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Topics - hoipolloi

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Im looking for info on these bad boys.  HWall has some info out there, but La Visage to Paint it Black seems to have nothing on the web about it.

Anyone know if it has even seen a second? (I am sure it has, but...)

Anyone have info or know anyone who does?

hit me up and lets scheme, I will trade full write-up for a little info!


Big Wall Forum / Zion Routes - Suggestions?
« on: October 18, 2011, 03:50:50 pm »
Hey any of you out there who have spent some time in Zion.  I might be heading that way for a while and want some recommendations.  The trade routes are great, I am sure I will do some, but I want to do some other stuff too.  I especially want to do some nail ups while there.  Anyone have some suggestions on things you have done or would like to do?  I haven't been and need a few starting off points.

Big Wall Forum / Offsets Aliens and Aliens for Sale
« on: October 05, 2011, 02:16:13 pm »
Hey guys,

I have a set of offset aliens and a set of normal aliens, green, yellow, grey, red, gold all for sale.  Trying to scrape up some bucks and clear out this ridiculous gear bin...

Shoot me an email and we can talk about them.

Anyone need a double metolious ledge?

Big Wall Forum / Totem Cams: The Aid Review
« on: September 14, 2011, 06:54:18 pm »
Sup Guys!  Long time no see.

So I just finished up a review on Totem Cams.  I focused entirely on Aid climbing and thought you guys might be interested!  I was skeptical of this design at first, but I have come to love it.  I have seen these cams do things that I couldn't make other cams do.  I think these things definitely have a place on the big wall quiver (I use them for free climbing too).

Let me know if you guys have questions.  I would love to talk about them (as I really think they are the shit).

Totem Cams: The Aid Review

Big Wall Forum / FS: Aliens + Double Bombshelter Ledge
« on: July 29, 2011, 12:19:38 am »
I have a set of Aliens in great shape - green-yellow-red I need to get rid of, i have SO many cams in this size and need money... $60obo?

Also have a double Metolius bombshelter in great shape I really need to sell.  It has LOTS of walls left on it.  Used, but FAR FAR from Abused.  $500obo??

Email me and we can talk, I can send photos but have shitty satellite internet, uploading is tough.


Big Wall Forum / TONS of Aliens on Ebay, whats the deal?
« on: February 19, 2011, 03:34:46 pm »
So whats the deal?  I was looking through ebay today and found, I would estimate, 8-10 full sets of aliens.  2 months ago I sold a few, there were none on ebay, they sold pretty fast.  Now there are TONS AND TONS out there.  Most look like they are up for about 50bucks and in good shape, maybe they will sell for a little more, but not a bad deal.

Are people turning to Metolius?  Do people know something about CCH we do not?  I have heard things through the rumor mill, are they true?

The few offsets that are up are still very very pricey...

I think this rockfall, which many theorized as having come from SS area was actually the large missing piece on Pitch 10 of Zenatta.  I haven't been on SS to confirm that, but the size and shape of the piece of stone that came down is right for being the huge piece missing on ZM.  (I was on Zodiac when it came down).

Mystery solved. possibly.  Ill call mythbusters and see what they say.

Big Wall Forum / Climbing in winter conditions, done it?
« on: February 10, 2011, 08:45:05 am »
Sup Boys,

Who out there has done some climbing in full winter conditions?  None of this blue bird skies and claiming the winter ascent, but actually in the snow and winter weather.  What did you do different to make it possible, to make it...dare I

Been there? Done that?

Discuss, I want to hear some stories, tips and tales.

Big Wall Forum / Anyone on Re-Animator lately?
« on: February 03, 2011, 12:17:24 am »
Anyone been up on Re-Animator lately?  A feature supposedly fell off, wondering if anyone has gotten past it and knows what the deal is..

Big Wall Forum / ZM - A TR for Skully
« on: February 01, 2011, 10:20:17 am »
I bailed off the Captain twice last winter, but I learned a lot each time (rapping the steepest part of the wall is hard, but not impossible, large volumes of melting snow and wind make for exciting nights of flying on the ledge).  This winter, I really wanted to complete a route, since the beginning of the month the weather has been screaming for climbing.

So fresh back from a big free climbing trip and eating rock for breakfast in Red Rocks, I changed gears and did the telephone gear sort with my buddy Scott to rack up.  We decided to leave early in the AM, drive up, hike to the base and blast onto the wall.  We were hoping to make Pitch 4 for the first night.

