Wallflower 10a, Lovers Leap, 9/16/07 Trip Report
I’ve been climbing myself back into shape since my ankle surgery in May. And also I’m trying to push myself from being a 5.9 leader into the realm of the 5.10. The reasonable thing would be to do some cragging and work my way back slowly but there are only so many days in a lifetime to climb outside! Who wants to be reasonable? I just prefer to do routes. I managed to climb outside a couple of times, once in Vedauwoo with the Supertaco gang and then last week with Spyork on Inverted Staircase on Fairview.
Even though Inverted Staircase turned out to be a bit much to chew, while climbing the wood offwidths last Wednesday I persuaded David (davidji) to take a shot at Wallflower at the Leap. It has a reputation for being hard for the grade. On the plus side Petch posted recently on one of the Leap threads that the crux protects well. The best topo is in the Sutton guide, which is out of print. Buy this guide if you find it. I wrote in the crux grades for each pitch.
Here is a pic showing the approximate route line.
We started climbing about 10:00. Here’s a picture of the first pitch.
You climb the flake/corner coming out of the lower left. This is a fun pitch mostly climbing dikes while using the crack for pro. I couldn’t find the bolt and pin belay because they were so far to the left. I set up in a good crack on the first huge ledge. This is actually better for preventing rope drag for the second pitch. Here’s a picture showing the steep wall and the ramp and the cut back to the P3 hand traverse.
The second pitch goes around a corner and up a ramp to a good belay with a couple of pins and a thin crack for pro. This corner turned out to have steep climbing to a couple of campus moves with no feet leading to a steep and delicate move around a corner. Excellent! Here’s David leading up into this corner.
I then lead up to the hand traverse. The ramp turned out to be steep in it’s own right. Eventually as it pinches smaller you lower your legs off the overhanging edge and traverse and stem up to the left side of a big roof. There is great pro the whole way. There is not a great rest at the beginning of the traverse. I could see some massive jugs about six feet away. About three feet after these jugs there is a little recess and then you go up and over a small roof. I managed to get a good piece at the corner and out under the roof a few feet. I thought if I can just get one more piece in I can come back, rest, and then go for it. By clipping to a piece and leaning way out I was able to get a good #2 camelot placement just before the jugs. I rested for a while but by this time I had messed around so long I was shot. I lowered down and David came up to take a try at it. Here’s a picture of him looking up at the traverse from high on the ramp.
He climbed across the traverse and turned the roof. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he realized how far above the last pro he was. He down climbed the roof and while trying to set the crucial piece he took a small fall. He soon had the piece in and turned the roof once more and set up a belay. Here’s a picture of him on the traverse.
The wall is steep. The topo says 110 degrees. I followed with one hang and came up to the belay absolutely beat. Yeah, what else is new. Looking up there were some small roofs one of which was supposed to be the 5.9. There is a fixed pin about 10 feet up and another pin six or seven feet above that, which was sticking way out and would need to be tied off. Other than these two pieces pro looked scanty in this first section. I started up and the climbing was very delicate. Stepping up on small nubs while palming and pulling shallow rounded cracks. I clipped the pin and took a rest on tension. I continued stepping up with the left foot on small holds while just sort of pushing on the small right hand wall with my right foot and hand. I reached a very tenuous stance, just the left foot on a nubbin, and reached over for the pin to sling it. It moved! It was just sitting there. By now I was seven or eight feet out from the first pin. I could see a small crack a few feet higher to place pro. I moved up to it but the climbing pushed me away to the left to another tenuous stance. I tried to make a reachy blind placement to the right but chose the wrong size piece. I let it go to regain my balance and it fell out, disappearing below. I was now pretty gripped but moved higher where finally I was able to backstep onto a right foothold. Now standing on both feet I was able to get in a good piece. I’d like to say I climbed with full mental control. Actually, I was chanting an unending litany of fear, “ohshitohshitohshitohshitwhereistheholdthereisnoholdi’mf*#kedi’mf*#kedmovehigherohshitohshitgottagetproohshitohshitmovehigher.....”. I am still kind of sorry David had to hear that.
At this point I could see unending holds. The hard climbing was over. I climbed to a big block slung with slings which I assumed was the belay. Here’s a picture looking down from the belay.
I should have gone twenty feet higher because we ended up just short of the top. David came up and ran the rope out the full 200 feet of awesome dike hiking with an occasional 5.7ish roof. Here’s some pictures of the last pitch.
This is an outstanding climb. Every pitch is great. Except the for the one section the pro is great. David is a great partner to. He suggested that to end the day we solo Knapsack Crack, which is rated 5.3 or so. I was doubtful about this since I don’t “solo”. After we got over there I could see it was OK. The climb is mostly third class, with some fourth class and occasionally a fifth class move. A fun way to end the day. Here’s David at the top of Knapsack.
200 ft 9.6 mil rope.
Camelots or equal. 1-#4, 2-#3, 2-#2, 2-#1, 1-#.75
1 set Metolious TCUs
1 set BD C3s, except he smallest size.
1 set BD stoppers
the two smallest Lowe Balls. We used these.
6 or 7 micro stoppers, a mix of RPs, HB offsets and BD, these were very handy
12 quickdraws and slings. Two equallettes.
You could probably drop the #4 and 1-#3 if you are bad to the bone.