Sunset Strip 5.10d
A significant new multi pitch line in the Western Dihedrals. With the exception of Crap Crags, this is the easiest free route to breach the West Face of the Chief. That said, it is very sustained at 5.10, harder than Angels Crest but easier than the Grand.
Sunset Strip utilizes sections of other climbs, Sticky Fingers, Millennium Falcon, Crap Crags, and The Gauntlet, with about 70% new terrain to create a very direct and interesting line up the Chief.
The route has 12 pitches, several pitches can be linked and it is likely that many teams will repeat the route in 9 or 10 pitches. That said, the shorter pitches take advantage of good belay stances, decrease rope drag, and will reduce the size of rack required. The route is very well protected with several bolts added to the previously bold upper sections of The Gauntlet. Being located in the Western Dihedrals the route will be subject to annual peregrine falcon closures, although in 2013 there is no such closure in effect.
Belays are all fixed and rappel anchors are installed to the top of pitch 7. The route can be rappelled from pitch 7 down with one 60m rope. From the top of pitch 3 the single rope rappel line is down to the right towards the Gauntlet and will require a bit of route finding and care to make it work.
Pitch by Pitch:
- 5.10c. Sticky Fingers. Step off fortuitously lodged boulder onto a desperate slab move past a new bolt. Follow right leaning thin finger cracks until possible to escape left onto large ledge system. 35m.
5.10a. Layback the edge of a wide corner past two bolts. Continue up fun chimney (end of p.1 of Millennium Falcon) to a belay atop a small tower. 18m.
- 5.10b. Two variations at the start provide the crux, the right hand being slightly easier. Beautiful and continuous finger cracks linking several left facing corners pull out to the right to a stance on the open slabs, (this is p. 2 of Millennium Falcon). 40m.
- 5.10c. Climb the finger crack straight up into an off fingers flare, cruxy moves around a bulge to small stance at the base of “box” corner feature. 18m.
- 5.9. Climb up the box corner, passing blocky roofs on the left. 20m.
- 5.10b. Step right into short flare feature, exit the flare by laybacking leaning corner, easier climbing leads to a large belay ledge. 20m.
- 5.10a. Climb past bolt to left facing corners, an aesthetic undercling leads to small belay stance. 20m. The 5.8 chimney pitch of Millennium Falcon is just to the right.
- 5.8. Left facing corners give way to broken, low 5th class ramps, follow right trending ramp to its end. (The upper part of this pitch is Crap Crags). 30m.
- 5.10d. Face climb past 5 bolts to an exciting left facing corner. Continue up easier grooves taking care not to miss the belay stance out right on the arete. (This is pitch 8 of the Gauntlet). 25m.
- 5.10a. Traverse right from the belay to access excellent hand/fist crack on the basalt infused headwall. The belay anchor is hidden from view on a small ledge to the left. 25m.
- 5.10d. Traverse right in a wild position, face climbing and gravelly underclings lead to a short, steep crux. Fully bolt protected. 15m.
- 5.9. Steep and exposed chimneying, finishing with a short squeezer. Entirely fixed with 4 bolts and one piton. (this is the last half p.10 of The Gauntlet). 15m.
Rack: A single set of cams to #4 BD and nuts, 2 X .3, .4, .5, and .75 BD, should be enough for most people.