The route climbs up the Angel Food Wall immediately to the right of Group Therapy
. It is of similar length as Tunnel Vision
and Group Therapy
. To reach the base of the route, follow the directions on Josh's Tunnel Vision
page. When you're about 100 feet below the start of Tunnel Vision
, find a climbers' trail that traverses rightward below the base of Angel Food Wall. Do not go to the base of Tunnel Vision
and then try to traverse right below the base of the rock - you'll be faced with some drop offs and much much brush!! Take the climbers trail mentioned above for about 75 to 100 yards as it traverses right and uphill getting progressively closer to the rock base (when in doubt, stay low while traversing). The route starts in a shallow, right-facing dihedral. There's a large tree 30 feet above the base at the mouth of the prominent chimney (see photo
for start). Note that this is exactly
the same start as for Group Therapy
and this photo
might be helpful during approach.
P1 P3 P4
The route starts out deep inside the huge chimney immediately right of Group Therapy
and reaches the same 3rd class gully/ledge system midway up the face of White Rock Mountain in about 5+ pitches. The route involves much easy OW's and some easy chimneys. The route is NOT included in the current (2004) edition of Super Topo. Swain's guidebook incorrectly shows the route as being done in four pitches. Note that the pitch lengths and difficulty ratings below are from our experience on the route. The route is well protected for the most part if you have big gear (#4 - #5 Camalot range) but there is a mandatory 5.7-ish chimney on P3 that has a ~20 foot "runout" right off the belay to the first bolt.
To reach the base of pitch 1 proper, either climb the low 5th class terrain 20 feet up to the tree as shown in this photo
(start shared with Group Therapy
, it was running with water when we did it) or scramble up the 4th class blocks immediately right of the start shown in the photo
. This latter option will probably feel safe enough for most to do unroped. Once at the tree, 20 feet above ground, walk deep into the huge chimney. This is where pitch one begins.
5.7, 130 feet. Climb the pocketed slab on the right side of the chimney to reach a "ceiling". Pull the ceiling (5.7) and continue climbing the steep slab and crack staying closer to the right side of the chimney (one old bolt on the slab can be clipped but on-demand pro is available in the crack on the right) . There are no chimney moves required on this pitch - much face climbing and some jamming. Belay at the double bolt anchor (right side) at an OK stance in the chimney.
5.7, 90 feet. This is probably the only pitch where you'll get to do some chimneying. Stem or chimney your way straight up from the belay (up the narrowing chimney) clipping a huge bolt (left wall) about 20 feet above belay bolts. There's really no pro opportunity before the bolt but the going feels secure. Move out of the chiney and onto the right side face above the bolt. Continue diagonalling up and right via nice ledges (past a small tree) aiming for the base of a large, left facing dihedral. Belay at rap slings around a large boulder on a good ledge. Even though this is a fairly short pitch (shorter than Swain suggests), do not continue up the dihedral or you'll be faced with a largely hanging belay on gear (no good stances).
5.7, 160 feet. From the belay ledge, move up and slightly left up the slab with a finger crack in it. Going is about 5.6 with some thinnish cams for pro. Pull the small overhang about 40 feet above belay ledge (~5.7) and continue straight up the 5.7-ish OW/groove. Belay at about 160 feet at an uncomfortable stance (it's as good as it gets) inside a narrow chimney next to a tiny, semi-dead tree (someone actually rapped off of this 1.5 inch dead twig!!!). At this point you're just about level with the huge overhang you saw above from top of P2. Despite what Swain claims, I saw no bolt(s) on this pitch.
5.6 - 5.7, 140 feet. Continue straight up the narrow chimney/OW system until you arrive on a beautiful ledge inside the chimney. Belay on gear. At this point, Swain claims you should be on top. In fact you still have a full pitch and some class 3 slabs to reach the top.
5.6 - 5.7, 140 feet. From the belay ledge, move up and right out of the chimney following easy but runout face. When you arrive at a "headwall" above, traverse right until you reach a wide crack/groove. Move up the crack (~5.7) until able to move back left onto the face (think there's a small bush near the top). At this point you're fighting some major rope drag. Fight your way left for about 30 feet and belay on low angle slabs at two good bolts. Variation: apparently you could go straight up from the belay ledge and end up at the same set of bolts by following the narrow chimney up. This looked quite hard (harder than 5.7).
Follow 3rd class slabs up and left to reach a huge boulder at the top of a double gully system. Follow the class 3 gully on the LEFT (the right one brings you down to the same place but requires a rappel). See descent directions for either Group Therapy
or Tunnel Vision
Standard trad rack with emphasis on large cams. Having a few pieces in the > #3.5 Camalot (up to #5 Camalot) will make this less stressful an "ordeal".
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.