Shitty Choss Pile From Hell

by Jim Lawyer

What compels us to climb loose, mossy, lichen-covered, dangerous routes? I'm not sure I know the answer, but for those that thrive on such insecurity, it helps to have some beta. The following describes the route Weekend Warrior on the Upper Washbowl Cliff in Chapel Pond area of the Adirondacks, New York.

According to the guidebook, the route was first climbed by Tim Beaman and Patrick Purcell in 1988. It attempts to climb the prow but winds up actually staying just right of the prow for the most part.

The route begins on the clean face just left of the start of the popular route Hesitation. There's no missing the first pitch, as it's clean and completely bolt-protected.

Pitch 1: Climb the delightful face past 5 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor. The climbing becomes increasingly more difficult with the crux (5.10+) moving past the topmost bolt (hint - look for the horizontal on the wall right of the left-facing mini-ramp). Move left above the last bolt around the arÍte and up to the anchor.

There is a permanent anchor at the top of the first pitch.

Pitch 2: Move directly left from the anchor and climb a left-rising ramp into a steep corner. There isn't a roof here as described in the guidebook, just a steep corner. At the top of the corner -- which you will discover to be more of a pile of unattached loose blocks -- climb up and right onto a dirty face using good holds. You can now look up and see the large roof at the end of the pitch. Step right to a good crack in a bulge and get some gear, then back left to climb the very dirty slab/face with large pasted-on blocks and flakes, being sure not to touch anything, as dropping something from here will land on the belay below. Make an anchor (1"-2" cams) on the sloping slab beneath the large overhang. The guidebook calls this pitch 5.10+, but its more like horrifying 5.9+.

Pitch 3: Walk right about 20 feet from the belay to a bulging face. A couple RPs protect the boulder move (5.10) up the bulge and onto the face above. Climb up and into a dirty right-facing corner (5.9), which is climbed to the top. Protection is adequate here (small nuts and TCUs), but may require some excavation of moss and dirt. At the top, the corner becomes completely filled with shrubs; move right onto the slab, which is just left of Hesitation's third pitch. Belay straight up about 20' left of the belay at the end of the 3rd pitch of Hesitation.

Pitch 4: Move left from the belay through shrubs to an obvious arÍte. Continue around the corner onto a slab to the base of a large corner with a small cedar bush at the base and a tree growing halfway up. A #2 Camalot protects the climbing up the corner (5.6) to the trees. A few slings around the trees protect the final moves up the corner using the face on the right.

Descent: Walk off as for all the other routes, or rappel the Partition corner to the Mastercharge cedar tree (be very careful not to get your ropes stuck in the crack directly below the Mastercharge tree).