Jared following the P5 5.7 OW.
To me it brought to mind a silly noise that a strange bird might make, or perhaps the noise a person might expell when climbing something awkward. According to Ed Hartouni's quote from the Roper Guide, it is an acronym that stands for "Right Of Reed Pinnacle". The route caught my eye one day while browsing the Reid guide. According to the topo, 6 moderate pitches of mostly crack climbing would take one up the center of the cliff, just short of the top, making the route one of the longest at Reed Pinnacle.
Venturing up this route, I wasn't disappointed. Although it was a little dirty, the route offers burly, old-school 5.7 chimney and offwidth climbing that is probably more appropriate for 5.8 leaders accustomed to wide techniques. The views are nice, and the final pitch was great (left variation) - I'd say 4-5 stars on the Taco rating. Overall I'd give the route 3 stars.
I first attempted to climb the route in January, choosing to try out the first 3 pitches of Flatus as a more direct start instead of climbing the easier and dirtier first 2 pitches of the standard route. This start was a great route - clean rock with sustained and burly 5.9 climbing and interesting moves. The route also lived up to its name, as each pitch seemed capable of making a climber blow out some flatus.
Unfortunately my partner was new to wide climbing, and was utterly spent after the 3 pitches.
Hubert escaping the 5.7 chimney on P3 of Flatus
I returned another weekend with my friend Jared Wood, a partner more accustomed to wide climbing. Not wanting to take any chances, we decided to follow the standard line.
The route gets right to business, starting with an easy chimney.
Don't take the more inviting crack on the left. It is harder than it looks. Instead, take the dirt and root-filled corner to your right. No pro is available, but the climbing is easy enough. The crux of this pitch was keeping dirt out of my eyes.
The topo indicates belaying above the corner, but if you're careful with drag, you can link both pitches. At the very least I recommend continuing up the gully to the right to the sling anchors atop P2 of Stone Groove for a sunnier belay with better views. Don't take the more inviting cracks to the left or directly above unless you want to go off route.
Gully on P2.
I had to stop at the top of P2 of Stone Groove as I had left my #5 C4 with Jared and it was obvious that I would need it to protect the next section.
This pitch was actually pretty fun, with clean rock and sustained climbing. I placed a #4 to start and stemmed the lower section. I climbed the upper part as an off-width, arm-barring and stacking hands as I pumped up with my feet and leapfrogged my #5 with me. Since I had 2 #5s, I left one, which made the pro pretty chill. Keep in mind that if you only bring one, the pitch might feel a little runout, and it will be one of only 3 pieces placed (1 #4, 1 #5, and 1 #2 to protect the exit). There are some nice rapp bolts to belay from at the top.
Upper part of P2 seen while rappelling on an earlier foray up to the big ledge.
Hiking from P2 to the start of P3
There are 2 cl. 3 steps with fixed lines for convenient climbing, and a nice fixed line leading down to the tree belay for P3. The topo shows the route face climbing out to a crack, but really it is more walking on a grassy ledge.
P3 ledge traverse to gain the crack system.
The crack is pretty mellow, with lots of knobs to mix in with crack climbing.
P3 easy crack and knobs.
P3 halfway point. The squeeze is the short crux of the pitch. Take your pack off if you can.
P3 5.6 squeeze crux.
Looking down P3 from the bolt belay-rapp anchors.
Jared reaching the P3 5.6 squeeze crux.
P4 5.7 corner, which turns into a 5.4-5.5 chimney higher up. There is a piton under the little roof to the left.
Leading P4 (5.7) (by Jared Wood)<
P4 easy chimney.
P4 easy chimney.
Jared feelin' the fun on top of P4. He is battling an errant leaf that blew into his eye.
P5 5.7 OW. Not too bad, really.
I found the crux of the offwidth to be getting into it where the chimney splits into two cracks. After a few good hits to the head trying to move around the little roof, I secured myself into the right crack, and slid a #6 cam up the left crack as I stemmed and shimmied my way up. I actually thought this felt easier and more secure than the "5.5" on P2.
Jared following the P5 5.7 OW.
I was practicing the art of getting #6 cams stuck on this pitch (which was surprisingly easy to do! Doh!), so I belayed Jared at a tree with fresh rapp slings and links while he cleaned up my mess (Sorry!). You could probably reach in deeper and climb the entire OW with a #5 cam, but a #6 makes it more comfy lower down where the crack flares wider.
