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layton

Coolest Moderate Climbs on Earth

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For some good beginner routes on the Layton scale it’s hard to beat these.

 

A cragging route

 

reedsleft.jpg

Left side of Reed’s Pinnacle

 

Something longer

 

belowthenarrowscopy.jpg

Steck-Salathe

 

Edited by old 5.9

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Yosemite moderates, according to Supertopo:

 

Nutcracker: II, 5.8

Pine Line: I, 5.7

Sacherercracker: I, 5.10a

Royal Arches: III, 5.7 A0 (or 10b)

Snake Dyke: II, 5.7

Regular Route, Higher Cathedral: II, 5.9

Jamcrack, Sunnyside Bench: I, 5.9

Munginella: I, 5.8

 

slideshow

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I'm not complaining. I just find it amusing.

 

That and I'm looking to see if I can encourage some less deserving climbers to chime in along with you elites.

 

Hey Mattp - Where did the bold stuff come from? I didn't set the definition. I just offered some of my favs in response to Laytons request. There is a lot of diversity here.

 

 

Edited by Peter_Puget

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The bold stuff came from my imagination, Peter.

 

I'm imagining all the posters here climbing all the climbs they are listing and walking away talking about how moderate the outing was and hitting the next one on their list the next day, just to relax. I may sound a bit snippy, but in some of the posts don't you think there has been some selection toward the harder routes that we can somehow define as moderate?

 

Seriously: why does it bother you? I simply offered my opinion there is a little fluffery going on.

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by definition, i figure if i have ACTUALLY managed to get up something, it can't be anything more than moderate :)

 

fisher chimenys on mt shuksan was the climb that convinced me to relocate my state of being to the PNW, much to my wife's woe :grin:

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Do you honestly think that I do not think those are the best lines at Index within Layton's definition?

 

I was just being clear that it was your crappy attitude that was being projected not mine.

 

:)

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:tup: Crappy attitude conceded. I did, to some extent, rain on Mike's parade -- that is if he wasn't trying to set up the whole scenario in the first place.

 

Next time I find it funny to see people defining VI climbs and Slipstream as moderate I'll start my own thread: moderates for regular people.

 

And nope, I have no doubt you think those are the best lines at Index under 5.11 c/d.

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I really like tansnaffle's defintion.

Defining moderate as climbs I actually enjoyed while I was on them, instead of climbs that seemed great once I was back down sitting around a fire with a drink in my hand:

with these criteria, I'm thinking of climbs where I've literally shouted with joy while climbing. Obviously, this strict defintion will be influenced by many other temporal factors besides the pure aesthetics of the climb (e.g. mood, gravity-level that day, weather, etc...) so YMMV.

 

Anyway, these come to mind:

Epinephrine (Red Rocks)

North Ridge of Stuart

NW corner NEWS

West Face NEWS

Lost Charms Static Point

 

 

A couple that I've enjoyed more sitting around camp with a drink in hand (in the middle of the climb):

 

Index Traverse

NEB Johannesburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At least six of the routes recommended here by six different posters I would advise people not to do because I found them so underwhelming if not outright poor. One time I was hyping a route to someone for weeks. They finally climbed it and ended up thinking I was BS’ing them because they thought the route sucked.

 

I guess there is no accounting for taste.

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A couple that I've enjoyed more sitting around camp with a drink in hand (in the middle of the climb):

 

Index Traverse

NEB Johannesburg

 

hey, why not add in nooksack tower for the blue collar hardman trifecta?

 

i think jo'burgs probably the coolest of the bunch, though nooksacks the least "moderate" (by the n face at any rate)

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The standard route on Whitehorse Ledge is pretty sweet. 5.5-5.7. Most of the gullies on Mt. Washington's Huntington Ravine.

 

Frostbite Ridge on Glacier Peak.

 

Standard Route on Frankenstein (WI3)

 

Keiner's Route, Long's Peak.

 

Center Route, Cynical Pinnacle. (South Platte. 5.8, 5.9, 5.8 with a bit of aidable 5.12 to the top if I recall correctly).

 

Standard Route on Exfoliation Dome.

 

For me, "moderate" usually ends at anything more than a single-pitch of 5.9 crack/trade, ice harder than WI3, most routes with more than 5-10 pitches (depending on the grade), anything that's far enough out there that getting stuck on the route could result in suffering and/or a calamity in the wrong conditions, and anything that leaves me feeling wiped the day afterwards.

 

Just to take one consensus moderate as an example, the climbing between the notch and the gendarme on the UNR of Stuart was amazing, but I was still very focused, keeping an eye on the time and the weather, and just generally felt like I was a long way from home. After leading the gendarme pitches, I felt less so - but the overall experience was far from "moderate" for me, and I wasn't truly relaxed, soaking up the scenery, and generally savoring the alpine ambience until I was laying on a sunny rock on the summit. No rain, no lightning, no crazy wind, no health issues, no running out of water, no falls on the (*$#ing off-width that'd been preoccupying my imagination for days - "Phew - yes....moderate..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"full scale VII's under 5.11c/d and WI5+ "

 

Colin and Rollo's Torre Traverse falls squarely into "moderate" then, it seems.

