Big New Scary Climb at Stacks Bluff March 08 2014
Gerry Narkowicz, accompanied by Ingvar Lidman, completed a new route at Stacks Bluff last weekend called `Falling Off The Edge Of The World', 125m, grade 23. The crux pitch of 55m is equal in quality and stature to the immortal 4th pitch of Aqualung. It goes up the far left hand side of Rudigers Castle on Denison Crag, the same buttress with Overhangng Like A Sausage etc, and tackles a big blank looking corner which eventually fuses below some overhangs, and some very unlikely territory above that.. Protection is good but spaced.
*First Ascent Style: Be aware that the route was done in headpoint style, that is rap cleaned, gear inspected, and 3 sessions of shunting on a solo device to rehearse the moves. It was then led ground up placing gear on lead. While the route is not dangerous in terms of loose rock, it would be a greater challenge for a repeat ascensionist to do this climb ground up.
Description: Falling Off The Edge Of The World, 125m 23 ***
1) 35m, 19. Shares the same start as Ghost Country on the LHS of Rudigers Castle, at a thin right leaning corner crack about 30m L of the central pillar (the sausage). Up thin corner to ledge at 15m, then L up seam/groove to belay below prominent light grey corner. 2) 55m, 23. Up finger crack in grey corner to small stance below a short blank corner capped by a small roof. Gear at base of corner, then boldly up to the roof and over it to gain the prominent big corner. Fantastic finger tip laybacks for 20m or so up the corner to where it fuses below some overhangs. Delicate run out bridging for several metres above a 2RP to the very top of the corner and two bombproof large wires. Now comes the crux, an exhiliarating 5m traverse across the face to the right, to gain the next crack system. Some small crimps and two good footholds materialise as you commit to this most unlikely series of moves. A tiny wire goes in a flake halfway across the traverse. Its not over yet as another 10m of strenuous and steep crack (about grade 21) follows to a v-slot and small ledge where a big loose rock came off. Belay here. 3) 35m, 19. Up pleasant thin corner to stance below dirty loose section, which is avoided by moving right to neat finger crack on arete. From ledge, follow the thin, awkward jam crack for 15m to another ledge, then up easy blocks to the top. Descent: Vegetated scramble to ridge top and walk down narrow gully about 100m to the west. FA: Gerry Narkowicz and Ingvar Lidman. 8/3/14