Author Topic: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)  (Read 3403 times)

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Offline mungeclimber

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Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« on: December 21, 2009, 01:46:18 am »
Done deliberately; planned in advance. Characterized by fully conscious willful intent and a measure of forethought and planning.

Why would anyone intentionally climb A3 choss at Pinnacles?

I have no clue. But maybe one just feels the momentum?



Part of that momentum that carried me when I was younger was reading about Jim Bridwell. I had never met the man, but had read enough that the idea of this man, bigger than life, that Largo and others had described meant a lot to a young impressionable climber.

I decided to be a part of Johntp's efforts to repay that "idea," no in reality that man behind the idea, for the inspiration he has provided to myself and countless hundreds either directly or indirectly.

You should too...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/990887/Jim_Bridwells_Hammer

At Pinnacles Jim had established a route in 1965 called Premeditated with Craig Little. The 1974 Chuck Richards guide to Pinnacles called this route "evil" with loose and rotten cracks and rated it 5.5 A4. Chuck may have gotten it right.

Brad Young's comprehensive guide calls it 5.5 A3...



With the hammer in hand...



...Mucci and I made plans deliberately to do this route and headed to Pinnacles early and put it to good use. The telling of the tale is still coming together for me as I can't really believe I didn't take a whip on the chosstastic rock. And there is much to tell!

For now, think on this: intentionally going up this crack...




___________________________________________________________________________


Part 1 continued...

Or, How to be a Pinnacles Pirate?

"The sea was angry that day, my friend." - George Costanza

If one wants to be a pirate, understanding the seas the stars and the seasons is critical. I knew it wouldn't be effortless as soon as the sun started to come up. As the old adage goes "Red in the Morning, Sailors Warning"...



Clearly, other native Pinnacles Pirates had not fared as well as we would.



The base of the route is a 'kill zone' with detritus from raptors showing that death was ever present in this forgotten corner of the Balconies formation. This is on the West Side of Pinnacles, just to be clear. Not that little gulch on the East Side where bolts are close together. 

The churning sense that something could go wrong was ever present. At one point it would make it self felt in my gut, but you have to stuff that away or benefit greatly from your climbing partners. You see it started like this with the best of intentions. I mean how hard could '5.5' be in the first 30 feet before you get the first bolt...



Hammer in the gear loop, free shoes on and knowing where the replaced bolt was from mtnyoung and feral rat's previous ascent gave some courage, but as soon as I got on the big knob above the sling and heard how hollow it was the snail eye got the best of me. Not enough climbing on Pinnacles rock. This was the first day of the Pinnacles season for me.

Luckily Mucci was there... no, actually deliberately. I had talked to Mucci about doing this rediculous adventure several weeks back and he had been on Pinns rock more recently and had a good lead head about him.

Taking a different line he lead us up thru the middle of the knobs, right of where I am in the pic, and pushed thru steeper terrain on ok knobs, delicately pulling on one big serving plater shaped knob that looked ready to fly. Totally in stride he established the high point and set the tone.

For my part, it was time to get comfy and get in the stirrups and start placing gear like this...



The first piece above that initial replaced bolt was a baby angle nailed sideways to the hilt. After hammering it home and not hearing it ring or 'sing' as they say, I put some weight on it. sproing! it shifts down. lovely!  hammer hammer hammer with Mjǫllnir. again test it, ah, it is holding. sh#t guess I have to bounce test it now. jingle jingle jingle goes the gear. not slipping, but not entirely confidence building either.

the nearby piece after that is two hybrid aliens equalized in powdered milk. I'm not yet thirsty but visions of chalk dust over my head as I contemplate the ride fill my cranium.

one piece at a time I tell myself. time accelerates, and becomes meaningless. As much as it is a construct of the mind, it has no value at this moment. I'm mostly wrapped up in my own 'dirty old man' laugh, as my girlfriend calls it.  I'm laughing at how silly it seems. "What's the next piece," I ask myself?

I get in another decent piece, or what passes for decent at Pinnacles then hit the last bolt. Whew! A1+ and I'm fried! Actually the crack turned out to be better than I envisioned it. Both Feral and Mtnyoung indicated this before, but I see what they mean. The bat guano in some spots seems to have almost case hardened the inner crack by weathering. Slowly I pull thru the left trending lower section to here...



It's not like a got moving fast at the base, but I would have thought my movement was faster. The shadows are already long. It is the end of day one and I've moved only 80ish feet. But I'm alive, and uninjured. The slow pace and deliberate assemblaged of each piece of gear as the absolute best I could get in that 2 to 3 foot radius was purposeful.

One unique piece was an angle that was almost slotted under a flake but hollow behind and underneath. It was in sideways but only grabbing rock in the middle. Mucci pulled that one out easy later.

