This route was put up in 1980. The protection is about 30% gear and 70% ¼" bolts that are the same ones put up by the Urisote's 20 years ago. I mean WAY WAY old and rusty (This route has now been retro-bolted with). Most belays consisted of a 3/8" & a ¼" bolt. One belay had a rusty ¼" bolt and was backed up with a 6" round chockstone that was semi-wedged in a crack that was too big to back up with the gear that we had. The line itself is beautiful and is named for the eagle-like formation that runs through the 3rd pitch. It goes pretty straight up for 5 pitches. Then, it traverses left on an 8-bolt bolt-ladder and then immediately transitions into the flaring groove crux. We got an early pass permit. Located way up in the Oak Creek Canyon, the approach took a little over 2 hours.
1st Pitch: Craig took the lead on the 1st 5.8 pitch. This is a rope
stretcher. Unless you plan on simulclimbing the last 15-20 feet, you will need a 60 meter rope. All gear as I remember.
2nd Pitch: 1st 5.10 pitch. Cool pitch as you clip plenty of bolts and place a couple of pieces of gear. Wow! What an eye-opener. These bolts look like they were designed for attaching my license plate to the car. They are rusty and they look weak.
3rd Pitch: Craig takes this pitch with lots of bad bolts (13) and a couple of small Alien and nut placements whenever he can. Probably a letter grade more difficult than the previous 5.10.
4th pitch: Nothing memorable. This 5.9 pitch with 9 more sketchy bolts anda few more gear placements. Straightforward.
5th pitch: This is a short 60-foot pitch that takes you the base of the mandatory A1 bolt ladder.
6th Pitch & 7th Pitch: I run the bolt ladder and the crux pitch together. With a fair amount of exposure, some 5.8 climbing protected by a thin rp takes you to the 1st of the 8 bolts. After leaning out and clippingthe 1st bolt (another manky bolt with a wing nut to keep the hanger on), it traverses (on MORE manky bolts) past the bulge. I used some makeshift slings as aiders (I was happy to have my fifi hook here as it was overhanging). The belay at the end of this pitch is weird. Another manky anchor in a flare would make this semi-hanging belay pretty crowded so
I decide to run it together. The crux moves are off the belay at a thin finger crack inside a slightly overhanging dihedral. These moves can be aided or frenched
8th Pitch: This is a weird pitch. Craig led this one. It was a weird rotten flaring grove protected by crummy bolts and some gear. Easily one of the hardest pitches. Insecure footing and handholds. I After following it, I concurred that it was as hard as any pitch we'd done. It definitely took us by surprise as we were expecting a 5.9 (Note: After looking at some earlier emails this morning, I now noticed that several people rated this pitch at a solid 10 also).
9th Pitch: A fun 5.8 pitch takes you to the top.
The decent takes about 3+ hours. We were back at the car by 6:30pm. Never had to break out our headlamps. We had made pretty good time. This was a great climb. Watched the beautiful desert sunset. Woke up the next day, broke down the
tent, and drove to the Riviera Hotel and lounged around the pool all daywith the other tourists. You just gotta' love Vegas.
No comments posted yet.