We had a nice slow drive, complete with wrong turns and two cups of coffee, you know, we haven't driven to the valley enough to remember the correct way...To top it off, as we racked the bags we realized we didn't have spare batteries for the music machine.  Off to the Lodge store for batts.  Our 10 oclock planed start time had become 11, which quickly became 12.  So after the hike, with a nice early alpine start of 12.30 Scott was off on the first pitch.

He had been on the first 4 pitches before and they were ripe with adventure for him both of the previous times he had tried ZM.  One of the times his partner pulled out stacks of the fixed heads, just testing them!  Not the best way to start a wall filled with these timebombs.  Ill come back to the other time he was on the wall..

Scott was cruising at a machines pace up the wall.  I was following along, amazed at every pitch how I would arrive to the anchor with a few screamers, a handful of pins, and 2 or 3 cams, where was all the gear?!  This was how most of the pitches went, there was so much hooking on most pitches that the gear left behind was pretty minimal. 

I yelled up on pitch 2 or 3 that if he felt good, he should just keep gunning and take us to the bivy.  All was going well, headlamps came out and he was off on pitch 4 in the dark.  Off the belay he had a decent small cam, followed by 3 or 4 small fixed heads, after the last head he was off on some hooks.  As I got to the belay, Scott short fixing above, he shouts down, "fuck man, fuck.  This is fucked up up here.  There aren't any more hooks."  A few minutes later he shouts down that he found a blow out rivet and finally "Ok, Watch me man, Im going to hook on some fucked up shit."  Throwing the tiny Vermin hook on a tiny, crumbly, loose diorite flake he stood up, released a string of profanities, clipped a busted up copper head with just a few strands of cable left.  More profanities.  Another head, also a timebomb.  A hook or two more and he was finally rewarded with a good cam.

It was dark, although not very late, so we couldn't see if we had missed something or what, but as I jugged by I got a good look at the pitch, and the way he went was some nasty looking climbing, I doubt the first head will hold the next person, the fall will be clean, but man it will be big!

This is when Scott informs me that the last time, he made it to this point on the wall.  He didn't remember any of that climbing, but the next pitch, pitch 5, shut him down.  'What?!' I say, the pitch I am supposed to have for breakfast shut Scott down?!  Terror welled up inside me.  "I couldn't find the hooks, I went almost all the way to the shortest straw belay but I couldn't figure out the moves to get over the roof" (a roof labeled on the topo as 'improbable hook move').  I stare the pitch down by headlamp, convince myself I see features to hook, maybe even some gear to protect the belay, then turn my attention towards the portaledge and beers.

Pitch 5 ended up going fine in the morning, although it was exciting.  I hooked up on the features I had seen the night before, made some hard, fragile moves over the roof, glad to have my little Verm hook and its downward pull.  Once over the roof, standing on a small hook, the next moves were on large features, but really poor hooks.  "Fuck this" I say, grabbing hold of some small crimps and gaston type holds I climbed to the top step.  "Im free climbing," out of the aiders I go, freeing the next 8 foot section instead of playing around with the hooks and the horror.  The rest of the pitch was loose but went free in my approach shoes, with wall rack in tow.

That second day was fun, I led for most of the day, doing the Lightning Bolt roofs, which I was excited for, but surprised to find them to be quite easy.  Then off on the 9 o'clock roof, which is more A4 strenuous than really technical.  It required driving a #1 blade upwards into a roof off a high stance in the aiders, followed by some thin climbing, and delicate inverted cam hooks around loose blocks.  We bivied at the top of pitch 9 that night and got down right drunk on the portaledge...

Scott started us off in the morning on what we had heard was the crux pitch, A4 hooks and heads.  This got exciting here, after some good gear out a left arching feature, you turn a small rooflett and launch into a long string of hooks and heads in discontinuous diorite features.  Things were moving slowly, but I had the wall hammock out, and was lounging and sleeping when I was awaked by the wonderful, gut churning yell of horror.  I snapped awake in time to see Scott hurtling over over the roof and colliding with the end of the rope!  As he came to a stop he let out a big whoop of excitement, looking back up at where he had been moments ago, a deployed screamer and a copper head spiraling down the rope towards his harness.

