Author Topic: Year 2013 walls in review!  (Read 1693 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cobbledik

  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
    • View Profile
    • Fail Falling
Year 2013 walls in review!
« on: January 01, 2014, 01:12:43 pm »
Okay, here's the thing:
Post up your bigwall ascents, signifigant bails, etc with a short blurb (or long blurb if you get going like I did towards the end) about each one and hopefully a picture or two from each. It'll be an easy way to see where everyone is and to get the wall stoke up and running for 2014 (which I heard from a flying monkey is going to be the best year in bigwalling for everyone since forever)


I'll start.

January -
Laughing at the Void (2 days) with Mucci and Ezra
First wall with Mucci and Ezra. Fantastic climbing through clean rock with a bit of wide to keep you honest. Ezra's first aid leads and Guiness breakfast in my portaledge while the sun rose over El Cap. More people should get on this one instead of bellycrawling Goldwall like the fifth john of the night for some back alley Yosemite callgirl.




Februrary -
BAIL Horni-Johnson with Mucci and Ezra

Ezra, Mucci, and I went up for this neglected classic climb. I soloed the first three pitches with a variation around the first real pitch (accidentally) and led the crux pitch 3 solo over an anchor made of machine head rivets and pins. We sieged the route over a few weekends and almost had it in the bag when Ezra took a fall that resulted in an injury that sent us down. We stripped the route of our gear and plan to get back on it once Ezra is all healed up and put her in the bag. Really interesting climbing through small features, big exposure, and heads-up nailing. A fun part of this climb was that I left my ladders up at the belay when I rapped the fixed lines to the ground one day, so I built ladders from the rope i was jugging as you'll see in the picture.




April -
BAIL Misanthropic Execution with Mucci

Mucci and I took on this route on Wall of Ages (below Leaning Tower) and came up against the twin specters of sandbagged topos and loose, sharp, and deadly rock on the route. The first pitch of this route remains what I consider my most technically difficult aid lead in the valley with half of the pieces causing Mucci to exclaim "wtf" at high volume while cleaning the first pitch.

Later we hit an "A1" pitch that involved thin nailing for miles through a microwave sized killer block that decimated the base when we let it loose followed by 4 heads in a row (the fourth one Mucci skipped to get to the belay and came out in my hands when I went to hang ladders from it later. A1 my ass. Later when talking with B. Law about it via email he stated, "I remember that pitch being harder than A1"

We came down after I got shut down in the third pitch by an arch that didn't show any signs of being previously climbed. Best part of the climb happened right before I was about to get onto a bad head in the arch right above the belay. This was the same type of placement that failed on Ezra on Horni-Johnson and Mucci's words were, "Wait, let's think about this." We thought about it and decided that there was no reason to drop 125lbs of dumbass complete with his nailing rack directly onto the belay.

As we were rapping, I noticed that the most obvious line didn't go through the arch, but tensioned right from the belay into a C1 crack that the arch was supposed to connect with. I trust a topo a lot less now.
 


June -
Zodiac (5 days) with Mungeclimber

Mungeclimber and I went up this trade route at the beginning of summer during the heatwave that put temps in the 100s on the valley floor. We moved slowly and methodically, doing the climb in 5 days or so and getting the entire thing clean. We ended up only using 1 sawed angle as a handplaced piece at the base of Black Tower, everything else went with clean gear easily. Sadly the teams immediately following us (Team Extreme Riders IIRC) were nailing long before even the Black Tower pitch. It was hot. Munge used his first camhook on pitch 1 and proceeded to master the camhook by the Nipple pitch when he took it all the way across leapfrogging camhooks. I live for camhooking, and I doubt I would have gone that far. Big mungy balls on that one. I'd write more, but Munge has already written a stellar trip report for this ascent.

More importantly than the climb itself was that on the night before we committed to the wall, we met Andy Kirkpatrick at the base. He was doing an IAD ascent of Zodiac with his friend who was legally blind. I got his autograph like a little fanboy and in the morning we watched then sail up the route in true Andy Kirkbadass style.



August –
BAIL Skull Queen

This was to be my gf's first bigwall climb. She asked if she should know how to jug a line and I replied with "Oh, I'll teach you on the wall!" Smash cut to the end of the first pitch where she ended up not understanding how to use her feet and ladders and instead ascended the entire pitch using only her hands pulling on the jugs. Completely my fault I'd say. She ended up with blisters all over her hands and heat exhaustion so down we went. We’ve since practiced jugging in the Berkeley Hills and in the gym a lot so our next attempt should go much better.


