Wow! I can't believe you got your Toyota mini-van to the trailhead. I also have a Sienna and I wasn't brave enough to attempt it. Just walked in from the road. Probably took about 1 hour 45 min. Not too bad.
Amazing climb. I brought 2 sets of camalots up to #3 and didn't place the #3s at all. Placed one nut at the beginning to protect the 5.9 traverse- probably a #6 or so. And I used all 5 #1 cams on the 4th pitch.
It's very hard to find the approach road at night, BTW.
As of mid April 2006, the road is in pretty bad shape about a mile before the start of the trail. We had a high clearance 4WD, but the wash was very "washed out" and was too narrow for all but a motorcycle or small jeep. The approach from where everyone was parked was about 1.5 hours.
This is a very worthwhile climb. The thin hands crack on pitch 4 is classic. The Supertopo basically describes the climb well, but recommends gear you wonít use. There is no need for stoppers or either very small or very large cams. Fred Knapp in his book recommends at least 4 #2 Friends which, in fact, is the size you will be climbing. I took 3 #2 Friends and one each of the Aliens that are slightly smaller and bigger (orange, purple). 2 yellow Aliens and 2 red Aliens round out the finger end and 2 #2.5 Friends fill in the hands. A #3 Friend is optional and is as big as you would place.
The first pitch is a boulder problem right off the ground. If you donít solo it (a bit stiff at 5.9), you can back clean the piece that protected the crux and then link pitch 2. If you belay pitch 1, then do it at the base of the chimney and not where Supertopo shows.
For rapping off, using a single 60 m rope is best. The party in front of us did long raps the year before and got the ropes stuck. They were climbing in a group of three this time and had two ropes, but they did short raps. Rap from the top to pitch 4, and then to pitch 3. From there rap to the far right end of the flake at the top of pitch 2 (Sister Squeeze). There is a good anchor there for a bolt line up the arÍte. One more rap gets you to the ground on the southeast side.
By the standards of desert talus cones, the trail is a good one and is obvious. You can get in and out quickly.
The 5.10 fingers/stemming corner leading directly into the Sister Squeeze is well worth doing. It's pretty obvious, and the crux is right near the ground. So much for warming up...
Nov 1, 2002 - 08:42pm
Great climb! Rack: (Aliens) 2 blue,2 green,3 yellow, (camalots) 3#.5, 5#.75, 3# 1, 2# 2. Didn'y use any nuts Cruxes are bouldery and the first 5.10 after the sister squeeze is a wierd cross pressure move. I thought the summit face climbing was a little more difficult than I was expecting. I ended up haveing to make kind of a wild throw for the finshing hold. One 60 meter rope will get you off the top and the first two pitches link
A view from the base.
Photo: Dougald MacDonald
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