Supertopo description of gear in cracks in p1 is very misleading. You're basically going to be soloing until very close to the top, where you can fish a good medium nut in the back if you're skinny (if you've made it that far without any pro, it's kind of a waste of time--it's tight/awkward back there--at 5'6" 130 lbs--and the climbing above lets up soon). And as mentioned below, it's a sandbag, although the moves are pretty secure.
We battled swarms of mosquitoes and ants last weekend to get on this climb... like most off-sized cracks, you don't have to worry about crowds of climbers!
The first pitch was difficult at the start; I used foot stacks and an armbar to get up the first ~10 feet... pulled on the arete as well. Whether going deep inside the chimney or staying near the arete, the rock is sufficiently featured to provide good purchase for your feet and palms. I felt I could rest anywhere inside the chimney.
Definitely bring your kneepads or wear a sturdy pair of pants for this one... and a long-sleeved shirt. If the mosquitoes don't eat you alive, the crack will!
The arete tapers down near the top to give you some good handholds with which to finish the chimney. The only pro on this pitch are a small TCU and/or nut, both near the top of the chimney.
The second pitch had me swearing like a sailor, but I enjoyed it. It isn't hands to fists, like the description says... it's off-hands to off-fists... yikes! There are just enough features outside the crack to give your feet some options. I felt pretty secure with an armbar or chicken-wing inside the crack, save a couple moves.
This pitch is super physical! Wished we brought two #4 camalots for this... don't skimp on the wide pro!
This route finishes at the top of Doggie Deviations. You'll need a 60m rope to rap to the ground from here.
First pitch (sandbag 5.7 chimney) is great squeeze training. Definitely best done as toprope. (Anyone do this pitch way inside? We climbed it near the edge using off-width and chimney techniques.)
Second pitch is beautiful. Good introduction to off-fist (very sustained). McNamara says gear up to 4" on this pitch. I wish I had brought up my 4.5" too. Certainly bring at least 2 each 3" to 4" if you're not really comfortable leading off-fist. More than once used double-hand jams.
The 10a off-width that people are talking about to the left is called "Doggie Do." It's hilarious.
Unless I got the wrong route, first pitch (squeeze chimney/offwidth depending on your size) at 5.7 is a huge sandbag. That being said, it's good training. You can easily walk to the top 3rd class and set up a toprope. There's another 5.10a flaring offwidth which goes from difficult to impossible.
In case you're wondering if I just don't have the technique, I've done Ahab, and I don't believe the Braille Book is rated hard, so I have some points of reference.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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