2nd pitch crux is hard, period. The rest of the pitch is also hard. Corner pitch seems harder than it is because you are so worked from the 2nd pitch, but the fixed gear at the crux sure helps. All the bolts seemed bomber.
Corner pitch stays dry in the rain!!! About the most amazing route we've done in years - laybacking up the corner, it's pouring rain all over - thunder blasting - sheets of rain flying behind us - the Graham Roof turns into a water fall! And yet... the corner stayed bone dry!
Bring a couple 1" - 1 1/2" tri-cams for the belay at the base of the corner. That way the leader can bring all the cams up on lead.
The bolt shown in the topo at the base of the corner is gone (poor chop job, the bolt is still there, but not usable). The old double bolts to the right of, half way up the corner are also gone.
SPOILER: There are currently three fixed pieces where the corner gets harder. You need a little bit of smaller pro (yellow, red alien) at the top of the layback pitch.
did the route on the end of august whit my daughter 13 years old. small pro not bad on the starting run out (1 micro nut and 1 metolius 00). one difficult move in the middle of 2 pitch with a bad old bolt. no old belay bolts in the middle of the corner. great news pro on the traverse left, thank you. very nice route, most difficult than crescent arch or lucky streaks, one of the best in tuolomne.
I know what you mean when saying that the .10c is soft. But IMHO it's soft only if you're pretty fit and have been doing a lot of cracks. It was rated .10d for years and no one quibbled about the rating, and that's when it was traditionally broken up in two pitches (and not just pro'd with passive gear). By way of reference, the .10a traverse out of the book was then rated 5.8. Still, personally, I don't think it's any easier than e.g., the Good Book.
I climbed this again a couple of years ago after spending a fair bit of time in the gym but very little outside. I found the crux fairly short, but you've got to be able to move quickly and not place a lot of pro for a .10c rating to stick. Not something the gym preps you for. Am I quibbling too much?
Mentioned this in a forum thread - I replaced those 3 pro bolts on the 10a traverse (last pitch) about a month ago.
I also thought 10c was a bit soft for the corner - but just think - Dale Bard did it before cams!! Doing it on nuts and hexes would definitely be old-school 10c...
Also - side note on an earlier comment - the "glue-in bolts" half way along the Gram Traverse are actually Metolius mechanical bolts, somewhat similar to Diamond Tapers in design (but better). They were only made for a short time. There are also a couple on top of the Nurdle/Knob Job section of Pat & Jack (anchor for Book 'Em Dano). Like most glue-in designs, biners can unclip themselves from the bolt if levered upward (hard to visualize but easy to demonstrate), and I heard that an accident of that sort at Smith is why they were discontinued.
1st pitch has "bouldery" start, with 1st protection ~15' up. Steep but well protected thereafter.
2nd pitch has new bolts, well spaced. 1st bolt is 3' above belay, to protect both belayer and leader for a steep mantle move. Nice move!
3rd pitch is the reason to do the route. The Reid/Falkenstein topo shows 2 pitches. You can link them with a 60m. Moreover, you avoid the mid-way hanging belay off 2 old 1/4" bolts. This pitch is clean, sustained "off-fingers", and takes many green & purple sized camalots.
4th pitch. Would be nice to replace the 2 old 1/4" bolts, also, be careful of the 2 large loose blocks are you turn the arete to the left.
Take your lunch, as there is a great oasis at the top, then go on to do Hobbit Book, which feels like a walk in the park after Oz.
OZ continues up and left to the summit while the Gram Traverse follows the roof out right.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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