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General => Beginners Area => Topic started by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 12:42:35 PM

Title: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 12:42:35 PM
Stickyfingerz wrote:

Quote
I think a lot of aspiring leaders get on Funhouse simply due to the lack of good, safe multi-pitch moderates at Cathedral, especially on a crowded Saturday.


Other than lining up with the crowds at Thin Air or Upper Refuse, what are the options?

Standard Route? 5.6R (5.7+R in Handren) - Traversing first pitch, to a chimney second pitch, to the Cave Wall third pitch. Not exactly a great route for a beginning leader.

Pleasant Street? 5.7R - Big fall potential on the first pitch. Not a good selection.

Pooh? 5.7 - "Several quite befuddling combinations." Probably wouldn't be my first choice. (Plus the leader fell on the easier second pitch.)


Then there are the more difficult moderates:

Final Gesture? 5.7+ (5.8 in Handren) - "Awkward, overhanging." Plus you have to climb Upper Refuse or Black Lung.

Bombardment? 5.8R - See Pleasant Street.

Turner's Flake? 5.8 - "Committing, strenous lead." The site of a recent injury-producing fall.

Black Lung? 5.8(+) - "Strenous...if you can just hang on."

Three Birtches? 5.8+ - "A hard 5.8"


Contrast these with the descriptions of Funhouse.

"Fun, stimulating, and well protected climbing, this is one of Cathedral's best intermediate routes."

"An enjoyable and well protected climb with good belay ledges and interesting moves on every pitch."

"Absolutely classic and really fun."


It should be no surprise that new leaders get themselves into trouble on this route. The guidebooks make it sound like one of the best options at the crag.


PS - I guess I'd suggest Toe Crack or The Saigons (although this might be too difficult) as safer options? Any other recommendations for Cathedral newbies?
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 12:45:02 PM
Saigons are good.. pretty well protected with pins and spots for gear between those. solid face climbing with good rests.   

For other stuff you have the short stuff.. childs play etc though i'm guessing those get busy with top ropers

as fingerz pointed out many of the better routes on Cathedral have their difficulties. the Saigons are a good choice, tho are really 5.8. they are very well protected. IMO the stuff at the North End like Child's Play and Kiddy Crack are well protected but most assuredly under rated. I love Bombardment, but the slab can be quite scary. no question about it. P1 of 3 Birches is really a 5.9 and when it's wet can be a flail-fest. not so amazingly I've never led Turner's 'cause I don't like things I can't protect. the Glory Wall and Hidden Cliff have some well protected climbs at a moderate grade that may be a good choice.

--al
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Mike_B on June 20, 2007, 01:10:44 PM
Its possible to walk around to Upper Refuse, no? The 5.5 parts have good gear -- seems like a good option, albeit one that isn't that simple to get to without climbing climbs like Funhouse or bombardment.
I agree toe crack has goo pro and is one of the more reasonable option. Other option could be doing the first two pitches of Thin Air?

An Aside: My first time up Funhouse several years ago was with my girlfriend, and I figured I'd follow Funhouse proper all the way to avoid jamming, which she hadn't grown accustomed to yet.  I ended up on the rock between Pooh and funhouse. When my girlfriend finally made it up whatever I ended up climbing, she berated me with claims that she'd never climb again. Big f-up on my part, but she still climbs (whew!)...
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 02:07:51 PM
yes, you can walk around & down to the tree ledge in the middle of the cliff. beginners may find it useful to rope up before the slab at the start of the traverse on the ledge over to the Barber Wall area, tho most people do not. then there is the tricky little spot just before you get to the Upper Refuse area that many people, certainly all guided parties, rope up for. then you are all set for Upper Refuse which may be the perfect place on Cathedral for a beginning leader.

RE Toe Crack: I should have mentioned that in order to get to Toe Crack you have to climb one of the starts to Standard Route.

1) the direct start is actually pretty stout. you climb the dike past a pin. that's easy enough. however from there you have to step left into a flaring crack where it's a tricky gear placement that never feels all that solid to me, and is often damp.

