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DCramer

Vantage TR

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Caught up in the sunshine of the weekend I agreed to write this TR. Don’t read it if you value wit and wisdom in reports.

 

Several weeks ago I agreed to go to Vantage for the day thinking that the rest of the state would be either rained or snowed in. As we drove east I couldn’t help but to think how nice the day would be at Index. When we arrived at the parking lot we were only the second car! The sky was blue and the views outstanding. Off we hiked to our goal – the lower cliffs. Our plan was to start at the Hen House and work our way west. It was only after we had climbed a half dozen routes that other climbers arrived in the area. By mid afternoon the air was so warm that it was tempting just to take nap and work on our tans. The routes a the Hen House varied from 5.5 to 5.11 and varied in quality from ok to pretty good. No real dogs. One route that we didn’t attempt/do is shown as #7 Project in the Ford/Yoder guide. It looks great. It reminded me a bit of the Campaigner Crack in Boulder Canyon. An overhanging thin lieback crack past a series of blocky roofs. Anybody have any info on the route?

 

We then moved over to the Millennium Wall. The two 10c’s no the right side were as good as the guidebook stated they would be. Their ratings, however, seemed a bit harder than the rest of the routes in the area. The third clip on My New Hammer didn’t really seem too tough. Just to the left a 5.10a was super fun. I would have given it more than the two stars shown the guidebook. It must be popular because the chossy rock rumored to be at the top was nowhere to be seen. By late afternoon we had worked our way over to the Corn Wall and decided it was time to head home. Beautiful day. Great weather. Fun routes.

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That place is a pile of choss compared to Index.

what's wrong with choss? people climb that shit all the time out in the real world. vantage wouldn't be my first choice of a place to climb, but neither would smith or index. vantage has it's own particular set of charms and can be a lot of fun.

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cragging on choss can be educational. it can even make you a better climber. cantfocus.gif

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Vantage = crowds, ok routes, overbolted

Index = no crowds, great routes, not overbolted

 

It's not a bad place, just not as good as Index. And if daryl says vantage is better, he's snorting coke. At least he didn't have crowd problems. Having fun is all that really matters in the end.

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Vantage = crowds, ok routes, overbolted

Index = no crowds, great routes, not overbolted

confused.gif i've had more trouble finding open do-able routes at index than at vantage. on the sport routes there you can skip bolts. (duh.) and most of the cracks at vantage aren't bolted. (duh again.) comparing index and vantage is like ... well, see above! rolleyes.gif having fun definitely is what counts. luckily we all have a little bit different views of what fun is ... otherwise we'd all be at the same crag lined up at the same climb. wave.gif

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Vantage = crowds, ok routes, overbolted

Index = no crowds, great routes, not overbolted

 

It's not a bad place, just not as good as Index. And if daryl says vantage is better, he's snorting coke. At least he didn't have crowd problems. Having fun is all that really matters in the end.

 

Vantage has not been crowded at all recently. I agree that climbing on Granite is better, but I'd rather climb in the warm desert sun on nice long cracks (many of Vantage's sport routes suck) than freeze my ass of in the cold rain on Granite now.

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Crowding at Vantage is a non-issue unless you want to do 5.8-5.10- clip ups on the sunshine wall. With the exception of maybe 3-4 routes, the cracks are almost always free to jump on as you see fit. Vantage is far from perfect but I'm sure glad to have it as an option.

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bcollins were talking about this the other day. The bolted arete routes are all pretty much alike when you get down to it, but the cracks routes have an incredible amount of variety. They widen from the bottom up. Some require technical stemming. Some have odd combinations of edging and stemming. Cracks are where its at at Vantage, and yet the vast majority of people who go there are on the clip ups.

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Right, whatever floats your boat. I still think its funny when the sportos give you such funny looks when you rack up to do a crack. Like, "why in hell would you want to do THAT, when you could just clip a bolt?"

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Except for some chimneys and offwidths, the good cracks pretty much start at 5.9. Party in Your Pants and the double crack just left of Air Guitar (forget the name) are the only good 8s that come to mind. I recommend overprotecting things if you're new to gear since the rock is a little weird. Don't need anymore accidents out there.

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Chapstick at Tilted Pillars is 5.6 easy. Stroken the Chicken, 5.6, is a chimney, but you can do parts of it like a crack climb instead. Seven Virgins and A Mule, and Shady Chimney are both 5.7 Chimneys with cracks in the back that you can climb instead of making the stemming moves. If you did just the cracks, it would feel 5.8-5.9 ish.

 

There really aren't many good 5.8's at Vantage and it is a shame, really. There are lots of 5.8 climbs with no stars, mainly because the cracks are rotten, that is they flare or are full of rubble. Parts of Old Friends is quality, but the upper part is so nasty, I wouldn't recommend it.

 

There are lots of good 5.9's, some of which are much harder than others. For example Pony Keg has easy moves, but is pumpy to lead. Tangled up in Blue has harder moves but more rests. There was a 5.9 at Tomato Wall that I just top roped, called Whale of the Wanapum which seemed pretty easy for a 5.9. It might be a good one for those just breaking into 5.9's, like me.

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Any recommendations for sunny cracks in the 5.6-5.8 range at Vantage?

A Bill Robins classic 5.7 Seven Virgins and a Mule ..Squezz chimney to stem.. way cool..good pro..no pigon shit .. a very classic climb, one of my fav's , and the ever popular and always a line on it Party in your pants, a long hard climb for an 5.8 totaly classic , can be TR as of a few years ago , but if you do TR it , let lead climbers cut in , no TR fests.

I heard there are some easy short cracks on the lower walls mixed in with the bolted climbs ,but not sure of the names or location, you can also set up a TR from the top on Burning Spears 5.10-B,a nice clean crack, an anomaly at vantage.

I'm not always a DICK wave.gif

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Party in Your Pants is really a great trad lead for those just reaching that grade. Sure it's long, but it has lots of rests and good pro on it's entire length. I agree that it would be silly to top rope it. Also if there is a line up, just walk off down gully #1 instead of rapping to get out of the way more quickly.

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