After inventory was taken and I confirmed all limbs were intact, there were no injuries and no damage done, Scott was back at it.  It was a big fall, maybe 35-40 feet, they get big quick I suppose, so Scott got back to his high point.  The hammer and heads came out and a few beautifully placed heads were put in to fix the two that blew out.  What had actually happened was the entire placement of the head disintegrated,  the rock just broke apart and let the head loose, which blew the one he had been on, then deployed the screamer and still pulled the pin, and the fall stopped on some equalized cams.

Up Scott went, finding the missing feature at the end of pitch small cams anymore!  A huge 8x8 piece of rock was gone and replaced by some microscopic, hard to see bathook holes that lead you to the anchor.  In a moment of desperation, Scott had me send him up the fly pole to try to stick clip the anchor.  Unfortunately for him, the anchor was too far and the pole too weak, so up it went with the rope clipped in, 5 feet out of his hands, the pole drooped over like a cooked noodle.  I told him there had to be something there, so he stowed the pole, sacked up, and hooked his way to the anchor, bathooks appearing as he went..

Scott led the 11th pitch and then I swung through for the third and final A4.  The sun was setting but I knew I still had some light.  I wanted to get through the hooking and heads before the light was gone, so I grabbed the minimal gear I needed and started climbing.  Joking and goofing around to keep the excitement up and talking about the beers we were going to drink when I was done, I headed up the pitch.  Easy climbing to hooking, rivets, thin hooking, expanding flakes, gear falling out below, the joking stops, I get serious realizing the rivets below are shit and the fall is going to be massive if I blow the copper heads above me.  Off a small hook I pick one of three fixed heads, I realize its like roulette, which one is good?  I pick one, test it, it holds, shift onto it, put a screamer on it, move to the next, and the next, and the next, all getting smaller as they go.  The last is pasted upwards, looks like hell, maybe more like purgatory, its good enough to use and not bad enough to want to replace, but really terrifying.  This leads to a lunking hook move in a hollow flake and rivets.  Home free.. two beers each on the ledge.  I had it set up and ready to go by the time Scott got there.

The last day took us to the summit without issue.  The hike down was a bit snowy but not so bad, a bit of postholing near the crazy dike wall, but soon we were off on the raps and headed for the valley floor.

It's an awesome experience being on the Captain when nobody else is around.  I have been there a few times now when the bridge is empty, the cars are minimal, there is no green dragon and a minimal amount of noise other than the rush of Horsetail Falls.  It's a beautiful experience and we had a great time up there.  Like always, by the time I am back to the bridge and the car, I am already thinking about whats next, whats bigger, badder, harder, more fun, a better location, maybe a better time (impossible), everything like this, all at once.

We climbed into the car, took a last look at the Captain, then drove home, back to the real world.

(I hope this wasn't too long winded or dramatic)

Some Photos, we didn't get many, no particular order..

Big Wall Forum / FS: 2 black and 3 blue aliens
« on: November 08, 2010, 11:45:55 am »
Selling 2 black and 3 blue aliens.

1 black in nearly new condition
1 black in great but used condition
2 blues in nearly new condition
1 blue in great but used condition

65 for the nearly new ones, 60 for the more used ones.

I'll work something out if you want them all.

Big Wall Forum / Desert Towers...Partners needed
« on: November 01, 2010, 11:44:42 pm »
Well, Long time no see to many of you folks here.  Its been a great valley season for me.  After spending the summer up in the Meadows "working", I didn't get to do some summer heat walls like last season, but I packed them in before and after, I matched my last season total this year (but really the year is not out!  I count the comming winter as apart of the year, the new year starts in the spring!  There is still time!)

At the moment though I close the Yosemite book and head east.  I have a lovely lady in Laramie, Wy.  and am going to be spending November and the first half of December in that region.  I am looking to find some people from that area that might want to do some Tower climbing, the kind that requires aiders, hooks, mud hummocks, free climbing, tears and fear.

I also have a new (incomplete at the moment) set of ice gear that I am eager to use and would love to get out for some of that action.

Please, get in touch with me if you are interested in doing some climbing in the UT desert/colorado region.  I am going to be around the Creek mainly, unless I can set up something real good to move around for.

Hope you all have had a fun summer and fall.  It was great to put some faces to some names this year (Skully, Mucci, Chasm, mHudon did I forget someone?)

Take care, talk with you soon.

