Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 8, 2012 - 07:27pm PT
I want to do Aquaman on Bubbs Creek wall this summer the day after I climb Charlotte Dome. Has anyone topped it out? All of my books say it's 5.10+ III or IV, but I heard the first ascent stopped 200 ft short of the summit after the 5.10 OW pitch. Was it just to rap the route, or is there something up there I should know about? Thanks!
About a dozen years ago, my friend and I climbed about half way up. I forgot how many pitches, but we decided to bail because of the lack of rap anchors, and we didn't have enough webbing for all the raps off bushes, and a couple of them were kinda sketchy. The pitches we climbed were all really good (mostly 5.8-5.9), and we thought that if someone added some good rap anchors, it would be well worth it. I'd say it's a diamond in the rough!
Of course we didn't top out on it, so I don't know if the finish sucks or not, but I bet it's a lot more than 200 feet since you can't see it all from below. There's a lot of low angle slab, and a burly downclimb to Charlotte Creek.
"The main reason is the big long off-width pitch that we did not have enough gear for. It was also getting late and we did not want to do an all-nighter on an unfamiliar descent. Seems like a good route to rap rather than descend off the top, however we only placed a couple of rap bolts because we used mostly slings on natural anchors (horns, chockstones) for our descent. Very enjoyable mostly moderate climbing up to our high point (the OW) as I recall. I think we called it Aquaman because it could be wet in the early season." - R. Leversee
There ya have it...some mo' O/W (hog trough) to the top. Probably worth topping out on. The descent off of Bubbs (as Leversee & I experienced later) is cake.
Really fun route, the only bummer is that it climbs probably 3/4 of the wall and ends further than a couple hundred feet from the top.
The OW at the top looks awesome except for the moisture and moss that we suspect is there year round. Because of that we didn't top it out and I don't think it would be worth the effort if it's permanently wet.
We brought gear to replace/reinforce the rap anchors but the rain and thunder motivated a quick retreat so we used about 30 ft of webbing instead.
Again, really great 8 pitches in an awesome place! But, I think the top is permanently wet and the rap anchors are sketchy.
Oh ya, and we did an alternate 5.9 A0 start on an accident and I broke my fingernail in the process.
Yeah, too bad about the finish. But that way you get to rap, instead of a long walk off. Good anchors would be sweet. I've done the first 4 pitches and thought the climbing was very good and awesome wilderness feeling out there.
I think the only way I will ever go back to attempt Aquaman is if I recruit PellucidWombat to lead the OW pitch and wear a wetsuit. When I got to the anchors on top of the 5.10+ pitch all I saw was fresh green moss and a lot of moisture. Seemed like there is a permanent flow from above. Possibly same thing onto the Beckey route. The water streak there is bigger from the distance. At some point would be nice to check out anyway.