Keenan Waeschle and I climbed this last week. Great route, one of the best locations on the Captain, imo.
For rack, we only brought 2 each of Camalots 2,3, and 4...and never needed a 3rd as supertopo suggests, for that matter I think we could have gotten by with doubles on everything, maybe tripples on small offset sizes. We brought 2 #5s and 1 #6 which Kennan slugged up in the Chimney. For pins we mostly placed beaks, and the large ones work in most places, I'd suggest 3 sm, 4md, and 6lg Beaks. We only placed maybe 1 baby angle, 3 sawed angles (3/4-1") and 3 or 4 lost Arrows on the route, and no knifeblades. One set of offset nuts would have been plenty. One set of hooks with 2 pointed maybe would have been fine. The TMoses Keyhole hangers work well on the machinehead rivets but also bring some cinchers for some of the dowels that protrude WAY out.
We re-placed 7 new anchor bolts and removed many ancient anchor bolts, though many still remain. 1 new bolt was placed at Pitches 6,7,9,10,11,12,15. There are now 2 good bolts at most belays, although a few of the last pitches have only 1 still because we ran out. In any case the good bolts can be backed up with natural gear or a mess of old bolts. We forgot patch material so the next party may want to bring a patch kit and tuning forks for the remaining rusty 1/4 inchers.
I have to disagree with Mark about the crux pitch. There are sectons of pitch 15 and 16 that require heads in my book. Not to get into a discussion in the beta section, but I wouldn't consider it a "travesty" when the right tools are used for the job.
The route also has tons of poor lead rivets, some of the worst I've seen...so I would bring at least an emergency bolt kit also.
One piece of bivi spot advice, if you stop on Grey Ledges...go about 30 ft above the upper Grey Ledges bivi towards the Pinnacle. There are a set of bolts and nice flat ledge up there. We set up low and had trouble lowering out the bags the next day, they got hung up and eventually cut loose causing about a 30ft haulbag whipper straight onto the pully. BAD! There is some loose looking rock in that corner so avoid what we did and take care not to trundle down onto the Heart fixed ropes...
Be sure to stop at P8 bivi, killer spot.
I took one fall when a rusty old fixed BD Pecker #2 cable broke. Watch those things!
Enjoy, definitely a route worth doing. Best A3 route on the Captain? Well I dunno about that, I'd argue for South Seas/PO...but still really nice, top notch for sure. The rock quality is excellent. Overall it felt a bit easier then South Seas, Shortest Straw, and Zenyatta Mondata....bit I wouldn't call it a "trade route."
Cheyne Lempe and I climbed this very good, mostly moderate route, in three days from the ground (with bags pre-hauled to Mammoth) recently.
We cleaned all of the tat off the route, using a 25 foot, 5 mil cord, threaded directly through the eye of the bolt, piton, head or nut, to lower out with, hauled off a couple of cans and old water bottles and removed five adventure stealing heads, which we climbed past via clean gear.
Although the route is described as "moderate" I wouldn't suggest the route to climbers of moderate abilities. The route traverses a fair amount, climbing sideways, swinging sideways and has fairly awkward, but not difficult, free climbing on a few pitches. Moreover, someone could really ruin the second Headwall pitch by placing copperheads into it. Right now it's a beautiful, difficult A3+ or A4 beak pitch. Placing heads on it would be a real travesty.
As usual, the ST rack is more gear than you will ever use. I'd suggest cutting the pins by 1/3, taking no heads, and fewer cams overall.
I have to be snarky here, you don't need an 8 or 12" piece, just learn to free climb, it's really only 5.8.
The anchors on the route each have at least one modern, 3/8" bolt and no anchor is unsafe, but certainly antiquated.
The anchors there now suffer from a severe lack of planning. At one anchor there are four 1/4" bolts within a two foot span. If someone goes up there on a bolting mission, please, please, please, plan the anchors for hanging bags and portaledges from. My suggestion would be three 3/8" bolts, placed in a horizontal line, two feet apart, spanning a total of four feet. Please, please, please, get a tuning fork from Greg at the ASCA or have one made. Don't go up there and fire in more bolts and make a bigger mess than there already is.
*What is "Route Beta"?
It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's
the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo
guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant
information to share after a climb.