• Archives

  • Categories

Prospect Rock FA Posted on 07.01.2014 by greg.kuchyt

A couple weeks ago Janika and I spent a day out at Prospect Rock near Johnson. It’s a great location for a mellow day or for aspiring leaders with a good deal of easy and moderate lines. The major downside is that part of the Long Trail goes to the top of the cliff line and many a d-bag has tossed just about any type of garbage you can imagine off the top of the cliff. Sadly, the base of the cliff is littered with debris the most serious of which is broken glass. Thankfully, the worse area for junk only has a few routes.

Aside from that one downside this cliff would most likely be very popular if it were closer to Burlington and a more significant climbing population. One of the best lines at the cliff is a 5.7+ bolted face called Charge the Farm! put up by Kristian Barrowman and June Mendell. It’s a nice sustained face climb on featured schist. While rappelling from the anchor we both noticed enough features to put a plumb line in under the anchor.

After a little research on whether this had been reported as having been explored, we returned the next weekend with the pig fully loaded if we found something worth while. We ended up discovering a pretty enjoyable mixed route that didn’t requir much cleaning to make it climbable. The first half climbs off-vertical face passing through a couple overlaps (bolt protected). From there it is possible to string together natural protection in an incipient crack system, including a devious #2 Camalot slot. This gear-protected line wanders a bit to the right coming close to Charge the Farm! but since it went on gear, I didn’t feel there was any issue. TCUs (probably blue and red) or tri-cams would be very helpful, but a packing fail in the morning left us without either. Instead we had some less than ideal shallow/asymmetrically deployed four-lobed cam placements. The last move has a bit of a sting as the gear is a bit below your feet and foot work becomes key.

We had climbed a more plumb line but we didn’t have enough bolts with us to protect that part (shipping mess-up with a shop in CO). So we wanted to establish this line and then take the time to think about whether to bolt the direct finish. I genuinely think the route is a good contribution to this section of the cliff. While not as good as its neighbor, I think it’s a two out of three star route, especially once it is cleaned some more. Fact is spicy routes probably don’t get climbed as much…especially by budding climbers. After a lot of thought, I figured it was best to add the direct line and add  a couple more bolts to take the majority of the sting out of the fall potentials. The line is still technically mixed, taking a finger sized stopper and a blue or yellow tcu (neither would be really ideal to go without if 5.7+ is near your limit) and sporting 7 bolts.

Buy the Farm – 5.7+ 80′

Start about 15 feet down and left of Charge the Farm! at a slabby face that leads to an  left-leaning overlap and left-facing corner. Face climb through a couple of overlaps until the 5th bolt. Trend up and right past a stopper placement and some dirtier rock to a small ledge with a bolt and a small overlap above. Pass the overlap (many options) ultimately aiming for a finger crack slot above the right side of the overlap (TCUs/tri-cams helpful). A final bolt protects a thought provoking exit to the shared anchor with Charge the Farm!.