 

How about a more realistic definition of moderate? Something along the lines of

 

* Even on the worst weather day, you won't die on the route

* Helicopter or airplane not required to approach it

* A reasonably experienced climber can lead it off the couch

* Good protection throughout (i.e. no R or X climbs)

 

 

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Are standards really rising? This seems to be the substance of fenderfour's argument.

 

Lets say you have a total pool of a thousand climbers in a bygone era and ten of them can climb 5.12, and one can climb 5.13. 5.12 is therefore the pinnacle of difficulty, and 5.13 an unrepeatable achievement.

 

Now fastforward 50 years. There are a million climbers. Only one in 100 climbers can still climb 5.12, but that means 10,000 climbers out of the million can climb 5.12, and a thousand climb 5.13. So 5.12s and 13s are getting done daily.

 

This seems to be NOLSe's argument - that more climbers can do it therefore what is moderate has changed. But what I think f4 is arguing is that the relative proportion of climbers who can climb a particular grade has not changed. If you define "moderate" as what 50% of the climbing population can climb, for instance, that would not have changed much or at all between the two time periods and might still be at 5.9.

 

Personally I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps moreso for sheer technical difficulty than all-around ability. In mountaineering, things that were done or attempted 20 or 30 years ago like the N ridge of Latok 1 or the Shining Wall of G4 are still handing repeat suitors their asses regularly despite the rise in technical standards.

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Everything in Waddington is Moderate, the North wall of the Matterhorn is quite moderate, I think the American Corkscrew on cats ear spire can squeeze into Laytons Def of Moderate too!

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God damn you guys love to split hairs. Just list some routes you thought were cool :wazup:

 

I agree with Frieh (nice rhyme).

 

This thread had some potential but all you buttknocker wanna-be and actual lawyers are muckin it up.

 

Now STFU and post lists of cool climbs (with pix preferabbly) and leave the arguin' out.

 

I'll edit this post with more of my picks when I think of them, but Lotus Flower Tower has gotta be on there.

 

LFT video

try to ignore that chick's annoyingly high whiney voice.

 

 

Climbs I've DONE:

NR Stuart,

 

DEB of SEWS, Washington Pass, Beautiful exposure and position, 5.9/A0 or 10+

 

Complete Exum on Grand Teton, 5.7, 3000'? without much 3rd/4th. Prob not the best in the tetons, but the only one I've done.

 

Crimson Chrysalis, Red Rox, if only it weren't so crowded!

 

This House of Sky, Ghost River Valley, Canada (dozens of soloable WI3 steps in a cool little gully) PHUN! I love easy ice climbing. No fear, just fun.

 

Denali, West Buttress. Learn what big time expedition climbing is like. See the AK range.

 

Vestal Peak, East Ridge?, San Juan Mtns, CO. 5.2? Beautiful position and area.

 

Lots of single pitch stuff, but I don't think they are within the scope of this discussion.

 

 

Climbs I HAVEN'T done:

 

Passport to insanity, Australia:

Passport.jpg

Amazing handcrack through huge roof.

 

Serenity Crack, Yose:

nate2.jpg

 

Gimli

gimli_route.jpg

Might actually do this one this summer!??!

 

Rebel Yell, EF of Chianti, 5.10 to tiny summit.

 

SF of Prusik. Embarassing that I haven't done this yet.

 

South Howser Tower, Beckey-Choinard

southhowser.jpg

OMG. This seems like it might actually be attainable for a wuss like me, but at the same time, mind-blowingly beautiful.

 

Exasperator. 10c. Why haven't I done this yet?

istockphoto_2086751_climb_exasperator.jpg

 

Several of those climbs that Blake did in New Zealand a couple years ago looked like serious contenders for worldwide classics. What was that one super long mellow alpine ice thing?

 

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Okay, this discussion has taught me something about what "moderate" means.

 

Now please tell me what "cool" is?

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A couple that I've enjoyed more sitting around camp with a drink in hand (in the middle of the climb):

 

Index Traverse

NEB Johannesburg

 

hey, why not add in nooksack tower for the blue collar hardman trifecta?

 

i think jo'burgs probably the coolest of the bunch, though nooksacks the least "moderate" (by the n face at any rate)

 

add the original route on the north face of mt. baring and you earn a "washington brush quad" pin.

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Wow Pete, that's neat!

 

I think you mean Neat AND Cool.

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I'd add the E ridge direct to Forbidden.

It's very casual with only a move or two of 5.8, and it is a stunning setting. Can be done in a day frmo the car, has pretty low objective dangers and no glacier travel reqd.

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This thread had some potential

 

and some interest with summer just around the corner!

 

Let's see some lists! Bonus points for

- pics or link to a TR

- not being in WA or OR

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North Ridge - Spearhead Peak

Complete Exum - Grand Teton

Diedre - Squamish

Snake - Squamish

Nutcracker - Yosemite

N. Ridge Stuart

E Face Whitley

Mathes Crest

Cathedral Peak (California or Washington)

W. Ridge Prusik

 

 

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