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[TR] Index - Davis-Holland to Lovin' Arms 6/28/2008

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Trip: Index - Davis-Holland to Lovin' Arms

 

Date: 6/28/2008

 

Trip Report:

As Jared points out, hand jams are hard when you're sweating, but if you don't bring enough water you'll eventually dry out.

 

My hope for this summer has been to push my climbing into some new grades and become less intimidated by hard routes. My buddy jaredvg is on the same mission. Having recently led my first 5.10a at Index, what better way to push it than embark on a 6-pitch 5.10c? And just to ensure we weren't going to wuss out partway up, how about we don't bring along enough rope to retreat? Sounds good.

 

We met at the smokestack in Monroe* around 9 am, and it was already hot. After stopping for a quick bite from the Sultan Bakery, we were packing up in the Index LTW parking lot. The approach to the UTW was short but steep, and it was hot, and we were sweaty by the time we got to the base of the route. We were also both nervous about what we knew would be one of the toughtest climbs we'd ever done, but we knew we had it in us and just had to get moving.

 

Davis-Holland:

We found there was a group above us, but a quick assessment showed that they were moving plenty quick to not be an issue for us. We threw rock paper scissors for first lead, and I got it.

 

P1- 90 feet of kind-of-awkward 5.9 gives way to 4th class grass. I couldn't find my chalk bag so we were sharing one, and I felt bad for Jared sliding out of the crack on sweaty hand jams.

 

P2- The business starts. Jared leads up off the anchors into the steep thin-hands dihedral above. It continues to be hot and the jams continue to be greasy. This pitch is excellent, very sustained and seemed like some of the hardest climbing on the route. There's even a surprise little bit of offwidth just before the anchor.

 

2620466402_24db3439f4.jpg

 

P3- The "crux". Right off the belay we were confused- there is a bolt around the corner to left, in what looks like tricky face climbing terrain, before you get some decent holds in a corner and up into a grassy right-facing corner. I could see the crux above but how to get there? I deliberated a long time before committing to the face moves. They felt hard and I was stressed out, but it would be easier if I did it again.

 

2619645271_7f0d7ea5ff.jpg

 

About 40 more feet up the nice easy corner and you're at the 5.10c crux of the route. It's super unintimidating. You get to stand in a solid stem and look up at it, and there's a very good fixed nut you can clip before really committing to the move. Then if you're tall like me, a little footwork and a reach or two solves it. I was shocked by how simple it was; your mileage may vary. Easy terrain above and the anchors finishes Davis-Holland.

 

Lovin' Arms:

It didn't make sense, but we had both been really fixated on the lower 3 pitches of DH and not paying much attention to what was above. We had also elected to not bring a topo with us, which I KNOW is foolish...

 

P1- Standing at the anchors we really didn't know what to do. It seems LA gets way less traffic than DH, as there was nothing but lichen above. I had told Jared that this section was "I think like 5.8 or something." After a little wandering back and forth and looking up he was freaking out. I would have been too. After getting a little gear in, Jared sucked it up and went. It worked. We would look at the topo upon returning to the car, and find it was supposedly 5.10b. Nice.

 

After the sketchiness you get into a nice hand crack, and then a mossy chimney with all kinds of options. The final moves to the anchors felt pretty hard on toprope but I believe I was just distracted. Jared was hugely relieved after the stressful lead, and was happily chatting away. Meanwhile I was thrutching on toprope, sweaty and tired, and thinking about the next pitch I had to tackle.

 

2620484820_cdb8c4d73d.jpg

 

P2- The original route goes right off the anchor, to a bolt which is the single point of aid used by the FA. Or it goes free at 5.11c. I didn't like either idea and decided to try the high traverse, which goes farther up the chimney and then rightward to gain the little corner system you follow up farther. The hand traverse to get there was awesome and you get a nice tiny ledge to stand on while you contemplate what is above. It looks thin and tricky but really isn't very bad, as you climb ample pro and handholds present themselves. Reaching to some jugs and traversing, then mantling a ledge brings you to the anchors.

 

2620486824_d59be46b85.jpg

 

P3- Now I was glad I was done leading, and Jared got the stress of the final pitch. We remembered the topo had one bolt above, and we saw it, but for some reason we'd been guessing some more bolts had been added. Not so. There is "enough" pro but it's not a trivial pitch. Jared described it as "lots of disappointing handholds." The face is kind of a quartzy rock with a lot of little edges, but many of them are downsloping. Overall not so bad, but not trivial. You can escape left on a ledge, which we did, or you can continue another 20 feet up the face, which we should have done.

