The Wave Wall

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During our early explorations on the south side of Hadley (more correctly, West Mountain), Tom and I ran across a small cliff along the line of steepness below the Main Wall and the Silver Bullet Band. It looked interesting enough to tuck in memory and come back to some day. Tom dubbed it the Wave Wall, after its curved, overhanging nature. Well, we finally got back to it, this September.

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That day was Wednesday, September 14th. Despite a few projects remaining on the list along the Main Wall, we felt more like exploring a bit, so after reaching our normal destination, we continued walking along the cliff line, slanting down- and eastward. The first thing we realized is that the Wave Wall is farther away from the Main Wall than memory indicated. I estimate a quarter-mile separates the two. The other important fact is that it is much easier to stay on the relatively level ground below the talus slope than to walk directly along the cliff base. Tom figured this out after ten minutes; I stuck with idiocy and managed the entire trip from Main Wall to Wave Wall via a hearty combination of bushwhacking, scree-sliding, and near-fatal encounters with a loose boulder or twelve.

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Tom takes a lap on our first top-rope line.

Once there, TR setups were trivial. Large oak trees provide quick anchors for almost any line on the crag. At most, the Wave Wall is fifty feet tall, and that estimate includes a fair amount of slab at its highest point. On average, the routes are 35′ high, so this isn’t going to be a major destination crag. However, after doing five lines, we both felt the climbing was both challenging and enjoyable, well worth an afternoon outing. Those lines we did (or attempted to do) run the gamut between 5.7 and 5.11, and each packs a lot of technique, style, and power into its length. Expect to deal with crimps, underclings, side-pulls, slopers, jams, and occasional exotic and/or hilarious maneuvers on these routes.

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Top-roping the only route we thought might be protectable on lead.

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Tom tackles the right side of the Wave Wall’s left edge.

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Tom demonstrates the headless toe-hook/side-pull/body drag technique.

We climbed four top-rope lines, one of which would have enough pro to lead safely. At either end are additional lines that may yield safe, moderate leads. I soloed the righthand edge, clean it would be 5.5 or 6, depending on how one chose to top out. The left side looks a bit harder, maybe 7 or 8. The middle lines were between 5.9 and 5.11, and would all involve crux moves without gear. The rock is also a bit friable in spots, so we deemed it better to leave the Wave Wall as a top-roping locale.

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