Monday, July 12, 2010

La Gota Fría 18p 5.11b A0 (5.12d)

La Gota Fría
18p 5.11b A0 (5.12+)
Deputy Wall, Squamish, BC
FCA Dylan Connelly & Chris Stolz July 11, 2010; other pitches FA individually by Ian Bennett, Mike Blicker, Dylan Connelly, Chris Stolz

This long, mostly free route is characterised by excellent protection, good positions, a wide variety of good climbing and a superb finish. All pitches except #13 have bolted belays. The route is dry May-Sept. P3 and 5 can be easily French freed; P7 has a bolt-ladder bypass.

Thanks to Ian Bennet, Jeremy Frimer, Myles Holt, Kevin McLane, Tony McLane, Paul Cordy, Sebastian Mejia, Kasper Podgorski, Rob Owens, Ben Roy, Scott Semple, and our girlfriends Larisa O. and Jenn N.

THE SOUNDTRACK: Carlos Vives sings Emiliano Zuleta's "La Gota Fría"

GEAR: double Camalots from .3 to #3, 1x #4 and #5 1 Blue Aliens and/or TCU, nuts, long slings.

APPROACH: take the Sheriff's Badge trail. About 30 meters before the Philistine groove area, turn right (cairn and piece of shoelace hanging from tree branch). Head up a faint trail to a slab, go to climber's left up and around the slab, and head past bits of fixed ropes to a short, clean obvious v-groove beside which hangs a blue rope.

P1: 35m 5.11b or 5.10d Climb the obvious v-groove. Then, either

a) lieback the crack (11b) to the tree, another bolt, and the belay
b) go left, past 3 bolts (10d) to the tree, another bolt, and the belay
If P1's V-groove is wet, scramble up the short arete on its right side and step over (5.7)

P2: 5.9 40m Go up two meters to a ledge, right to a tree tree stump, and straight up into a flake-crack. Pass a tree, step right onto a ledge. Traverse right past bolts.

P3: 30m 5.11b Up the superb fingers-to-hands crack. Easily French-freed.

P4: 30m 5.10c Straight up the hand-and-fist crack to a ledge.

P5: 20m 5.9 A0 or 5.12c/d Straight up the perfect dihedral past bolts to a two-bolt belay. Very easily aided.

P6: 25m 5.4 Traverse the ledge right to a two-bolt belay.

P7: 25m 5.12+ Up and left into burly underclinging and jamming with sketchy feet on good gear to a bolted stance by an old fragment of tree. Airy, wild, sustained and superb. often wet.

P7 BYPASS: 45m A0 From the station atop P5, traverse along the Green Line Ledge and climb the bolt ladder that starts about 2/3 of the way across, straight up to the belay atop P7. Bring a #2 or #3 camalot for last move.

P8: 20m 5.11a Use bolts and trees to get to the base of an inverted V-slot, with a hanging flake in it. Then, either

a) do some crazed-ape moves involving funky stemming, put gear atop the flake then wildly mantle over the lip, to two bolts and left to the belay
b) do some exposed moves up and left, then pass finger and hand jams

P9: 25m 5.10a From an airy stance, up the nice corner.

P10 20m 5.5 Crap pitch: traverse right past a few bolts ans some trees and bushes then up to a belay at the base of a nice corner.

P11 25m 5.10b Climb the fine widening corner past 2 bolts to a ledge.

P12 5.10b 30m Cross to the right side of the ledge, then go up the left side of chimneyish blocks to a bolt. Go straight up past more bolts and gear, exit right, to a ledge.

P13 35m 5.10b Straight up to under the roof, then make a slabby traverse (one reachy move) left past bolts and a final short crack to a tree belay.

Traverse left through the forested ledge about 30m.

P14 25m 5.11a Climb a blocky right-trending feature to a crack in a shallow left-facing corner, then pass 4 bolts.

