New 5.13/14, Southwest Arete, the Maiden

The proposed route climbs on and near the Maiden’s overhanging southwest arête. The following description accompanies the photo below.

There are two possible ways this route could go. The applicant has inspected the route on rappel and climbed the upper section free. The upper section climbs on the steep face just right of the right arête of the west face. Because of the overhanging angle, it is impossible to inspect and climb the lower section. At the very least the upper portion of the route can be done by climbing the first 25ft. of the West Overhang (using trad gear to protect that section) and then climbing rightwards across the slab to the arete. This is the red line and would require the placement of the two bolts marked in blue. However, it looks like it may be possible to climb the arête (yellow line) directly below the upper line. The feasibility of this can only be determined once the bolts on the upper wall are installed. This direct version is preferred if it goes, and would require the bolts indicated in yellow. In terms of difficulty, the upper section is mid-range 5.13. The traverse (blue bolts) is in the 5.12- range. The direct start, if it goes free, appears to be anywhere from 5.13 to 5.14. The attached image depicts the number of bolts required for each variation.

The applicant’s approach in establishing this climb would be to first install all the bolts on the upper section (red bolts). Once those are installed he’ll be able to determine if the direct line (yellow) is climbable. If he can climb this (yellow) and it is not significantly harder than the upper section, he will install only the yellow bolts and not install those marked with blue. But if the direct start is significantly harder, it could be worth adding the blue bolts to make the upper section of the route accessible at an easier grade. If the direct line does not go, the applicant will install the blue bolts to protect the traverse accessing the upper section.

The staging area for this route is the same as that of the West Overhang. The route is just over 100ft. long and would thus require a 70m rope (unless the second follows the pitch). The nearest bolt on this new route would be approximately 15’ from the West Overhang route and thus would not interfere or cause confusion with that route. The applicant has inspected the route for natural-protection options and found only marginal placements in questionable rock (at the chocolate-colored band at midpoint).

The style of climbing involves steep and very physical pulling on edges and sidepull features. The rock is very sound throughout and will not require much, if any, cleaning.

FHRC Overview of the application: Complete
Voting Results: Approved
OSMP Decision: Pending