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robertm

Must do routes in Washington Pass

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If you could only do three routes in WA Pass 5.10+ or under -- what would they be?    

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I don't climb super hard, but I thought that the West Ridge of Paisano to NF of Burgundy was one of the better climbs up there.

 

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Posted (edited)

above plus add east buttress (5.9 A0 on bolts) and SW rib (5.8) of south early winter spire. 

the west face of n early winter spire is pretty good too if you are ok with 20 feet of A1 thru the 5.11 crack bits.

Edited by genepires

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those are great!  it has been a long time since I did the DEB of SES.  Might need to give it another go.   I agree that the Paisano to Burgundy link up is really good.   Any thoughts on Minute Man east face or Lexington?

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26 minutes ago, olyclimber said:

The Beckey route 3 times.  :laf:

:D  I have climbed that one a few times.   good times.     I think clean break was very good.   Chianti rebel yell was good except for the chicken wing squeeze first pitch... 

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I remember climbing the Beckey with @Chaps.  Was one of scariest days in the mountains for me.  Whatever happened to that guy?

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Most of the 5.9 and under routes in the Liberty Bell Group are either short or not really that interesting of climbing (i.e. 1 good pitch with a bunch of duds).  And there are very few 5.10 routes.  I would say the East face of Lexington and NW Corner of NEWs are the best at 5.10+ and under.  But if you are willing to push into the 5.11 grade there are much better routes with good climbing.  Other areas around WA Pass have more options.  Clean Break is the best 5.10 route I have done, and I have heard good things of Rampage and Rebel Yell.  Also I would look into the stuff over on Big Kagaroo....I have never been over there but have heard from several people that it is very good.  I think my next trip will be focused on that stuff!

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21 hours ago, robertm said:

  Any thoughts on Minute Man east face or Lexington?

I did both.  have not gone back for repeat trips unlike the other ones.  minute man has a couple good pitches though, one through a big blocky roof which was exciting.  E face lex has some wide wide crack which I would rather not subject myself to anymore but the route is worthy of a trip if ready to protect that.  I just remember being scared a lot on route but it was early in climbing history and we started off route.  so maybe my feeling is unjustified.

another option is to do back to back routes up concord tower.  from the beckey route start notch, you can go up several routes (3 or 4 pitches) up concord.  make a day and do a couple of those.

While I have not done it, maybe look at the liberty bell traverse?

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I wasn't that psyched on Clean Break. There are basically three interesting pitches, which isn't enough given how long the approach and descent are. FWIW, we approached via Silver Star creek and descended via Burgundy col to bikes we'd stashed by the road. 

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Word is that the M&M/Super Cave wall across the freeway is some of the best rock in WA and the routes are stellar. So step up your game into 11s (Ellen Pea) or 12s (Tiger) and go get some. 

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@robertm does WA Pass mean just the Liberty Bell Group as some people suggested here, or do you include all of the surrounding peaks and walls? If you include surrounding areas then I second W Ridge of Paisano to N Face of Burgundy as the best route I've climbed at the pass under 5.11... I'll take it over DEB, W Face of NEWS, Clean Break, Beckey Route, etc, any day. 

@mthorman and @Rad have their opposing opinions on Clean Break... personally a long adventure route like that adds to the appeal and I thought Clean Break was awesome and I would put it on your list, but as mentioned there are few good 5.10s at the pass. If you want to climb good routes at that grade just go to the Sierra... there are dozens of 5.10 routes better than it there... Marlin, sounds like you need a road trip. ;)

I have not climbed Rebel Yell, but have heard great things. If I went back that would be the one route on my list in the sub 5.11 range. So maybe those would be my three...

Paisano to N Face of Burgundy, Clean Break, Rebel Yell

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I agree that Rebel Yell, P to B and Clean Break are really good.   I have done all of those.  WA pass area is interesting in that pitch to pitch you can get varying quality of rock -- from Sierra like to terrifying kitty litter.  I haven't done the complete traverse in a day as I have run out of motivation each time I have attempted it.   Maybe I need to give that another go via the quickest routes up each formation.   For the traverse what do you guys suggest -- North to South or South to North?

 

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3 hours ago, bedellympian said:

 If you want to climb good routes at that grade just go to the Sierra... there are dozens of 5.10 routes better than it there... Marlin, sounds like you need a road trip. ;)

Yea, there is a reason I haven't been super stoked on the pass in recent years.  This year I was excited for a trip because I finally felt ready for some of the 5.11s (which I felt were actually pretty good quality).  And yes there are lots of other areas with better sustained climbing on good granite.  I have spent a fair amount of time in Yosemite wall climbing but I think I need to visit the Sierras for the 5.10 and 5.11 climbing!

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Some quality climbs offered above!

The NW Face (aka Boving route?) on SEWS rocks, and only has a brief stretch of french-free-able .11a, which might even be .10+ if measured against the first pitch. The first pitch is a somewhat heady .10+, though. The pitch with the Boving roofs is fantastic. 

Also, for a longer route at approx 5.10+, consider Freedom Rider on Lib Bell. The Medusa Roof is a pretty outstanding feature.

For the traverse, recommend starting low and direct-ish with the Barber Pole route on Lib Bell, fwiw.

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