Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quantum Man -5.13a Grade IV.

The first ascent of the Quantum Man (Quantum Mechanic to Astroman via the Quantum Leap variation) was made in October of 2011 by myself and Madeline Sorkin with a couple of falls and returns to no hands ledges. The first free ascent was made later in the month by myself and Ben Ditto. Neither climber fell that day with Ditto making an impressive flash ascent. I am hoping to climb the route out the roofs in the longer days of spring.

The first pitch follows the initial climbing on Astro-man to the two bolt belay and then cuts across a slab to the base of a widening splitter. Delicate face traversing and lots of rope drag make the 5.8 moves to the crack feel difficult. A few finger size pieces will make a natural gear belay. 200’

Off a gear anchor, the crack widens from a section of difficult big fingers to thin hands to full on offwidth. Reaching the top of the crack is a forty foot horizontal roof. An enormous granite manta ray hangs at the beginning of the roof. After clipping a long sling to the bolts at the top of Terminal Research (5.11c), it is possible to undercling the manta ray feature. A big hands piece then a fist piece can be placed behind the flake. If this piece of rock came off it would seriously jeopardize team safety as the belay is directly below it. Undercling left to better rock. Catch a small break by a flake keystoned in the undercling and then fight leftward. This is not an undercling. It’s a Thundercling! Place a 4 camalot, a 5 camalot and then a 6 camalot. Two bolts protect the final moves. It is easier to clip the first bolt when it is behind you. Moving to the next bolt requires an interesting, though not difficult kneebar move. A few moves of 5.10 liebacking take you to a two bolt anchor. A 60 meter rope will reach to the ground from here. The pitch is 5.13a though the rating comes from the difficulty in placing the large gear and the offensive pump. Some might call it "athletic 12c." It It is difficult to follow and tagging out the gear at the Terminal Research anchor is advisable as it takes some weight off. It's hard to clean the gear- try the pink point tuff stuff. 120’

A few wide moves leads to a hanging rock and a small roof encounter. A finger to hands to fingers crack allows passage on the right side of the hanging rock. A short 5.11c footless 1 camalot hands traverse across the top of the rock leads to the next belay.

Belay off a two camalot, a solid bolt and a quarter incher at the stance. 40’
A series of detached pillars lead to a corner, which is often wet. Place two blue alien size pieces then layback the fin of the corner to a couple of pin scars and a large flake at 5.12. A 3 camalot fits in at the base of the flake. Climb to the top of the flake and clip a manky pin. Either down climb and make a reachy traverse right on delicate feet or continue up to a steep hand crack, a couple funky chimney style moves and the tree out right. Either way is 5.11. Belay at a two bolt anchor by the tree. 100’

Follow a finger crack up and then traverse right through delicate face holds at 5.11c. Climb the corner with care of loose rock at 5.11. The original Quantum Mechanic traverses right on orange rock. The Quantum Leap variation continues in the corner. A belay stance rests below a steep corner. There are 3 solid bolts at the belay. A 70 meter rope just makes it to the top of Planck’s Constant, the Thundercling. 100’

A steep fingers section followed by a wide block marks the initial difficulties of the next 5.11 pitch. Climb both sides of a large block, clip a bolt, then make some steep layback moves up a corner with good feet. A two bolt anchor should be drilled on the left arĂȘte to make a solid stance but instead continue climbing the amazing corner to a hanging two bolt aid anchor. 90’

The overhanging hand crack of the Quantum Leap pitch

The Quantum Leap pitch follows a steep 5.11+ hands pitch off the hanging belay. Stay left and be careful not to place a cam at the lip of the crack- your rope might get stuck behind it. After the hands section, continue up to a large ledge. Clip a bolt off a swaying pillar, gaston, cross and then campus to the arĂȘte doing a v3 boulder problem. Mantle and place a green alien behind a flake at head height. Traverse left and then up on dirty terrain placing another finger size piece. Good news is that you’re at Hotel California. This is a good bivy for two with no need for a ledge120’
Head up and then left on 5.8 terrain being careful of dirt and loose rock to a two bolt anchor. From here, an easy downclimb can be made to the base of the changing corners pitch on Astroman or the route can continue up the 5 roof pitches of the full Quantum Mechanic.

A double set of cams from blue alien to 2 camalot will suffice. Include a 3, 3.5, 4, 5, and 6 for Planck’s Constant. Rappeling from Hotel California requires two ropes, directionals, and there will be a lot of rope drag. It is possible though.
Much thanks to Tim Derohen, John Schmid, Todd Bartlow, Jake Whittaker, James Selvidge and Rob Miller for the belays, beta and support.


1originalrockstar said...

Nice work James and Ben. Looks really good. I like that dihedral photo. Will that be included at the East Side slide show next week?

1originalrockstar said...
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Paul said...

Right on James.