Restless Natives, Goat Wall

September 2, 2007 / 5.11c (or 10d A0), 10 pitches, sport

After our adventure in Eldorado Basin, we need to start thinking about heading south toward Las Vegas where we are flying to NZ in less than three weeks. We move the bus from Newhalem to Winthrop to spend some time there mountain-biking and sport climbing to wrap up the season. We have already climbed two long clip-ups on the Goat Wall (Prime Rib and "Sisyphus"), but we still have a third "best of" to do: "Restless Natives".

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Mazama, our favorite village in the Cascades.
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A good approach trail starts just above Lucie.
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Restless Natives follows an indistinct line first right, then left of the water streak to the hanging forest above.
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Eric on pitch 1 (10a).
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Looking back toward the valley.

IOHO, "Restless Natives" is clearly a better route than "Sisyphus". Much more sustained at the (soft) grade. Mostly good climbing and tons of bolts (even on the two easy 5.7 and 5.6 pitches). We thought the 2nd pitch was 4th class and not 5.4. Atop pitch 4, the belay needs to be moved along a ledge and across the water streak (cl 1, but exposed and wet). We linked together pitch 5 (5.7) and 6 (5.6) because they appeared to be doable as one. It turns out that they are about 30m and 35 m long, respectively, and linking them requires the follower to simul-climb through the 5.7 crux move. Probably best not to link them. BTW, on the way down, a few feet of downclimbing (exposed cl3) are required to reach the anchors atop pitch 5.

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Lucie following pitch 3 (10b).
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Reaching the belay.
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Pitch 4 is also 10b.
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The exposed but easy traverse to move the belay atop pitch 4.
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Eric linking pitches 5 and 6.

The first crux of the route (5.10d, pitch 8) does not stand out much; we both climbed through the pitch without noticing much of a crux. Pitch 9 is advertised at 10a but seems a bit harder. We would rate it 10b/c. The crux of the route comes in the last pitch (5.11c or 5.10b-A0). That pitch is of much lower quality than the rest of the climb. Also, with (only!) 17 draws, we were forced to split it into two pitches: one easy pitch to below the bulgy 5.11 roof, then another up the roof and to the top. Neither of us really freed that section (some key holds are inobvious). I hangdogged and finally made it through without aiding. Lucie hung a couple of times as well while pulling through the very steep bulge. According to the information we had, the route ends here. We noticed more bolts on an easy ramp above but did not go up any further.

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Eric starting pitch 7 (10a we thought, not 10b as advertised).
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Higher on pitch 7
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Eric on pitch 8 (10d).
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Views from the belay.
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Pitch 9 (?)

The descent is straightforward yet tedious: 11 raps from good chain anchors (we only had one 60m rope this time).

On the way down, we found a better, well travelled trail back to the road. To find it, go 85 yards south along the road from the south end of the swimming hole parking area (do not go up the fainter trail right across from the pullout).

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About to pull the steep bulge on the last pitch (11c, p10).
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Views from the summit.
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Starting the long but straightforward rap descent.
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Hiking back to the car.
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Mazama from Highway 20.

Approach notes: Start 80m south of the south end of the swimming hole parking pullout. Obvious, well-travelled trail. Do not go up the fainter trail right across from the pullout.

Gear notes: 60m rope + 17 draws + daisy chain or longer runners for rap descent.