Release the Hostages
Route Name: Release the Hostages
Rock Formation: Overhang Rock
Number of Bolts to be Placed: 16 (14 bolts on route, 2 for anchor)
Proposed Grade: 5.13
Route Description: Proposed route, Release the Hostages (5.13, 35 meters), is an entirely independent line on the west face of Overhang Rock in Bear Canyon. After 25 meters of vertical 5.12/12+ climbing, the route tackles the largest section of overhanging stone (~5.13) capping the wall directly above the lower face climbing.
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): There are 10 established climbs (8 sport, two traditional) on the west side of Overhang Rock. Proposed route is located between Tits Out for the Lads (5.12b), and The Big Picture (5.12/b), with approximately 4 meters of separation on either side.
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.): Approach is via the Bear Canyon Trail to the Overhang Rock climber’s trail, which leaves the Bear Canyon Trail at a point directly south of Ridge Three in Bear Canyon. The base of the west face of Overhang Rock is reached in less than 10 minutes from the Bear Canyon Trail.
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.): Descent via the approach trail.
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.): Tits Out for the Lads (5.12b), Release the Hostages, The Big Picture (5.12b) and Missing Link (5.12c) all share the same staging area: a bare rock ledge 8 meters above the base of the cliff. This ledge is reached via an easy scramble on its right/south end.
Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?The upper portion of this route is extremely steep for 8 meters. It was not possible to toprope this section. Top-roping the face below was also problematic because of the huge overhang above, though some exploratory moves were made from anchors on the adjacent climbs. The overhang contains the crux climbing; there are no options for removable protection on the overhang or the vertical face. However, the route was inspected on rappel to the best of my abilities. Positive holds were apparent the entire length of the climb. The difficulty I have given, 5.13, is a guesstimate. Rock quality varies from somewhat loose in places (will clean up with the removal of a few flakes) to quite good overall. The best bolt locations will need to be worked out once a minimal number of directional bolts have been placed, dependent on approval of this application.
Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock? Is it extremely overhanging? Route has not been toproped in its entirety due to steepness and lack of directional protection.