Big Wall Forum / FS:: Fish Five Season Single Portaledge w/ Fly
« on: October 30, 2010, 07:29:09 pm »
Im just going to link over to the MP post, I don't want to have to upload all the photos again.

Email if interested.  Help a poor brother out.  Thanks.

Big Wall Forum / Something to get excited about...
« on: May 03, 2010, 03:22:59 pm »
I know I am excited for these...

or how about this!

If that big hook doesn't do it for ya, maybe this will?

Top quality craftsman ship.  There is always that hammer to be excited for too!  I think those #2 'hawks look awesome.  

Theron:  Any idea when those might be ready?  I need to add a bunch of peckers to the rack and really want some of those in the mix!

Big Wall Forum / Quo Vadis
« on: February 09, 2010, 12:27:22 pm »
Just saw this conversation over on ST in the Muir Wall beta:

Quo Vadis - is it an independent line from ground up to summit (thats what it sounds like, right?)

Can anyone get the topos that he links at the below site to come out any clearer?  There is a nice photo/topo overlay too, but I can't get them downloaded clearly...anyone else have any luck?

Big Wall Forum / Yosemite Falls Wall
« on: January 29, 2010, 01:43:05 pm »
Well, I have always looked up at this amazing wall in the summer time and thought about what a fantastic place it would be to climb.  There are a few routes in the guide book, pretty damn hard and suicidal Kohl routes, as I understand it. 

Anyone have any other topos for things up on that wall that are a little more on the survivable side? 

Summerland or some others?

I heard Kohl has 17 FAs on that wall...Nanook, got any more info, just saw you inquiring about Via Aqua...

I would really like to get up there this Summer/Fall..Im not afraid of hard, just afraid of belays consisting of copper heads and rurps like I have heard stories about...

Big Wall Forum / Solar Chargers for the wall..
« on: January 23, 2010, 01:32:48 pm »
So I saw this discussion over on the Supertopo:

And I thought I would bring it over here, to a more discussable venue, to ask about what experience you guys have with any of these.

I had a little Solio one, single solar panel about 3"x5", I don't know what the stats on it were exactly (internal battery type, wattage, etc), but I found it to be fairly crappy and useless.

Anyone ever played with that kind that C-Mac uses?  Seems like that has a lot of panels to do your charging...fairly cheap too at $60...

Thoughts, comments, concerns?

BTW:  When is the weather going to clear, I have a new Kong Eagle Hammer on the way and I want to bend some copper!

Big Wall Forum / El Cap Winter Ascents - Have and have nots
« on: January 10, 2010, 11:16:42 pm »
which have and which have not, obviously there are tons of obvious ones that have not been done in the winter.  But which of the more ... normal ... routes still lack a winter ascent?

Big Wall Forum / CCH - Anyone have any ideas?
« on: December 25, 2009, 10:29:43 am »
Anyone hear anything lately about CCH and whether they are going to continue to be or not?

Heard some guys at the crag (yosemite) talking about some folks that were interested in buying the company and such.  They said it was just Dave Waggoner that was making all the units, I thought they had some other folks involved in production.  Seems like someone would take over the operation if they decided to stop...

talk amongst yourselves. . . . . . . . . rumors, myths, legends?

Big Wall Forum / My hat is off to those who repair and restore routes...
« on: October 26, 2009, 02:38:08 pm »
My little adventure this weekend has left me with the PCDS (post climbing depression syndrome) worse than ever.  Over the weekend I gained a whole new respect for guys like Greg Barnes, Erik Sloan, Chris Mac, and many of you on this site, who go out there and restore, replace and repair the hardware on routes or put up new routes doing it as you go.

I placed 4 bolts this weekend and it left my hands sore today.  I think back to Never Never Land.  All new anchors if I recall correctly (18 pitches 2-3bolts each = 36-54 bolts, which were non-ASCA paid for out of pocket I presume), there must have been that many rivets and lead bolts replaced as well.

The amount of work that requires is just phenomenal. 

A huge thank you to you people out there doing this sort of thing. 

The question is: What is the fastest way to drill those bad boys?  Normal wall hammer or some sort of larger, heavier mini sledge type hammer?

