What is the most unusual pitch youv'e climbed?


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Social climber
Feb 26, 2011 - 12:31pm PT
Definitely "Mines of Moria" at Smith Rock. You need a headlamp to find gear placements and holds. From the new guide description:

5.8 R **. Nothing at Smith compares to this claustrophobic chimney. Jam and stem to a roof and say goodbye to daylight as you enter an eerie chimney behind a missing section of column. Squirm towards the light high above and follow another hidden chimney to the top of the cliff.

From the internet:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#192618

Social climber
Feb 26, 2011 - 01:26pm PT

A weird one for me was when Woody and I were doing some climb at JTree and a huge portion of the climb was full of the MOST birdsh!t I have EVER seen...

Climbing through it was so fuking SLIPPERY and GROSS...

We had a fuking BLAST cutting up as each navigated through it...

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Feb 26, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
Tarzan In Thailand 5.9
Tarzan In Thailand 5.9
Credit: Karl Baba

Another Thailand Climb, Tarzan, 5.9 is an approach pitch to the fantastic "Humanality" which also has a bizarre surprising pitch.

But Tarzan is basically climbing this wild tree with some tied off limbs.

Later, on Humanality, you reach this blankish face that looks 5.11 when the climb is only 10b or so. You're confused for a long time until you look way behind you and see a huge stalagtite is hanging down just close enough to stem to.



Done With Tobacco
Feb 26, 2011 - 01:57pm PT
The potato patch comes to mind...

Trad climber
Davis, CA
Feb 26, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
Left Water Crack, Lembert Dome. I have never climbed anything like it, and I doubt I ever will.

Reno, NV
Feb 26, 2011 - 02:54pm PT
Second pitch on Mars Attacks in Sedona--this crazy limestone band encircling a tower of sandstone

Leading the wild pitch 2 on Mars Attacks in Sedona, AZ
Leading the wild pitch 2 on Mars Attacks in Sedona, AZ
Credit: Joe L.

Another cool photo of the traverse is here. (I don't know how to make photos linked from other websites appear on the page.)

Community Pillar in Red Rocks also had more tunneling pitches than Tunnel Vision did--cool stuff!

Can't forget to include Candyland at the Spires
Credit: Aerili


Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Feb 26, 2011 - 09:40pm PT
Credit: PhilG

Credit: PhilG

I think this one still stands as the most unusual for me.

Feb 26, 2011 - 10:37pm PT
Here's a pitch that seemed unusual to me...
Bellygood Ledge, Squamish BC.  This is where you could make a big red ...
Bellygood Ledge, Squamish BC. This is where you could make a big red smile on the rock if you blow it.
Credit: 50
M. Volland

Trad climber
Grand Canyon
Feb 26, 2011 - 11:29pm PT
May I trouble you for some Parkey?
photo not found
Missing photo ID#192678

Trad climber
Feb 28, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Mike, that's the Ames Monument. Climbed it many years ago in a wind storm. Heard its now off limits?

Mar 1, 2011 - 02:42am PT
As mentioned earlier, Tunnel Vision in Red Rocks:
Credit: OlympicMtnBoy
Climb into the dark and you eventually reach the other side.
Credit: OlympicMtnBoy
Very cool pitch.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 1, 2011 - 03:01am PT

Man that is some FUNKY looking rock!
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
Mar 1, 2011 - 11:46am PT
Some of the wierdest I can recall were 1st ascents or projects at a place called Footsteps Rocks, in The Redwood National Park complex.

"Toehold" Climbs the south tower. It was put up on a windy cold day in Jan. The Crux involves grabbing tenous bushes on a slick slab, 200 feet above the ocean. Super insecure and wandering pitch with bizarre moves / holds and exposure. But first ascents of towers in CA are rare. Had to bag it.

"2 EZ 4 Da Neighborhood" Was going to be the finishing pitch to the other bizzare one on the rock, "Undertoe". To get off the first pitch, we had to do a tyrolian traverse. THe swells were so big they would go over the rope strung between the belay and land. We had to time our speed Tyrolians to be in between sets so we would not drown. Read on...
Footsteps Rocks, Redwood NP, CA. <br/>
"Toehold" summits the left hand spi...
Footsteps Rocks, Redwood NP, CA.
"Toehold" summits the left hand spire. Route is up the right skyline slab.

