a few friends got on this yesterday and I had to beg them to bring a 70 meter rope to rap off.
sure enough there 70 meter barely made it to the ground.
they also stayed left and were convinced of a 5.10- rating.
I've never gone that way so I don't know but the moral of the story is
A 70 meter cord will get you to the ground.
ohh - and they kept knocking fairly large rocks off the top which is very loose.
if you do the rap be very careful or just yell at folks to get out of the way becouse the trundling may not be avoidable.
The ST topo is confusing. I used a large cam (Camalot #4) to protect the crux move on the "steep 5.8 hands," which seemed much harder than 5.8. My son and I both thought it was at least 5.10a, compared with other 5.10s we recently climbed in the valley. A third companion was unable to do it but instead climbed the lower angle crack a few feet to the right, which she said was much easier--and presumably the 5.8 version (I don't know how well it protects). Higher up at the "big step right" there appeared to be several options; what seemed easiest to me was a mixture of 5.8 face and crack climbing out to the far right and returning left to the main crack near the top. Use long slings to avoid rope drag (or the optional belay below the "big step right") and beware of some loose flakes that likely would not hold a fall.
The 80' in the book is indeed confusing. It's an 80' rap down to the fixed pin halfway up the route. The pin looks a little sketchy but I've rapped off it twice and believe it's pretty good. I girth hitched a sling I found on the route around the pin to back up the frayed cord that's currently in place. Someone may want to tie some webbing and a rap ring around it.
Confusing on the topo for this route. It looks like it tops out at 80', but it's twice as high. I didn't see any rap station at 80 feet except an old piton, use two ropes to rappel from tree at the top of the climb.
Dec 6, 2002 - 12:49pm
Took some beginners up this a few years back and we walked off to the left. Pretty casual.
Dec 3, 2002 - 08:02pm
The 80' rap down from the top of Black-is-Brown is questionable (it's marked as being off to the right of the climb on Chris's Topo). To rap directly back down to the base of the climb, you need at least 2 50m ropes. Perhaps the 80' rap is meant to be further to the right (down the gulley) but we couldn't figure it out and defaulted to 2 ropes.
Church Bowl has on of the easiest approaches in the valley.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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