Grassroutes First Ascents: #1: March 3, 2014

Welcome to the first installation of Grassroutes First Ascents!  I’m excited to have some great routes to share from around the country.  Get ready for a trip around the West, kicking off with a incredibly difficult sport climb near Winslow, AZ by the young and talented Harry Edwards  Along the way we’ll stop for a moderate romp in Sequoia National Park, some bouldering in Tahoe, steep sandstone cracks in Sedona, AZ, and a thin gear climb on the beautiful dacite of Mt Elden, Flagstaff, AZ.

Stay tuned on the first and third Monday of each month for new installations of GFA!  Spread the word to anyone you know who develops routes to keep Grassroutes First Ascents moving!

Harry Edwards, 13, of Holbrook, Arizona has completed his Perfection Project, a unique and beautiful sport climb in Clear Creek Canyon, near Winslow, AZ.  The climb took him many months of repeated attempts, and is at this point the hardest pitch in the canyon (and probably the state).

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ.  Photo Rob Edwards

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ. Photo Rob Edwards

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ.  Photo Rob Edwards

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ. Photo Rob Edwards

I had the pleasure of seeing Harry and his family down in Clear Creek Canyon this summer when swimming temps are prime.  The Edwards braved the cold waters of the canyon in the depth of winter to finish up this project!  Visit http://edwardsfamilyclimbers.com/ to stay up on the latest from Harry and the rest of the very talented and motivated family!

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ.  Photo Rob Edwards

Harry Edwards on his Perfection Project, Clear Creek, AZ. Photo Rob Edwards

The west has experienced an unusually warm and dry winter, and Vitaliy Musiyenko and Daniel Jeffcoach took full advantage of the pleasant climbing conditions to establish The Boardwalk Chimney 5.8 540ft on Santa Cruz Dome in Sequoia National Park.

Fun face climbing on pitch 3

Fun face climbing on pitch 3

The area is like a Toulumne/Charlotte Dome mix.

Daniel about to start pitch two!

Daniel about to start pitch two!

The line Daniel noticed took a massive chimney system up the west side of the Dome.  The climbing in teir chimney system looked a bit intimidating at first with a couple of big roofs blocking the way.  To their surprise the roofs were not too difficult and the climbing turned out to be very enjoyable.  The rock was of incredibly good quality and very featured with large chicken heads, knobs and dikes all over the place.

Daniel and Vitaliy were happy with the way the route went.

Daniel and Vitaliy were happy with the way the route went.

Climbing on the route is varied and could be anything from friction slab, to chicken head pulling and chimneying.  There are still countless more dream routes waiting in the area!  For the full story from Vitaliy, check out http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/02/santa-cruz-dome-boardwalk-chimney-fa-58.html.

The Boardwalk Chimney goes up the prominent chimney to the left of the roof.

The Boardwalk Chimney goes up the prominent chimney to the left of the roof.

Greg Cornell established a new line “Canadian Shield” V3/4 on this beautiful boulder near Bob’s Rock (in the Supertopo Tahoe Bouldering book page 90).  This boulder is to the south and up the hill and Canadian Shield begins with a jump start and ends with a tricky mangle through a U-shaped gap.  Take a look at http://rockiesobscure.com/ for more of Greg’s work!  Addendum:  Greg first climbed this boulder problem in June 2010.

Canadian Shield V3/4 Greg Cornell

Canadian Shield V3/4 Greg Cornell

Canadian Shield V3/4 Greg Cornell

Canadian Shield V3/4 Greg Cornell

Jeff Snyder, of Flagstaff, AZ has been busy putting up new lines around Northern Arizona, and two of his latest projects completed are Poquito Bandito 5.12 in Sedona, AZ and Pazuzu 5.11+ in Middle Elden Canyon, AZ.  Tamara Hastie took some incredible photos on Poquito Bandito, and I was fortunate to join Jeff for the FA of Pazuzu, and shot a little video of the send.

Jeff Snyder on the FA of Poquito Bandito.  Photo Tamara Hastie

Jeff Snyder on the FA of Poquito Bandito. Photo Tamara Hastie

Poquito Bandito is a aesthetic and steep mixed route that sits in the center sun-vortex of Oak Creek Spire’s South Face. Reminiscent of Indian Creek with trademark characteristics of Sedona, this short but fierce pitch will try and steal the send.

Jeff Snyder on the FA of Poquito Bandito.  Photo Tamara Hastie
From Jeff’s description on Mountain Project

“Start up jumbled terrain, clean your shoes and start up steep fingers to a short rest. Fire the tips boulder problem to a ledge. Switch gears and power tech-mantle your way through 3 bolts to the anchor. ”  Thanks to Tamara Hastie for the incredible photos of this sandstone splitter!  For more of her work, visit http://blog.tamarahastie.com/

Steep tips on Poquito Bandito

Steep tips on Poquito Bandito

Jeff Snyder on the FA of Poquito Bandito.  Photo Tamara Hastie

Jeff Snyder on the FA of Poquito Bandito. Photo Tamara Hastie

Pazuzu is a short but beautiful pitch on a large boulder in Middle Elden Canyon.  Check out https://vimeo.com/88071473 for the video!  Committing climbing over tiny gear on beautifully featured dacite!

Thanks to all who submitted photos and routes!  Also, big thanks to Mad Rock Climbing and Bluewater Ropes.

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