One of the best (and more moderate) routes in the Black, and very sustained 5.9. The Vector Traverse is one of the coolest pitches anywhere. Descend the SOB gully to the 2nd major buttress on the left. 4th class scrambling leads to a groove in the middle of the buttress. Follow a 5.7 corner/groove(just left of Comic Relief) to a very nice left-arching 5.9 crack. Belay at the major horizontal break (the "Vector"). P2 is obvious: the wild, exposed, but well-protected Vector Traverse. It ends on a very nice ledge below the crux corner, which provides almost 200 feet of 5.9+ stemming. P4 continues up the right wall of the corner at 5.8 or so. P5 climbs another 5.9 corner with good hand jamming, or the sustained and highly recommended 5.11 Lightning Bolt Crack on the corner's right wall. P6 & P7 are moderate leads up and left on the summit slabs. Scrambling leads to a rappel, and then a south-facing gully leads to the rim, spitting you out right at the campground.
Submitted by: takeme on 2005-03-10
Route ID: 494
The vector traverse is awesome! Somewhat accidentally, I linked the dihedral (p3-4) into a mega 70+ meter pitch to the base of the lightning bolt crack (with just a little simul-ing). Every pitch is stimulating with consistent 5.9 climbing!
A super fun route. Started the first pitch too soon so had to simul-climb a bit. Chose the leftmost of the left leaning cracks and found it petered out about 10 feet from the Vector Traverse belay so proceeded to pull some 5.10R moves to move to the other crack and pulled it off without killing myself. Vectore traverse was fantastic *beta alert*, when you get to where the ledge drops off you can get a knee bar and just hang out with all 500 feet of exposure below you.*end beta* The crux pitch is given a 5.10- in the guide book and although it felt like some of the moves might be 5.10 it felt 5.9 because it wasn't all that sustained. Partner tried the Lightning Bolt Crack and we both flailed but had fun. The pitch before this was pretty loose and sketchy, don't use the corner, stay to the right in the nice, well protected hand crack. Ran out of water and had a stellar time getting back to camp up those damn gullies.
Climbed a 5.11 varation to the start....which was the start of the route "Stand up Comic". Got snail eyed at the BIG roof on the 3rd pitch and bailed onto EA half way thru the vector traverse, This "creating" the "Stand up Escape" route!! HaHa!!