This route report describes a selection of trad climbs on Sunshine Wall at Vantage. Sunshine Wall is a nice place to climb in the late fall to early spring with its south facing aspect and warm and dry desert weather.
Please feel free to add beta on other lines as I haven't lead many of the harder routes.
Park your car in the main lot and start hiking uphill towards the green colored wall on the obvious trail. Hike up to the top of the mesa and follow signs to the Near End. Pass through between the columns and drop down to the trail that runs directly underneath Sunshine Wall.
Party In Your Pants - 5.8
This very popular double crack system almost always has someone climbing one it. Generally regarded as the best 5.8 trad climb at Vantage. This climb is well suited to a new 5.8 leader with its excellent protection and continual rest stances.
Jamb both cracks and stem up the columns using the edges for rest and gear placement. The bulges are the cuxes. Continue all the way up to the anchor (90 feet).
: 2 to 3 sets of cams from 1" to 3" and a set of the larger nuts is suitable for sewing it up. This route can be led easily on all passive pro, 7 largest nuts and 4 medium hexes. A 60 meter rope is required to lower or rap.
Steel Grill - 5.9
A very nice offwidth climb with plentiful rests and good protection. Harder than the other 5.9 trad climbs at Vantage. This crack has pigeons living in it, so don't be surprised if one flies out while you are thrutching away.
The start of the crack is has a cruxy fingers section before opening to the offwidth above. Work you way up the crack using a combination of offwidth techniques, face holds, and stemming. About 60 feet up is the crux, a stiff offwidth move to get to a constriction above. Finish by stemming up the crack system to reach the anchor. (70 feet)
: 2 sets of cams from .75 to 4" plus a few large nuts. Hexes 8 through 11 are very helpful at the tops of the constrictions as well. Larger cams can be used but are not really needed. 50 meter rope.
Stroken' the Chicken - 5.6
A very nice crack system that starts out with jambing and stemming and ends with chimneying.
Jamb the left side crack and stem off the column on your right. Work your way up to the chockstone above. Sling the chockstone then either turn around 180 degrees and stem your way up or commit to the chimney on the right side. Both ways are fun. Stiff for a 5.6 if chimneyed. Belay from the top of the cliff.
: 1 set of cams from .25" to 3.5", 1 set of nuts, 1 48" sling for the chockstone. 50 meter rope.
Pony Keg - 5.9
Pony Keg is a high quality 5.9 hand and fist crack just right of Air Guitar. This route features lots of nice hand jambs and good protection.
Jamb your way up the fingercrack which quickly turns into hands. The start is easier with plantiful hand and footholds but gets cleaner higher up. The last 15 feet widens into cupped hands or fists. Traverse to the right at the top and lower from Whipsaw's anchor.
: 1 sets of cams from 1 to 1.5" and 2 to 3 sets from 1.75" to 3.5". Medium hexes also work good. 50 meter rope.
Air Guitar - 5.10A
Air Guitar is a very nice fingers to fists crack which features good jambs, good protection, and many stemming rests. This is the route that Goran Kropp died on, you will notice a plaque at the top commemerating him.
Jamb up the fingercrack which slowly widens to hands then fists at the top. Make sure to use the incut edges on both sides of the crack for rests. Easy for a 5.10A. Lower from the chain anchor.
: 2 sets of cams from 1" to 4", 1 set of nuts, 50 meter rope.
Crossing The Threshold - 5.8
A nice double set of cracks just left of Air Guitar. This is another good beginner lead with excellent protection and good stemming rests.
Jamb both cracks and stem the walls as you go up. Climbing is consistent and interesting. Traverse to the left at the top to lower from Clip'em or Skip'em's anchor, or belay from the top of the cliff.
: 2 sets of cams from .75 to 3.5 inches, 1 set of nuts, 50 meter rope.
