This was our second climb of the day. I lead all five pitches, mostly prepping for a project. The clouds kept the sun off of us for most of this climb. This is a very fun route and I have yet to tire of it. I did place two small #4 BD nuts in the cracks at the bottom. I have always found this section to be quite slick so I like to have a little pro up to the first bolt. I always keep going past the pitch 4 belay rings and belay on the Pulpit flake since it is so much more comfortable. Then I just move back to the tracks and finish to the top.
It was a rather warm day but the climbing was great. The first pitch can be a little tricky this time of year. Even though the section up to the first bolt can look very easy, it becomes very slick when hot. It can be protected with micro cams and small nuts. While I did not have any difficulties, I did have to rely more on the handholds and be careful of where I placed my feet. After that, it was smooth sailing. I lead the full route and took my time, enjoying the beautiful day.
This is a rather fun route, especially when you are looking for something that's not very strenuous. We use a 70M rope, so I combined pitches 1 and 2 into a single pitch and 4 and 5 into a single pitch. On the fifth pitch, I just stopped at the last set of belay rings on The Pulpit since there was no more challenging rock and we wanted to rappel back down the way we came. It required five rappels but we were able to easily rap back down the same way we came up. I highly recommend this route. The views are awesome right now.
Lead the first four pitches. We decided not to climb the final pitch since we have done it several times before and it isn't very exciting. Plus, there was a lot of water running down the tracks and we had a non-dry rope. This is a really fun route with no hard moves. We did make the mistake of wearing shorts since it was so warm. Even though there were no falls or slips, we all ended up with cuts and scratches on our knees.
The first pitch is probably the hardest. Small gear can be used in the shallow grooves leading up to the first bolt. I did place a couple of small cams but I doubt that they would have held during a fall. The traverse from the first bolt to the tracks is easiest if done directly right of the first bolt. The climb past the second bolt to the first belay is rather uneventful. The second pitch is easy climbing past one bolt to a belay. The only spot even remotely difficult is the water groove before the belay because of the smoothness of the rock. The third pitch goes up through some really nice flakes and jugs. There are no bolts but there are plenty of opportunities to place gear. I used a couple of slings and draws. Pitch four is where the tracks actually look like train tracks. There are no bolts between the belays, however, the climbing is too easy to really need any protection.
This route was fun for me and a nightmare for my belayer because he knew what I didn't. If I fell before making the second bolt, it could have been pretty bad for me. So, happy and naive about my potential fate, I toed up the shallow grooves and clipped in. This is a nice variation, but you need to be very sure of your footwork and well-versed in friction climbing to lead it.
Fun 600 feet of slab work from bottom to top. Small steps are key. The railroad track feature is very unusual and cool. Partner John led the first two, money pitches, I led the top two, which probably go at 5.6-5.5.
Excellent route, certainly up the its status as one of Richard Dumais' classic America Rock Climbs. Well protected and much easier than most other routes at Stone, 4 draws will get you up, maybe take a handful of smaller pieces if you desire. ***Disregard the route description and go RIGHT after the first bolt, going left will bring you towards Electric Boobs*** Swapped leads with Mark B., I took the odd pitches. Walking off of this is a pain.