This selection of routes features 3 nice multipitch crack and slab climbs on the Pearly Gates crag. All three routes are high quality and reach the top of the wall.
Park in the Snow Creek Wall parking lot then hike down the trail to the bridge. Cross the river then the irrigation ditch. About 100 feet after the irrigation ditch, turn right following a trail and cairns to a series of log crossings over Snow Creek. After this follow the nice trail up to the base of the Pearly Gates. Approximate time is 30 minutes.
Cloud Nine is a nice 2 pitch crack and stemming dihedral route located about 1/4 the way down the wall from the approach trail. The start is located by finding the big right leaning handcrack and offwidth. There is a thin fingercrack just to the right of it, and an overhanging fingercrack to the left.
- 5.8 - Grab the big positive flake then reach up and start jambing the nice handcrack. The crack widens for a bit to offwidth but faceholds make it easy. Keep jambing the handcrack above until you exit into the 4th class terrain just below the anchor. 85 feet
- 5.9+ - Work your way up the dihedral using stemming and the fingertip crack. Climbing is strenuous and demanding. Supplement the 2 bolts with microcams. Above the second bolt do a big reach then haul yourself up from the jug. Traverse to the left in the hand and fingercrack then belay at the chains. 80 feet.
- Rappel the route with a single 60 meter rope. A 50 meter will not reach. Another option is to scramble off to the left.
- 1 set of cams from .3 to 3 inches, 1 set of nuts, 2 quickdraws, 60 meter rope.
- For more of a challenge on the first pitch try starting with Easy Pickens (5.10A), just to the right of Cloud Nine. Work your way over the bulge (very hard for 5.10A) then clip the bolt about 12 feet off the ground. This hard section can be bypassed with a 5.8 traverse in from the right. Once established in the fingercrack, jamb it until it ends. Now reach over to the right and sidepull off the edge until you can reach the nice pod above you and haul yourself up. Exit to the left into the Cloud Nine finish. 85 feet.
Gear on Variation
- 1 set of microcams from .3 to 1.5 inch, 2 quickdraws.
Loaves of Fun / Tool Time
This climb features a nice combination of crack and slab climbing and reaches the top of the wall in 2 good pitches. To reach the start, traverse past the first section of the wall past some broken terrain. Shortly after reaching the second set of crack systems, looks for a double crack angling up and to the left. This is the start.
- 5.8 - Jamb the nice double crack system supplemented by face holds. Climbing is nice and varied. Reach up for some holds and swing your left leg around onto the face. Haul yourself up to gain the slab above. Clip the bolt then climb straight up the slab towards the first anchor. (Do not go to the right). Pass the first anchor and belay at the second anchor up and to the left. 140 feet
- 5.9+ - Work your way up the nice slab with good protection provided by numerous bolts. About half way up you encounter a bulge with several bolts. This is the crux and heavily sandbagged. Directly up where the bolts are is easily 5.10C or more, not 5.9+. Crank off 4 or 5 moves to a ledge. If you want to avoid the crux you can traverse in from either the left or right (swinging fall potential). The right is maybe 5.8 and the left is low fifth and dirty. Finish off the pitch on the easier slab above. 80 feet.
Three single rope rappels with a 60 meter rope will get you down. On the second rappel swing over to your right and stop at the chains directly above the roof. You can also scramble off the wall to your left.
- 1 set of cams from micro to 4 inches, 1 set of nuts, 8 draws or slings for pitch #2.
Milky Way is a Fantastic 2 pitch slab climb! Don't let the guidebook ho hum 2 star description fool you, this route is a 3.5 to 4 star classic on perfect rock.
To reach the start, keep moving down the wall past Loaves of Fun until you reach a dihedral with a bolt above it. This is the start.
- 5.10A - Stem up the dihedral using finger sized cams for protection. This is the crux and strenuous. On top of the dihedral clip the bolt and traverse to the left. Work your way up some nice thin slab towards the flake. Sidepull, lieback, smear, and pinch your way up the awesome flake (sustained and beautiful 5.9). Climb your way over to the right at its end and balance up some more nice thin slab. Exit to the ledge on some easier terrain. 115 feet
- 5.9 - Start your way up the excellent slab using very small features in the rock. Footwork is critical on this pitch, and it's a calf burner. Climbing is sustained, interesting, and really nice. Belay at the chains on top of the wall. 110 feet
You will need 2 ropes or a 70 meter to rap the route. Another option is to rap Loaves of Fun / Tool Time in 3 raps. Another option is to walk off to the left.
- 2 finger sized cams, 9 draws or slings, 2 60 meter ropes or 1 70 meter rope.
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