Maybe - but I spent most of two days cleaning out the traverse crack - grass, shrubs, dirt, moss. Including "pinning out" much of it. Until after the fourth bolt, you might be able to fiddle in some tiny nut, but there's nothing much reliable.Although I did feel that on p2 you could place natural gear, instead of bolts 3 & 4, I feel they make that pitch safer, as too few leaders consider their seconds when protecting.
The first two bolts on that pitch were placed in 1961. Two more were placed in 1974 or so, so that one could do the traverse without using pins. The nuts of that period weren't much use in horizontal cracks. We changed their locations, having in mind where you could place gear, protecting seconds, etc.
And you're dead right about leaders not thinking about their seconds. Traverses are part of climbing, they just take a bit more thought and care.
I would say if you have done Banana Peel or Diedre more times than you can remember - you should get on this. It's a fun climb.
When you reach the top, keep climbing -- Zen proverb
(There's one new bolt on pitch 1, one on pitch 4, four (+ belay) on pitch 5, and three on the pitch 6 'direct' finish.)
And here is it, with the route of Slab Alley marked in blue.
As you can see, I'm no great artist, nor have I access to any decent program for doing these things. The following confirms this:
Anyway, it may help people find and climb the route. The photo and topo should be taken as approximations only. Many trees, and smaller features, aren't marked.
great work Anders thanks!
There is still some grit in the "steps", but I think that a day of rain will take care of that
We simuled them because we mistakenly sent the leader past the tree, which made for a very long fun pitch. We sent question of balance after too.. seemed like a good link up.
Any thoughts on Bran Flakes? Seems like its completely unused, maybe a couple more bolts might help? I would lead it if it was bolted similiarily to question, a little runout, but not deathly.
just a thought...
I'd be reluctant to add bolts to Bran Flakes. There are already two routes on that slab that are exciting, but tolerably protected. (Question of Balance and Pig Dogs.) Although I was involved in Bran Flakes - I placed the first bolt - it always seemed something of a grid bolt thing to me, even in 1978. Its only saving grace being that it has few bolts, although it's not desperate. Given developments elsewhere on the Apron, grid bolting is rather a concern. And it's not like QB is much different from Bran Flakes. I could ask Peter and Tami what they think.
I'd be very reluctant to see bolts added to Eric's Route, both due to the above reasons, and in memory of Eric. I'm not sure if the bolts were ever replaced, so that could be done, and it could be cleaned up a bit. There's nothing wrong with having a few scary routes, e.g. Grim Reaper.
Spent today looking at Pineapple Peel, doing a bunch of brushing. It looks like it will be worth the effort, including a mandatory tree climb on the first pitch ( , a wandering slab pitch (~5., a groove pitch leading to a short 5.8 slab (sort of like the one on Sparrow), then perhaps a new pitch linking in to the upper part of Slab Alley. There are only two bolts on it now, and I need to talk with Frank and Terry, to hear their thoughts.
Warning: Pineapple Peel and the area around it may be somewhat dirty for the next while.
As far as bran flakes, i would be willing to clean it up a bit and lead it if you can help me replace the bolts. Then we'll see if it gets enough traffic to keep it clean. If not, whats the point?
Perhaps if one was linking p1-p2, they could climb the crack behind the P1 tree and slab above to regain the tail end of the traverse crack. Then go more directly to the P2 belay reducing drag. Skips out the rather interesting traverse, but doable. I have not done this by the way.Anders Ourum wrote:
(It would be possible, but awkward, to combine pitches 1 & 2, or 2 & 3 - rope drag, communications issues.)
I did go up the renewed Slab Alley and it was great fun. It has a good feel at the base, and i like the different perspective from the route.
Question: When climbing the 10d variation into the Elephant Steps, where are the belays (before and after the pitch) located? A 60m rope from the top of P2 gets you only part way up the E-steps. Is the intent to simulclimb?
The bolt protecting the 5.10d variation into the base of the elephant steps is a galvanized one, and not to be relied on. Planning to replace it, together with tidying up the various other metal bits. Not sure what to do about the 'old' bolt ladder below it. Anyway, it's really just a few moves. If you were doing the variation with a 60 m rope, probably the best strategy would be to belay in the diagonal crack half way up the 'steps'. Makes for two short pitches, but should work - I'm fairly sure that Jim and Tony belayed there on the first ascent, having only a 45 m rope or so.
Is it the original one? I managed to do that variation once back in the late 1970's. EBs and all. As I recall it was a matter of stepping up on a crystal and then lunging for the slap. I fell on that bolt two or three times and then got lucky and stuck the slap. By far the hardest move I ever made on the lead end of a rope. Given my weight, even back then, I assumed I had nearly tested that bolt to destruction...Anders Ourom wrote:The bolt protecting the 5.10d variation into the base of the elephant steps is a galvanized one, and not to be relied on.
I always belayed at that crack. Took a couple of hexentrics quite nicely and the stance was almost enough by itself anyway. Well, once I did try to make the tree but the rope tightened ten feet below it and I was reluctant to ask my second to simul that bit, so I downclimbed back to the crack. Maybe if I hadn't put a runner in the crack the diagonaedl rope would have reached the tree, but I was too easily frightened to consider the whole pitch without a belay, easy as it is.Anyway, it's really just a few moves. If you were doing the variation with a 60 m rope, probably the best strategy would be to belay in the diagonal crack half way up the 'steps'. Makes for two short pitches, but should work - I'm fairly sure that Jim and Tony belayed there on the first ascent, having only a 45 m rope or so.
Back then the old bolt ladder direct had a 5.8 rating in Gordy's guidebook. I first climbed it on lead in EBs on a very cold day and thought 5.8 was about right. The next time I lead the thing it was much warmer and I ended up using aid that one time.
Then sticky rubber came along and helped a lot on that climb and other slabs.
I think it's great if people start climbing it again and am glad to see you clean it.
Maybe try smoke signals or a heliograph instead, the original forms of digital communications. Or send a note to email@example.com
I do plan to replace the one (galvanized) bolt on the 'direct' variation, perhaps when the bits of old metal get removed and patched. Not sure what to do about the old (left) bolt ladder. I guess a few may still climb it.
So with that said, we climbed it both times from pitch 3 up. I think your variation on pitch 3 up the scoop will be a welcome addition, as will the added bolt on pitch 4. Traversing to the scoops with no pro was exciting, but dangerous. Especially if it becomes a popular route and begins to get polished. One bolt, properly placed, can still keep it spicy.
That aluminum angle on the traverse to the block on BP was not exactly confidence-inspiring either! Thanks for replacing it. I look forward to trying a direct finish variation, bolts or no.
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