Skot Richards and I climbed this alright route in the latter part of September and early October this year. Location, Location, Location is what this climb is all about.
The best part of this route is that it climbs two of the most prominent formations on the cliff, the right side of the Heart and the long and clean, left facing corner above.
A large part of the climbing in the Heart is dirty, but there are a few clean pitches. The roof leading out of the top of the Heart is really wild and fun. The next couple of pitches above the Heart are not that special but the corner above is a hand, fist, off-width, chimney climber's dream, if that is your dream rather than nightmare. I aided everything aside from the chimneys and if you are really good in your aiders it won't be too awkward. If you aren't, it'll be hell.
The last pitch in the corner, up to the roof and out right, and all of the remaining pitches (even the last free one) are really, really nice and fun.
The ST Guide Topo is accurate enough but the rack is a little bit too much. I wouldn't take any angles or sawn angles (we used one 1/2" sawn but it can be avoided) and no #1 beaks. We used all the pins and adding one more KB and 2 more LAs would make your selection easier. We had two each #4, 5, and 6 BD cams and the route climbed and protected well with them. You won't need any real "micro" nuts (the size with the thread wire) on the route.
The beta McTopo shows a 200 foot haul from Heart Ledge to P2, but it's more like 230 feet. The little roof on P3 gets a steady dribble of water, so if you fix that pitch your rope will get wet. You can throw a rope loop over a big horn to bypass the very start of P4 (P5?). I did it on the first try. The bad dowels on P5 are not that bad and there are 3/8" SS ASCA bolts every few dowels. There is a big Tombstone Death Block at the end of P5, right where you would want to grab such a thing to get onto the ledge. The start of P8 (Poorly Protected California Wetlands) has water on it. Someone should sow some appropriate seeds in that year-round oasis. The penji on P10 leads into a dirt-hummock corner, that requires peeling up the sod to get at the placements below; you'd be better off with a short cheater stick and a hook and go up from the penji bolt. At the top of P10 is a fantastic geode-type hole/deposit of pure quartz - GOLD! P12 can start up a finger crack on the right, or the monster (6"-8") OW to the left. I took the OW on C1, which was pretty cool. DO NOT haul P12 into the bottom of the Kierkegaard Chimney; the anchorage is not that great, and the belay is way back in the slot, up a 45 degree slab. Haul from P11 to a stance+bolt halfway up P13 with a 60m rope (a free-hanging direct shot, as it were). The roof midway up P14 is the Huber Roof of El Corazon, and is the best PL bivy spot on the route. Stack bugs and big sawed-offs on P15 to make it A2. It looks like the 5.9+ on P18 (at the 50m belay spot) could be bypassed by climbing the low-angle, knobby face to the right. The gully/crack on that pitch is kinda jingus, but the easy-looking knobby wall would have little/no pro.
Up the right side of The Heart.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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