I can't stand to climb a route incorrectly so I decided I needed to give this one another go as I have definitely botched it many times with all the different ways I have climbed it. There is no doubt the first bolt is where it needs to be as that is where the first ascentionist intended it to be. After looking at it closely, the most logical line is slightly right of the bolt and straight up to the small ramp/ledge located under the bolt. It is a little stiff for Stone standards but not unreasonable for a 5.8. It was also better to climb up above the right side of the bolt to the dikes rather than moving over to the left. The entire left side was heavily caked in fine lichens and made all of the holds very slick. I followed the dikes right up through the overlap and headed straight to the second bolt. Then, I just followed what was basically a water groove up to the anchors. Again, it really wasn't that runout above the second bolt. It looks that way in the Select Climbs topo, but it is inaccurate. It is that same topo that caused me to climb the left side of the bolts in the first place. I felt fine only using the two draws as pro.
I have climbed this route from the right of the first bolt, directly beneath the bolt and from the left near the trees. The first two choices being quite stiff. This time, I climbed the face near the trees to the left and traversed over to the bolt and back. Most of the time I just avoid the bolt and sling the tree and run it out to the second bolt, which is much further away than the topo in Selected Climbs shows. In fact, it would be a serious groundfall if a mistake was made near the second bolt. The rest of the climb is not that big of a deal and I didn't feel that it was very runout to the belay rings at all.
Felt quite heady and definitely deserved a 5.8+. Feel like the first bolt is off-route too far and slinging the tree is a better idea to stay in the line of crystals. Traversing over to that bolt and back feels harder than 5.8. Run out goodness but solid feet the whole climb.
Since there is a large amount of rock between Crystal Lizard and U-Slot, I decided to change it up a bit. I started at the left side of the tree pods instead of the right. At the dikes, I went left and straight up through steeper, mostly blank, unprotected rock to the overlap. I went up and over the right side of the overlap and headed to the belay for U-Slot rather than the belay shared with Rice Krispies. I found this method to be more exciting and a little stiffer than the standard line.
After a day of toproping some of my friends on the Block Route while waiting on my climbing partner to arrive, this was the first of three routes we chose for the day. Its great climbing in June, very few climbers and no waiting for routes. We were the only climbers on the rock and it was a Saturday.
I started just to the right of the tree pods and climbed straight up to the dikes that are angled up to the right. I didn't bother with the bolt, it seems too far out of place. The first time I climbed the route, I climbed more to the right and used the bolt but I no longer bother with it since the holds are so good at the dikes. I followed the dikes up to the overlap and set a cam underneath it as my first protection. This may seem a bit too far to go without protection, but again, the holds are so nice that I had no fear of falling. After setting the cam, I headed up over the overlap and headed towards the next bolt. From there, just head straight up to the Rice Krispies belay. The guidebook shows the route going to the left of here but there is nothing but vegetation and downed trees between the Rice Krispies belay and the belay for U-Slot. You should have litle trouble with this route. I recommend lead climbing these routes, toproping does not do them justice.