Route Name: Eastern Seas
Rock Formation: The Maiden
Number of Bolts to be Placed: 17 bolts, 1/2″ stainless steel
Proposed Grade: P1: 5.11 (?), P2: 5.10- (merges with P3 of East Ridge)
Route Description: This proposed route climbs two pitches up a very steep face for about 165 feet. The climbing involves sustained 5.9 and 5.10 climbing with a couple of 5.11 sections. A bit of trad gear (nuts or cams up to 0.75 inch) is useful to protect the initial 5.7 or 5.8 climbing up to the first bolt located about 30 feet off the deck. The climbing involves a 115-foot pitch to a two-bolt anchor. From there, climb another 25 feet to merge with the 3rd pitch of the East Ridge, and continue up to the existing anchor at the end of the East Ridge third pitch. In general, holds are crisp and positive, with plenty of nice crimps and jugs throughout. Really nice exposure and great position in general, and good rock quality.
A description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type [traditional or bolted], and approximate distance between routes (a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s) is also required):
This route starts a little way left/uphill of the South Crack start, maybe 5 yards. Routes on or near the south face, going from right to left and heading uphill are: East Ridge (10c trad), South Crack (11b trad), this proposed route (11), Southern Seas (11b toprope), Belladonna (11b R/X trad), South Face (5.9 R trad), Hasta La Hueco (13b sport), Kor Dalke (12a trad), Gates of Delirium (11+ sport), and Gates of Galas (10d R trad). The routes West Overhang (11c trad) and Maiden Voyage (12b/c sport) are also present above the Crow’s Nest on this far left side of the south face. A photo of these routes is included with this application.
A description of the approach (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails leading to the climb and condition of the trail, and state whether there is a durable surface, such as rock. Include photographs of the approach.):
The approach follows the standard approach to the Maiden south face routes. Starting options include the Old Mesa Trail, the South Mesa Trail, or the South Shanahan Trail from the Cragmor trailhead. Follow the little trail branching off the Shadow-Mesa connector trail, on the south edge of the small quarry talus field. This fork is maybe a quarter mile above the Mesa Trail near that former horse trough, and perhaps a half mile from Shadow Canyon along the connector trail if coming from the south. Head north along an old quarry road, then dead west at a cairn just below the Maiden looming above to the west. A steep and tight trail leads straight up to the south face routes.
If different from the approach, a description of the descent, (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails, a description of the trail condition and whether there is a durable surface, such as rock. Include photographs of the descent.):
The descent involves rappelling from a 2-bolt anchor at the top of the third pitch of the East RIdge (or if continuing to the summit of the Maiden, two 60-meter raps from the summit). After the first rappel, make a second 70-meter rappel to the ground. Alternately, rappel from the top anchor with two 60-meter ropes. Follow the same approach trail down to the trailhead.
A description of the area at the base of the climb (include existing levels of soil compaction, existence of a durable surface such as rock, and existing soil erosion. Include photographs of the area at the base of the climb.):
The base of the route is mostly flat in a treed area, just a bit uphill of the South Crack start. Many pine trees are present in the area. The staging area is pine needle-covered soils and rocks, with minimal signs of soil erosion. The approach trail goes through this staging area and so a bit of erosion can be seen. A photo of the base area is attached.
Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?
Yes, the route has been top-roped clean with no falls, and is about mid-5.11 in difficulty. Some minor cleaning has been completed and a bit of lichen still needs to be brushed from some holds. There are no unknowns regarding rock or route quality, as all portions have been climbed.
Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock? Is it extremely overhanging?
Yes, top roped clean. Most loose rock flakes have been removed, and very little remains for further cleaning. The route is mostly vertical, with brief sections of slightly overhanging terrain.
This route should be a great addition to the Maiden, as it is a high-quality and moderate route that could be used as a warm up for the harder sport routes in the area. The position and aesthetics are excellent and consistent with the other classics there. It is also consistent in grade with some of the other traditional routes.