Big Wall Trip Reports / scary it can be....
« on: October 19, 2009, 07:12:36 pm »
So this weekend my girlfriend and I went up Zodiac.  We drove up to the Valley on Thursday night, shouldered our gear and in one fell swoop (as I have normally done this) we hiked to the base to bivy.  There was a lot of water coming off that side of the wall, but as its so steep there is about 20 feet between the wall and where the water starts to hit the ground.  We found a little spot near the base, snuggled up, and got to sleep.

In the night I woke up a time or two to strange sounds that I kept thinking was rockfall.  It was a bad groaning type noise, it kept spooking me awake.  I might be crazy, but I swear I heard these noises...

On Friday the plan was to wake fairly early because there was water and a poo tube at the base and I did not want to be stuck behind a party but we wanted to get as much sleep as possible, since the drive and hike put us tired and at the base around 1am or so.  We pushed off the sleep as long as possible, despite a few psychotic parties hiking past at the EARLY hours of the morning headed to the East Buttress.

Anyhow, we awoke, started making a 6 egg breakfast with avocado and cheese (this is how you start a wall), a meal we would recreate each morning on the wall (only with 3 eggs each time).  So as we start cooking a fella rolls up looking to get on Zodiac, but him and his partner still have a second load to hump, so no big deal (for me at least).  We get fed and caffinated, racked and ropes flanked and I begin  up the wall.

I was excited as I have been wanting to do Zodiac all summer (see Didders TR and references to Solo-Man) but had been previously thwarted on a solo attempt.  Anyhow, we begin, the first pitch goes well, oh yeah, except for when I blew that inverted cam hook while reaching to clip the belay, taking a 20ish footer.  Luckily it was no big deal, in fact it got me pretty psyched, especially since everything was fine.  I short fixed the whole second pitched and Carmen didn't leave the ground until the bags were up off the ground (again, see the TR by Didder and you will understand the previous Bear problems the last time).  Carmen was quickly on her way, bags were docked, and soon we were off on the third.

Thats when things got crazy.  We are standing at the third pitch belay, I am about to lead off again, Carmen had just gotten there.  Suddenly there was the worst noise you can possibly imagine when hanging from the side of the wall.  A massive crack, more like an explosion.  Our heads snapped left and maybe 100 feet? 200 feet? the most enormous piece of rock was detaching from the wall.  I mean a piece of rock the size of a car.  I think I saw boulder problems on this thing as it popped off the wall.  This huge piece of black rock detached from the diorite system slightly left of Zodiac.  It looked to me like it was just right of the free climbing pitches on Lost In America. 

As this huge stone came loose from the wall, accompanied by several pieces of stone that would have caused soiled trousers on their own, all I could think was 'oh man, here we go' when I was able to decide it was for sure too far to hit us, I then was horrified as it looked like this thing was directly above this lady Althea set to solo Virgina.  My girlfriend and I thought, in all honesty, we may have just seen someone die.  It was the most aweful feeling in my gut I have experienced on the wall.

When this boulder smashed into the ground, from our vantage point several hundered feet up, it it looked like a video of a bomb going off on the History channel.  There was an explosion of debris followed by a huge rock slide down the Zodiac talus.  A cloud of granite dust lingered on the wall and began to rain down on us for what seemed like several minutes.

As soon as the noise of all the rock fall stopped, the shouting began.  We shouted to Althea, a guy on the ground who had just dodged the rockfall by split seconds shouted up to her, then to us, the guys at the base shouted to us, we shouted to them, finally I was able to hear Althea shout back to someone and we could hear that she was ok.  Heavy sighs of relief were breathed by all I am sure.  Everyone was ok.  I felt like we all connected for a moment, looking out for each other.

Carmen and I sat there for a few minutes, discussing what to do, up or down.  We decided that either way from the top of pitch 4 we could get off just as easy as the top of pitch 3. So upwards we went...

The unreal thing about the whole event was that a few hours later while we were moving up to pitch 5 or pitch 6, we heard another sickening pop and crack.  Heads whipping left we quickly found the massive flakes as the detached from the center of the NA formation.  These flakes free fell for what seemed like an eternity, slowly spinning and twisting in the air before making contact with the wall, smashing into smaller pieces, colliding downwards and slamming into the huge talus pile right just left of the footstool. 

Again we sat in silence.  Discussed the situation.  The reality was that there was a whole lot of that black diorite above us.  Was the whole black tower going to come off?  Was that detached piece of the tower, leaning away from the wall a normal feature?  I didn't remember looking over at it... was that new or old I joked, without really laughing too hard, Carmen not finding it funny at all, as we set up the ledge just below the Black Tower pitch...

