Don't Rock the Boatswain - 14b

From Miles Adamson:

Don’t Rock The Boatswain

FA of P1-P6: Miles Adamson and Zach Watson, September 2017

FA of P7: Miles Adamson, June 2018

Approach: Park at the rats nest cave parking area, Follow the trail for The Playground/Rat’s Nest Cave for approximately 10 minutes to a fork on the left that leads to a powerline. Follow the powerline west down to where a trail turns right into the forest. Follow this trail and an old road until you reach the drainage below the canyon. Follow the drainage until you reach the route near the base of a ramp angling up and to the right and find the climb front and center at the back of the canyon.

A Boatswain is a hanging platform attached to an anchor. We made three wooden ones out of 2x12’s and cord. They are still hanging on the route at the anchors with the most uncomfortable belays.

Pitch 1: 11c/R 12 bolts Attempt to belay this pitch from a protected location, like the alcove down and right of the first bolt. Climb through several slabs and a bulge crux. Several moves with bad feet are far above the last bolt and potentially have a fall consequence. Pull a crux after a small roof to a significant run out leading to a crumbly ledge with the anchor.

Pitch 2: 13a 12 bolts Climb the massive flake sitting on the ledge to the first bolt, and continue straight up through amazing rock. The roof has a powerful crux. Above, some tricky sequences lead through a corner and to the anchor.

Pitch 3: 12c 19 bolts Climb up and right of the anchor, somewhat above the belay. Then, immediately left through some cryptic climbing to a beautiful corner and finally a difficult slab. The belay is hanging, perfect for boatswains.

Pitch 4: 12b 13 bolts Traverse right from the anchor. A large sideways move with poor feet gains you passage past the 2nd bolt. It eases off before another large move, which leads to much easier but run out terrain above. The 5.10 layback flakes are incredible, and lead to the largest ledge on the route. Belay your second from the anchor above the pitch, but traverse left to the anchor on the far side of the ledge to belay the next.

Pitch 5: 12b 9 bolts Traverse straight left past a giant block and some hollow sounding flakes. Continue straight up through a short boulder problem that leads to a corner and mantle to the next anchor.

Pitch 6 (Finish of Original Route): 12a 10 bolts The moves at the first and second bolts are the hardest, the second was stick clipped on the first ascent to avoid hitting the ledge. After, it eases and you gain small anchor ledge just below the imposing roof.

Pitch 7 (aka Don’t Rock the Boatswain Extension): 14b 16 bolts Traverse left around a sharp arete. Be extremely cautious of your rope tightening on this arete from a fall, extend draws as needed (especially the first 4, which can also be back-cleaned). Move awkwardly into an overhanging corner, and layback it to a good rest. Directly out of the rest, bust out onto the roof with underclings, compression moves and tension. Climb all the way to the lip of the wall past 2 fixed draws and mantle it. Finish by standing on top of the wall. This pitch cannot have an anchor over the lip due to the logistics of the rope tightening over the sharp lip of the wall. To get down, go back to the last fixed draw and lower off of them to clean your gear.

Descent: To rap the route you need two 70m ropes. From the top of the 5th pitch rap all the way to the top of the 3rd. Avoid rappelling from the large ledge (end of pitch 4) as ropes may get stuck or be very hard to pull.

Miles Adamson and Zach Watson
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