2) I usually do the alternate start to Standard on the left, going up the right-leaning ramp to under Turner's Flake. you have to step down and make an awkward step-across to the base of Toe Crack. many find this a bit on the scary side, tho with good gear and double ropes it is pretty safe.

as is often the case at Cathedral, the first pitch of things is the "gotcha".  :o

Final Gesture... it's been a couple of years since I've done this, but I don't remember it as "overhanging". there is the balancy move onto the buttress, then you move up the the block and then layback & wallow onto the top of the block.

--al
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 20, 2007, 03:07:12 PM
The title of this topic is way to limiting.  Maybe if we lived in the Gunks!  How about safe and moderate climbs in MWV?

I think most aspiring new trad leaders should cut their teeth on the slabs.  Maybe long runouts on some routes, but low impact sliding falls are less dangerous than the ledgy stuff.  My recs:

Whitehorse

Beginner's Route (Not the easy variation!)- pretty well protected with bolts and rap stations all along.  For newer climbers consider stopping at P4 and rapping.

Standard Route- practice buiding 2 gear anchors by not skipping the "mailbox" belay halfway up the arch and leaving the thread open for others to descend.  Quartz pocket variation is better and will help you realize what runout 5.4 is.

Sliding Board and Sea of Holes are two other great moderates.

Beezebub, Holy Land, Root 2 root are other Whitehorse moderates with great gear.

Square Ledge has lots of over looked moderate well protected rock.  The whole west face is covered in passive pro placements and the Chimney is an 5.6 excellent trad lead.  Stiletto (5.6) at Sundown, with a couple of the routes at Lost Horizon.  Endeavor on White's Ledge's 1st 2 pitches.  Pitch 2 is CLASSIC 5.7.  Pitch 3 can be scary if you get off route, but the Pitch 4 5.5 toe crack is CLASSIC as well.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 04:26:43 PM
DMan - I agree with all of your suggestions. however the originator was talking specifically about Cathedral. so you are suggesting that beginning leaders go elsewhere?  :P

--al
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 20, 2007, 07:14:51 PM
ya, Cathedral only has two routes suitable for total new sub-5.7 trad leader.  Upper Refuse and Thin Air.  Both these routes have the added challenge of being EXTREMELY busy climbs, both regular parties and guided parties.  The new self-taught leader would better cut their teeth on nearby Whitehorse, Square, or another great choice mentioned in the other topic Echo Crag.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: T_Moon on June 20, 2007, 09:02:37 PM
Woodchuck Ledge has some great beginning leads, too.  Zanzibar at 5.5, Octoberfest at 5.6 and Kampala at 5.5.  The 2nd pitch of Kampala is really great -- slightly overhanging with great holds and good pro.  They are all right next to each other, too.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 20, 2007, 10:11:09 PM
Childs play is extreemly slippery and although well protected I can still see a noob leader decking down low. It looks like an easy short 5.6 but I wouldn't send a new leader up it.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on June 20, 2007, 10:16:56 PM
Woodchuck Ledge has some great beginning leads, too.  Zanzibar at 5.5, Octoberfest at 5.6

I did Octoberfest a couple of years ago. I didn't think it was very good. dirty & not very esthetic. IMNSHO

 :P

--al
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: T_Moon on June 21, 2007, 03:49:18 PM
I think Zanzibar is a better route than Octoberfest and it isn't as dirty.  There are some other moderates at Woodchuck, too, but they are pretty dirty.  I remember doing a 5.7 last summer (don't recall the name off the top of my head) and having to dig moss and munge out for nearly every placement.  With some cleaning, though...
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 21, 2007, 08:39:38 PM
Child's Play: If you can do the 1st move you can do the rest of a well protected climb.  The hardest thing for new leaders will be building an anchor at the top of it since the bolts are chopped.

Stiletto at Sundown: Just want to re-emphasize this is a classic clean 5.6 with good pro, exposure, rock, etc.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Stickyfingerz on June 22, 2007, 10:35:53 AM
Beezebub, Holy Land, Root 2 root are other Whitehorse moderates with great gear.