George and Martha - 5.10A
George and Martha is a high quality fingers to offwidth crack that is commonly used to set a TR on Red M&M's next door. Harder than the other 5.10A trad climbs at Vantage.
Start up the finger crack using face holds and foot holds. The crack widens to hands in the middle with a stiff offwidth move at the top. Reach inside the offwidth to find an edge (beta coutesy of Radek) to get past this section, or thrutch through it (pretty hard). Belay or lower from the chains.
: 2 sets of cams from .75" to 4", 1 set of nuts, 50 meter rope
Tangled Up In Blue - 5.9
A classic stemming box and a good intoduction to leading 5.9 trad with good protection, continous stemming rests, and good jambs. Easy for the grade if you are over 6' tall.
The crux is in the first 15 feet with thin hand jambs on the left crack and smooth rock. Above, the crack openes to perfect hands with good edges for your feet to stem off from. Stem and jamb 50 feet to the top. You can either traverse to the right and lower from the chains, traverse to the left and lower from Narlux's anchor, or belay from the top of the cliff.
- 1 set of cams from 1.5" to 2", 2 sets of from 2" to 4", 1 set of large nuts, 50 meter rope.
Seven Virgins and a Mule - 5.7
The classic moderate chimney on Sunshine Wall. Very nice clean chimneying with a crack in the back so it can be lead with normal sized gear. Very popular.
Squeeze up inside the chimney with your body positioned to allow you to place protection in the finger and hand crack. Chimney up the wideness to the top. At the top, either traverse to the left and lower from Steel Pulse's anchor or belay from the top of the cliff.
: 2 sets of cams from .5 to 2.5 inches, 1 set of nuts, 50 meter rope.
Yodmeister - 5.10A
A decent handcrack with plenty of rests and short strenuous bulges.
Jamb up the handcrack using edges on the right for stemming. Lots of good jambs with several constricting sections and some face holds. Belay from the top of the cliff.
: 2 set of cams from 1" to 3.5", 1 set of nuts, 50 meter rope.
Go Cat Go - 5.10B
This unique and interesting route climbs the fingercrack with the roof just left of Yodmeister.
Start up the face on your left using the left side crack and the bolts for pro. Traverse to the right below the roof and commit to some wild wide stemming and underclinging to reach a stance on the arete to the right. Reach up to get a good finger jamb then crank through 20 feet of steep fingers on clean rock to reach the easier handcrack above. Belay from the top of the cliff.
- 1 set of cams from .25" to 2.5", 1 set of nuts, 4 draws, 50 meter rope.
Hamhocks - 5.10B
The rating in the book is 5.9 on this one, yeah right. Others agree with my correction. Hamhocks is a short hand and fingercrack which climbs clean rock with locking jambs.
Start in the cave and reach up to and grab some jugs to gain the thin handcrack above. Great jambs and perfect rock. The crack gradually narrows down to fingers near the top with good locking constrictions. Short but very fun. 50 feet. belay from the cliff top.
: 2 sets of cams from .75 to 2.5", 1 set of nuts (optional), 50 meter rope.
Whale of the Wanapum - 5.9
This hand and fist crack is short but worthwhile. A good first 5.9 lead with good protection and abundant rest stances.
Start with some highsteps on the faceholds to reach the handcrack above. Jamb straight up the crack to reach the clifftop above. Belay from the top.
: 1 set of cams from micro to 4", doubles 2.5 to 3.5" optional, 1 set of large nuts, 50 meter rope.
Burning Spears - 5.10C
Burning Spears is a nice thin fingercrack on an of vertical column at the far end of Sunshine Wall.
Start with some highsteps on the faceholds to reach the fingercrack above. Jamb the thin fingercrack using a combination of foot jambing and stemming. Towards the top the crack gets very thin. Power through this using a right pulling gaston just right of the crack. Belay from the cliff top.
: 1 set of cams from .25 to 2" with emphasis on the smallest sizes, 1 set of small nuts, 50 meter rope.