Loved this route. The 2nd pitch was heady but not crazy so and/or unsafe. I think the element for the second would be nearly equal. I'd second following the ST guide for the 2nd pitch belay about the 2 bolts and immediately below the roof. I did not and regretted the epic it created for the second on following this with rope lock.
The second pitch wasn't as intimidating as I thought it'd be since every difficult slab move is right after clipping a solid bolt. However, if your follower isn't very confident they will get spooked on the first difficult mantle move. They need to clean the bolt before trying the move and if they blow it they'll swing.
It's easy enough to set up the belay for the roof right at the beginning of the roof. That'll keep the potential for rope drag to a minimum.
The fourth pitch crux was short and relatively straight forward. It helps to have small cams ready for a quick plug and go.
On the last pitch we took the easy exit to the right, past a big tree and up easy 5th. It's probably the quickest way off!
If there are parties in your way, consider doing Cyclone, a new route we established last fall to the right of the Sting. I wated to rate it old-school 5.9+ but got vetoed by friends so we're calling it 10b...here's the beta:
You can top it out via either Sausalito Archie's Overhang or Third World, or just rap twice with a 60m (watch rope ends, it's close - and watch out for the sharp hidden branches in the juniper tree at the ground).
Pitch 2 has a few pitons, and more bolts than the Reid guide lists (I imagine these are listed in the supertopo, but I haven't seen it yet). Be sure to move far right, as the bolts just above you are on a different route!
3/4 of the way up pitch 2 you will encounter a 2 bolt belay station. Keep going! Belaying from here for the roof pitch is a bad idea. Your rope drag will be horrendous. Instead, keep going to the crack (easy) and belay under the roof.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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