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Smugglers' Notch - Easy Gully Buttress

12/18/2012:
Significant rockfall was reported in Smuggler's Notch between the routes Big Daddy Arete and The Brazilian. No word yet as to whether those routes or Beer Belly were affected, but beware as some of the bolts may have been damaged or destroyed. We'll know more next summer...


12/26/2012: Piece of the chimney that fell off of the Easy Gully Buttress was found lying against the Backyard Boulder. Unfortunately its position effectively eliminates the boulder problems Thump and Forest Thump. The boulder must have been bouncing 4' to 6' in the air on the way down as trees with the tops snapped off are visible just up-slope.

The Brazilian 
Was originally climbed by Bud Keene and partner in the early 1990's. 

"Keene Corner"
The major right-facing corner system to the right of the Big Daddy Arete was climbed by Bud Keene and partner in the 1990s. 

Keene writes:

"There is a great route that seems to be overlooked in the guidebook. Instead of stepping out past the corner to Big Daddy Arete, I have climbed the corner itself several times. From my perspective the corner itself is a very worthwhile route, and there are even some fixed pins in the corner. Near the top, the face on the left is climbed to the same belay ledge. From there you can rappel, as is shown on the photo in the book, or you can climb a second pitch which ascends the inverted staircase/left-facing corner. The second pitch is hard. I seem to remember free-climbing it with my ex-wife back when I was climbing hard, but several years later I returned with a friend, and thinking I was still the climber I used to be we flailed, and we used aid to get up it. It leads to a nice small stance on the very top of that section of the buttress."

It seems likely that the second pitch described here is listed as the third pitch of Single Mothers in the book, later freed by Mark Guider. Note that a huge block fell out of this corner a few years ago and the current state of the route is not known. 

Smugglers' Notch - Quartz Crack

Quartz Crack
While many parties will choose to rappel from the top of pitch 3, pitch 4 is unique and is very worth doing. Here's some additional beta. There's a veritable museum of old fixed-gear on the last pitch- virtually all of it is junk and should be backed-up with trad gear; none of it looks likely to hold a fall. The corner leading up to the big roof is almost always wet and mossy, but it protects well and the wet parts can usually be avoided by stemming. Bring a few larger cams, 3" or bigger, to help protect the final traverse. 
The descent isn't particularly well described in the book. At the end of the last pitch, belay from trees, then hike/scramble more or less straight up until you find the Bedouin descent trail. Follow this downhill for a few hundred yards, then break right below a cliff band, downclimb a 8-foot ledge, and locate the ring anchor at the top of the ice route Pub Crawl. Make a short rappel into the brushy gully, then scramble to the right to the top of The Diagonal. Make a two-rope rappel from here to the base of the Quartz Crack buttress. Alternately, it is possible to hike back to the road by following the Bedouin trail all the way down- note that this will not return you to the base of the cliff but instead bring you all the way down to Route 108.

The Diagonal
A few people have reported that the grade on P.2 of The Diagonal is a bit soft. Opinions seem to be settling in on 5.8.

At the moment the earliest reported ascent of this route is Bud Keene in the 1990s. This early ascent used a wet corner to the left of the current route to gain the alcove belay at the top of pitch 1. 


Smugglers' Notch - Elephant's Head

Still in Ramadi
Still In Ramadi gets two stars in the book, but I really should have given it three- it's really cool! Full value for the grade and a loose, somewhat scary start. Definitely split into two pitches, belaying above the roof traverse, as there's difficulty climbing above and the rope drag is terrible and probably unavoidable. Extra medium cams are helpful (#1-3 Camelots).

Elephant's Head Crack
The ancient bolt anchor atop P.1 of Elephant's Head Crack has been replaced with  new ring bolts (Summer, 2012). 
The topos of Elephant's Head show the P.1 belay on Elephant's Head Crack somewhat higher than it actually is.
The old slung block anchor at the top of P.2 of Elephant's Head crack was replaced with new ring bolts (Summer, 2012). 
It is now possible to descend with a single 60m rope by rappelling down Airavata.

Ganesh
The cover photo describes Ganesh as 5.12a, while the route description lists it as 5.11d. It should be listed as 5.11d (though it's  quite hard for the grade).

Prospect Rock - Left Side

"Unknown" (route #2)
"Unknown" (route #2) on page 173 is called Chossoholic's Wet Dream and was led by June Mendell and Dan Sherbrooke as a runout trad climb. The bolts we added later by an unknown party.

"Unknown" (route #7)
"Unknown" route #7 on page 173 is called Chossoholic. A harder TR variation was also done to the right. FA June Mendell, Jeff Stuart. 

Piece for Fantasy
June Mendell recalls there being fixed protection under the roof when she and Kris Barrowman climbed it. Route should probably be described as an ACD instead of an FA. Of course, the route fell off the cliff this year, so...