On a Bender 5.11 A2
FA: Oct 24, 2005
Approach: Drive 3.5-4 miles south of the bridge over the San Rafael River toward I-70. Turn right (west) on a marked 4x4 road. Follow this very rough road (no passenger cars) for a couple of miles as it passes an old mine and a shot-up old car and truck. Soon, you'll reach the enterance to Cane Wash. Here you face an ethical quandry. The Wash is often signed as off limits to vehicles. However, this sign is frequently missing and it's obvious that it is frequently used by ATVs. Either park and hike or keep driving. I made the drive before the signs were there and it doesn't seem environmentally damaging, but I've also done the hike too. Anyway, coninue for about 2-2.5 miles until you see the obvious tower.
Keep going longer than you think until you almost go around a bend in the wash. This allows an easy scramble through the first cliff band. Once through the cliff band, head to the left of the tower and approach up a gully littered with boulders (this is far easier than the loose approach on the right of the route). At the top of the gully, traverse right around to the sunny side of the tower and find the nice looking dihedral that is the start.
Pitch 1: Start with ackward hands up to a good rest (5.10). Be careful with your gear, there is a decent amount of calcite in the crack. Without tape, this section would maul your hands. Continue with overhanging thin hands to a fingery crux (5.11). Pull into wider terain and use face holds and crack to finish (5.9+). The anchors are on the left wall (a bad bolt is on the right wall). Gear: (3) #3 friends, (1) #2.5 friend, (1) #1 camalot, (2) #2 Friends, (1) Green Camalot, (1) #1.5 friend, (1) yellow TCU, (1) green alien, (1) #5 friend, (1) #4 friend, (2) #3.5 friends Pitchi Lenght: Approximately 30 meters.
Pitch 2: Aid past bolts and bat hook holes to a steep aid seam and a couple more bolts and mantel onto the cool summit. Gear: Small cams (smaller than Green Camalot), offset nuts, bat hook, a couple of pins (this may go clean now...we only placed one pin, and the scar may take a nut now). Pitch lenght, approximately 20 meters.
Descent: Take webbing to extend the achor over the first edge and rap directly down toward the first pitch anchor. You could do this in 2 raps or one long double-rope rap. (On the first ascent, we rapped into the notch and had a tough time pulling the ropes and the rope got stuck int he notch crack. Rapping down the route would prevent this.)
If you have time left over, check out some routes on the other side of the canyon, up about 1/4 mile. Citizen Cane has to be the best thin hands splitter in the Desert.