Creation of the World

by Jim Lawyer

Start: On the overhanging northeast face, find the lone low bolt and begin just to the right.

Pitch 1: Clip the bolt (while standing on the ground) and make difficult face moves leftwards past the bolt to a small overlap. Small TCUs and nuts protect the moves up the shallow left-facing corner and into the "flare". The flare constitutes the crux of the pitch and is easier for small people: awkward moves and good protection in the back of the flare (#2 Camalot, nuts) take one to a small cedar and an adequate belay. 5.11a

Pitch 2: Step down and left from the belay onto rounded, green footholds. Move directly left (red Alien) and into a left-facing corner with fixed nuts. Continue straight left, then step down once again and climb desperately left (5.11 R), finally reaching some good cracks. Climb straight up -- hands, then fists -- to a stance. From here the crack turns offwidth (#5 Camalot); hard offwidth climbing leads to better holds near the giant cedar. Continue up the offwidth crack (another #5 Camalot) until the crack widens and is filled with flakes and blocks. The crack widens into a chimney; climb deeper into the cliff behind the wedged blocks finally emerging onto a giant, flat block the size of dining room table and set a belay. This block is very spooky, as it is many tonnes, yet pivots on a center axis. 5.11a

Pitch 3: Stemming and chimney technique allows one to climb up and out from the belay to where the crack pinches down to offwidth size. A #5 Camalot protects the transition from stemming/chimneying to laybacking. Strenuous laybacking and offwidth climbing (another #5 Camalot) eventually gives way to a hand/fist crack, which is followed to a spacious belay ledge on the arÍte. 5.11b

Pitch 4: The guidebook indicates that the route traverses right from the belay, climbing corners and cracks to the summit. An alternative pitch (cleaner and a bit harder) is to climb the top pitch of Fear of Flying. For this pitch, walk left on the belay ledge to a large cedar and climb a dirty crack to a ledge with a double-bolt belay. Pass this belay and climb the unlikely face above following cracks. 5.10a

Gear: Standard rack, including small TCUs, nuts, and cams. For large gear, 2 #3 Camalots, 1 3.5 Camalot, 1 #4 Camalot, 1 #4.5 Camalot, 2 #5 Camalots.

Other Information: The video Uncommon Ground (2002, Chance Productions/Robert Frost) has a section showing climbing Creation of the World.

Climbing Magazine featured the Adirondacks in an article by Jeff Achey (Climbing #150, March 1995, page 102). The article begins with a spectacular picture of Jeff Achey leading the handcrack on the second pitch, and describes the "second ascent" of the route. Unfortunately, at best this is the fourth ascent of the route, as Rich Romano had already climbed it...twice.