Credit: Disaster Master

From an old guide to the place:
North Face of South Rock
7. TOE HOLD, 5.9. This is the only route that tops out on the South Rock, and the first ascentionists were likely the first ever to summit. Put up on lead carrying a 12-pound drill, gear, bolts & other crap. Begin with route #11, “Loner”. Next rappel or down climb from the top of the Center Rock into the notch between that rock and South Rock. The slab now looms above you. Gingerly climb onto the face of South Rock (finally) and begin wandering up the path of least resistance, clipping a number of bolts along the way. Most who try this one get gripped and find themselves choosing between slick slab moves or clawing at vegetation. The top is quite rewarding. 7 bolts. FFA: Paul Humphrey & Hiko Ito, January 1997.

8. TOO EASY FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD, 5.8. Nobody does this one. It starts through the cave formed between the South & Center Rocks. Belay from a single bolt (hanger missing). Traverse right across a gigantic chock stone to reach a horizontal crack. Place large cams as you continue right and around the corner of the stack. Belay at a station where the rock takes a turn for the worse. Reverse the pitch to escape. FFA: Paul Humphrey & Jeff Hollenbeck, 1995.

The other weird one is called "undertoe" an unfinished complete traverse of the sea stack. I used Removable Bolts on the On-Site of the completed pitches. Read the description...
East Face of South Rock
This wall is the large face of the tallest sea stack, with a dramatic roof half way up it. You can see it from the trail on the way in. Stop on the trail when you are nearly parallel to the North Rock. Look for a feint climber / fisher trail cutting down to the left. Follow this past the “Whaling Wall” to the base of the South Rock. The routes are located near the lower right side of the face.

1. UNDERTOE, 5.11? (120 ft.) The first pitch of what may one day be a complete girdle of the South Rock. Begin with the first three bolts of “Swallow the Sea” then head left out to sea. Plug in numerous 1/2” Removable Bolts on the way to the ocean arête. This route is wild! On a high surf day walls of water sweep up the face of the rock across the channel, sometimes appearing higher than the route, only to crash down beside you. Trail a second rope to Tyrolian Traverse back to land or reverse the pitch. FA: Paul Humphrey. FFA: (project).

2.SWALLOW THE SEA, 5.12b. (70 ft) Scramble cautiously down to the edge of the large boulder that leans against the right flank of the East Face. (This boulder washed away in a storm later...) Clip the 1st bolt, then step left into the air. After a three bolt traverse curve upward through a groove of crazy pockets. This one ain’t over until the anchors, with several tough spots along the way. 9 bolts. FFA: Paul Humphrey, 1997.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 21, 2013 - 01:06am PT
DM memorial bump...
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 01:49am PT
Kudos to MFM updating the Queen of Spades thread http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/417097/Queen-of-Spades-FA-Mountain-106. Not that I would know, but the 3rd pitch seems to qualify ...

Mountain climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 02:45am PT
while i didn't technically "climb" this pitch, about 100m of "spelunking" in an approximately 2.5-3.5' diameter cave/tube stands out. the tube is entered after about 8 or so short, loose and meandering pitches next to takkakaw falls [near field, bc] and when you exit you are directly above the first large water drop.

foreshortened view of the takkakaw falls route
foreshortened view of the takkakaw falls route
Credit: nah000

approaching the cave entrance
approaching the cave entrance
Credit: nah000

Credit: nah000


Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Apr 21, 2013 - 10:06am PT
I always liked this pitch on the Gold Wall
Credit: RP3

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 10:44am PT
The womb fight in the black canyon. A traversing chossy squeeze chimney at the top of the canyon. It might be 5.7 or it might be 4th class, who knows? But it is rad!
KP Ariza

Apr 21, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
Never climbed it but I did see a photo intensive trip report of an entire chimney pitch behind the wall of the second pitch of Reeds Dierct. Preaty bizarre and clausterphobic to think about.

Social climber
The land of ice, snow and rocks
Apr 21, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
Refried Brains on the Black Velvet Wall.
I think it is the 3rd pitch in this corner with huecos that had absolutely bizarre geometry.
Really wish I had pics, but it was freezing when we climbed it (the route gets very little sun.)
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