OverviewOne of two Yosemite-style trade routes on the Upper Town Wall, Green Drag-on ascends a steep series of thin cracks and small roofs on the tallest part of the wall. Like many routes of its type, every pitch but the last (low 5th) can be freed or aided at a wide variety of grades. Plentyful bolted anchors less than 35m apart mean that the climb can be rappelled from any point with a single 70m rope, and it is also the best way to descend from the Davis-Holland/Lovin' Arms link-up.
There is some debate over whether this kind of route really belongs on Summitpost. Arguably, MountainProject is the better forum for this kind of thing; that website however, tends to privilege free climbing over aid and therefore, as far as i can tell, there is no real pitch-by-pitch beta breakdown for the original aid version of this climb except that in the cryptic Cramer guide book.
ApproachTake the trail to the Upper Town Wall (starts at the Country), take the first two right turns and then, when shortly below the wall, turn left. If you miss this turn-off the trail will disappear promptly.
Special Note: The trail marked with arrow signs on trees is NOT the right way, it leads around the left and eventually to the top of the wall.
Once at the base of the wall walk left a short ways, the first pitch climbs the first non-bolted crack system you will see.
Route DescriptionPitch 1 - 5.11a or C2, a series of dirty 5.10 ledges leads to a cleaner, left-leaning crack, then climb 4th class grassy steps to the second anchor from the left.
Pitch 2 - 5.12a or C3-, climb the crack directly above the belay; begins with a short finger crack followed by a short bolt ladder, the crack above is devious, with long reaches between fixed pitons and bomber cam placements, some combination of free moves, cam hooks, and large gear in the adjoining flake bridges the gaps; final leftward arch leads in short order to a bolted anchor.
Pitch 3 - 5.11a or C2, follow a series of flakes up and to the right to a collection of terrifying death blocks; move through these blocks as fast as possible (C1-); a groove then leads to a left-leaning thin crack with a tied-off fixed knifeblade piton (C2), cam hooks helpful again. This pitch veers very close to Town Crier, note that the anchors you are heading toward are visible from the top of pitch 2.
Pitch 4 - 5.12c or C1+, this is a fun one, the first piece is directly overhead from the belay, the crack that follows takes a wide (pun intended) variety of sizes. this is where you actually need that #4 C4 you've been hauling for three pitches; a short thin section leads to a bolt ladder and the belay. Cramer notes in his topo that a "cheat stick" (stick clip) is helpful; helpful is not really the right term here, as the last and second to last bolt are far enough apart that bridging them without free climbing involves a high step to a mediocre hook; by my estimation, without a stick clip this pitch is C2+.
Pitch 5 - 5.12d or C1, follow the bolt ladder as it continues up the slab to a crack with grass sprouting from it. This is reportedly a rather poor aid pitch, but the face climbing through the bolt ladder is the crux of the route if freed.
Pitch 6 - low 5th, a dirty and unpleasant gully leads to the top of the wall.
Essential GearFor the first four pitches I had the following:
Menagerie cam rack from 000 C3 to #4 C4, doubles of most sizes
Single set BD stoppers
Single set Chouinard RPs
Double set HB offset brassies
Other assorted nuts (WC Rocks, Metolius POS, etc)
Lowe ball (#1)
Sky hooks (variety)
Cam hooks (narrow)
I used almost everything at one point or another, multiple cam hooks are VERY useful, especially on pitches 2 and 3.