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The West Face
Route

The West Face

 

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 37.21000°N / 118.56°W

Object Title: The West Face

Route Type: Trad Climbing

Time Required: Half a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.10a (YDS)

Difficulty: 5.10a

Number of Pitches: 4

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
 - 4 Votes
 

 

Page By: Steve Larson

Created/Edited: Sep 30, 2005 / Aug 20, 2010

Object ID: 166942

Hits: 2758 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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Approach

Walk up the talus to the toe of the crag. Proceed a bit further up and left to the base of a prominent large flake resting flat against the face. Rope up here. Approximately 20 minutes.

Route Description

Pitch 1: There are two options. The left side of the flake is an alleged 5.8 corner with an awkward mantle onto a sloping sandy ledge at the top. The right side follows the edge of the flake, and is reputed to be 5.9. I know at least one person who has done both variations, and swears the 5.9 start is easier. From the top of the flake, climb a left-facing corner into a trough. The trough soon broadens. A thin pair of cracks lead up to a step-around move (5.10a, but I think the difficulty is inversely proportional to your reach) beneath a large block on the right. This leads to another left-facing corner that gets interesting near the top. Above the corner is a large ledge. Climb the corner/block on the right side, then around to a bolt belay. Gear to about 2"

Pitch 2: The crux pitch. A left-facing corner above the belay becomes increasingly challenging and strenuous until culminating in a more or less vertical section. Above easier climbing provides a welcome rest before steepening at the technical crux--another step-around move that requires a bit of faith. A short easy traverse to the right leads to a bolt belay. Gear to 2".

Pitch 3: This pitch leads off with a not-so-well-protected traverse right to a crack system that goes more or less straight up the face (5.9). Follow the cracks until reaching a ledge. Chews up small nuts and cams. Hand-sized gear is handy for the anchor.

Pitch 4: Start with a short 5.8 chimney at the left side of the ledge. Above the chimney, traverse left and slightly up through a broken area. If you are planning to rap the route, stop at the bolts hanging out above the void. Otherwise continue on up past the bolts another 20-30 feet to the top.

Essential Gear

The pitches are not long. A 50m rope is plenty for the climb, though a 70m is required to rap the face. Gear to maybe 2.5 inches, perhaps doubling up on the finger-hand sized pieces. The third pitch can eat up nuts on the .3-.7" range. Rope drag is generally not a problem, but a few strategically placed runners will probably make the leader happier. You may want to bring a wad of webbing in case you find the rap stations free of usable slings material.

Miscellaneous Info

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Images

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The West FaceWest FaceCardinal Pinnacle West Face route overlay