Climbed Aurora with Joe Marlay and Zak Mills October 2015.
We found the pin rack to be heavy, we placed no sawed or regular Angles. Hammered a total of about 5 Lost Arrows and 15 Beaks.
I'd recomend 2 sets of Arrows 1-3, and 4 of each size beaks. Maybe a couple small angles. We placed one new head on the route and ripped two poorly placed ones, so watch them things.
I found the 2 #6s to be pretty crucial on the Bat Flake pitch. Getting through that thing was ridiculously strenuous and awkward C1, at one point I was completely stuck and thought I might need a rescue! lol
Joe thought The American Zone and The Gong Flake pitches were the cruxes, although the Gong Flake is pretty solid, the hard part is a loose block above it. The other pitches all have short sections of A3.
We were very sheltered during a storm bivid at Pitches 9 and 11. Above 12 you are exposed to runoff on the headwall.
We thought it was a fun route despite the many fixed heads, tons of needless bathook holes (WTF!?), and rusty Machine head bolts sticking way out.
Plan a night at the American Zone if you can, it's the only ledge on the route and a pretty nice one. Enjoy!
Pitch 5: replaced one anchor bolt
Pitch6: replaced two anchor bolts
Pitch 8: replaced three anchor bolts
Pitch 9: replaced three anchor bolts
Pitch 10: replaced two lead bolts, three anchor bolts
Pitch 11: replaced two lead bolts, two anchor bolts
Pitch 12: replaced five lead bolts, three anchor bolts
Pitch 13: replaced one lead bolt, three anchor bolts
Pitch 14: replaced one lead bolt,
Totals: pulled 31, placed 31
Aug 23, 2001 - 03:36pm
Suggested changes to the Aurora topo:
change recommended head rack to 30, mostly 2 & 3s—just in case.
Suggestions on each pitch:
2. you can take out the optional belay on pitch 2—there is now only one bolt there and if people need to belay that bad I’m sure they’ll know that is a good place to stop. F.y.i. the bolt is on the corner side, not the face side.
3. I would extend the lines on the topo above where it says 5.8 or c2 making a slab feature between that marking and the 5.8 or c1. the bolts are above the slab/ledge and should not be drawn as a separate anchor over to the right(though now the new bolts are on the right side of the ledge/slab). Basically just make it into a slab all the way across and show the bolts as the way you access the c1 crack/corner above. Speaking of which, how about making that crack a left-facing corner—not a big deal.
4. if you want you can show a fixed pin at the belay for pitch 4—it looked like it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
5. I would change the belay suggestions for the bat cave to "belay takes large stoppers and cams (one to two Camelot size)". There are also two fixed pins at that bee-lay. How about drawing in the chimney action on the last twenty feet of pitch 5—calling it 5.8 chimmney or c1+ no fun.
6. pitch6—I would draw the awkward section on this pitch as a chimney as well. It is more like a boot-like feature that guards the c1 crack above.
7. You could write ‘tons of fixed heads’ next to the American zone pitch. The belay takes arrows and the cams you listed.
8. Move the red tower at the beginning of pitch 8 down. There is only one bathook move off the ledge/American zone anchor to reach the tower’s crack. I would move the "5.8" words down and then add hooks the the A3 rating and put that closer to the ramp.
9. Pitch 9—start with a short vertical crack(two moves off belay) and then just go straight to A3 hooks to the second vertical line you have drawn. Shorten the first line, add hooks, leave the second line. Add more hook lines to the part in the middle and call that a3 or a3+ hooks. This might be a good pitch to call a3 sustained—an excellent choice really.
10. pitch 10—take out the second little roof and put in hook lines to reach the crack—a3 hooks. Better—just move that second little roof up above the vertical crack line. The vertical crack actually bears a little left and then you do a couple rivets to hooks to a good sized move over that second roof to reach the longer ladder. Leave in the a2 hooks section.
11. pitch11—the way we replaced the belay you just start climbing right off the top belay bolt, so you can take out the rivets at the beginning of the pitch. The moves off the rivets are blades (2).
12. pitch 12: if you can, make the gong flake a little smaller and make the a2 corner a smudge longer. More important: make the line coming down from the belay connect with the separate line shown, taking out the rivet. The crack decends down and right to a point like nipple, which the rivets lead right up to.
13. pitch 14—I don’t think people will have to stop at the corner if they are using 50 meter ropes.
14. pitch 15—ditch the ‘belay here if using 50 meter ropes’. If someone did belay short on the previous pitch I think they would/should just use the next belay and then go all the way to the ledge. I pulled that bolt anyway—the only added bolt on the trip I think was worth pulling because with the new bolts on the that pitch there is no reason why everyone doesn’t just go up to the ledge—I’m positive it can’t be more than 165’.
Aurora climbs just left of Tangerine Trip
Photo: Chris McNamara
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