Date uncertain. I climbed this route a couple of times. Once with Graham Arnold, a graduate student in Jim Kinsey's lab at MIT where I was postdocking, and again with Rick Meinig, that had joined my Denali expedition. When I climbed it with Rick it was in a cloud, raining. I slipped on the wet rock on the "pipe pitch:" a pipe had been wedged in a crack to catch the rope if one fell on the crux pitch. We continued and finished the climb. After I returned I found a crescent bruise on my butt. I guess I hit the pipe during my fall. Years later Graham was responsible for my applying for a job with The Aerospace Corporation where I became a rocket plume phenomenologist and am still casually employed.
Got off route at the pipe pitch and found a somewhat easy way to bypass it--unfortunately, it came at the expense of missing the classic pitch. Routefinding was surprisingly tricky, especially if you're not familiar with the route description.
Finally climbed the 5.8 variation! The hand crack felt a bit strenuous, but fun and very well-protected. Much less appealing was the "intimidating but easier-than-it-looks" section above: though indeed technically easy, I found those hollow-sounding and often difficult to protect flakes extremely unnerving. In fact, was such a relief to finally climb out onto the Pipe Pitch that I got overly excited and nearly took a whipper on the crux pin :) All in all a fun day out, though.
Took a Friday off to climb the WG with a friend. First time on the route in several years. Finally did the alternate 5.7 first pitch, and found it to be much more fun than the regular start. Almost went for the 5.8 variation on pitch 3, but decided against it after realizing that my partner had used my #1 Camalot, which is necessary to protect the crux crack, for the pitch 2 belay. Still found some loose rock on the pitch below the pipe pitch. Perfect day with clear skies, low humidity and no wind - the only drawback were the black flies which, interestingly, only seemed to get worse the higher we climbed! All in all a great day, next time will come back with doubles in #1s and do the 5.8 variation!
Took the normal route and I led all the pitches. Pipe pitch was a little heady. Recent rockfall made some moves tenuous due to loose rocks.
Fun link with the Dike. 5.8 crack filled with ice and 30 lb pack on the back made it quite hard!
Fantastic climb - long, moderate, great exposure and position along the entire route. The approach is fun, and the descent was brutal. Must do for New England.
I HATED the approach over the talus field. I think I just psyched myself out and plan to do better next time. Though I've read on other sites that there are times when boulders come loose. So, there is good need to worry but it's just part of getting there, I guess. The climb itself was awesome. I needed a little lift on that 3rd pitch (I seconded), but all in all did well. I added a picture of myself at that pitch with the Black Dike looming behind me. I LOVED that pitch, I could see a little waterfall that was starting to freeze and hear the ice crashing down on the ground. Also, I was climbing with Chris who posted below this and as he said Denny was our leader. He did great!
Beautiful weather and no rockfall made for an awesome time. My friend Denny lead the route and did awesome on the tricky 5.9 variation at the finish. I can't wait to go back and lead it myself.
Well, It was a great day but the belay station at the two square foot ledge with two hundred feet of exposure toward the main wall and like 400 toward the highway was a lot of fun for half an hour!If you stay on route it is a solid 5.7 but every corner holds fixed gear leading astray to harder variations.
first attempt we ran out of time due to climber traffic and had an epic rappel when the rope got snagged. The second attempt was a charm. Route finding can be difficult and we did the 5.9 variation near the top. Of course we didn't realize it until i was commited to the move and freaked, but made it. We walked off and the trail down is steep and loaded with loose material-scarier than the climb itself!!
See, when I wrote the description for this a couple years ago, I was following the last pitch so I didn't remember the route too carefully; as a result, my original description to go right at the bulge was a bit off. Now that I led it, I know you're actually supposed to go quite a bit left; then it really is 5.7. I nearly did the same thing you did, but my belayer, who had done it many times before, talked me out of it.