DMan - I cant seem to find Holy Land in any of the guidebooks or the routes DB. Care to share the beta?
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 22, 2007, 11:11:29 AM
The tree at the top of Childs play is still alive for now so an anchor is not a problem. The whole climb feels like it was greased down with vasaline though and that first move could spit a noob out like a bar of wet soap. landing is good though. Its just not an enjoyable climb though, feels like handeling a dirty restroom doorhandle. Makes you want to wash your hands as soon as you get off the thing.... Beezelbub corner is pretty nice for a first gear lead.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: sielickip on June 22, 2007, 09:19:06 PM
When people say, "...new leader..." what is the assumption of the level in skill does this person have? Have they read Freedom of the Hills cover to cover, therefore they can now lead? Have they toproped everywhere in the Valley thereby learning gear placements as well as various anchor techniques? Have they had "proper" instruction from a school or a guide? Are they gym rats that after "leading" a stellar 5.13 clipping bolts in the gym, they find themselves ready for a ledgy 5.7 like Funhouse? When these people, whoever a "new leader" is picks a climb are they thinking of their committment level? IE: toproping is 0 committment where-as from the tree ledge at Upper Refuse, rapping down would require two ropes or losing some gear by rapping to the belay atop of Black Lung.

I guess I can see what everyone is saying about Funhouse and it's ledginess, however, as I lead it in my head (because I think I've lead it about 20 times this year so far...) I can't think of any place where 1. the gear is not stellar; 2. there is not a great stance to place great gear; 3. whenever you feel spooked, there seems to be a jug or some sort of excellent jam to save yourself. This isn't to say at all that there is no place to screw yourself or your second on, but I know that Funhouse was my second lead as a new leader and I found that it was tough, but not so tough that I was worried about decking or worried about the gear. 
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 23, 2007, 07:11:17 AM
Holy Land is a 5.6 under Echo Roof.  It starts up a slight ramp, past a knifeblade, bolt (while passing a very interesting "pool" on the left where a tree used to be, the continues straight up past 1 or two gear placements to a bolted anchor somewhat hidden in a big quartz pocket.  There is are actually 2 alternate 5.6 pitches to chose from if you continue, both more commiting and less climbed than this first one.  To the right is Relic Hunter (5.7), and to the left I believe Bulletproof (5.9).

tradmanclimbz- are you thinking of the tree at the top of Kiddy Crack with the rap slings on it?  There is no live tree at the top of Child's Play.

Pete- you got professional instruction before taking the sharp end, which from taking to the victims friends was was more than he had. 
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Stickyfingerz on June 23, 2007, 10:07:39 AM
Holy Land is a 5.6 under Echo Roof.  It starts up a slight ramp, past a knifeblade, bolt (while passing a very interesting "pool" on the left where a tree used to be, the continues straight up past 1 or two gear placements to a bolted anchor somewhat hidden in a big quartz pocket.  There is are actually 2 alternate 5.6 pitches to chose from if you continue, both more commiting and less climbed than this first one.  To the right is Relic Hunter (5.7), and to the left I believe Bulletproof (5.9).

Hey Al,

Do you have the route info for the Echo Roof area that goes with Brad White's topo in the routes DB? There appears to be 10 routes on the topo, but only 2 listed in the database?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: sielickip on June 23, 2007, 12:36:04 PM
Pete- you got professional instruction before taking the sharp end, which from taking to the victims friends was was more than he had. 

You are totally correct Dave. I have the benefit of having advice, resources and tons of "flight hours" at basically any time I want. However, I guess what I was trying to ask was more of what expirence level is the "new leader" everyone is talking about? Like, if a person is outside TRing 5.10 moves all the time, I don't think Funhouse is to hard for him. His climbing ability will most likely help him through the sections. In my mind his potential of falling is lower than that of a person that is TRing some of the time and only going up to 5.6 or 5.7. I'm sorry if I made that unclear in my previous post.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 23, 2007, 06:58:53 PM
No worries Pete.  I just know that that pitch was the very first pitch the victim had ever attempted to lead.  I've seen plenty of 5.11 sport climbers/top-ropers sketch on the 5.5 Brown Spot on Standard Route.  Saw one today actually!  Top-roping/sport climbing does not give people the training they need to safetly lead 5.7 trad.  That is a bit more complicated...
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 25, 2007, 10:38:07 AM
I led what I was told was childs play? about a month ago. There was a tree with slings at or near the top? It has a really slippery start up a layback/jamcrack then turned into face climbing up a thin crack with a natural thread (that i couldn't quite thread without the nut tool that was in my pack instead of on my harnes) and a few stoppers...
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: bsf on June 25, 2007, 11:17:50 AM
Holy Land is a 5.6 under Echo Roof.  It starts up a slight ramp, past a knifeblade, bolt (while passing a very interesting "pool" on the left where a tree used to be, the continues straight up past 1 or two gear placements to a bolted anchor somewhat hidden in a big quartz pocket.  There is are actually 2 alternate 5.6 pitches to chose from if you continue, both more commiting and less climbed than this first one.  To the right is Relic Hunter (5.7), and to the left I believe Bulletproof (5.9).

