The 1st crux of the 2nd pitch
In August, 2015, I traveled up to Lovers Leap to avoid fires and smoke in the eastern Sierras. We climbed 10 multi-pitch routes in five days. Most included the lessor climbed, more adventurous routes in the 5.10 range. My favorite link up by far was Tombstone Terror (5.10c) into Eeyore’s Enigma (EE). This match up resulted in fingers to off-width to squeeze. These two routes are basically stacked right on top of each other.
You do not even need to coil the rope between them. EE has to be one of the more obscure routes at Lover’s Leap (if you can call anything at Lover’s Leap obscure=relative). Its second pitch offers fantastic physical climbing. The first obstacle is a wide roof that looks quite improbable. But once up into it and with solid protection via C4# 4’s, you can chimney out the open end. The final moves to escape this chimney offer a thought provoking sequence.
On the same pitch, your next objective is a squeeze chimney. I weigh 145lbs and am 5’11” and barely made it through, but I did have a full rack on my harness which does not do you any good once you exit as it is all #4’s to the next belay. I would prefer to climb EE next time without a helmet due to the squeeze.
The 2nd crux of the 2nd pitch
Warren Harding and Galen Rowell established this gem in 1969
and in my opinion, this should have been the Leap’s contribution to the “50 North American Classics” versus Traveler’s Buttress. I led the route in three pitches total with a little simul climbing from my second on the last pitch and added my own interesting version to pitch three by climbing the chimney straight up and pulling the roof (5.10-) versus pulling out onto the face as per the FA description.
My 3rd pitch variation via antoher roof
The first pitch is uneventful to the base of several large blocks that lead into the first chimney/off-width roof. The second pitch is by far the crux as laid out above, pulling through two intimidating chimney off-widths/squeezes by moving right to left to exit both.
However both protect quite well. After leaving the squeeze chimney, you will probably have expended the recommended three C4 #4’s which is the cam you need to protect about 30’-40’ of a corner up to a comfortable belay in the base of yet another chimney. However, the climbing is much easier (5.8). You can either run it out like I did, or bring a fourth #4 or be more judicious with the three that are recommended. I varied from the beta and pulled yet another roof on the 3rd pitch. It had some good moves, particularly the exit itself. I recommend it. I combined pitches 3 and 4 to the top, by placing a slim amount of pro and with my second simul climbing to the top of the chimney. She did not have to make the roof pull until I had her on belay from the top of the wall, with a 70m rope.
If you are linking EE with Tombstone Terror as I did, at the top of Tombstone Terror, simply turn left around the arête and you will be standing beneath it.
Route Description1st Pitch- 80’- 5.8/
Take the left facing corner via hands up to below the first roof and belay at a fixed pin (2015) on a nice ledge.
2nd Pitch- 120’- 5.10/
This is the crux pitch and has two unique cruxes within it. The first is the obvious roof above. Mantle some blocks straight above the belay. Work your way up into the right side of the roof and make a lengthy extension of a C4 #4. Chimney out to the left end of the roof, placing another #4 along the way with ample extension as well. Make some intricate and off-balance 5.10 stem moves up the arête at the left side of the roof. The 2nd part of this pitch would be considered the more difficult crux by many particularly if they like their bonbons. Squeeze up into the bottomless void above, again starting with the right side. Place a C4 #2 in a flake in the right side and proceed with the tight squeeze out left. It is best at a minimum to have your lower legs below the lip and/or against the back wall. In other words, unless you are a child, there will be no way you will get your whole body up into the squeeze. Labor your way left until you can step (again) out onto the arête. Helmets will be a pain in the ass through this section. I placed a third #4 at the base of a left facing corner above the squeeze before running it out up the corner and into the base of a chimney with a comfortable slung block belay.
3rd /4th Pitches- 260’- 5.9/
My version (versus pulling out onto the face) is to chimney up to the roof. The best gear will be a C4#.4 in a horizontal right before you pull the roof via an exposed and physical move. This chimney and the subsequent climbing is chossy and mossy. Start the “dike hike” trending up and right on moss and lichen covered dikes with intermittent cracks. I ran the pitch to the top of the formation pulling one roof/bulge along the way (traversing up and left and then back right). Eventually you tie into the more popular routes (Travelers Buttress) and the dikes clean up. I basically soloed most of the last 200’ (for rope drag purposes) and my partner had to simul up to the chimney roof move to make this work as one pitch.
Catch the main trail down the east side all the way back to the main trail that heads to camp. This is an up and over route with no return to the base.
I emptied a double rack from C4 #1 on down to micro cams on Tombstone Terror which I recommend as a link up with EE. I placed no wires, but did have a few off set cams with me. The critical cams for EE is one #2, one #.4 and three #4’s. Obviously if you climbed Tombstone Terror to get to EE, you have a ton of other gear in the small sizes. I would not take any #3’s. Bring more slings than draws. I would not wear a helmet as it will be in the way in the squeeze. This route sees about as much shade as any route at the Leap, dress accordingly. 70m rope helps with doing Tombstone in one push and finishing EE in three total pitches vs four.