Author Topic: TR: My visit to the Canoe  (Read 2761 times)

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Offline yo

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TR: My visit to the Canoe
« on: August 13, 2008, 11:00:11 pm »
Another spewfest rescued from the dustbin of the Supertopo archives. A lot of bitching about being sandbagged in this one, and some real kind words for Deucey!

What I Did For My Summer Vacation

For my summer vacation I visited the Canoe. It was really fun. I have wanted to visit the Canoe for a long time so it was fun to finally visit it. Also interesting. It was also a little scary to visit the Canoe. If asked whether I would visit the Canoe or not again next summer I think the answer would be no I would not visit the Canoe again. Because it was scary like that.

Myth has it that way, way up on the Shield Headwall of El Cap there?s a monster flake mysteriously pasted on a blank wall. My homeboy Geoff and I decided to cruise on up there, see if this thing really exists or what. Maybe a real block of rock up there, shaped like a canoe, or maybe just legend like a granite Yeti, or a Samsquamch. It was truly an expedition into the unknown, a dark place on the map. Fair chance one of us wasn?t coming back. But I?ll tell you this: if we happened to find a real block of rock up there, and it happened to be actually shaped like a canoe, well then I planned on hopping on that bad boy and riding it like a pony.

My matey Geoff.

Geoff is from Australia. Australians are basically Americans that swear a lot more and break out this killer accent to pick up sheilas. He works in a tin mine so he can haul like a gorilla on PCP. He does not take PCP as far as I know. The mine he works in is in NE Oz near Cairns, which is pronounced Cans, sort of like the Cannes Film Festival, except Cannes is actually pronounced Can. Geoff is dating a girl whose father is an anesthesiologist. Probably be good for some cash when he kicks off. Geoff is certain that if he proposes to said winsome lass, her dad will immediately propose a celebratory toast after which Geoff will end up immediately and celebratorily and untraceably dead. None of this, while all true, is particularly relevant.

To get to the Canoe you have to climb this route called Flight of the Albatross. (FA: John Middendorf, Will Oxx & Jessica Alba, 1993.) The Supertaco says to avoid the first few pitches of the Albatross, because they are grassy and crappy. So we did. I do everything the Taco tells me to do. From Mammoth Terrace we climbed the first four pitches of Magic Mushroom. They were grassy and crappy.

At Cast Away Mateys Pinnacle (arrrrr!) we finally got onto the Albatross proper. Geoff on the A2:

And up the cool 8th pitch:

Topo calls it C1 or likely 5.10 and yeah, it?s like a Pancake Flake sort of a deal. Geoff got so psyched he liebacked the thing in his boots to the anchor. That?s actually not true. But the pitch was so beautiful I followed it clean on toprope. (Not true either.)

Friggin' kids these days.

To Whipper Will, that is the question. Don?t really recall it being that much fun, but there ya go.

The hunt for the Canoe continues. P10, another cool nailing pitch:

Say what you want about the Albatross (and it does have some blank on it) but I thought the climbing was pretty classic. Plenty of long, clean splitters.

I sure hope it's not too late to catch the pirate bandwagon.

That's Middle Cathedral Rock in the background, BTW. Supertaco's own Roger Breedlove put up some bold free routes on that thing back in the day. (With Jules Eichorn.)

Honestly, this Canoe thing was really starting to feel like a legend. By the fourth day we were well up the headwall and had seen no teetering mystery. This is the eleventh belay, only 100 feet below the Canoe. Where is this thing!?

Ta-da! The Canoe!

Not totally like riding a pony, but a good seat regardless. I mean, come on, it?s a ledge. What were you expecting?

My mom always used to tell me, ?Expectation is the mother of disappointment.? First, it makes you really think it through when your own mom uses the phrase ?mother of disappointment.? But second, she?s right. You ever get so obsessed about something that when it finally happens, you find you could take it or leave it? And not only that, but there?s a million details you overlooked along the way. Well, I?m not saying I was disappointed in the Canoe, but sitting I did realize there was another hardish pitch above I hadn?t been getting psyched up for. And whoa was it a ball breaker. It was a full-on puckerfest, with crap heads and beaks above the ledge. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, it was somewhere on this pitch that the phrase ?Fuсk you, John Middendorf? was heard.

Gunning for the bolt 30' up. I was scared, kids. After a couple rivets the pitch sported five or so fixed heads that were of OK quality, and then the beaking started. And by beaking I mean beak tips. You may be wondering what I mean by beak tips. I mean beaks that are this far in:

Maybe one more shot to show off a little more.

I've been telling everybody I know, and already posted it nearly everywhere, but here goes once more: I have a pretty big problem with the Canoe pitch being called ST A3(no R). There is sizeable deck potential from 30? and potential to rip big from many other places on the pitch. Whipper Will felt right on at A3+ (with two distinct cruxes as marked on the ST) and the Canoe was beyond that. To me it felt harder than any pitch currently on ZM. I?m trying not to whine too much so I?ll say this: I don?t care what that pitch is graded but it is in DFU territory and you better know what you?re doing with a beak.

And that was basically it. We were off onto the Shield, and in another day we were off.

Random Beta and Trivia

1. We hauled two bags including 64 liters of water up the Heart Slabs 1:1 on a Mini-Traxion.

2. Rivets, though rusty, seemed very solid.

3. We had the SW face of the Cap all to ourselves.

4. They have some weird candy in Oz. Geoff brought some Chicos over. Ever had Chicos? Here?s the bag:

I felt a bit awkward eating them but they were sure choclatey delicious!

