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#9270 - 07/31/03 02:12 PM traverse of the gods/clods?
paborden Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 366
Loc: On the road...
After hitting up sillouette yesterday (speaking of which, are proctor silex and protoscope any good? one of them looked kinda dirty), I was considering hopping on traverse of the gods but instead backed off since some things about the route looked confusing. So I have a few questions (fire as much beta at me as you want)

First, is the route called traverse of the clods or gods? I'm talking about the route that traverses to the twilight zone hanging belay...if there's any confusion.

Second, when you're heading up (almost in the corner) to begin the traverse, there's a series of overhangs: a small one, a larger one, and then the big ceiling at top...I assume you traverse below the ceiling and above the last, biggest this too high? Any other routefinding tips would be appreciated.

As you move right, there seems to be an increasing ammount of lichen...does this interfere with the climb at all? (i assume at that point the route would be obvious through the lichen fest, but who knows)

I also assume the hanging belay you're heading for is where all those slings are hanging on the right after you go around the nose (with the belay hanging into space). What kinda fixed gear is there? How's the move/pro immediately following the transition from hanging into space back onto the rock?

Last, but not least, how's the pro on the whole thing (especially pro for the second)?

A lot of questions I know...but I'm a beta whore. And, I guess there's that slightly irrational fear of finding myself off route, stuck on either twilight zone or skeletal remains

I'm completely solid on .8s, so I don't know what the big deal my partner described it, "exposure is like beer...a bit is ok but have too many six packs and you're gonna have a hangover"

Beautiful route though.

Edited by paborden (07/31/03 02:18 PM)

#9271 - 07/31/03 03:00 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
Dana Offline

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
It's definitely Traverse of the Clods: takeoff on Traverse of the Gods, famous section on North Face of Eiger, 1938 route. Can't help you with route-finding but I do remember the protection was adequate. Both Proctor Silex and Proctoscope have excellent face climbing and if you are competent at that level, decent protection. The last pitch of Proctoscope is unfortunately overgrown and often wet. It has some climbing that is interesting and unusual for the 'Gunks

#9272 - 07/31/03 04:44 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
Timbo Online   content

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 694
Loc: Delaware

After hitting up sillouette yesterday (speaking of which, are proctor silex and protoscope any good? one of them looked kinda dirty)

Dana and I did Proctor Silex earlier in the year. I found the crux roof to be, shall we say, exhilarating (and I was following). Definitely hard 9. Fortunately for me, Dana was kind enough to hang out at (and after) the crux to place gear for the second (me), which I, of course, had hanging from my knot when I arrived at the belay.

It was a very nice route, but he is correct: you best be solid at the grade.

#9273 - 07/31/03 04:53 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
Ivan Rezucha Offline

Registered: 01/22/03
Posts: 24
Loc: Boulder, CO
I did the FA of this way back when.

It's "Traverse of the Clods". Dick Williams has a habit of renaming routes to what he thinks the names should be--in this case. As Dana says, it'se I see in his Select that he changed "Clods" to "Gods". As Dana says, this a pun on the Eiger's Traverse of the Gods pitch. BTW, there is a Traverse of the Clods in Yosemite. In the Gunks version, the clods were the climbers. In the Yosemite version, the clods were grass bogs.

The route:
Start on the GT ledge a little right of the final Hans' Puss corner. Aim for the right edge of the huge celing at the very top of the cliff. The Silhouette variation traverse left below that roof. That's left below that huge ceiling (see Todd's guide under Man's Quest for Flight). We were intending to do that variation but chickened out and traversed right instead, hence an unplanned FA of Traverse of the Clods.

Very approximately...You climb a small difficult overhang about 20 feet up at a thin crack. Above that you do a long traverse right on a slab. There is gear, but it may be low, by your waist. Gear should be good for the second on this pitch. This traverse is not hard, but it's scary looking. The hanging belay is at the end of the slab, at a vertical, small corner system. Don't know about the slings. They weren't there in my day.

For the second pitch, you can either bail directly up on Twilight Zone at about 5.6, or continue with the route by traversing further right. There are two choices:
1) Balance left with your feet on a ledge with small to no handholds and tiny nuts at the roof above. When the ledge runs out, step down and right somewhat blindly, to arrive at the crack that leads through the overhang at the very top of the cliff (this crack through the final ceiling is obvious from the ground). This higher traverse is the way the FA was done.
2) Hand traverse the foot ledge to get to the same point. I've never done it this way, but I understand it's as least as hard as the high traverse and strenuous. Don't know about the gear on this variation.

