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Otto

[TR] Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree 2000, pitch 6, 5.8, 07/18/2020

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Trip: Three O'Clock Rock - Big Tree 2000, pitch 6, 5.8

Trip Date: 07/18/2020

Trip Report:

 

A New Pitch on an Old Favorite Crag

 

The decision to explore the area above the Big Tree was rooted in my desire to finish my Magic Bus Variation route. Yale Lewis and I are in the middle of its final pitch, with two bolts in, bolted on lead, and a long, cool ramp ahead. I wanted to find out if there is a good way to get on top of it to discover the perfect place for the anchor. As this will help to get the pro bolts just right, I'm settling for bolting the rest on top-rope.

Since Robin Taft was a willing and dedicated partner for some new adventure, I teamed up with her to do the initial investigation. She leads sport, bolts only, so I had to find ways to keep her interested in the climbing approach. We got there in June to do Shake, Rattle and Roll which ends at an anchor one pitch above the Big Tree. It is a fine slab route, one pitch of which has 12 bolts and no gear placements—perfect for Robin! On the descent, I looked around and noted I have to go one pitch higher to get atop Magic Bus. Also, there is an old pitch up there, ending at roughly the same place, which has rusty quarter inchers and Leeper hangers! So, next time up I came loaded for bear and bolt replacement.

Later in June, I chose an unusual method to get back up to the same spot: two pitches of Cornucopia, step right for two pitches of Big Tree 1, then the new connector pitch to Shake, Rattle and Roll, and then the last pitch of that climb. We did all that, and I got out the drill and hammer. Robin was patiently enjoying the sunny day while I rapped and removed four split-shank inch long goobers and hand-drilled them out for modern stainless steel. That is pitch 5 of Big Tree 2000, as described in David Whitelaw's book, Weekend Rock. It looked very cool, but I hadn't led it yet.

In early July I returned with my rope solo gear to replace the last two old bolts on P5. To continue, the steeper hump on the left from the belay looked not bad, and the slab above it looked like a continuation of the great slab below. I replaced the last old bolt and top-roped the pitch. Having secured the permission of one of the FA party, David Whitelaw, I added three bolts to the pitch to make sense of it. Two at the bottom to connect to the first bolt, and one before the final bolt. Finally, the stage was set for another pitch.

On July 18, Brian Young and I climbed Big Tree 1 to get up there, and the exciting work began. From my journal:

"Goal focus is narrow. Launch upward from the Big Tree 2000 top anchor with full drilling gear. Try to get above the Magic Bus line. Brian took the odd pitches, but then declined the 5.9 P5. I led that, the new bolts are good. The pitch bolting seems perfect to me. Brian could not believe that the third bolt was the original first."

Brian and I set up at the P5 top anchor. Hammer, drill, six bolts, a single rack and the blow tube. I left the anchor and bolted left around a large loose plate, eight feet in diameter. Trying not to touch it, once on top of the new level I found perfect waves of clean slab just as on Pitch 5. I put in three bolts in a row using the transverse ripples, connected with easy friction moves. Then I had to reach left to a thin ledge with no pro, so I put in the fifth bolt. Cracks led up and left, keeping on the verge of the drop to the Tidbits side of the buttress. I dug out a perfect fingerlock hold in a vertical 1" crack, to a ledge. The final 3" crack is clean and secure to a mossy ledge above a tree. I drilled a two-bolt chain anchor for a restful belay stance. From this new anchor, one can look above and see the bolts called out on Matt Perkins' topo labeled, "Project". As it stands, this 40 meter pitch ends at just the right level for a Magic Bus exploration rappel.

My field notes for Pitch 5. For the original topo, see "Weekend Rock", by David Whitelaw
5f5eb726cfb3a_01Pitch5topov1.thumb.jpg.3cd3fba7ba9ca36f545d3a59a4a6e4c4.jpg

Four of the five bolts replaced on Big Tree 2000, pitch 5
5f5eb97d06e08_02Pitch5hangers_1947r.thumb.JPG.bbebfd6caf3999fcbc28c4296f87f265.JPG

My first topo, before I realized this was Big Tree 2000, not Big Tree 1
5f5eb9f0e35bc_03Pitch6topov1.thumb.jpg.f5c68f6a166534c9e8b10d769ec06461.jpg

A later version of the topo
5f5eba4252759_04Pitch6topov3.thumb.jpg.927fb7c2056705f93d0f7cd8a112cb36.jpg

In the process of bringing the lines into Photoshop, the feature lines were traced in ink on mylar
5f5ebaf8c986b_05Pitch6topov3lines.thumb.jpg.cd3d40559adde1eef3962f027442079d.jpg

The final topo
5f5ebb30b1443_06BigTree2000Pitch6.thumb.jpg.0c186655e1a67c34f9e33bb68be84bc7.jpg

Cruising the slab on the FA
5f5ebb7061d2a_07FA_1968.thumb.JPG.e66cf8eed765337e075163445ab9dc6a.JPG

Brian Richter coming up past the Big Tree to help
5f5ebbcbedfeb_08Robin_2009.thumb.JPG.882955cc5a6ac81bc50777dd5fe23fd2.JPG

The start of the new pitch. There is now a bolt to help avoid the hollow-sounding plate above the little overlap
5f5ebbf4aed1d_09Start_2033.thumb.JPG.49fd1a96c2f2e6c966c2314ab42049d7.JPG

One of the 5.8 crux moves is to step left and get pro in the pocket shown
5f5ebc5c76627_10Crux_2089.thumb.jpg.4b53fdf351a0d4eeb904215f0e8c7747.jpg

Robin at the new anchor
5f5ec08e6f637_11Robin_2040.thumb.jpg.af1164b98d46baad3d504a2a4c4cce7d.jpg

Thanks to Brian Young for the long belay session while I worked out the pitch. And to Robin Taft for multiple trips to rebolt and clean it. And also to Brian Richter for belaying another trip up the new pitch to clean and refine it. And special thanks to the slab masters who went first, Matt Perkins and David Whitelaw, whose vision found it and got them a long way up there.

Gear Notes:
Light single standard rack to 3".

Approach Notes:
Eight Mile Trail to the South Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock. Climb any route to the Big Tree. Climb Big Tree 2000, pitch 5, 5.9. For a way that is only 5.8, climb Shake, Rattle and Roll and then take a very short rappel to the Big Tree 2000 pitch 5 top anchor. See Matt Perkins' overall topo for the Big Tree Area.

Edited by Otto
  • Like 3
  • Rawk on! 2

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I know Robin!  did not know she was out there helping.  Looks like I need to go spend more time on 3 oclock.

 

 

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So awesome.  I love the love of D-town.  It is just about prime slab dancing season out there!

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Sweet. There is so much granite out there to explore. Thanks Otto, for continuing to develop out there. One of these days, when I am back in WA, I will help.
The comb has some obscure routes that could use some revitalization.

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