To get to the base of the climb, first head out the Pony Express trail that leads east, straight out of the campground. Keep going on the trail with the main wall on your right and Hogsback on your left. After you've gone maybe 10 or 15 minutes, look left and you'll notice a notch in Hogsback. There's a pretty obvious climbers trail that heads north, over the notch. You should take that trail. It meanders up and follows a small, usually dry drainage. The trail will go up and over the notch and then start bending to the west. (Remain fairly high on the slope, near the base of the rock; the first time I followed this trail I lost it and went too low. This resulted in a fair amount of bush-whacking.) Continue skirting the rock slope through boulder fields. The first climb you'll come to is Knapsack Crack; continue on past Deception to arrive at a tree and the base of Harvey's Wallbangers, Center (and Left and Right). 3rd and 4th class up to the base of the tree.
Pitch 1: The route starts and the base of a pine tree and follows a flake and crack system up and slightly to the left. The beginning of the first pitch is very easy and hardly requires pro. There's a distinctive right-protruding flake that resembles an "L". I climbed up and past it to the left. You'll then be transitioning into a left-facing dihedral. Just before a small "roof" there's one 5.6 move that requires a little bit of lay-backing and finger jamming as I recall. Otherwise the pitch is quite easy. The best place to set up the belay is just over that little "roof" and parallel an old piton. (I kept going past this point and set up the first belay higher but it was much more awkward.)
Pitch 2: You will now continue heading up the main crack system that you've been on since traversing over after the "L" flake. You can follow this crack all the way to the top, up and over some small bulges and mini-roofs. There are a couple of weird mantel moves near the top of the blocks near the summit. (I looked a bit like a beached whale on one of them but hopefully nobody saw that.) If you don't like the second mantel move, you can make an easy traverse to the right and ascend easy cracks and bulges to reach the top. Once you've reached the top anchor off on a pine tree, kick back in the sunshine and enjoy the view while bringing up your partner.
Descent: Walk off the backside of Hogsback. Work your way down and to the north to eventually connect back up with the climbers trail that you took on the approach.
All in all this is a low angle 5.6 with huge rests and tons of places set pro. It's also a lot of fun and probably a good warm up for harder stuff. I climbed it with a partner I'd never climbed with before and it was a perfect "get acquainted" climb. Have fun!
- One set of nuts
- One set of cams, emphasizing medium cams (.5 - 3)
- Bring light approach shoes with you to walk off the backside of Hogsback. If you are going to move on the main wall afterwards, bring all your gear with you so you don't have to walk back to the base of the climb. Then you can just walk off the backside straight down and over to the main wall.
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