Afroman (6 days) SOLO
This route originally shut me down on the first real pitch and led to my statement last year of “I have climbed enough A3 to know that I can climb A3 and I have climbed enough A3 to know that I can’t climb A3.”

I headed up to attempt this route with a single point hammock. That lasted less than an hour into the first night. I rapped and went to my truck to get my single A5 portaledge. A good choice. The route is significantly overhanging for most of its pitches and each pitch required at least a bit of nailing if not a lot. Very fun, Very difficult, and very technical, this route was my crowning achievement of 2013. I almost bailed after the 5th pitch when I got off track and ended up at the base of the Hardning Slot on Astroman. I stuck with it though and downaided back to the route and finished the pitch and kept on going. A huge mental achievement for me. On that same pitch I climbed up to a large block that shifted significantly when I weighted it, almost popping out of the wall. There was a team prepping on the ground directly below me to start up Ten Days After and if the block had pulled, it would have landed directly on top of them. Silly wall climbers, look up!

I took one fall when a nut slid out from behind a flake that I didn’t think would survive a cam. After the fall, I stuck a cam behind the flake anyways and kept on moving. Ah to be skinny. The most memorable part of the climb came at the end of the traversing pitch where after a long hook and free traverse, I had to clip to a manky head and lean horizontal at the extant of my reach to place a blind cam. If the head had popped while doing this, I would have swung upside down 15’ around an edge. Good times!

After topping out, I filled my zion haulbag full and headed down the North Dome Gully for the first time in my life, thus starting the most horrible descent ever. Slipping and sliding and getting lost and back tracking and dropping my bag and pain and pain and mosquitoes and eventually darkness were the name of the game. I got home and had trouble walking correctly for almost a week. BIGWALL!


September -
Tribal Rite (via New Dawn) (12 days) SOLO

Fresh off of Afroman, I wanted to get on something big and long (that’s what she said) and so decided I’d do the New Dawn Start to Tribal Rite. Many many trips to the base and I left the ground with over 100lbs of water in my haul bags. The climb was fun and uneventful really. Everything was very straightforward compared to Afroman and so I was able to focus most of my energies on making sure my systems were in place.  I lucked out when my portaledge ripped almost to failure the night before I got to Lay Lady Ledge so I was able to fix the ledge with sealant and let it sit out the night I slept on Lay Lady.

On Tribal Rite, the climbing was strenuous at time but never felt dangerous. Every morning on Tribal Rite I would wake up and sit in my ledge over the Boot and take video of people doing the King Swing. A great vantage point that I’d not seen before in video.

Later on the climb I became a bit saddened at the number of useless heads I encountered. Especially in the rivet sections of the climb where ¼” split shaft bolts were used, previous climbers apparently are so used to not trusting ¼’ bolts that they placed #1 and #0 heads all around the rivets rather than simply clip the bomber bolts. Weird.

Most memorable was the storm that rolled in around day 10 on the wall. The weather report stated that it would be a tenth of an inch. Not too bad, but to be safe, I decided to fix my next pitch early in the morning and then just hunker down in my ledge. Around noon, the skies simply opened up and it dumped rain from noon till midnight. I sat in my ledge and watched all of the Nose teams bail and a team on Zodiac at pitch 4 just get hammered without rainflies for hours. When the wind picked up my simple fly started to act like a parachute and my ledge would often get picked up and slammed back against the wall from the force of the wind. I spent a good part of the day holding the edges of the fly tight to my ledge so that the fly would stop puffing out. I spent the rest of the time devouring my store of snacks and sweets, Whoops. Bland meals for the rest of the climb fer sure.

I spent 11 days on the wall and noticed a change around the 7th day on the wall. I suddenly couldn’t remember starting the route. It seemed like I’d been up there forever and that the wall was no longer where I WAS but was where I BELONGED. Cheesy, I know. Later On I started laughing uncontrollably while rapping back to my belays after finishing a pitch. If anything, This route showed me the transformative ability of soloing and being disconnected from the rest of the world on the valley floor. The only things that mattered were the systems of the day and the 3-5’ to the next piece.  Everything became simplified and (dare I say) easy. Except for the wind. The wind sucked.



November -
Icarus (3 days) Second Ascent with Brad young

Brad called me to help out with this old aid climb in the Pinnacles West Side that was to have a difficult pitch of aid climbing smack in the middle of the decomposing right side of Machete Ridge. First done before I was born in the 70s and with only faint oral recollections, this route had been a mystery for over thirty years. We went up several times for recon and also to rebolt the bolt ladder that led to some of the scariest 5.9 runout pinnacles climbing that Brad said he’d ever done.

