The Dome. Disappearing Crack Route, 5.5

Bruce takes the lead!
Looking up from the base
You see that little section where the rope zig-zags? That is one of the most challenging moves on the route - right at the beginning. Especially if you have short limbs ...

Another view from the climb

And this is the reason for this climb. The crack starts just after the initial problem at the base, and it procedes well over half the distance of the climb. It is at first a rather large crack, too large I thought - can't really jam well. And it is smooth. Also not good. But it's cool. And fun.

The crack thins and thins
... then it ... disappears !
The crack is also deep. There are a few - just a few - finger holes and foot pockets on this route, and they seem to be in exactly the right places - just when you really need something right now !

Just after the crack is gone, there is about 20 feet of smooth slab, very little to grab. This is the second "challenge" on this climb. Use you fingertips for balance and trust your feet. Notice just a couple pockets - just where you need them. See that little ridge angling up left near the top of the picture barely visible? That's your target. Once there you can follow it to a rather large but down-sloping ledge just shy of the summit.

The ledge isn't quite visible, but it's there and you will know it when you get there. Off to the right will be a large overhang flake, which at first may not look doable. It is. Just grab it on the edge, lieback with your right foot way up on the rock, and pull yourself up. The blue rope passes over it right at the top.

Wherrresss the crack!?
It's gone!

And from there a very short boulder-hop to the summit.

Views from the summit.
It's only about 130 feet from the ground but it's still cool :



CMC climb team poses for picture at the summit. I am not there cause I gotta hold the camera, I don't look good in pictures, and I can't get that "auto take the picture delay" thing to ever work right!

Steve, James, Bruce, Charlene, Toby

Classic Colorado Sunset from the summit.
Looks like we're being nuked.