The bolts at the first pitch anchor were recently replaced with stainless ASCA hardware: 5-piece bolts and double-ring hangers. Here’s what the old bolts look like. These rap-rings were not well equalized (due to the location of the bolts) and the 5/16” buttonhead came out fairly easily. The original 3/8” hole on the left was reused and a new hole was drilled to the right because of the poor location of the 5/16” hole, which was then patched.
Gary, Steve and I were playing around on it last summer, very nice climb, and probably better as a two pitch climb then one pitch. It is nicer to have your belayer near by if you skid of the crux and take a great slide down the golden glacier polish! Steve lead the crux in bold style.
Off of the rap chains we set up a two rope top-rope and did Hogwash (5.10c) to the right of Great Circle and pretty much directly under the chains (something like 150' to the ground). There is a 5.11a, "It Is Finished" which has the same start as Hogwash but diagonals up to the first belay station on Great Circle. The Falkenstein topo does not conform to the current reality as the route has been "re-engineered" (two bolts on the first pitch, two bolts at the belay station, two bolts on your way to the top, two bolts on top).
The climbing is really wonderful, on all these climbs. Great Circle has a crack which ends and transitions to delicate face climbing, I think this transition is the first crux. The second crux is getting over a bulge after working up on the thin edges of rock fall scars in the glacier polish.
On Hogwash, you work the edges, face and friction moves the whole way.
Most people who come to this area are working the multiple cracks on "Honeymoon's Over" (5.8) and not the face climbs...
This climb, plus fingertips and alimony cracks, can make a great finish to your day while walking down from the Daff raps.
I thought that this climb was fairly well protected by meadows standards, but is quite slippery at the 10a crux. This route can be done in one long 165' pitch with careful rope management.
There are at least two and possibly more slab climbs below the anchors for this route. Memory is fading quickly these days, but I seem to remember that they were both in the 5.10 - 5.11 range. At any rate, with some slings and a draw or two on a couple of bolts as directionals they could be easily TRed after climbing Great Circle.
The South Flank routes are located in the tree-filled area in the center of the photo.
Photo: Greg Barnes
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