Hike up to the huge bench that is at the base of the NorthEast Buttress. This bench provides the starting point for all routes between Patent Pending and McCarthy North Face. The climb starts in the crack just right of The Maiden, or it can be more readily identified as the crack of two to the right of Broken Tree.
This route was first climbed by Dennis Horning and Dave Larson on August 13, 1983. It is an excellent route, as well as being one of the very few Face Climbs on Devils Tower. With the exception of perhaps 2 stopper placement, the entire route is bolt protected. Two years ago all of the original bolts were replaced with new, shiny, thick FIXE bolts and hangers. It is a well protected route !!
Pitch 1. ( 5.8, 145 ft.) Start up the crack on the face ( 2 cracks right of Broken Tree) past a small (2 ft) tree. Above the tree traverse left across the face, to the corner where the 1st protection bolt is. 3 more bolts (and small stoppers in the crack to the right, if you want) take you to a nice 2 Big-Bolt Belay. Although it looks imposing, the climbing is the easiest if you stay right on the corner.
Pitch 2. (5.10c, (5.11b direct), 150 ft.) Follow the line of bolts up and left. Around the 5th bolt you CAN traverse left around the corner (as the 1st ascent party did), climb up a bit and then traverse right, and back out onto the face, again. This is 5.10c climbing with RP's as protection (which you will ultimately want to back-clean). The difficult move is the rightward move back onto the face, which also features a sharp edge that your rope may NOT like. The Direct Variation is to simply continue following the line of bolts up the face(5.11b). The difficult section here requires a couple smeary layback moves off of the good left edge of the column. Bolts protect this section quite nicely. The last bolt before the "crux" moves is notable 1/2", with a heavy-metal hanger. Any falls that you might incurr would be quite clean. From this point onward, the climbing relaxes to about 5.10a. The bolts follow a straight line up the column face, but the climbing does NOT; the line of least resistance meanders from the left to the right column edges, with small but positive holds characterizing the terrain. The difficulties really don't quit until the 2 Big-Bolt Belay is reached, and the climb Truly Deserves its name....EVERLASTING!! The Direct Route is surely one Fine Face Climb.
FINISH. Most parties rap from here, however, one could continue up HOLLOW MEN at 5.12c if you have the prerequisite 14 @ #2 RP's to protect it.
15 Quick-Draws and some small to medium stoppers....oh yes, and a runner to tie-off the tree !!
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