Pitch 1 of Rock On
photos by Andy Cairns
During last week’s heat wave, we hiked to Rock On, which remains shady most of the day.
Pitch one, shown above, starts with a tricky finger crack to a corner. I found laybacking around the roof to be burly, but well-protected (I was glad of the #3 Camalot for the wide crack).
After this, I stemmed the corner easily, until the next flake to layback around - but this one is easier and less strenuous than the first steep part.
Rock On, pitch 3
Pitch 3, though rated harder (5.9) than pitch 1 (5.8) felt less strenuous. It involves stemming a corner, jams, a chimney move, followed by a traverse left under a roof. The traverse protected well with 0.5 to #1 Camalots - use long slings to avoid rope drag.
Andy led the crux pitch - the thin fingertip layback of pitch 4, which looks much harder to protect, since it leans quite a bit.
We chose to climb pitch 5 to the top, and rappel down to the Apron descent, but the climbers in front of us rappelled the route. The ledge above pitch 3 became very crowded then: I was there, plus the two climbers in front of us ( one of whom landed on my foot when rappelling); plus the guys who’d climbed “Hard On”, a two-pitch route to the same belay. Yes - expect crowds: this is a (well-deserved) Top 100 climb!