 

Solid ground, FINALLY! We looked at the time and it was around 4:30. We had been pretty slow, but not abysmally so. Time for the summit shot and to do the walk-off. The trail is easy to find, just go to the big dirt road, follow it down to the cable fence, and turn left.

 

2619675259_c7c2e5180d.jpg

 

2619681219_43a6d6ca80.jpg

 

I don't remember ever being so dehydrated before. When we got to the base of the wall to retrieve our packs, we decided to chance taking a drink from the dripping waterfall. So far, so good. A half hour later we were cooling our feet in the river and drinking gatorade and beer.

 

 

This combo of two routes is excellent. The climbing is varied and you get to do a little of everything. It is also very sustained, every pitch has something hard about it. Definitely the hardest multipitch I've done and a good way to get summer properly underway.

 

 

* We've been parking at the smokestack in Monroe for a long time. Very recently, unbeknownst to us, "NO PARKING" signs were put up. We came back to find Jared's car had been towed, and it cost him $400 to get it out of impound. Ouch. Learn from our mistake.

 

Gear Notes:

Nuts, TCUs, double set of C4s to #2, one #3.

 

Would have been nice to have:

- more water

- more chalk

- a topo

 

Approach Notes:

Trail is steep and always a little harder than I expect.

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Nice....we will be there this weekend. I would like to get back and finish the climb. Pink and I did the first two pitches like 8 years ago......

 

Great pictures.....

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Nice job, that route is superb. I agree that p2 is the most strenuous one. From the belay atop p2, the original way goes up to the roof, and underclings rightward, then up and back left. It's easier than it looks.

 

Info for all the rapping or walk-off options on the UTW with a 60 or 70m Rope: CLICK ME

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Nice....we will be there this weekend. I would like to get back and finish the climb. Pink and I did the first two pitches like 8 years ago......

 

Great pictures.....

 

and we bailed because you were worried i was gonna fall on you moving through the bouldery start of the third pitch.

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superfun!

 

wow, some cc.comers have really been shelling out big $ for tickets/towing lately!

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Thanks Blake, yeah I had seen the rap option, but wasn't positive about where Golden Road was and didn't bring the picture. I liked walking off anyway, we were wrung out enough that rapping would have been stressful.

 

I really thought about the roof to start P3, it didn't look very hard but it did look unprotectable.

 

Can you rap off it at any point with one 60 m rope?

 

Doubtful.

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Rapping down over climbers on another route because you don't want to bring two ropes is a pretty lame thing to do. :tdown:

 

If you're excited about rapping bring some webbing and rap down the traditonal rap gully west of Earwax. Walking there adds two minutes to your day but you make it up with less raps.

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Given how often I see people on the UTW who aren't climbing Green Drag-on or Town Crier or Davis-Holland, I think this is unlikely to be a problem. Besides, there are many routes where rapping the route is the standard descent.

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I really thought about the roof to start P3, it didn't look very hard but it did look unprotectable.

 

It's not bad at all. You get a good cam in under the roof before you start. When you commit to the undercling the piece is near your face. In two steps you've got your feet on the crystals and are turning the corner onto easier ground, so it works out fine. If you like underclings check out the Sail Flake on Grand Wall. It's amazing!

 

I agree with you that p2 is the most strenuous and the two 10c pitches feel easier. The first time I was on that route I was sweating buckets too! Cloudy days have their advantages.

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Given how often I see people on the UTW who aren't climbing Green Drag-on or Town Crier or Davis-Holland, I think this is unlikely to be a problem. However unlikely you can't see the bottom of The Golden Road when you start to rap. When I climbed Golden Road we were a party of three and an unrelated party was on the route for awhile. Seems like a two minute walk to a couple short raps is not too high a price. Besides, there are many routes where rapping the route is the standard descent. So...

 

Just something to think about.

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i think it would SUCK to rap Davis Holland. too many opportunities for getting the rope stuck vs. overhanging drop rap to the climbers *left* that is the standard way of doing it I believe.

Edited by porter

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Pink and I rapped off the top of pitch 2 with two ropes. Can you rap from the top of pitch 3 back to top of pitch 2 with one rope?

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Thanks C......one more quick question.....from the top....which way to the walk off? Or is it obvious?

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