Again, we continued upwards, curious what the fluctuating temps and another warm day might bring on the Captain...

(Ill add some Tom Evans photos when I get them)

Non Climbing (if you must) / n/a
« on: October 13, 2009, 12:05:53 pm »

Big Wall Forum / Crazy Yates sizes...
« on: September 30, 2009, 10:54:33 am »
So I had a Yates Shield.  Best harness for wall climbing, no doubt.  Its the standard.

I am a normal to thinner size guy, 6'0" 160-165lbs.  Im no buff beast.  I thought, naturally I am a medium.  Well, I had a Shield medium, it was so big on me that on the last couple walls in the thing, it would chafe my hips raw.  While this was fun for entertaining my partners at the summit with my insanely chafed, brutalized looking hips, it was no fun for top stepping and fact it sucked big time.

So I just picked up a size small (wtf!  Im not a small, that would be my girlfriend...), so I get a small.  It fits perfect.  I can cinch it down, stays tight ABOVE my hip bones. Its great. HOWEVER...the belay donut on the thing is so small that it causes the legs and swammy to pull tightly together against my junk.  I guess this is because in Yates sizes I am too tall and lean...

it just seems wierd.  They need to dial their sizes in, make them more normal...

end of rant.  Thanks for reading.

Big Wall Forum / Topo maker program from a photo.
« on: September 22, 2009, 02:49:21 pm »
Found this while trolling the net without work today.  I thought this was kinda cool, for making topos from a photo of the wall.

I didn't play with it yet, but it looks pretty cool!

The Mountain Project thread.

The App.

Big Wall Trip Reports / Never Never Land - VI 5.8 A3 (many photos, beware!)
« on: September 11, 2009, 02:21:27 pm »
So after my recent bail from the Zodiac and a little too much time between El Cap routes (like a whole two weeks man!), Scott and I were itchin? for some more fun.  Unfortunately and fortunately (for me) Scott has climbed most of the trade routes and so he was looking for something a little more adventurous, so we set our sights on Never Never Land.  This would be my third time up on the Captain, but only my second route involving wall life (we did Lurking Fear in a sort-of-day, slept on Thanksgiving Ledge because it was just so rad), so I was pretty excited for all the logistics and the harder climbing.

We blasted out of Santa Cruz a little earlier than on our previous trips, arriving at the bridge by about 11:00pm or so.  We took a few minutes to move everything from the car to the dirt, then into the haul bags.  Our bags were heavy, but not unbearable, at least until I tried to stand up while leaning a bit too far forward, sending my overloaded 80-100ish pound bag rolling over my head sending me into a forward somersault off the road into the dirt.

Bags packed and situated with two beers in the belly we started the trudge up to the Nose then beyond.  The hike was familiar, having done it so recently to get to Lurking fear.  I was glad, however, that we would be stopping at the Wings of Steel bivy where our bags would stay the next day.

In the morning, after cooking up a cup of Jet fuel grade instant coffee and 6 egg avocado burritos we set out.  I was going to lead the first block of pitches, going as far as I wanted then changing over and sending Scott on to Timbuktu Tower.

I started up a mungy corner to skip the fourth class down and around stuff at the base.  The corner was kinda tricky and filled with dirt but I was soon on track doing 5.7 OW with a wall rack and sneakers on.  The fist pitch ends on a ledge leading to an amazing A2 sawed angles and hooking traverse pitch.  Probably one of the most fun pitches I have done.  These were my first pins I have hammered, striking up an addiction that will be hard to crave.

End of P1

The hooking moves on the pitch were some of the most fun.  They were moderately easy, but to avoid pounding pins I would do 5 or 6 in a row to get from lower out to lower out.  After the first two pitches we rapped straight back to the ground and hauled the bags up to us across the Great Slab that makes up Wings of Steel and other exciting routes.

P2 ? Which one do I use?!

Ok Ill just wail on it!

After hauling, I set out onto a rivet ladder that lead to another horizontal traverse pitch under a small roof.  The rivets were freshly replaced button heads, however, the damn things were at least 6 feet apart.  They were so far apart that even with my 6?1? reach I had to top step my aiders and use a wire hanger to reach the rivets.  It was strenuous and a real pisser.

