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[TR] Dragontail - Dragons of Eden V 5.11+ A2 7/9/2008

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Trip: Dragontail - Dragons of Eden V 5.11+ A2


Date: 7/9/2008


Trip Report:

Jens Holsten and I repeated Dragons of Eden on Dragontail on July 9th. We left the car at 4:20 and returned 20 hours later. The route is one of a kind. First ascentionest Wayne Wallace wasn't exagerrating when he said the headwall contained "el cap type illness." The only thing we could compare it to was the headwall of the Salathe. The climbing was splitter, steep, stout, and DIRTY! Hats off to Wallace and McGowan for their impressive 1989 first ascent. We threw down and free'd as much as we could given the dirty and lichenous conditions.





The route is easy to find and begins with a loose and dirty 5.10 hand crack. Looking down from P1:





When i read in the topo, "Butterballs to the Gripper," i thought, yeah right. But it's true. Sharp steep fingers, lead to pumpy thin hands and a perfect hands gripper finale. The fingers were grainy with a full-on layer of kitty litter in all directions. Jens took a couple times on lead, and i was just barely able to climb it clean on second. Cleaned up it would be one of the best pitches anywhere, 11c all day:











This is a perfect route to haul a bag up:





The crux pitch. Great 5.10 climbing leads to the top of the pillar, dirty insecure face climbing leads to thin fingers in a corner. This pitch was super dirty, even on second you couldn't free more than 2 or 3 moves without falling after your smears crumbled away. It will be sick when cleaned and free'd.







Dirty, loose, and somewhat scary 5.10 climbing began The Great White Headwall:





The second headwall pitch is tied with the butterballs pitch for best pitch on the route. Ridiculously exposed and overhanging crack climbing out both roofs. Jens had an impressive onsight of this one, and i followed clean too.





The trail line says it all, 15+ ft out:





The 11c/d last pitch was the dirtiest of the route and was so sketchy in its current state that is was climbed mostly on aid by us both. It must be a awesome finish when clean, topping out on a perfect ledge, just like long ledge on el cap.


Jens on the headwall:





Topping out:





The NE buttress was scenic, dirty, and neverending. Two long simulblocks lead us to the finishing notch, and two raps got us down to aasgard.







Overall, a great day out, and an awesome first climb with Jens. When cleaned and freed it will be an ultra-classic freeclimbing testpiece for the area.




Gear Notes:

We bought a triple set of cams and set and a half of nuts, and it wasn't enough! Bring: set of hybrids, double set from blue to red alien, 3-4 .5 camalots, 3-4 .75's, 3-4 #1's, 3 #2's, 2-3 #3's, and a single #4. Two ropes.


Approach Notes:

Topo is perfect, CLICK . We skipped the contrived first 3 pitches and used the jingus approach ledges. Route is easy to find.

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Outstanding, Sol, thanks for the report, and way to giv'er. Looks worthwhile even for the dirty rock. As discussed in the other thread, nearby Dragonfly has similar issues with grainy/crumbly cracks that surely would be improved with more traffic. 'Eden' certainly takes the steepest and most badass line up the headwall.


Sounds like this one is worth a go!

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You know, with a cog railway to Colchuck Lake we could really make something out of that place. Can't you see it, the Chateau Colchuck, fine dining in the Dragontail Room, late nights in the Balanced Rock Bar?

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Whatever it takes to get a cocktail! When are we going climbing?

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Great job!!!!!!!!!, Send this to the mags!


Amazing trip report, It takes some work to photo that stuff.


I have wanted to scream about both of the routes that you have sent for teens of years . I cannot express the joy and the amazing memories this brings back to me. I had no photos of the climbs. Done us all proud guys! I am going to find a beer right now in your honor! Wayne

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Eric Wehrley and I have explored up there, with one failed attempt at Dragonfly and we also put up an independent line (maybe) taking one of the more reasonable cracks from "the trophy wall" (there's a TR around here somewhere). It would definitly be cool to see a photo with an overlay of where your route went.


I'm not sure where your route started, but I didn't think the first few pitches to the ledge where at all contrived. We encountered some quality difficult (and of course, dirty) climbing through that section.


Also: Grade V - really?

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Thx everyone.


I'm not sure where your route started, but I didn't think the first few pitches to the ledge where at all contrived.


cool! to clarify, i'm not talking about the pitches up to the pteradactyl bivy ledge. i'm talking the 3 slab pitches right off the aasgard talus that climb to the jingus approach ledges. check out the topo and you will understand.



Also: Grade V - really?


Depends on what grade V your comparing it too. It's a much longer day out than liberty crack. Backbone is 4+.


Stacked with hard climbing:


Loose and dirty 5th class soloing

1.Loose dirty 5.10

2.Long hard and grainy 5.11c

3.Short 5.9

4.Grainy and dirty 5.11- C2.

5.Move the belay up to the large ledge 5.8

6.Loose dirty 5.10

7.Wild and strenuous 5.11b

8.Long and dirty 5.10 C2

Then 1,800 ft. of 4th and 5th class.


Wayne gave the first ascent V+/VI. I didn't want to downgrade it too much. I'd say though that we sent in IV+ time.

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Unless your name rhymes with Tommy, Alex,or Thomas . I would say Grade 4+ or 5-.It would have several 5.11+ pitches and a 5.12b/c crux to boot! All TRAD!


It was Bob's topo, He is even more of an exaggerator than I.

he rated it 5+ or even 6-! .It is in the Becky guide as a "variation"

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Nice working making it happen, Sol and Jens!


Sol/DirtyHarry/Lunger... you guys have enough memory to trace your routes on this thing? I'd especially be curious to see the line of Dragons of Eden VS Dragonfly.



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seet job Sol and Jens!


apparently Jens, your lungs are all healed up! :tup:

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green is approx. location of our line--the smaller features hard to pick out in this pic. as i understand it, DOE starts just just right of where our route leaves the fat ledge; where we found a nice licheny splitter then traversed left to the crest, DOE goes straight up those split roofs.


blue is the way we went the first time on way to Dragonfly--perhaps w/ more variation to R or L (?). I recommend our pitches to the ledge, generally good rock and steeper climbing than the ramp.


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