Fossana summed it up perfect. Plus I'd never been in the back of Juniper Canyon...gorgeous setting. Thanks Dow for bringing attention to this route.
Thank you....hey, just did a a route that shares the first two pitches, a must do, Sweet Thin.....two pretty damn cool 5.9 pitches at the top....cheers
Armatron is a close to a perfect climb as you could ask for. We approached up Myster Z, which was very pleasant, if unspectacular (7 pitches, 5.6-7). From the top of Jackrabbit Buttress, it is indeed a ten minute walk to Armatron. As Myster Z tapers off to 3rd class, look for an easy bowl leading down and west past cairns to the wall below Armatron. Hiking in to Armatron is also a good option--the hiking time to the base would probably be shorter than the Myster Z approach (3 hrs for us on Myster Z versus about a 1.5 to 2 hour hike). The first pitch of Armatron is easy to spot--just look for the bolts. The second pitch crux is well protected with small units, and the climbing is fabulous. Then it is just gorgeous, plated varnish for 300 feet to the top of the wall. Small units, wires, and cams to 2.5" will do it. We topped out on Juniper peak instead of rapping off and would recommend this--it's gorgeous, easy, and safer. To be helpful, I'm including some specific beta for the walk-off, since it's a little tricky. From the top of Armatron's 4th pitch, climb two more nebulous 5.6 pitches (both bolted) to the top of the pillar (finishing on the last pitch of Requiem for a Tadpole), downclimb a short 3rd class step, scramble up and left on bushy 2nd and 3rd class ledges for 200 feet, then turn east and scramble 200 feet to the true summit of Juniper Peak (total from the top of the climb, ten minutes). DO NOT take the brushy gully immediately east of the top of the technical climbing--you will probably get cliffed. From the true summit, head northeast for just 50 feet or so, looking for an enormous pine (short, but 2 feet in diameter) and follow the obvious scrambler's trail back down east, then around to the north to the very base of the climb (20 minutes). Continue on down the cairned path and out the canyon, passing Crimson Crysalis. If Armatron was next to the road, there would be waiting lines every day. This climb deserves as many stars as possible.
I must have not signed the summit log on this. Appreciate Fossana's comments. This is a nice route. Just did Requiem for a Tadpole as well. Would be a solid fun day of climbing to combine both of these routes. Where Armatron gives you that incredible 5.6 3rd pitch, Requiem offers a spectacular arete pitch on the same quality rock, a variation of pitch 4. Maybe do Armatron first, rap, then to the top with Requiem...but only if no one is behind you on Armatron.
> amazing setting: check
> sunny most of the day in winter: check
> exposed, alpine finish: check
> painless descent: check
1:10 for the approach using the more direct Fire Ecology trail. Excellent route with variation described by Dow. Bomber nut placements in the finger crack preceding the crux. Unique climbing with the tiles and no need to haul a second rope for the descent. Another party on the N wall (Cat Scratch Fever), but we were the sole climbers on the S.