This sounds exactly the same as Promised Land (5.6+) on the Whitehorse route section on this website.
The "cool crystal pocket" 2B belay is hidden untill your almost on top of it.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 25, 2007, 07:08:36 PM
I led what I was told was childs play? about a month ago. There was a tree with slings at or near the top? It has a really slippery start up a layback/jamcrack then turned into face climbing up a thin crack with a natural thread (that i couldn't quite thread without the nut tool that was in my pack instead of on my harnes) and a few stoppers...

Ya, that is Kiddy Crack (5.7).  Childs Play is to the left, with an awkward 5.6 mantle up to a small alcove at the start being the crux.  There used to be a two bolt anchor at the top, but now you can get a decent gear anchor there.  Kiddy Crack has that super slippery layback start, though some think jamming it is easier.  The only thread I can think of on Kiddy Crack is a great root about 30 feet up though... nothing that needs a nut tool???
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: arifrosch on June 25, 2007, 09:48:38 PM
I think the Saigons are an excellent choice. Super well protected, and pretty soft by Cathedral standards. Sure, maybe a little harder for a first trad lead, but pretty hard to mess up on in any serious way. I can't really envision anyone hurting themselves on that route.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 25, 2007, 10:33:09 PM
There is a  thin crack with a restriction that you could thread but a stopper was fine there.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 26, 2007, 07:37:12 PM
I think the Saigons are an excellent choice. Super well protected, and pretty soft by Cathedral standards. Sure, maybe a little harder for a first trad lead, but pretty hard to mess up on in any serious way. I can't really envision anyone hurting themselves on that route.

Pitch 2 can be a bit scary if you arn't solid on 5.8.  I watched a guy whip while trying to clip the last bolt and take a good 20 footer hitting the lower angled rock below.  Scared but unhurt, he and his partner retreated... looking back I remember eqaulizing the two smallest tcu's in a small crack on to the right before that last steep section, and getting major sewing maching leg getting to the bolt.  Come to think of it I think I clipped it and grapped the draw my first time... yep... I did.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: arifrosch on June 26, 2007, 08:06:59 PM
Fair enough. But what I said applies for pitch 1.

I seem to remember the crack right below the crux on p2 taking a bomber #2 camalot; I think you can clip the bolt after the crux.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 27, 2007, 01:20:56 PM
I seem to remember the crack right below the crux on p2 taking a bomber #2 camalot; I think you can clip the bolt after the crux.

It does!  I just wanted something even higher!  The bolt is clipable after the crux, like you said, but my first time I did not find the right stance to make the clip in the relaxed way I can make it now.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 27, 2007, 08:39:13 PM
P2 of the Siagons  has good gear but that clip is pretty stiff for a new leader. I hiked up what i think may be Whimpy Gillman ridge? @ rumny on my way home today. Too bad it is so over bolted. It would be an excelent beginner trad lead. It would still need  a few bolts but the way it is now you wouldn't bother useing any of the gear placements..
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: bsf on June 27, 2007, 08:45:50 PM
why are you all calling these all bolted routes "trad leads'
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on June 27, 2007, 11:40:53 PM
why are you all calling these all bolted routes "trad leads'

Where is anyone refering to all of these as "trad leads"?  The topic was simply safe & moderate climbs.  Some are all trad, some have some bolts, some are mostly bolts.  Even so, now that you bring it up, I don't think of either pitch of the Saigons as "sport", just "very light trad rack".
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on June 28, 2007, 08:43:58 AM
Whimpy Guillman would be an excelent beginner trad/ mixed lead lead but someone put bolts next to all the cracks.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: bsf on June 28, 2007, 09:17:53 AM
Where is anyone refering to all of these as "trad leads"?  The topic was simply safe & moderate climbs. 