After fixing up the route, we headed up the it and I proceeded to clock my longest aid lead to date of 7 hours over 3 days to lead the long aid pitch on this route. It was very different from climbing Premeditated just across the way on the Balconies. Whereas Premeditated had many placement possibilities, both iron and clean, almost all were certain to crumble away. Icarus had few to no placement opportunities that required a lot of inventive nailing and combining of placements to make the pitch go. Of note is the small bouldering pad that Brad brought up with him to hide under while I did my lead, as there was a constant shower of decomposing rock raining down upon him whether I was moving or not up there.

My advice? Go get on it! Just don’t ask me to come along. I just might be done aiding at the Pinnacles. Geez, what a jizzshow.



December -
Jericho (3 days) Second Ascent with Ryan Riggans

Just before the end of the year I knew I wanted one more wall. I contacted a friend who was in town for the holidays and itching to get on his second wall and we set out to do the second ascent of Mucci and Bosque’s most recent wall.

Easy approach (though not for me because we did it in one load and brought 2x the amount of water we would eventually drink) and fun, yet loose and dirty early ascent climbing was to be had. The route goes at A2 and almost 90% of that nailing is beaks. I placed two arrows (one at a bivy for the portaledge) and the rest was perfect beaking. Ryan got to do his first aid lead on the “Iron Messiah” pitch, a long 155’ C1 splitter crack that I decided to rename “Camhook Jesus” due to the ease of simply camhooking the entire lower section rather than having to use micronuts and 00 and 000 C3s as Ryan did.

The route has both great portaledge bivys and acceptable non-portaledge bivies. Fun climbing that never gets too hard but loose enough to make you think.
We trundled plenty of rock including a belaykiller flake and had smooth sailing up what will probably become one of the short first nailing walls of monkeys in the future.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 01:17:20 pm by cobbledik »
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline cobbledik

  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
    • View Profile
    • Fail Falling
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 01:19:47 pm »
I also made this for my Tribal Dawn Ascent based upon Xrez and such. I posted it on my FB, but thought it'd go great with this thread as well
(though it was a bit too big for the original post.)

Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline mungeclimber

  • Administrator
  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2257
    • View Profile
    • http://www.sonorapassclimbing.com
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 12:03:20 am »
high quality postin, but probably folks coming back to work after vacation haven't had a chance to assemble pics and such.

least that's my story.

may come heckle you Saturday if I can find someone else to drive.

Offline Erik Sloan

  • Purveyor of Fine Topos
  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Yosemitebigwall.com
    • View Profile
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:19:33 pm »
Amazing Kev! Good work on the wall and on that post. Here is simpler post:

Mr. Midwest, El Cap. May. 5 days w/ Richie and Ryan Kelly
Man I was so stoked to get to the Valley and climb a wall. Richie and I had bailed on Mirage after an epic seige a couple years back so I came up with this hair brained plan to climb Mr. Midwest and leave our rack on Thanksgiving, go to the top and come down and rest. Then go back up to the top and rap down Mirage to where we bailed from(pitch 10). Mr. Midwest was fairly mellow. Not bad but not much classic climbing, and low angle.

Mirage. So Richie and I finally got to finish the route, but don't ever try what we did with the rapping down five pitches from Thanksgiving and climbing back up. Total epic, and we found ropes stashed and fixed them in the middle so we could rap faster. Crawled onto Thanksgiving at two or three in the morning beyond worked. Mirage is pretty good, definitely feels like an El Cap route which I can't say Mr. Midwest does. Mirage is probably after you do LF, West Buttress, Squeeze Play, Octopussy, and are still into doing something over near there.

Bonus of both those ascents in May is you can fill up water right near the base of Lurking Fear.

Nose. June.  3 days, with buddies Brian and Taylor. Total blast just living it up on the most splitter route of all time.

Did the South Face of the Column in a day a couple times in the middle of the summer.

Triple Direct. August. 2 days w/ buddy Dave. This is a great route to do fast and light cause you can pre-jug a bag to Mammoth and climb Free Blast with just food and a gallon of water, and be styling. We brought emergency bivy sacs, puffy jackes, and inflatable sleeping pads and were comfy on the Crossroads ledge.

Nose. 7 hours 42 minutes with Roger Putnam. This was all Roger. We just used my brain to know when to zig and when to zag. I just led from Camp 5 to the top. So much fun!


As always, great to read about all you guys shredding. Gets me stoked for more!

