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Lower Ridge Trail Slab

Lower Ridge Slab/Lower Ridge Gully Wall Approach
The approach to these areas and to the Eagle’s Gift/Whale’s Lip areas are best made by the Ridge Trail from near Nethers. Most other areas are best approached by the Saddle Trail from the south side. To reach the Lower Ridge Slabs, hike about 2.5 miles until the trail comes out of the woods and up onto boulders forming a small minor summit. A large garage-sized boulder at the top resembles a loaf of bread. From this summit you will be able to see large slabs below to the southeast, and the Whale’s Lip to the southwest. As the Ridge Trail descends from these boulders onto a dirt path, look for a small unmarked path on the left. The left branch of the trail will take you below the Lower Ridge Slab within a few hundred yards. The right fork will take you to the smaller Lower Ridge Gully Wall within about 250 yards.

On Ridge Trail headed south, side trail to Lower Ridge Slab Gully Wall and base of Lower Ridge Slab.

Lower Ridge Slab

96)**Unknown 5.6 Follow diagonal right leaning hand/fist crack on the left side of the photo up slab. One bolt near top protects only blank area. Nice beginning traditional lead route that will take lots of gear of all types. Belay at pair of old angle pins, but back-up with gear and tree. Rappel rings to right allow single rope (if 165’) descent. 120 feet, gear route.

97)**Unknown 5.9+PG. Follow line of 6 bolts. Route begins at right side of slab in photo at the edge of the shadow, 30 feet right of the main crack. Climb left through small bulge (crux) to top, crossing main crack 30 feet up. Climb easier but slightly run-out rock to gear belay at top of slab by right side of massive overhanging block. Second pitch follows steep 5.8+ headwall past 4 bolts. Interesting pocket climbing. Gear belay. 240 feet, light rack. Descend via approach gully or do very tricky 3rd class descent to rap tree on ledge below headwall. This is the same tree used on the adjacent 5.6 crack climb.

Around-The-Corner Slab.
Approach by traversing right (ENE) about 100 yards from the previous routes above some large low angle slabs. Find narrow 80’ slab with bolts.

98)***Unknown 5.10a. Follow 5 bolts up steep slab. Interesting boulder problem cruxes. Belay at pair of large bolts with over size hangers. 9 quick draws, 80 feet.

Lower Ridge Gully Wall (38.33.164N, 78.18.310W at 2625’)

99) Left Slab 5.8+. 40’ to the left of the main slab and the next listed route is a line of 3 bolts. 25’.

To the left of this climb are a series of easier groves which make interesting short beginner/intermediate top rope problems, though they are really too short to lead. 5.5- 5.8. 25’

The main slab contains 3 bolted lines between the left most route and the 2 closely spaced routes to the right are a group of flakes and groves offering nice top rope and lead opportunities in the 5.4 – 5.10 range. The difficulties vary greatly with what is considered off-route. The prominent hand crack toward the right of the slab is about 5.5. The prominent ledge contains a large tree.

100)***Unknown 5.10b/c. At far left side of wall, climb past 3 bolts to thin flakes. Travers left past several more bolts. Includes 2 boulder problem cruxes at the start and before the 4th bolt. Very well protected in crux areas, with easier climbing to top. Belay at cold shuts. 8 quick draws, 80 feet. Nice variation continues straight up after the 4th bolt over featured rock past 3 bolts, at 5.10a to tree belay of next climb. 110 feet.

101)*Unknown 5.9-. Left hand of 2 bolted lines on upper slab. Start either by scrambling up to ledge or by leading prominent hand crack. Traverse right about 6 feet just above the ledge. Then follow line of 4 bolts between the upper portion of the hand crack and thinner crack 4 feet to the right. Belay at tree with rings. Do not use cracks on upper wall. 85’ from ledge.

102)**Unknown 5.10c. Scramble to ledge. Climb line of 5 bolts to the same belay tree as the previous climb. Several variations are possible before the second bolt. Straight up is 5.11a. To the right, using the right leaning crack minimally is 5.10a. To the left, without using holds closer than one foot from the crack, is 5.10c and is the standard route. 85’ from ledge.

102a)* Jessica’s Climb 5.5tr. The first slab on your right when descending the gully, about 40 yards from the Ridge Trail. Friction up and left from the bottom right hand corner. 25 feet. Harder in the middle (5.9 highball?) Plenty hard enough on the right if you are only 42” tall and 6 years old.

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