Symphony link up, Magic Carpet Ride (yet to do)

Big Wall climber
Smartsville, Ca
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
I have to echo the suicide climbs and add "surprise"... Not hard but fun slab for sure.

Morracan roll
Burning giraffes
The grove
Fear and loathing
English breakfast squirrel
Jolly rancher
All you can eat

And it was mentioned unthread but the edge at tahquits has to be top five!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:33pm PT
Somebody mentioned Stoner's Highway. That's a fine one.

Tightrope on GPA is a five star classic. Anyone else done it?

No, tell all. I've done almost everything on the apron within my capability so there must be a devil in the details on that one. I won't give five star classic status to any death route btw.

Table of contents btw, super nice.



aging malcontent
Dec 2, 2010 - 10:48pm PT
I did Tightrope with Todd Tremble about 20 years ago. Sustained and runout, but that was back when i was sportin a hone.
We used to call it face climbing. Heres my list:
J tree:
Black Tide
stick to what
7th heaven

season's end

The valley:
Coonyard pinnacle
Snake Dike

too many to list

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:00pm PT
Freewheelin' on Middle Cathedral is my current favorite

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Dec 2, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
Check this out...Slab Daddy (V 5.10+ A0) Squire Creek Wall near Darrington, Washington. I haven't done it but "50" who posts here sometimes did it with one of his buddies last summer.

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