Author Topic: Mescalito beginning of December?  (Read 2324 times)

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Offline Martin fickweiler

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Mescalito beginning of December?
« on: October 20, 2009, 09:38:27 am »
I am thinking of climbing Mescalito rope solo during the beginning of December, anybody an idea about the weather? What is ?normal? for this time a year?

Thanks!

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 01:02:05 pm »
Martin, looks like you're coming from overseas.  Prepare for a northern latitudes assault weather conditions, and when it shines brightly with sun just enjoy.


I know that's not what you were hoping for, but there's no way to predict.  It could be total snow storm with ice falling off the rim, could be pleasant and sunny with close to freezing or freezing temps at night.


Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 01:36:34 pm »
Unless you are really experienced (in which case I don't know if you would be asking this question), you know how to deal with winter climbing conditions, how to weather storms, and are really fast I would say ....



YOU'RE GONNA DIE! (no seriously, You might die)

Offline Caz

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 04:12:56 pm »
Weather can go either way. just be prepared for anything and you'll be good. Make sure you do things like seam seal your fly for your ledge and bring a bivi sack too. A sponge for your ledge is key too. There's all sorts of info on keeping dry on this site. I'll post some links when I get a chance...


Zac


Oh just to fit in...

You're gonna die!!!

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 04:39:34 pm »
Mescalito gets great sheets of Ice raining down upon it after Winter storms.
I'd have at least 1 alternate route thought out. That said, I hope you have a grand time....

Offline lambone

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2009, 05:09:15 pm »
I would agree with Mescalito being a risky choice for a solo in December. It takes most solo climbers 10-14 days to do Mescalito. With the short days in December I'd plan on a 2 pitch per day pace, 3 if you are fast. In December there is no way of predicting weather that far out, and the whole area is exposed to big icefall after a storm...plus the upper pitches of Mesc climb through some severe runoff territory.

You'd be safer climbing something between Native Son and Zodiac.

New Dawn would give you an easier bail down the Nose from El Cap Tower if the weather goes south.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 05:23:44 pm by lambone »

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 08:45:19 pm »
Mescalito gets great sheets of Ice raining down upon it after Winter storms.
I'd have at least 1 alternate route thought out. That said, I hope you have a grand time....

there ya have it.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 08:46:33 pm »
I would agree with Mescalito being a risky choice for a solo in December. It takes most solo climbers 10-14 days to do Mescalito. With the short days in December I'd plan on a 2 pitch per day pace, 3 if you are fast. In December there is no way of predicting weather that far out, and the whole area is exposed to big icefall after a storm...plus the upper pitches of Mesc climb through some severe runoff territory.

You'd be safer climbing something between Native Son and Zodiac.

New Dawn would give you an easier bail down the Nose from El Cap Tower if the weather goes south.

even yet more words of the wise

Offline Martin fickweiler

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 12:01:31 am »
Especially the part about the ice sheets on top and the falling ice is information I was looking for! I was wondering how bad that side of El Cap would be in winter?. So now I know: BAD!
Had Virginia (seven pitches, than the Trip) as an other option, any beta on that?

Offline Mike.

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 07:02:07 am »
No route on EC has no possibility of runoff or icefall, but definitely the steeps on the SE face are the best bet as stated. Ice sheets are like frisbees--they can and do hit the wall and base on overhanging sections.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline lambone

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 12:01:26 pm »
The final pitches of the Trp would be bad if covered in snow/ice water. The last pitch involves run out 5.6 friction where falling would be very bad.

Offline Caz

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 06:57:34 pm »
Go do something on Leaning Tower...
I do this for fun...

Offline Martin fickweiler

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 02:53:26 am »
I climbed Zodiac with a partner in full winter conditions, with ice falling all round. That was a good and relatively safe climb, I am looking for a solo experience like that, but don't know the Captain so well in winter.
Anybody info about Virginia?

Offline lunchbox

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 09:47:39 am »
Falling ice on Zodiac that's scary and a proud winter accent....We watched a flagged portaledge come partially detached and nearly fall off this weekend so I guess it can happen in a number of ways.

Virginia is very well protected and is just as steep if not steeper than the start of the Trip.  We did the route in the Spring on 09 and I would totally recommend it.  We did the first pitch of Lost in America then joined Virginia.  The first 3 pitches are really good and get climbed alot as is, then the steep climbing starts and so fresh and stellar.  Thin nailing, heads and a few crusty hook moves bring you back to the trip.  All the belays and fixed hardware is in great shape. 

Mescalito would be a bad place to be if there's ice up on the summit overhangs at the top of the Dawn Wall.  The last pitch will also plate up with ice and bury the bolts on that mini headwall. 

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2009, 08:11:20 pm »
Concur with others - Mescalito area is a huge icefall zone in the winter!  It's scary walking along the base there.

I climbed Virginia this spring.  I chose it because the weather was bad - it rained a week solid - and it was the only route in the area I hadn't yet climbed.  It's a pretty good route - for seven pitches - and then it joins the Trip, which is a really boring-lousy-shitty route in my opinion.  So you will get stellar A3 climbing for the first seven pitches, then you will be bored out of your tree, and feel like you are wasting your time on the Trip. 

First pitch is really good value - the topo is drawn accurately.  Steep and strenuous, long reaches to good placements but you have to reach past suspect ones.  Next pitches are OK, fairly straightforward as people climb the L in A start and follow Virginia to P4 of the Trip.  P5 and P6 are both nice - there is a really great beaking corner.   You want to bring lots of medium and big BD peckers.  You know the pins I mean, right?   The really BIG peckers.  They are the bomb. 

Rest of the route sucks, it's the Trip.  Email me for the annotated topo [of this or any other route].

Why don't you do something decent and worth doing?  Why not solo Aurora instead?  That route doesn't see much traffic, same finish as the Trip.  Or how about Shortest Straw?  Better than either L in A or Zed Em?  They're nice solos. 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline Martin fickweiler

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Re: Mescalito beginning of December?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2009, 06:26:22 am »
Thanks for your info Pete!
I was thinking it would be nice to climb a route that is not in Supertopo and not to scary, since I will attempt it solo in December.
Prefer to get beta from other climbers and not from a book. Couldn't find your e-mail, but could you sent me beta on good El Cap routes? My e-mail: info@martinfickweiler.nl

Martin.