/ Desolation Row/Xanadu Access - Great Zawn
We abbed in directly. The jump looks terrifying !
We abbed in..then for some reason prussiked out...think it was too damp!
Abbed down the back of the zawn - in the corner of the Desolation slab.
The jump's nowhere near as bad as it looks and can even be protected (at least in the sense that if you miss your corpse won't reach the sea as it bounces down that hideous cleft). But that won't get you to the bottom of DR, still less Xanadu, without a tedious downclimb.
But anyway, you just abseil down from the gearing-up ledge on the east side of the zawn (aka the west face; don't ask me why. A bit to the right of the finish of Desolation Row, anyway) as per the guidebook. It's an easy scramble to the ledge across Bosigran Ridge (again as per guidebook, path etc and very obvious). I don't know whether you can abseil all the way down from the top of the zawn (at the back, you mean? Going down Omen?). I imagine you can with a long enough rope, though I don't know about anchors. But the guidebook method is simple enough.
I'm sure for Xanadu I used a different abseil approach to DR - practically to the foot of the route.
I'm sure you could do that, but I had the impression Rich wanted one ab point to do the two routes from.
> We abbed in directly. The jump looks terrifying !
I can't believe after all these years that jump is still spooking people. Reverse off the ledge and hand-traverse round the back of the yawn - job done!
For desolation row you can scramble over the ridge near the brass plaque and scramble down the other side to the very top of the zawn where amongst some long grass there is a rock spike. Ab off that all the way down the gully, from which you can reach the start of desolation row.
> I can't believe after all these years that jump is still spooking people.
Seriously ! I've never seriously looked at Green Cormorant Face because I've been physched by the leap (neither has my normal partner who is now climbing much harder than I).
Not thought about reversing round the yawn though :-)
A while ago so my memory maybe not to reliable:
You can ab down near Desolation Row and scramble to Xanadu, but may be just as quick to ab down separately to avoid scramble at top. The top and bottom of the zawn are more awkward than, say, Huntsman's Leap
Xanadu is great but takes a lot of drying out - I wouldn't expect it to be much fun any time soon given recent weather conditions....
As others have said, go over Bosigran Ridge above the gearing up spot, then take a left almost immediately and skirt a buttress on your left - there isn't really a path there but don't be put off by that. Keep skirting the buttress on your left and you will get to a short down climb (couple of metres) to a large grassy ledge, which is the top out for Desolation Row. Looking ahead with the buttress on your left hand side you will see a spike. A 50m ab rope is sufficient but 60m will get you down all the way to the bottom of Desolation Row (good idea to keep on the rope rather than walking down the grassy sloping zawn bed). A 50m might reach as well, can't remember how much rope we had left. I think you can get to the bottom of Xanadu that way as well, though the rope probably won't reach all the way - but it looked ok to scramble down carefully. A good route, apart from the very overgrown steep grass top out!
Elsewhere on the site
Urban climber James Kingston will be on stage at all UK screenings to answer questions about his remarkable film... Read more
So, just what is the Petzl RocTrip? Every year French climbing manufacturer pick a sport climbing area that has potential... Read more
Since launching their fantastic Reactive lighting technology Petzl have been producing brighter and longer lasting torches that... Read more
The Lakpa Rita and Kriti Tech jackets are a pair of shell products from the Sherpa Adventure Gear brand – the... Read more
Shortly after the sun crested Half Dome on 28th October, two of Yosemite Valley’s fastest women started up the Yosemite... Read more