We heard of people doing this as 2 pitches, but decided to do it in 3 as the guidebook recommended (the guidebook actually shows 4 "pitches", but the first is 4th class and easily soloed). Karén took the first, which had some tricky 5.9 moves near a bulge - but he did it in fine style. This takes you to an extremely large ledge, where you could park a car (or have a comfortable belay at least).
I took the next pitch which starts with some pleasant 5.6 climbing, nothing like what's about to come. This brings you to a small ledge from where you can stare at the next 20 feet of climbing and wonder how something so imposing can be only 5.10a. The book classified this as a powerful and challenging section, and I found this to be the case as well. Supposedly a layback is the easiest way to do it, but I couldn't figure out how to layback.. instead I did an insecure stem with a painful finger lock - and then it was over! Well, almost... there was another fun move or two to get to the ledge.
From the ledge, the 5.10c crux looms above. I quickly erased all thoughts of linking these pitches out of my mind, and instead brought Karén up from the very spacious and comfy ledge. He joined me and we looked at the finger crack above in intimidation.
And for the finger crack, all I can say is that it's hard. There are some good finger locks but as could be expected, the feet were the problem. Karén figured it out though and cruised up the rest of the pitch. Note: a yellow alien protects a 5.9 move at the top.
Then we enjoyed the 4th class descent back to the car, and headed for our next route: Taqueria Al Gave! The approach was, as usual, quite the traffic-fest battling PT cruisers and equinoxes...
|Karén halfway up the 4th class ramp (climb goes up and right)||Karén at the 5.9 section on the 1st real pitch||me on the 5.6 crack, with the real business above|
|on top of the 5.10a section: things are stitched up below me :)||5.10c looms above|
|looking up in intimidation||looking down the 5.10a section and the rest of the climb: fairly clean line!||Lembert Dome view|
|Karén cruised past the 5.10c crux at this point||on the top of the climb: note the yellow alien which was nice to have||Direct NW face below|
|Hopefully dogs can't read!!!|