Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 17, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
This is the same text as my beta for Sunkist but I figured I'd post it here so that my points might be discussed if anyone cares to.
Cheyne Lempe and I climbed this very good, mostly moderate route, in three days from the ground (with bags pre-hauled to Mammoth) recently.
We cleaned all of the tat off the route, using a 25 foot, 5 mil cord, to lower out with, hauled off a couple of cans and old water bottles and removed five adventure stealing heads, which we climbed past via clean gear.
Although the route is described as "moderate" I wouldn't suggest the route to climbers of moderate abilities. The route traverses a fair amount, climbing sideways, swinging sideways and has fairly awkward, but not difficult, free climbing on a few pitches. Moreover, someone could really ruin the second Headwall pitch by placing copperheads into it. Right now it's a beautiful, difficult A3+ or A4 beak pitch. Placing heads on it would be a real travesty.
As usual, the ST rack is more gear than you will ever use. I'd suggest cutting the pins by 1/3, taking no heads, and fewer cams overall.
I have to be snarky here, you don't need an 8 or 12" piece, just learn to free climb, it's really only 5.8.
The anchors on the route each have at least one modern, 3/8" bolt and no anchor is unsafe, but certainly antiquated.
The anchors there now suffer from a severe lack of planning. At one anchor there are four 1/4" bolts within a two foot span. If someone goes up there on a bolting mission, please, please, please, plan the anchors for hanging bags and portaledges from. My suggestion would be three 3/8" bolts, placed in a horizontal line, two feet apart, spanning a total of four feet. Please, please, please, get a tuning fork from Greg at the ASCA or have one made. Don't go up there and fire in more bolts and make a bigger mess than there already is.
It's a little groove that some very large heads would fill. Given that the route is three decades old and not beat to sh#t like the Shield, beaks, intelligently placed, will preserve its quality for a long time to come.
I would rather see people use a heavy hand with beaks, deepening and widening the crack, maybe eventually creating hand placed beaks or creative beak/nut combinations placements than have an ugly and no challenge ladder of heads.
Go with four each of those. Don't take doubles of any pins and you won't need any heads. Maybe take one of each in case one blows, although they all looked pretty solid. The A5 arch is the only place where they are really needed and it was all fixed.
Take a bolt kit and replace some bolts, and tuning forks to pull some.