The project down on the rim, looked incredible - it's a proper beast of a line. We'd found it on a drive a week before, but held off until we had a car and some skin grown back.We had enticed crack climbing specialist Mason Earle to come down to try the route with us an he seemed pretty pscyhed. Mason seems to have done 5.13+ cracks from tips to offwidth and seems like a really well rounded climber so we were excited he wanted to come with us. I think probably the offer of a possible first ascent on a pristine 50ft roof crack was something to do with it.....
|Mason Earle on Witness the Wideness|
Intially we had to overcome the problem of the Shafer Trial road that led to the climb being closed. After finding out we would get fined by the National Park Service for going down when it was closed, we took the risk and went for it. After 15minutes of trying to solve the combination on the lock, a talk with the ranger and a 75 dollar fine later we were at the route.
The climbing on the route is amazing and is split down into 3 sections. The first section involves a few thin hand jams and an invert into a squeeze chimney. The chimney then climbs like a shorter version of the sidewinder section on Lucille. This leads to a chimney rest then some de-Leavittation into a short section which climbs like the end of Gabriel. the final section is a bombay chimney with hand, fist and hand stacks in the back. All in all a pretty involved and varied route, with a number of invert squeezing techniques involved. To our surprise we all managed to tick the route one after the other in a period of about an hour.
|Pete onsighting the FA of Witness the Wideness, 5.12d/5.13a|
Even though the roof is pretty big and looks daunting the climbing on it is not so bad and most of it is restful, so its definitely a worthwhile route for anyone seeking out this sort of madness, or for anyone wanting a bit of a training route for harder ones like Gabriel. The access to the route is one of the easiest for the White Rim, so there is no excuses for not getting down there. From the ranger station in Canyonlands its no more then a 15minute drive - convenient for getting fined by the Ranger then!
|Invert armbars - lovely!|
Overall we reckoned it to be around 5.12d/13a, which might seem tricky to some, but for a 50ft offwidth roof its definitely not too bad.
After leaving the White Rim for the final time, headed over to Moab for a night's kip...... and guess who we came across??? Dave Simmonite, Mike Hutton and Martin Kocsis - the UK massive! The usual banter ensued, but most importantly, Dave gave me and Pete a quick lesson on photographic composition. Half and hour later, we were psyched. Yes...... RULE OF THIRDS!
|Pete show's he's got what it takes in a photographer's world. Holy moly.|
|Saw an American using Dragon Cams.... short stem sir???|
|Ouellet, Ekins, Randall, Whittaker, Pack, Anderson & Kingsbury (c) Mike Hutton|
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...and a photo of what it looks like from below
|'Witness the Wideness' from below...get to it!|