On April 24, Colorado climbers Scotty Nelson and Shaun Reed made the first free ascent of The Unemployment Line on Mount Broderick. The route follows an impressive 400-foot flake system through a series of underclings and laybacks. The free version of Steve Gerberding, Alan Bartlett and Jim Lemay’s 1982 aid line logs three 5.12- pitches, two 5.11+ pitches, two 5.10 pitches and a pitch of 5.6.
Cedar Wright and James Lucas made the route's second free ascent five days later on Tuesday, April 29. Wright, a long-time Valley climber claimed that the route is, “one of the best, if not the best, 5.12- free routes in Yosemite.”
Nelson and Reed first scoped this line in November of 2013. They rappelled the south face of Mount Broderick to scope The Unemployment Line and spent a few weeks cleaning the line, but failed to free the route.
Nelson and Reed returned to The Unemployment Line in April of this year to finish what they started. The pair freed the route at 5.12- with Reed leading the hardest pitches. The route has an initial bolt-protected slab pitch, and then consists entirely of traditionally protected cracks and natural anchors.
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