Scramble up the talus to the Base of the true West Face. You need to angle left a bit to find the base of this route. It is an obvious, left facing corner system, left of McCarthy West Face and right of Mr. Clean and is marked by a dead tree and fine belay ledge.
This route was first climbed in 1972 by Mark Hesse and Dan McClure. It was a route WAY ahead of its time. It was originally graded 5.9 (because nobody could climb 5.10), however numerous repeat ascents have confirmed the 5.10 rating.....("You should have climbed in the '70's when it was easier; it was only 5.9 then"). The route is a True Tour-de-Force, with finger, liebacking, fist and off-width challenging sections. Technically the 2nd pitch is the crux, yet the 1st pitch is challenging as the crux is near the end and the 3rd pitch is an enduro issue for even the best fist & off-width Master. Tulgey Wood is not just a 3-Star Route, but a continuing tribute to the insight and determination of the first ascent party.
Pitch 1. (135 ft., 5.10a) Although the corner starts out hand sized, the issue is truly the finger / finger-tip section above it. The crux is about 15 feet below the anchor bolts. Remember to breath and check out the face to the right of the crack. Belay on the fine ledge atop the column from a Great 2-Big Bolt anchor. If you take many #3-#5 size stoppers, in addition to the hand and finger size protection, you will never have to lead past your ankles.
Pitch 2. (30ft.,5.10a) Layback, stem and jam the finger crack to a belay on the column top to your right. This has a 2 Big-Bolt anchor. The start of this pitch is strenuous and tricky, but it is harder still, higher up. Once through the initial difficulties, resist the urge to " Go for it". Several falls have occurred due to this thinking. "Decking-out" on the column top is quite possible and at least one set of ankles has been broken here. "Don't Just Smear, Put In Gear !!! "
Pitch 3. (165 ft., 5.9+) Climb the long, long, long fist crack to the spacious West Face Ledge and belay from a 2 Big Bolt anchor. There is no crux section, as such. The crux is your endurance and your wide crack technique. As fists are not my best size ,amr-bars and offwidth gain me secure, steady ground. This is a long pitch and many, many pieces, #3.5 to #4.5 Friend size are recommended. Save a #4 Friend for the last 25 feet ; its Not over , yet !!!
Pitch 4.& 5. (160 ft., 5.8) Take the McCarthy West Face route to the summit and there, stroll around, Proudly !!! You have just climbed a True Test Piece !!!!!!!!!
Standard, full rack.
Extra stoppers #3-#5 for the 1st pitch
Extra,extra pieces, #3.5 to #4.5 Friend size for the long and challenging 3rd pitch.
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