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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Sierra National Forest, Balch Camp Flake, JCA's Wide World Of Sport

Sierra National Forest, Balch Camp Flake, JCA’s Wide World Of Sport. Normally I wouldn’t bother to report such a short route, but the uniqueness of this climb makes it significant. Balch Camp Flake is a 240-foot freestanding flake above the road to Black Rock Reservoir. It was first climbed in the 1950s via a bolt ladder on the southeast arête. It is split on its southeast side by a clean, striking, overhanging off-width splitter crack, easily visible from the road. The first pitch is 5.12b and passes 10 bolts to a bolted stance on the left. The second pitch (5.11) continues past six more bolts to the top. Despite the 16 protection bolts, a number of wide pieces (up to 10 inches) were also used. Jay Anderson led the route in March 1995 (no falls) with Brad Jarrett following. Approach via several rappels (60 meter) behind the flake from the abandoned dirt road/trail above. This is a classic must-do for wide crack enthusiasts (I, 5.12b).

Richard Leversee, unaffiliated