True enough, I stand corrected. Must have been the heat and cold beer muddeling the brain.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Stickyfingerz on June 28, 2007, 11:26:56 AM
Fair enough. But what I said applies for pitch 1.

Very true. Just don't make the mistake that I did and go straight up from the last pin to the ledge, instead of diagonaling up and right to the anchor. The friction traverse to the bolts was a bit spicy.  :o
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: arifrosch on June 30, 2007, 12:34:58 AM
Very true. Just don't make the mistake that I did and go straight up from the last pin to the ledge, instead of diagonaling up and right to the anchor. The friction traverse to the bolts was a bit spicy.  :o

I almost made the same mistake and ended up in a forest of lichen, dirt and moss.

As for funhouse, I agree with pete on this one. People shouldn't deck on funhouse if they know how to put in gear. it's very "G". Before a noob leader jumps on the sharp end, he/she should have a pretty good idea of what's bomber and what isn't. This means having experienced people evaluating placements, maybe mock leading, and hopefully bounce testing many placements to see what holds. After this a noob leader should be perfectly safe on funhouse.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: arifrosch on July 06, 2007, 03:09:22 PM
I was thinking...perhaps just the first dihedral of funhouse would be a great first trad lead? It's only like 30 ft of easy climbing. That would leave out the slightly tricky section where the man fell. That wouldn't be too intimidating for a first lead. Especially since there is a pin right at your face at the crux...

Also, Al mentioned that "falling anywhere on fun house would be more dangerous than falling on thin air or upper refuse." A couple days ago I did upper refuse for the 1st time in several years, and I realized that even on a mellow climb like that falling would be really unpleasant. I just think that in general, low-angle moderate climbs like that falling really isn't what you want to do. IMHO for a 1st trad lead you would want something where you could plug gear anywhere and a fall would be safe anywhere as long as the gear is good. The 1st section of funhouse definately qualifies.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on July 07, 2007, 12:41:10 AM
I was thinking...perhaps just the first dihedral of funhouse would be a great first trad lead? It's only like 30 ft of easy climbing. That would leave out the slightly tricky section where the man fell. That wouldn't be too intimidating for a first lead. Especially since there is a pin right at your face at the crux...

Also, Al mentioned that "falling anywhere on fun house would be more dangerous than falling on thin air or upper refuse." A couple days ago I did upper refuse for the 1st time in several years, and I realized that even on a mellow climb like that falling would be really unpleasant. I just think that in general, low-angle moderate climbs like that falling really isn't what you want to do. IMHO for a 1st trad lead you would want something where you could plug gear anywhere and a fall would be safe anywhere as long as the gear is good. The 1st section of funhouse definately qualifies.

Well, there is no way down without leaving gear after leading that first section, so what then?  IMO that 1st section is a bit crux-ey for 5.7, and doesn't swallow gear like say, toe crack, or the standard route arch.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on July 08, 2007, 02:13:52 PM
Do you have the route info for the Echo Roof area that goes with Brad White's topo in the routes DB? There appears to be 10 routes on the topo, but only 2 listed in the database?

I'm a slacker. I'd rather be climbing or riding my bike, than editing the web site.  ;D here is info & I'll get on the stick soon...

1) Last Tango - 5.11c
2) Ladies & Gentleman - 5.8
3) Bulletproof - 5.9
4) Promised Land - 5.6+
5) Relic Hunter - 5.7
6) Var. - Ancient Artifacts 5.8
7) Return To Innocence 5.8
8) Echo - 5.5
9) (can't remember, but will find out...it's a Winkler & Hurley route)
10) Circle Of Life - 5.8
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: SCUD on July 08, 2007, 06:54:04 PM

9) (can't remember, but will find out...it's a Winkler & Hurley route)


I think this route is "Full Circle" .
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: Admin Al on July 09, 2007, 08:45:38 AM
SCUD - do you remember the grade?
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: SCUD on July 09, 2007, 09:12:22 AM
Al, I would rate both "Full Circle" &  "Circle of Life" decent 5.9 leads. Have done both of them a number of times & find each requires your full attention.
Title: Re: Safe & moderate climbs on Cathedral?
Post by: DLottmann on July 09, 2007, 09:26:25 AM
I'll second that.  Atleast one of them is rated 5.9 in another guidebook and they have similiar cruxs.