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Friday, April 25, 2008

Rear End Rock & Dead Elephant Miniguide

This area can be described as a small cluster of abrasive blobs located a hard stone's throw to the southwest from Cloudshadow Wall. Two of these blobs are worth clambering around upon and - when viewed from the south - one bears a remarkable resemblance to a well-rounded posterior while the other resembles a dead elephant. Rear End Rock is smaller and possesses a few problems, one of which is not to be missed. Dead Elephant is well featured, larger and lower-angled boulder, yielding a number of more moderate lines. Both are worth visiting someday when you have a beginner with you, when the scene at Cloudshadow is more than you can bear or when you want to play on something different. FWIW, I named all the problems on the Dead Elephant, although I was probably only first for the stupid sit-starts I did. Where: The best way to approach these boulders - from a social trail and user impact perspective - is to head up Flagstaff Road and park on the left 1.2 miles after passing over the Armstrong Bridge at Capstan Rock. Walk up the road 50 yards to the guardrail at the hairpin turn. Step over the guardrail and drop down the steps for 15 yards toward Cloud Shadow Wall. As the Cloud Shadow Wall comes into view, turn back to your right and walk 25 yards west-southwest to a small boulder nestled in the pines ... this is Rear End Rock. The stuff worth climbing faces south, but there is one easy line on the west side. Dead Elephant is the next boulder downhill next to the East Flagstaff Trail. Worthwhile problems can be found on the south and west sides right off the trail.
1. West Wall VB ... FA: Unknown
A vertical warm-up problem before venturing around the corner to the skin-shredding bulge problems on the south side.
2. Hip Check V5/6 sds ... FA: Chip Phillips, 2000
Begin from a sds on opposing edges very low on the corner below the shelf. Establish on small sharp features that look chossy (but aren't), work your feet and make a blind RH slap into a shallow dish up and right on the slab. Work your feet again up onto the shelf, get a LH undercling, pull onto the slab using miniscule features and dance to the top. It's not over until you're laughing about it at the top.
3. Left Bulge V4 ... FA: Pat Ament, 1967 *
Although this problem has a funky start and is relatively short in stature, is still pretty good. Climb the bulge staying left of the seam. The trick is where to start. The lower you move your hands to start, the harder it gets (see problems #4-6). The old school V4 start, described here, utilized a cheatstone to access holds at the lip. Get there today by stacking pads or Gill-starting off a good RH crimp up to a decent LH gaston at the lip. Once there, match, smack up and left to a LH sloper where judicious use of your feet will allow you to reach for higher crimps and the top.
4. Salad Toss V7 ... FA: Alex Manikowski, 2009
In an effort to link the sds for #2 into #3, this problem was done, although the full link-up has yet to be completed. Begin left of #3 using stacked pads or a cheatstone with your LH on a sloper at the lip right of the arete and your RH on a pebbly undercling. From there, make a big toss out right to the starting hold for #3 and finish. I imagine the sds linking #2 into #3 will be done fairly soon.
5. Left Bulge Direct V6 ... FA: Christian Griffith and Harrison Dekker, early/mid 1980's *
Probably the best of the bunch. Start LH on the obvious huge slopey undercling and RH on the horizontal crimp. Now do a quick dynamic move to the hold at the lip, fighting to stay engaged and finish #3. See #6 for an even lower start.
6. Tongue in Cheek V9 ... FA: Marcelo Montalva, 2006 *
The lowest start to #3. The obvious thing to do for this problem is to begin matched on the slopey undercling and pull on really hard, going RH quickly to the crimp if you can and then doing #5. An inobvious way around this is begin LH on the slopey undercling and RH on a LOW crimpy undercling way down on the face that requires that you use entirely different feet. It is still very tricky to get your feet on and powerful to go get the RH crimp, but when the hopelessness of starting matched on the sloped undercling of doom hits you ... check it out as an alternative.
7. Rear-End Rock Jam V3/4 ... FA: Pat Ament, mid 1960's
Start in the crack under the small overhang. Reach up into the sharp, awkward and flaring seam and painfully head for the top. Consider taping up or skipping it.
8a&b. Gluteus V6/7 (a) / Gluteus Maximus V7 sds (b) ... FA: Will LeMaire, 2006 / Sit-Start: Chip Phillips, 2006 *
Ascend the bulge using features right of the seam only. For the stand-up version (a), begin under the overhang on opposing high sidepulls at arms length and have your full bag of tricks ready. The first move is an unreal RF toe-hook and layback maneuver to a RH sloper that will blow you away. From there, use awkward crimps and pimp the tiniest of pebbles, staying right of the seam to the top. If you are bored, add a contrived sds on crimps (b) that off-routes the huge feet out right. The 2 or 3 moves don't add that much difficulty, but I found that my precision suffered on the tenuous moves higher up, so I added a half-grade.
9a&b. Project
Start under the overhang on the right side and pull straight out the right side of the bulge onto the slab. Weird, tricky and hard. If you can do that, add the contrived sds shared with #8b for full value.
10. Tail V0 ... FA: Unknown
On the west side of the blob - about where one would expect to find the elephant's tail - start on abrasive edges and battle through a thin section for the feet before it eases up at the top.
11. Elephantitis VB ... FA: Unknown
On the southwest side, start on high edges, make a long pull into the remnants of a well-featured and large solution pocket and continue up and over.
12. Hind Quarter V0 (a) / V3 sds (b) ... FA: Unknown
Start high on matching edges (a) or add the sds (b) which begins down and slightly left on a small RH edge and LH sloper. Get into the highest jugs, then make a long pull up the slab to the left to a pocket-like feature in a seam and top it out.
13. Mortal Wounds V2/3 sds ... FA: Unknown
Begin from a sds on 2 obvious matched edges. Bump to better holds without dabbing, reengage the feet and reach for better holds. All that's left is pulling a bulge onto a slab that leads to the top. Starting on any other holds makes this VB.
14. White Hunter VB ... FA: Unknown *
Start below the remnants of another high solution pocket. Climb straight up to it and pull up and over.
15. Tusk V0 ... FA: Unknown *
The best line on the boulder. Just left of the rounded southeast corner, start via incut crimps and pull up to attain a stance. Now dance your way up the vertical bulge to the top. Could be a nice tall line for beginners, but not if they blow the topout.

1 comment:

Peter Beal said...

The SDS to Salad Toss has been done by me at V10, named The Other. Start low and left and head up and right across the bulge.