Route Grade Votings
Total votes cast 23
The original way of accessing the twin cracks. Start up the crack to the right of Doctor's Chimney then hand-traverse the lowest break to reach the cracks a short distance below the jammed block. Finish steeply up the left-hand crack. Good hard work.
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32 votes and no comments?
Really well worth doing. Even at 5'4" you can hand traverse it with your feet on good holds. Although you should be more careful than I was, in case your left foot pops on the transition move and you plummet rapidly toward the ground. Gear's good though.
Is the route description right? I think it needs checking. Hand traversing the lowest break seems to place you in the crux of the 5b direct route after a powerful and pumpy hand traverse. The 1989 BMC description describes a different traverse from 9m up Doctor's Chimney ending immediately below the jammed block. This would fit with traversing the second break, still leaving a very hard VS route with a tough 4c crux a bit further up.
The 1989 guide says "an easier start is possible by traversing in from DC" it doesn't say at what height.
Failed miserably after knackering myself on the Direct. The new BMS g
Must be the 2002 guide that says 9m - I am sure one of them does. Not convinced that the first break is at 9m, although would have to look again to be sure.
ok, I was wrong, the traverse is the same in BMC and rockfax. you can tell from the photo, given a route height of 22m -- the first break does look about 9m.
Definitely worth doing, though probably not as your first VS. Can't really say I noticed much difference in grade between the direct and this version. The move at the end of the traverse has to be at least 5a.
Climbed the start of this yesterday and continued on Doctor's Chimney. Was shocked when the top section of the starting block moved about an inch as I was pulling up/back on it! Seemed to stop because it caught on the arete. We considered recent seepage might have played a part. Given that it's a beginner's climb in a popular area and most people would not treat the block with suspicion, figured it was worth posting a note of caution.