Ross and I did The Last Rites on Sunday – inspired by Steve’s post and the great weather! An accurate route description is very handy on a wall full of corner systems and cracks! What features. A total stunner of a route and very sustained. Great in the sun and very cold in the shade with the wind!
BETA Alert.- it's a *** classic!
I led P1 & 3 and Ross led P2 & 4 – pretty much as described above. After P1 I belayed on a small stance higher than described above and above where shown in the photo topo in Kevin’s Sublime Climbs. Probably 5/6 metres further up to the top of the flake. Gear is there but also clip a piece a bit higher in P2. Probably best to belay just above the roof at the first stance to deal with the inevitable rope drag. P1 is hard off the ground and then keeps giving. The moves at the roof are very good.
In P2 the corner splits after about 4 m – there is a big orange V. Take the right thin crack. Nice moves.
P3 was done as above. The easy ‘hand traverse’ L has gear and big footholds – go about 2 m left then easily up to a good stance with a bomber #5 RP. Then a harder move up. The Baxter guide didn’t say 9m left at the start of P3 – that is for the next pitch, but is also incorrect! Good gear and moves all the way up this thought provoking pitch. The crux is well protected and it’s clear when you get to it! For the belay, it’s best to gain the huge ledge, place a runner and then belay about 3 or 4 metres left (not Baxter’s 9m) – at the start of P4. As in photo topo in Sublime Climbs.
P4 starts at the L end of the roof and climbs straight up and R into the steep corner system. V solid pitch of Grade 17. Again, sustained and great climbing. Bit disconcerting coming out of the steep corner system onto rounded holds and not much gear! Probably best to belay just below the very last corner and add a short pitch – a lead fall here with lots of rope out and the belayer out of sight might be an issue. Gear is also a bit spaced and your rack will be depleted somewhat. Also the lack of communication is an issue. But Ross climbed it out all the way to the top. Awesome.
Overall, as Kevin says: “Sustained and absorbing climbing”. And Kevin freed the aid moves (at the crux) before cams in 1976! I thought of that as I climbed above my small cam.Still, we took and used double cams – especially the small to medium sizes. Lots of smaller/medium wire placements too.
Thanks for the description Steve – we actually climbed the route! The description in Simey and Glenn's guide is good; the one in Baxter's reads like a different climb. It is actually P1 & 2 of the Requiem, but that didn't really sound what we climbed! Simey did an excellent job in his guide after starting with Baxter's description!