On the Lamb 5.9
Trip ReportDefinitely were on it.
We got on the trail and contoured right since we wanted to reverse the route. We started going up the slabs a little early and ended up climbing (and then rappelling) some pretty gnarly un-climbed stuff. We back tracked, went around a bit further and found the easy 2nd and 3rd class slabs that lead you to the end of the climb. It is easier to find the end of the route than the start (most forum discussions are climbers missing the start of the route); if you have not done this route before, you will have an easier time reversing the climb.
Pitch 1: Once we found the tree, it was easy to see the features and get on the horizontal crack. The climbing is very unique, fun, and exposed with spectacular views. We set up a belay past Sleeper (5.9R) but before (the poor stance) recommended belay.
Pitch 2: The crack looks pretty thin from the end of pitch-1 but it gets better once you’re on it. The 5.9 poor feet section is better if you run it out. Once you go past the crux and start seeing good feet, you can fire in a piece. This section is pumpy but you can shake out once you get to the 5.7 juggy section with really good feet. It is possible to set up a belay here instead of down climbing 10’ to use the bolts; the bolted belay has worse feet than than the 5.7 section with jugs.
Pitch 3: Fun to climb since we were past the pumpy crux pitch and it is also easy to protect with small cams and nuts.
After pitch-3 we down climbed the 5.5 R and got to the ledge where two trees and a bush are shown (at the start of the route). The two trees are gone. You can see the “cave”, but it is more similar to a large sloping flake than a cave; easy to miss if you are just starting the climb. Here, we again down climbed to get to the anchors for Five-Ten You Wuss and rapped from there with four rappels to the ground. There are multiple rap anchors, some of them look very new. Rappelling was definitely the slowest part of the day and least fun. We found the trail back to the car with no problem.
We could have down climbed the 4th class but we opted not to because it looked mungy and a bit loose. If you start from the end of the route and there are not too many parties on it, try to reverse it. The time to climb 3 pitches along with the descent down the 2nd and 3rd class is probably equal to the time it takes to down climb 4th class at the other end or rap the route. You can swap leads on the pitches that you followed, so that’s an added bonus.
Overall, a must-do climb.
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