I was tempted to take the direct 5.8 variation, but had read in the forums that others found it too dirty and took the cl. 3 switchback variation. I agree that it is too mungy to be worth the effort.
P5 5.8 variation. Wrestle the tree to gain the hummock-filled crack. I don't think so . . .
Looking down the P5 5.8 variation.
P5 cl. 3 variation. Mostly walk to the tree with rapp anchors on a good ledge, then walk back right.
P5 cl. 3 variation. Walking back right from tree with rapp anchors.
Able Gable has established a route that goes up this way. Looks nice!
Hummocks! Beware the natives!
This pitch ends in a gear anchor, so you either need to do the 6th pitch, or stop at either of the 2 tree rappel stations (atop the offwidth, or on the cl. 3 switchback). I continued right to check out the upper pitches of Flatus. It is very easy to traverse over, but the final pitch didn't look as nice as the RORP.
Looking up P6 (5.6) of Flatus.
P6 5.7 flare. A long pitch that starts as a groove-flaring OW, turns into fists jams in grooves, then fingers in grooves before doing the last half as a 5.6? face climb on chickenheads. I found this to be the hardest/headiest pitch of the climb.
Leading the P6 5.7 wide groove. (by Jared Wood).
Leading the P6 5.7 wide groove, reaching the fists section. (by Jared Wood).
The P6 5.7 wide fist groove seen on rappel. About #3 size here.
The P6 flaring fists groove leading to the twin flaring finger grooves.
Looking down the P6 flaring fists groove at a stance at the beginning of the twin flaring finger grooves.
Looking down P6 as I transition to bolt-protected knob climbing.
The topo showed a very short section of face climbing that led from the end of the crack to the bolted anchors. I expected to come to anchors as I left the insecure flaring finger crack and face climbed over the bulge. This was not the case!
P6 bolt-protected knob climbing. Where is the next bolt? Where is the anchor?
Fortunately, although the topo indicated no bolts, there were four bolts that protected the last half of the pitch, and the climbing seemed no harder than 5.5 or 5.6 on knobs. I had the good sense to bring a copy of the topo with me, and it indicated that the anchor was near a downward-pointing corner in the roof. I couldn't see it until I got very close, but luckily it was there!
Anchor atop P6.
Looking down the knob climbing of P6. I traversed far to the side and slung a chickenhead to avoid a runout on harder terrain between 2 bolts. Jared is just coming up over the edge.
Jared reaching the knob climbing on P6.
Looking towards Flatus from the P6 anchor.
Looking left from the P6 anchor.
Rappelling from the top of Pitch 6.
You need 2 ropes to rappel from Pitch 6 to either tree rap station along the P5 cl. 3 switchback. You also need 2 ropes to rappel from Pitch 3. From pitch 3, 2 140' rappels straight down the face get you to the ground at the base of Flatus. All other pitches can be rappeled with 1 rope.
Ed mentions a potentially nicer rappel line straight down the face starting at the tree on the switchback on P5. See his trip report (below).
or in BD Camalot sizes:
1 #1 C3, 1 #0.3, 2 #0.5-#3, 1 #4, 1-2 #5 (for P2 and 5), 1 #6 (optional, for P5)
You can skip the dirtiest, least enjoyable section of the RORP a variety of ways:
1. To skip P1 and P2 Climb the first 3 short pitches of Flatus (excellent 5.9). Apparently there is a 5.8 bolted face variation that bypasses the P3 5.7 chimney, but I found the chimney pretty funand secure (1 piece of pro in crack near chockstones). You still have to walk a little bit to get to the P3 start, which is accessed by walking right and then back left up a cl. 3 step with a fixed line.
Pitch 1 (5.9 for direct-left variation)
Pitch 2 (5.9 route crux)
Pitch 3 (5.7)
2. To skip P1, either climb Stone Groove (5.10b) or a fun 5.9 fist and lieback variation around the corner, and then climb P2 of Stone Groove, which is a burly 5.8 squeeze chimney. Bring a #6 Camalot for this if you want any pro on the second pitch. This puts you at the base of the wide crack on P2 that I talked about.
Nic Risser leading Stone Groove P1 (5.10b)
Stone Groove Alternate (Name?) (5.9) - The upper flake is very hollow
Stone Groove P2 (5.8)
excellent trip report after I climbed the route. He took the last pitch of Flatus according to the Reid topo. According to his excerpt from Roper, it sounds like that variation was originally the finishing pitch of the RORP?