When Llamas Bolt is a tricky climb that will likely stymie those looking to break into the 5.11 grade. There are likely countless variations for how this route can be climbed based on whether you work your way up the left or right side of the arete, but either way isn't a gimmie.
The climb is the furthest route on the left hand side of the Phoenix Buttress, just left of the 5.8 route and very popular Hissing Llamas. Look up and you will see a less than squared arete littered with chalk making up most of the last half of the climb.
Start up vertical rock using big holds on sharp rock similar the rest of the rock on the lower portion of the Phoenix Buttress. The climbing is smooth sailing up to the base of the arete where you then have a choice whether to climb the left or right side of the arete. Given the tightly spaced bolt line working up the left hand side we opted to stay left. Use small two-finger pockets entirely on the left face for the better part of the arete. The feet are as difficult as the pockets before you can find a small dish pocket on the right hand side of the arete that allows you to make the move to the jug near the top of the left hand face. Once you hit the jug use a rail system to pull on top of the arete to reach the chains. Lower off fixed draws.
Staying on the left face of the arete felt harder than 5.11a, requiring a very precise sequence that allows you work through small holds efficiently. While it's by no means a great climb it's still worth getting on and you can setup a top rope on it after climbing Hissing Llamas.
Smith Rock State Park, OR
Last Updated on Sep 22 2019, 5:56 pm PDT
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Given Black Diamond’s reputation for strong and durable hard goods, we decided to give their 9.9mm rope a try as our go to gym rope. The rope is priced right and works great out of the box but early signs of wear in the gym make it hard to give it the nod as a preferred gym rope.