I clipped the two slung chockstones so I wouldn't scare my belayer but didn't place any gear. If you're at your limit, some big stuff might come in handy. Went right to link-up with SS, but this takes the climbing into old school 9+ territory. No real reason to do this climb as the grunt factor is totally out of character with the beautiful pitches of SS.
Harder than it looks! Bring a gear sling, long pants, & wide gear (I placed 2 #4 & #5 BD Cams & 1 #3 that barely worked). 2nd pitch linkup to SS is fun and not too dirty. I found it reasonable to step left from the chockstone left and cross a face to a crack system that angled right to bypass the first 'roof'. At the second 'roof' I cut left and found a tree with rap slings and enough spare rope to get to the base of P2 on Superslide in one pitch. You couldn't sew up the pitch but the pro seemed decent, and the pitch wasn't too mungy, in fact it looked nicer than P1 of Superslide.
I highly recommend linking this route up with Super Slide for a nice long climb with a lot of variety.
Very enjoyable, old school off-width/chimney pitch.
The route beta is off, so I only had 1 piece (the #4 cam) that fit, except being too small in 2 sections. So I kept moving the piece ahead of me and did not feel unsafe. There were 2 choke stones tied off which provided psychological pro -- I wouldn't want to fall on them :)
It also helps to wear long pants, at least at my height (6ft2) I used my knees heavily in 1 section.
I found the 5.6 approach to Super Slide to be interesting, adventurous climbing with poor protection (I went left, then right, about 20 ft to the right of the completely hollow tree w. rap rings on it). It reminded me of climbing in the Adirondacks.
This was one of my first forays into offwidth, and I found the groveling upward quite strenuous. There are very few holds apart from the crack/chimney itself. The climbing is not difficult but very tiring.
The gear recommendation for this route is way off, and a much lighter rack will make the route much more fun. To protect the route well a couple big cams is all you need - and all you can really fit - in the wide flaring crack. Maybe two #3 C4s and one #4 C4 would be good. Possibly a second #4 to sew it up. There are several chock stones that can also be slung for good pro, and all the small cams and nuts will do is make your life miserable as you wedge yourself into the crack. Two of the bolts from the adjoining sport route are also accessible from the crack - kind of a shame, but clipping them could allow you to bring even less gear.
I also found that the single pitch linking up to Superslide (about ~140 feet) to Superslide to be very stout for 5.6 - more in line with the strenuous 5.8 from Trial by Fire below.
From the bolted anchor atop Trial by Fire you have 3 choices. 1) Go left up what is possibly the mungy 5.6 in the topo -- although it isn't clear from the line in the topo; 2) continue up the flared chimney to an awkward move out of the chimney and them up over a bulge; or 3) a move right across a slabby face to a mungy and vegetated lieback.
I did 2) above which leads you to the same mungy flared lieback as 3). This dirty and vegetated crack continues for probably ~250 feet to the rappel tree near the top of pitch 2 in the topo. This section was wet (3.20.10), vegetated, dirty and insecure. After about 50 feet, I ended up placing gear high and then traversing/penduluming into a crack on the left which is easy climbing to the belay atop pitch 1 of Superslide. However, getting directly from the top of Superslide to this crack looked rather challenging. It's not so obvious what to do in this section, and perhaps it is best to go left from the bolted ancho atop Superslide, ie 1) above. However, the step left out over the chimney wall didn't look that easy either.
My partner and I just did this route. The initial, low angle groove is pretty easy fist and off-fist. Higher up, there is a flared squeeze chimney/chimney that was reasonably stout for 5.8. A good clean route for those that like wide climbing.
It only took me one wandering pitch to get to get to superslide. For being described as 5.6 munge, it was not near as unpleasant as I was expecting.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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