P15 25m 5.8 Climb up the left side of the huge yellow flake, then undercling left underneath the enormous roof through an awesome position to the bottom of the gigantic V-slot.

P16 45m 5.10c/d Climb up the right side of the massive V-slot through the steepening crack to a ledge, then up left through a couple of thin crack moves past one bolt to belay off a tree. A superb pitch in an awesome position in a cool feature.

P17 30m 5.8 From the top of the V-slot, make your way about 10m to climber's right to a 2-bolt belay. About 3m right of this, start up a very easy left-leaning crack. At the first tree, step up and right onto the slab and go up and slightly right. There is one .4 camalot placement, and just past a tiny overlap there is 1 bolt. Past this move up and right to a dirty crack, and belay off a lone tree on the left.

P18 30m 5.8 Make your way up any # of treed cracks or the slabby face to a two-bolt belay

Alternative end: from the bolted belay at the bottom of P17, follow the wooded crack up in a long leftward arc (58m) to the top-- a couple of 5.6 moves.

RETREAT: The route can be easily rappeled with one 60m rope from the top of P12. From the top of P8, rap straight down to the Green Line Ledge, then down and left to the top of P4. From the top of P2, rap 30m to a station, then 25m to the ground.

COMBINE PITCHES: Green Line Ledge and bolt ladder easily combine (40m)
P9 & 10 would be about 50 m, very easy; use long slings for rope drag at station atop P9

WHAT REMAINS...Connelly & Stolz freed "Fría Lite." "Fría Heavy" will involve freeing the P5 dihedral and the P7 "Wet Like Your Wife" overhanng.

THE ROUTE NAME: "La Gota Fría" is a song by Colombian vallenato master Emiliano Zuleta, and was famously covered by Carlos Vives. La gota fría literally means "a cold drop." Metaphorically, it means (a) a sudden and unexpected flood or (b) a cold drop of sweat (as in fear). The song, sung from Zuleta's point of view, describes the Colombian version of a rapper's feud: Zuleta and Lorenzo Morales, two famous accordeonistas, have been trash-talking each other, and the song details a musical battle, with the final line-- cuando me oyó tocar, le cayó la gota fría meaning roughly "and when he heard me play [the accordion], he felt cold drops of sweat." You can listen to Carlos Vives' version here The song is, as they say, based on a true story: Zuleta did have a musical feud with Morales, and did beat him at the yearly vallenato festival in Valledupar. Afterwards, Morales and Zuleta became fast friends and musical collaborators...

ASCENT CREDITS for individual pitches.
Most were done at various times with different groups of people.

First Continuous Free Ascent (5.11b A0 version) Dylan Connelly and Chris Stolz, July 11, 2010

P1 Myles Holt (aid), FA 5.11b version Ian Bennet, Oct 12 2009 (onsight!) FA 10d version Chris Stolz, June 2010
P2 Chris Stolz and Kasper Podgorski (aid), FFA Chris Stolz, Mike Blicker 4 Oct 2009
P3 Chris Stolz, Mike Blicker (aid), FFA Mike Blicker July 2010
P4 Chris Stolz, Mike Blicker (aid); FFA Chris Stolz, Mike Blicker 4 Oct 2009
P5 Dylan Connelly, Chris Stolz (aid)
P6 Chris Stolz, Dylan Connelly
P7 Dylan Connelly, Chris Stolz (aid)
P8 Chris Stolz, Dylan Connelly (aid), FFA Mike Blicker July 2010
P9 Dylan Connelly, Chris Stolz (aid), FFA Mike Blicker July 2010
P10 Mike Blicker
P11 Chris Stolz, Dylan Connelly
P12 Mike Blicker July 2010
P13 Chris Stolz, Dylan Connelly July 11, 2010
P14 Mike Blicker, July 2010
P15 Chris Stolz, Dylan Connelly, Mike Blicker July 2010
P16 Mike Blicker, July 2010

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