Woot!
e

Offline cobbledik

  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
    • View Profile
    • Fail Falling
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 12:54:06 pm »
Love the Mirage/Midwest stories erik!
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Erik Sloan

  • Purveyor of Fine Topos
  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Yosemitebigwall.com
    • View Profile
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 02:33:47 pm »
Mirage does have the coolest first pitch/start of a route. Totally far out rope trick that I would have never figured out but thankfully Sean Leary filled me in on.

Anyone wanna guess what the secret is?

Offline RP3

  • A2 Flyer
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
  • Big Wall Geologist
    • View Profile
    • www.yosemitebigwall.com
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 05:38:03 pm »
Excellent thread!

2013 was a slow year for me because I was living in NC for much of it, then was swamped with work for the summer/fall.

Freerider with Eric Bissel (former climbing ranger): Eric wanted to give it a shot, onsight. I spent a weekend belaying, hauling, rope stacking, and cheering him on so he could get the send. I did not climb a pitch. Perhaps the msot fun I have ever had on a wall.

SF Washington Column: Did it after work with Nanook. 2:30. I led the whole thing and Erik juggued like a monster. It was our first time climbing together. It was my first time not using adjustable daiseys.

West Face of El Cap: With Jesse Chakrin. Came so close to an onsight (one fall). 10 hours.

Astroman: With Jesse McGahey as an afternoon jaunt. Entering that Harding slot is so dang problematic!

Nose: With Nanook. Second time climbing together. 7:42. Would not have been possible without Erik's jugging skills and intimate knowledge of the route.


In 2014, I hope to keep climbing the Nose faster, and tick off a few of the other intermediate El Cap routes I have not done yet.

Offline cobbledik

  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
    • View Profile
    • Fail Falling
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 06:13:28 pm »
Well according to the topo, you hike up left and then a series of down-penjis to reach the anchor. If there's nothing to lower off of for the second then I'd guess climb pitch 1 then drop second rope to ground, second jugs rope (leaving pitch 1 fixed) then climb pitch 2 and clean pitch one on rap from belay two?

Edit: ok, that sounds stupid. Second idea: climb pitch 1, then leader reverses the climb and cleans back to the second. Then both hike to below the top of first pitch belay and jug up to anchor. Then continue on.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:46:44 pm by cobbledik »
Sometimes the difference between a layman and a journeyman is simply what he is allowed to believe himself to be.

Offline Erik Sloan

  • Purveyor of Fine Topos
  • A4+ Dreamer
  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Yosemitebigwall.com
    • View Profile
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 09:22:04 pm »
You got it Kev! Took us 2.5-3 hours car to car to fix the first pitch with that key beta of the leader just jugging back up the line to the belayer, dropping the rope, and hiking around.

Eric and Kate tried the route right after us and didn't know that tip, said it took a lot longer, and was difficult, to follow the pitch.

Rog-- you could easily climb the Nose in sub 5 hours with one of your free climbing bros like Eric or Jesse.

Woot! Stoke is high!
e

Offline offset

  • A3+ Copper Bender
  • *****
  • Posts: 235
    • View Profile
Re: Year 2013 walls in review!
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 09:13:45 am »
Great year in the valley.  certainly didn't put up the numbers like some other kids here...  i get my fix with a wall a year. 

went back and climbed the nose again with a great partner.  as usual - fixed the 1st 4 in pouring rain...  took a couple days to dry out then blasted.   aimed for 2 nights on the wall and we were on schedule... on the second day, after a night on ECT,  BLASTED the king swing.  last time climbing the nose i was happy to let my partner do it... this time was my turn.  it was a great high light and such a head trip turning that corner.    well, we caught up to a slow part at the great roof.  it was two parties of two that really was a party of four.  (math is hard).. they were sessioning pancake flake... wTF!   there was no way we were going to pass the colorad'bros late in the day like that. so we just chilled at c4 in the heat... and ended up bivying there (no ledge) (what a terrible place to sleep)  (not that going to sleep and waking up on in the nose is terrible)... anyhoo...  blasted in the morning and took our time since teh 'bros were still in front of us and the temps were >100 deg F.  we hid in the shadows of our haulbags during the mid day and climbed when we could.     It was a great time!

the rest of my stay there was some more free climbing around the valley (which i haven't done much of)... almost epic'd on bishops terrace with stuck ropes.... (nose: goes, b/t - epic!!).  hangin on teh bridge was great as always and jumped off of it for my first time.   

love the valley!!!

this year it's an autumn trip.  changing it up!

bob