The first pitch is G by my standards, but maybe PG by current Gunks standards (they're slipping...). If you don't like small wires, the second pitch is probably R for you, but I consider it PG. You won't die, and most likely won't get hurt, but you could take a big swing if the gear on the traverse pulls.

The route finding, gear, and exposure make this route exciting.

Ivan Rezucha
Boulder, CO

#9274 - 08/04/03 04:40 AM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1040
Loc: hamlet's hand

proctoscope's a test-piece thin, facey 9 with some fairly technical gear-work...

proctor silex is a test-piece 9+, and the roof crux imo is the most straightforward bit of the climb: there's 7R running up to the roof, and a lot of sustained 8 with creative gear placements after it...maybe the second or third hardest 9 in the gunks...

have your sh*t together for both of 'em...
Shongum ain't Indian,
it's Sha-WAN-gunk.

#9275 - 08/04/03 07:59 AM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: yorick]
LesterLeBlanc Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1914
Loc: Los Angeles
And for Nurse's Aid.

#9276 - 08/12/03 06:03 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
Frank Florence Offline

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Last autumn there was a large wasp nest on route near the hanging belay. We had no problems with them the day we were there, although one flew in and out of my helmet.

The serious problem was with the three old bladed pins that make up the hanging belay. They're funky looking and I didn't find any place to add any additional gear to back them up.

Ivan's description of the concluding moves is spot on.

#9277 - 08/12/03 07:52 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: Frank Florence]

what kind of pins?

#9278 - 09/22/03 08:41 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods?
paborden Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 366
Loc: On the road...
Having finally gotten back to do this climb (my last lead of the season in the I'm off to espana, woohoo!), I thought I might add a couple bits about the route for anyone else who might find this thread informative. (WARNING: serious gear beta follows...)

First of all, as Ivan said, the route finding, exposure and gear do make this an exciting climb--one of the best in the gunks, IMHO. Hands down to Ivan for this one. I'm actually amazed more people don't do this one.

As for the pins--I think they're old lost arrows, though I'm no pro in pin ID. And they look old...and sketchy. The cord on them doesn't look that great either. However, contrary to a previous post, you CAN back up the anchor--I used a grey and a purple (00 and 0) TCU in a thin seam below the seam where the pins are located. A black and blue alein might work too. Let's just say, though, that the state of the anchor makes belaying (with big air beneath your feet) an exciting prospect. Since neither me nor my second fell (and there were tricky moves for the second approaching the hanging belay and before you could get your first piece on the second pitch in) we didn't give the anchor a proper test...

I would also say that, assuming you're good at finding pro, the pro is good--every seven feet or so on the traverse if you want it. Small wires are, as Ivan noted, necessary.

As for the location of the hanging belay--the fixed one that we used was, I think, in a different location than where Ivan described it (obviously, the fixed slings weren't there in his day and, I might add, the anchor we're refering to is not the set of slings you can make out from the ground). As it is, you have to keep traversing to the anchor and then step back left the way you came to pull the overhang left of another pin (used for pro and the way to and back) and not go straight up from the anchor--then again, you could probably pull it directly but that looks harder than .8.

On the second pitch, I used the ledge for my feet and didn't hand traverse it. The hand traverse does look possible, though maybe harder. Gear on both would be good--in addition to the wires Ivan suggested in the higher seam, you can get small cams/tricams in the seam just above the foot/hand traverse ledge. Getting these in was awkward, but for my effort I was rewarded with a bomber red tricam placement.

While not for the meek, this route is fantastic. If you're solid at .8 and exposure doesn't get to you, you'll have a great time. Its really something to be seen...

#9279 - 05/17/04 09:34 PM Re: traverse of the gods/clods? [Re: paborden]
shakefest Offline

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 4
I finally did this yesterday. I had hesitated to try it before because I didn’t understand the route description in the book and thought I’d get lost. Well, as usual, I did get lost (went straight up on P2, which is, I now know, the last pitch of Twilight Zone), but P1 was great.

The one thing I did differently than the book describes (other than not finding the entire second half of the route) is to stop traversing on the first pitch about 10 feet before the fixed hanging belay, directly under a notch in the roof and just right of a pin (with another pin about 8 feet above). This is the spot described by Big Ivan Rezucha in his post, and it is a fine place to build your own hanging belay (red alien or .5 camalot helpful). Ivan’s spot has several advantages over the fixed hanging belay: it doesn’t require trusting the manky pins and slings, it affords a much better view of your partner, and it will not produce the rope drag on P2 that I imagine the fixed belay causes when you have to come back left, climb through the notch, and then traverse back right above the lip.

Also, the big wasp nest is gone.


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