THE NORTH WALL
Jeff Elison on 'Chicken of the Sea'
The NORTH WALL TOPO, subareas and routes
Remember, Ti = titanium hangers! T = name tag!
The Wall of Early Morning Flight is probably reached most easily from Northeast Point. Take the Lighthouse Footpath as it curves westward and parallels the north bluff rim towards the Spot Bay area. Pass the No Problem Mon cairn and continue about another 150 yards until the trail comes to within 50 feet or so of the Bluff edge. There is a red painted DOS Marker near the Bluff edge at this site which also marks the location of these climbs. These are quite high quality, sporty climbs on generally smooth, pocketed yet steep terrain.
1.) Turtles all the Way Down, 11d, 1/9/2. Dicey and steep. Located at the DOS marker.
2.) Neon Goby, 12a, 2/17/2. Very steep and overhanging.
3.) Tune-A-Fish, 12+, 2/15/2.
4.) Hot Tuna, 12a, 2/8/2. *Ti top anchors only..... careful !! Lower anchors are in a cave. (Grenard)
5.) Chicken of the Sea, 12a, 2/10/2. Ti T *Shares top anchors with #6. The shot at top is Jeff Elison just past the crux of this climb ... pretty huh ? Superb climb too. (Elison)
6.) Spineless, 11d, 2/13/2. Ti, T Steep, smooth and multipocketed rock. You will be challenged near the top. Nice. (Grenard)
7.) Holy Huecos batwo-man, 10c, 12/14/2. Ti Top anchors located part way down a V shaped slot at the Bluff's edge. Two sets of bottom anchors, one about 30' higher than the other. Warning, watch the wave action. (grenard)
The No Problem Mon Area is about 150 yards west of the Northeast Point climbs. It is marked by a cairn. Follow the faint trail to the rim. These climbs, also seen on the route topo, are of moderate difficulty and a good place to get used to climbing on the bluff wall over the sea. #1 starts on the right side of the ledge at the Tortuga anchors. #2 starts directly down from these anchors, ie rap over the edge and into a cave to begin at the bottom anchors. #3 and #4 begin about 35 feet down from the left side of the ledge - both share the bottom Tortuga anchors (rap in from above and pass up the ledge on the left, continue down another 35 feet or so to reach the anchors. All routes have lots of exposure. Shot at left is Mike Auldridge gunning up Blackbeard's Revenge. Routes are shown on the topo above and numbered L to R facing the sea.
1.) No Problem Mon, 10a, 2/9/2. Superb, exposed arete at a moderate grade. Ti, T (Harper)
2.) Porpoise Christy, 11b, 2/4/2. Hard pulling start to #1. You can rap in from titanium anchors on the NPM ledge. Ti (Elison)
3.) Walkin' the Plank, 10c, 2/13/2. Three consecutive cruxes makes it interesting. Photo is Vance White on this route. Ti, T (Harper)
4.) Blackbeard's Revenge, 10d, 2/9/2. Lots of pockets, duos, edges and side pulls. Ti (Harper)
Dawn at the light tower, Northeast Point
The Northeast Point is the most concentrated area of great sea cliff climbs on the island as seen on the route topo above. These are all sea cliff routes and you have to rap down to the bottom anchors to climb them!! *NOTE: Routes are numbered from R to L facing the sea, primarily because the exact Northeast Point and the climb associated with it is the easiest to locate. Routes progress westward along the wall from there. Take the Lighthouse Footpath north from the light towers at the east terminus of Major Donald Drive. Just when the trail begins to bear left or westward, about 75 paces along the trail, traverse right over the nasty rock to the bluff edge and you will be very near the Northeast Point. NOTE: Climbs 1 thru 13 are quite close to each other as one progresses westward along the Bluff edge. Look for the yellow route 'name tags' for orientation as shown in photo below near route #10, 'The Devil Wears Flippers'.
1.) What's the Point, 5.9+, 2/13/2. George Bracksieck's creation, he wanted 'The Point'! Long and recreational. Ti, T (Bracksieck)
2.) SOS, 12a, 2/10/2. Sustained, steep and reachy, but big holds (sometimes). Just a few feet W of #1. NOT REBOLTED! (Luebben)
3.) Pillage and Plunder, 11b, 2/13/2. Steep, thin and reachy. Shot to right shows Luebben firing up his route. It is also replete with spicules, hence great friction (if you can take it) all the way. Be prepared. Just a few feet W of #2, anchors over the edge. NOT REBOLTED! (Luebben)
4.) Freedom, 12c, 2/17/2. Three 5.12 cruxes, go for it. Ti, T (Elison and Grenard)
5.) Throwin' the Tortuga, 11b, 2/11/2. Throws and pulling huecos to an airy arete. Ti, T (Elison)
6.) A Porcupine named Fluffy, 11c, 2/10/2. (Grenard)
7.) Habeus Porpoise, 12a/b, 2/3/2. Direct start to #6. Traverses westward, then up on smooth rock. (Elison)
8.) Renegade, 11d, 2/13/2. Shares top anchors and last bolt with #6. T
9.) M Divin', 10d, 2/11/1. Not rebolted! (Luebben)
10.) The Devil Wears Flippers, 11a, 2/16/2. Sharp, sustained and hidden holds. Ti (Luebben)
11.) Spermy the Whale, 11c/d, 2/14/1. Ti (Elison)
12.) Baby Beluga, 12b, 2/13/0. Very sustained, don't look for rests, just go for it using small holds. Not rebolted!
13.) Hermy the Crab, not rebolted! 12a/b, 2/10/1.
14.) Shiver Me Timbers, 10b, 2/12/2. (Harper) *Note: First route completed on the North Wall. Located in an obvious large east facing dihedral corner. Ti, T Located approx. 30 yards west of #13 in a large R facing dihedral corner near a lone palm tree. Photo at left is of a struggling climber following on the upper, very smooth half of the climb. Highly recommended.
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