The Line, Lover's Leap, East Wall 5.9
Avg time to climb route: 3 hours
Approach time: 15 minutes
Descent time: 15 minutes
Number of pitches: 3
Height of route: 400'
OverviewThe Line is the most popular and striking route at Lover’s Leap. The name says it all: the climb follows a plumb line up the center of the East Wall that would not be possible to miss. The name also speaks to the three or more climbers you will have to wait behind before starting. The Line offers a delicious mixture of lieback, stem, and face moves with the occasional straight-in jam. After thousands of ascents, the rock is has been buffed to perfection—no dirt or grit here. Paul Piana sums up the climb nicely, “Best 5.9 I’ve ever done. Great pro everywhere after the first 20 feet. Hold up a rack and it sucks in a nut.
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HistoryFA: TM Herbert, Doug Tompkins, 1966.
FFA: Tom Higgins, Frank Sarnquist, 1968.
StrategyRoyal Robbins describes the first pitch as “the best pitch at The Leap, and one of the ten best pitches I have done anywhere.” The powerful 5.9 crux of The Line comes mercifully just 20 feet off the ground. From there, the first pitch remains sustained for another 130 feet to the belay. Luckily, several stances give ample opportunity to place pro and shake out. There are a few belay options but, if there are people behind you, belay high.
The second pitch is long and sustained with the occasional awkward crux and short runout. Stem as much as possible and be patient at the crux 5.9 bulge.
The third pitch turns a wild 5.8 roof on big holds to unrelenting exposure to the rim.
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