Cleaning P2

a little lower out

Pitch 4 was an incredible pitch, traversing under a small roof on decent cams.  We brought along a #6 which allowed me to avoid a long stretch of rotten C3, moves making it an easier C2ish.  After getting a good placement the crack pinched and it was easiest to use inverted cam hooks into some difficult A2 or A3 hooking with serious fall potential (because I had to skip the bolt below me to make cleaning easier).

Looking for those hooking moves and rivet ladder


After pitch 5 scott took over leading an OW aid pitch up a large steep corner.  This connected to a C2 5.8ish pitch bringing us to Timbuktu Tower.  We had originally planned to fix a pitch off Timbuktu, but with the sun setting, the amazing location, and 3 beers each for the night calling our names we decided to skip it and just do it all tomorrow. 

P6 OW Aiding grunt fest

All smiles

Some folks are down there like ants?damned if I can see them now?


Beautiful headwall, is that Salathe headwall?

Timbuktu Tower ? so close ? so flat!

Breakfast of Kings

The second and third days of climbing were incredible.  They were a bit slower than expected but moved us off the huge apron slab of the lower half of the wall and onto a wildly steep upper wall.  The hammers were out for most of the day with a few pins here and there on most pitches. 

Pitch 8 off Timbuktu Tower

One of the cruxes of the climb turned out to be an unsuspecting C2+ or 5.8 hooking pitch.  When I jugged by, it sure didn?t look like there was anything 5.8 about it.  The climbing moved past 10-15 feet of loose, expanding flakes requiring a gentle touch and a lot of side to side wandering. 

One of the cruxes, loose expanding hooking.

It was a little warm, but I kept the sun off

After this we hit a beautiful C2 double arch corner on georgeous golden rock.  This would be the pitch to move us left into the A2 Lost Arrows scooped out corner that would span the next 300+ feet of climbing.  After this corner, I took over the leading, starting out before night fall and taking it into the night shift.

Double arch corner, a blown rivet was bypassed with a sporty bat hook towards the end

P9 - ? I think?

It suddenly got very steep!

That?s a biiiiig head!

We had been looking at the topo for pitch 11 and kept asking ourselves what the hell ?C1 Barnacles? followed by ?C2+ Slime? meant.  Well it looked exactly like it sounds, weird calcified, wart-like, barnacle-like formations covered the wall and the flared corner.  They were surprisingly strong, and amazingly sharp.  The corner required my right side to consistently press into the things, scraping me up and covering me in thick brown, dirty slime all at the same time.


Oh that?s going to be slime soon!

There was a transfer from the main corner to a spliter on the left wall requiring a few Lost Arrows and tricky cam hooks for upwards progress.  I remember narrating the crack like it was a golf game, until I got to the hard part and had to shut it up and focus. 

Getting up there!

There are some folks..

The next few pitches all blur together in a steep and thin upwards push for a few pitches, most of which were done in the dark.  There was a really hard penji at one point before a belay where I had to penji to a large hueco, climb a little and then swing into mega bushy corner, get set stemming, and blind place a #2.  It was awesome.

Finally at about 1230 or so I pulled to the top of pitch 14, Long Ledge, where we decided to call it for the night, leaving 4 pitches for the next day to get to Thanksgiving Ledge, and then 2 easy pitches to the summit. 

Long Ledge was pretty much exactly that, long, not wide, but it provided a nice stance and enough room to get the ledge set up with a little less effort.  After a beer and some food we promptly passed out, waking up about 4.5 hours later for the final stretch. 

Break down the ledge at Long Ledge

Staying psyched

Today was going to be Scotts block, so after getting packed up and caffeinated we set out.  The climbing again was slower than expected.  This is no trade route.  Pin placements were not scarred, dirt and plants needed to be pushed aside or pulled out.  Loose rock had to be navigated.  Microwave size blocks avoided.  The climbing was excellent with what Scott described as the ?All time hammering crack? taking several sawed angles, Lost arrows and Beaks.  The climbing may have been fun, but I was lucky enough to get to enjoy my first thrill of funknessing pins out from the cracks and experiencing that satisfying THWAAANGGG. 

Our favorite meadow

Old ass dowels on P15 leading to the Pinnacle of Hammerdom!

A3 Ramp on pitch 16 (needs a dowel replacement, unless you can reach the hook move)

The wart must be hooked!