5. Got tooled twice during the trip (for OB camping and speeding in Tuolumne) but got off clean each time due to my charm, handsome dirtbaggish looks, and the shiv secreted in my sock. Rangers are people too!

6. Speaking of people and otherwise, I drove home along U.S. 6 aka the Extraterrestrial Highway? past Area 51. I know what happens inside that compound because I played through Half Life four times. Outside beautiful Rachel, Nev. (ET Highway Rule #1: Whatever you do, do NOT stop the car) I happened upon a Chrysler minivan on the shoulder, shimmering in the classic distress pose?hood up. Which was funny, since the problem was a flat tire. And it was also funny that I violated Rule #1 to be a Samaritan, since I know nothing about automobiles and the gremlins that make them go fast and honk and stuff. But I stopped and tried to help this grandpa get the spare tire out from under the damn minivan. Grandma and what seemed to be two grandkids watched and fretted. The minivan had a hieroglyphic instructional panel indicating some mechanism that winched the tire up under the van, with swirling arrows to RAISE or LOWER and it was funny how little sense it made. Me and granddad, though, working together at full capacity, made slow but steady progress.

I was under the minivan pounding on something critical-looking with a rock when it came out that I was on my way back from ?camping? in Yosemite. (Unless you have a spare forty minutes to explain ?rock climbering,? just say camping.)

Grandma clutched at her throat and said, ?Oh! Yosemite! My isn?t it gorgeous there.?

One of the kids wondered what Yosemite was. Underneath, I broke something.

?Yosemite is a beautiful mountain in Mon?up in Warsh?is it in Wyoming??

And this was when I realized, still under their UFO, that these people were not from my planet. I crawled out and stood up and looked at their slimy faces. Gauged the distance back to my truck. Should I sprint for that and try to crank her up, or just run into the desert? What sort of aliens were these? Could they warp over and keep me from my truck? Explode it with death rays? Explode me? I had a lug wrench in my hands, that was my only advantage. Maybe these green bastards would waste enough time zipping out of their human suits that I could--

Two cars in the distance. We all watched them approach. It took about an hour and a half, you know how long and straight those roads are. They were two sedans as plain and white as Ford can make them, government plates. Two guys in jeans and black T-shirts stepped out of the first one, in unison. Two guys in green fatigues stepped out of the second, muscley under there for sure, flattops, mirror-shined combat boots. All four in impenetrable black shades.

There was a big silence so I said, ?You guys out hunting aliens or what??

Bigger silence. They stood on their side of the road, and we stood on ours. Cars ticked. The aliens shuffled around a little nervous.

One of the black T-shirt guys said, ?Thought maybe you needed some help.?

And the grandma alien took in a breath like she might answer, or might explode his brain, or maybe mine, but I never heard what she said?or did?because I was slamming my truck door and cranking the key and gunning that POS up the long grade out of Rachel, Nev.

All true.

7. Earlier on that drive, on an empty highway, I noticed a little something in the corner of my eye, passing me on the left:

Twenty minutes later they came back the other way. Lost is what they were.

8. You may want more than 10 beaks. I took the 10 listed, lowered off twice (from each bolt) to back clean and got to the belay with a couple left. Not sure what that adds up to. Maybe somebody annoying could cook up a formula: B = (ST + 2BC)^SE, where SE, meaning snail eye, in this particular equation equals, say, ∞. Solving this equation will get you up the Jessica Albatross, and I hope it may solve the world?s energy crisis as well.

9. Curious how we got down off the route? We friggin? walked, man.

Appendix: Australian/English Dictionary

Budgie smuggler = Speedo

Chockers = full, as in: ?I?m bloody chockers, mate. Too many chocolate aborigines.?

Dodgy = jingus, hairball, manky, with teeth, sketch, etc. A great aid word.

Fuсk-all = little or none, as in: ?How much rope left?? ?Fuсk-all!? ?Huh? A lot?? ?No! Fuсk-all left!? ?What?? ?NONE!?

Lollies = candy, excluding chocolate.

Nugs = boobs.

Shits you = annoys you or pisses you off. Again, an extremely useful phrase whilst big walling.

Winter = June-August. Don?t ask, I don?t know what?s going on there.

Wombat = some freakish Oz creature, I guess. Think a gerbil the size of an ox with bunny ears and a scorpion tale with venom strong enough to kill 187 men.

So there you have it. We climbed intrepidly into the unknown with courage and cunning and maybe even what you might call panache. We also ate some Vienna sausages. And if you?re still reading, there?s something wrong with you.

(Thanks Deuce, Mr. Oxx and of course Jess for a very cool route.)

Offline Mike.

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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 12:35:40 pm »
Welcome one of the funniest and best writers on the circuit: Yo!

He clearly can climb, too.

That's what this site needs...a little Yo Yo Yo
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline lambone

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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 04:52:25 pm »


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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 03:49:59 pm »
Yeah, yeah. YO!!!! where art thou?
I read this, once upon a time, on the Taco,....Still inspires me.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 11:00:14 pm by skully »

Offline GoMZ

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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 11:35:31 pm »
Second time I've read this one so entertaining, now I wanna go to the canoe too!

Offline Caz

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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 07:01:29 pm »
I just read it again too. Such a great read, had me laughing...
I do this for fun...


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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2009, 12:03:56 pm »

Offline Didder

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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 01:45:13 am »
More of the Australian/English dictionary please!!!! GREAT STUFF


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Re: TR: My visit to the Canoe
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 11:47:16 am »
More of the Australian/English dictionary please!!!! GREAT STUFF

jajaja,,,se hace lo que se puede amigo didder!!!!!!! gracias.