Yes, the death block at the first belay is still there, we put a chalk X on it, really wanted to trundle it.
We rapped on the face all the way to the ground with two 60 meter ropes, pulled clean. Seems like this is a good way not to be rapping down the route, which is annoying or potentially dangerous for those climbing up it.
Climbed this with my bud on Sunday and its a good route.
It's worth noting that there is a LARGE very loose DEATH block past the first pitch belay when approaching the sub-belay under the roof. It's in the gully at the top before the steep section. A large crack in the surrounding dirt indicates it's moved perhaps 3/4 of an inch from the season. It needs to go sooner rather than later. BE CAREFUL.
My buddy Chris took Rob and myself to this gem. Rob led the first pitch; short, but sweet. I took the second pitch. It is STEEP at the two bulges, which made me quiver, but ya gotta finish because it is soooooo good! After the second lieback bulge, you sport it to the top via a loose but easy gully. Supertopo's description is pretty accurate. It is a great climb overlooking a stream- beautiful.
The block one uses as a hand hold right before the end of pitch one is LOOSE!! I watched my second use it and it appeared to move several inches. Be careful - if that block comes loose and falls while you are leading it could be quite dangerous!!
climbed this on 9/15 as a quick outing before heading out of the Valley. Fun with some excellent sections, but also some munge that keep it from getting more stars.
This climb was in the shade and pleasantly cool at around 1:30 pm on a September afternoon. Would probably be quite cold on a winter or early spring day, except in the early morning.
If you are not going to the "main" Pat and Jack area, it would be easier to approach this climb by parking on the North side of the road and heading across/along Cascade Creek directly to the route. The route is about 50 feet left of where Cascade Creek has a falls over the cliff. This might not work too well in spring/early summer if the creek is quite high.
two #2 Camalots and a #3 were definitely needed to protect the first pitch. I found several good med-large nut placements at various places on the route.
the twin cracks at the start of the second pitch were fun and quite sustained at 5.7. Before pulling up into the cracks I placed a med. nut and (way up high) a .75 Camalot; getting another piece in quickly once I was up in the cracks seemed like a good idea to keep any fall from hitting the belayer.
the first 5.8 lieback was fun and a bit tricky - protected well with a #2 camalot in the lieback/undercling crack, and a green alien in the crack to the right that runs up to meet the main crack.
at the end the Supertopo recommends heading up to the larger tree rather than a "weakening" tree. After heading around two roofs and the "weakening" tree there was a LOT of rope drag, and the moves up to the larger tree are exposed, reachy 5.6 face. Be prepared to use the "weakening" tree as protection, and to possibly climb around the right side of the "weakening" tree to keep the rope drag down. Karl Baba's idea of traversing right below that tree, then up left on chickenheads sounds like a good one.
On the second rap (with one 60m rope) it would be better to rap down to the large ledge that is about 60' from the bottom, rather than making the final rap from the first belay. I didn't see many ants on the tree. We did leave a locking biner on the slings at the first belay - don't know how long it will last, bring some rings/biners and slings in case something needs replacement.
Did this route last weekend (2/8/04) and thought it was very nice. Not wet right now, but a little cool in the shade at the base and you have to be careful crossing Cascade Creek, watch out for ice on the rocks!
From the ground the 5.8 crux looks a lot harder then it eventually is, but it is interesting, and protects well.
Great place to bring someone who needs to work on hand jams. The first pitch is great for practice. The second pitch is good too, the double cracks have good holds both sides, it's not a give-away but it is straight foward. A good rest under the crux and then off you go! a few moves later you are standing on a good edge and its done.
We did the bouldery finish. We also cleaned up some of the old slings and left a new one on the top tree. The second tree had three good slings and a couple of rap rings, and the ants were still inactive.
The start of the double cracks at the beginning of pitch two is somewhat awkward. The right crack is clogged with dirt at the bottom with only one place to get your hand in. The left crack is wide at the bottom and hard to jam. I believe this section may be a little harder than 5.7 according to the topo. I also think that the route should not deserve an R rating. I feel it has adequate pro and it doesn't have an R rating in the new free climb book.
As of 5-13-03, there was a bit of wetness at the roof on Pitch 2. Not too bad to climb around. When rapping, the anchors at the end of pitch 1 don't have rap rings. The tree below them has rap rings but is presently ant infested so take your choice.
Not a bad route! Looks harder than it is (a little like a short Seleginella)
Don't look too hard for the route when traversing along Pat and Jack, it starts just 40 feet before the cascade creekbed so keep hiking until there.
Route uses mostly one and two camalots, but bring a three and a few tcus or aliens
The last time I did it, on the last pitch, just before the climbing gets trivial for awhile, I traversed on some big chicken heads to a diagonal crack that leads to the belay. The crack was easier than it looked and made the route a bit more continuous. It also avoids making a vew bouldery moves with ankle messing up fall potential to get to the top belay.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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