P17 ? Classic hammertime pitch, SOs and Las

Grit and bear it.

A3 Microwave size block avoiding

A little before sunset we arrived on Thanksgiving Ledge and shuttled our gear 200 feet up the way to the final 2 pitches of Lurking Fear. 

Give me my free shoes and a free rack, I am going to end this bitch!

We ended up topping out around 830 or so.  The plan had originally been to hike down and drive home this day, but that was not looking like a possibility.  We made some phone calls, I got the following day off work and we headed to the summit where we found a nice bivy, had a little fire, finished up most of our food and crashed out for the night, leaving the rest of the hike and drive home for the next day.

All in all, it was a fantastic route, a little dirty at times, but amazing crack systems, fun features, good climbing.  It was no trade route and had a really adventurous feel to it.  It has a good view and some classic ledges and bivies.

Big Wall Forum / A question for those who have played with USHBA's
« on: August 30, 2009, 03:19:11 pm »
So I recently got a chance to check out an Ushba adjustable daisy set up as discussed here:

So I don't have much desire to A) buy 2 Ushba's or B) Have one on both my aiders.

I have mentioned how I have a little custom set up where I put a Fifi on an adjustable daisy but have my aiders themselves on regular Daisy chains.  However, my question for those of you who have played with the Ushba's is how you think they would work in this situation.

What I was thinking is this.

Ushba with a Fifi hook attatched to it (girthed to the clip in hole), then having it on a piece of 8mm cord tied into harness.  Then you have an adjustable fifi hook (which I find to be very useful in many different situations, steep rock, transfering onto marginal pieces, moving laterally, especially on hooks, getting comfy at the belays, etc). 

The key aspect of my system, try to understand this as I describe the best I can, is that when I have transfered onto a piece, i can fifi into it then climb up while pulling in the adjustable (same as what you would do with only the adjustable going to your aider) then as I transfer into the top steps I can easily let out a little tension of the adjustable fifi to make top stepping really easy.  When I do this the fifi pulls to the top of the carabiner and is then pulling downwards off my harness and upwards on the carabiner i am fifi'd too (which is usually the one on my aider)..

This is why I like it.  Problem is, the adjustable is strenuous to pull in and let out, the Ushba is super easy, slightly more dynamic if you were to fall on  it.  I just wonder how it would do with transition from essentially hanging on it, to pulling on it, if there would be slippage or if it could get bumped and released, sending you flying...

damnit.. this makes no sense, do your best to understand.  Or sell me your old Ushba so I can test it out (I want a titanium one)!

Big Wall Forum / WOO HOO -- Double FISH Score!
« on: August 20, 2009, 11:46:18 pm »

I just scored, so fat that I can not believe it.  You would never guess the price, and thats right, these bad boys are as new as they look.  Got them from the original owner, he never used them, stored them nicely in a beautiful garage.  He had to sell, I had to buy.  This shit is new new new N E W!

now... do I take it with me this weekend, or do I stick with the Metolius double I have.

This one is a little confusing to set up, anyone have FISH Single Ledge tips for easy set up and break down.  I need to sand off a teensy-weensy bit of superficial rust and figure out how to make the connections slide together a little easier.

Set-up and break down tips?

so psyched!

Does anyone have the info and Beta on the alternate descents off the top of El Cap?  I need some info on the hike across from Tamarack Flats or up from the Vallley floor via the Falls trail.  My girlfriend and a friend of hers want to hike to the top and meet me as I top out ( and I need them to help carry my things, haha).  I was thinking they could come in from Tamarack then we could either exit that way or do the east ledges together and shuttle back to the car.

Info and Ideas?

So I live on the coast, in Santa Cruz, to be exact.  Its rather foggy here, especally where I am because of my proximity to the coast.  I live in a tiny apartment, its pretty small and the amount of gear I have is rather large...It is taking up most of my space in fact.  Gotta love my girlfriend for not having a problem with it.

Anyways, I was thinking about getting one of these Rubbermaid outdoor storage chests, and then putting my gear in rubbermaid storage bins.

The question:  Do you think that this is protected from the elements enough?  As is my apartment has open windows and doors 90% of the time, but nothing is actually outside.  It would be on a deck, under an upstairs balcony, fully protected from direct rain and elements, its just humidity I suppose I am concerned with.

what do you think?

This is the chest:

then everything put into bins like these within that chest:

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