(2nd Pitch in Above Photo)
Two of the more popular moderate routes at Lumpy Ridge are J-Crack, 5.9, and Fat City Crack. Where J-Crack essentially has one long stellar pitch (the finger crack to 5.11 seam variation for one very long pitch), Fat City Crack begs to be broken into three great pitches, one short 5.10 crux roof pitch sandwiched between two stellar and long 5.9 pitches, the first of which is reminiscent of J-Crack’s crux pitch. To finish to the top, I recommend adding Outlander’s last pitch to make the route a complete four pitches of 5.9-10 climbing to the top of the formation. MP.com formerly lists that Outlander pitch as 5.10+, but it is a 5.9 pitch by most standards and it is not near as challenging as pulling the roof on Fat City’s crux. Neither of these roof pulls are overly technical, just physical but well protected. The third pitch of Fat City is a cool 5.9 under cling traverse.
Hike from the trailhead as you would for the Book (all signed-2018, this is over populated CO remember). As you start to head up the hill following the signs for the Book, catch a sign for a split-off trail to the right which is well marked for the Book. If you stay on the trail straight you will end up at the Bookmark. Once you get to the base of the Book where the trail dumps you, veer up and left and then back right to a significant left facing corner in the middle of the formation. There is a left leaning splitter finger seam just to the left of the corner. You can see a fixed rap below the roof (pitch 2) above which is the hanging stance belay for this stellar first pitch of Fat City. The roof of pitch two is obvious with a short human sized crack below and left.
1st Pitch- 110’-5.9/This pitch is similar to J-Crack’s finger crack pitch. Outstanding climbing via a left leaning seam just left of the massive corner to a fixed rap at a semi hanging belay well below the roof. You can sew it up and I really never felt much of a crux section. Outside of the first few meters, a secure lead.
2nd Pitch- 50’-5.10c/ This pitch has two interesting cruxes, the thin seam straight up from the belay and the roof pull itself. The seam can be protected with Rp’s and/or wires to a traverse (easier lower) left into the short and fat wide crack (thus the name of the route). Left side in reaches hands and/or fists. Inch up clipping the lone protection bolt on the route (was not needed) as you reach the finger crack horizontal. Traverse right along this and make physical and exposed (2nd crux) moves to reach tight hands over the roof. Mantel down with your right hand and pull the roof up to a sloping gear belay ledge. An athletic move.
3rd/4th Pitches- 220’-5.9/ Almost as good of a pitch as the first one for the competent 5.9 leader. Traverse out right under clinging the horizontal crack(s) starting out with fingers. They become multiple in nature and figuring out which way you want to go might be the crux. Most all of it looks 5.9. This is where you can place a C4#3 and #4 if you brought them. Start angling up and right and eventually climb easy run out face up the broken ground. A 70m rope will make it to the top of the formation. 60m rope will make it to below a roof and the traditional exit to the right of the roof. I recommend the roof (final pitch of Outlander) which makes for yet another fun 5.9 pitch. Face right and stem and chimney up to the hand crack pull. Just a few more meters to the top of the formation from there.
Walk/scramble off to the right of the formation, following cairns (2018) and return to the base. Hauling approach shoes is recommended.
Single to C4#4, Rps, wires and a few offset set cams if you have them. 70m rope allows you to do the route in three pitches vs four. Shoulder length slings for extension. Formation faces mostly south. Weather happens often at 2pm during the month of July. Recommend poles for the approach up the hill.