Mucci lowered me and after getting some decent gear in a wide section. I set three cams and backed up off a fixed angle after hammering it home from where it was.

With the sky trending darker we picked up and headed to Passion Play where Mucci replaced the upper nasty bolt with the Bird's Hammer.



It was sticking out a half inch on a 3/8" compression bolt. Now it's a bomber Powers 3.5" sleeve anchor reusing the same hole. Solid work Mucci!!!





That night was epic trying to find a place to camp. An old bivy site had been fenced off and a new one found, but it wasn't conducive to a good night's rest. We made alternate arrangements after some grub and a beer.

The next morning dawned beautifully. Coffee, a hike, and a jug to the high point put me at the base of the "A3" section. Having now been used to the rock the day went well I think, but again slowness was an attribute to emulate.  Thorough and contemplative placement of the pieces. An offset nut here, a hybrid there, a couple more fixed pins and continued copious use of Yates Screamers. Quantity does have a quality all it's own. It's called mental security. But who knows, the whole mid section of flake could have levered off with the right amount of pin use. Who knows?

And that's the point. This ain't granite....



We switched to Mucci's hammer this day as the hammer head had slipped the day before from using it on the bolt. Care being the better part of preservation, we opted to use it also so that it wouldn't be so heavy to hit pins in.  You won't believe how heavy it is and the longer shaft...well let's just say this is a 'manly' tool and maybe my britches ain't big enough. That's ok, though.

One of the criterias of the day was to have fun. And we were, if a bit on the twisted antiquarian side.



A good shot of the crack... you decide, but think about it...




A really nice sinker I got in...




After getting thru this section, I fixed off the lead line on the anchor, utilizing the crack as a back up, as the rock around the loadstone was not entirely solid.








Mucci in action pulling the gear...







Note the shadows at this point. Again, with late start hike and gearing up and moving slow the rest of the pitch took me most of the afternoon. Each piece an exacting science in geology and physics. Pressure and time reflected in gear.





So was it A3? Hell yeah, I'm checking that off in the book. But did I make a lot of what i thought were good Pinnacles placement, yep, way more than I would have thought. It's steep and fearsome for me, and the uninitiated to Pinnacles rock AND uninitiated to aid probably shouldn't start on this one.



We only made it to the first belay in this pic, but it was a superb experience.



Pinnacles rarely if ever is a let down with sunsets like this...




There's more to the tale. Minutiae and meaning. Absurd laughter filling the air over the palabras floating up from well meaning parents below telling their young ones to stay off the rocks and out of the caves. But I can add that later. There a more pics too, but how much can a person take of choss?

Well, we're going back up so Mucci can play on the thin cracks up on the 2nd pitch...








http://www.vimeo.com/8305166

(mostly safe for work, F-bomb dropped and one other swear word.)



« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 02:20:08 am by mungeclimber »

Offline Mike.

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 08:28:32 am »
Way to set it up...tell us a story!
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline Caz

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 11:11:11 am »
Nice Munge! Good to hear that hammer is going out on a adventure again!


Zac
I do this for fun...

Offline Raaf

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 03:31:39 pm »
Looking forward to the full-blown story. Inquiring minds want to know: Did the hammer participate in a proud ascent?


Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 04:59:08 pm »
added some

skully

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 07:10:41 pm »
It's the Chosstastic Adventures of Munge & Mucci, Man!
WooHoo!
We'll be wantin' the whole story, though..........

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 02:20:49 am »
added the rest, mostly


Offline lambone

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 05:45:44 pm »
do you allways put lockers on your pro? Or were you running outa spare biners?

Offline Mike.

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 06:09:33 pm »
Nice buncha pix. No crowd on that one, always love that.


Ever since SAR found half of a biner still hanging on the pro that would have saved Matt Baxter's life, I've had screamers with lockers on both ends on the rack. I did hear of evidence that the vibration from exploding bar tacks can cause enough vibration to slightly open a gate. I've had at least one journeyman question why I use lockers so liberally on arrestors. That's okay with me.


I hope you're making the best of it all, Lambonebreaker. To recuperation! Hey, I went to phone you last night and think I may have bumbled your phone number. I know you have time to shoot the shit, pard...buzz me, hombre.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 07:00:30 pm »
Right on, Mungie. Comes through like a champion, with some good aid porn.
I'm still thinkin' Chosstastic, man. Hey, that's cool.
You get WAY out there on choss.  Wall climbin', & aid climbin' are kinda a state of mind.
Hang in there, keep yer cool. Now YOU grow in knowledge & power.
Oh, yeah.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009, 12:13:48 pm »
do you allways put lockers on your pro? Or were you running outa spare biners?

yah, what mike. said above. I hadn't yet put lockers on all of them, but for this day we scarfed em off other spots to make a shit load of screamers with lockers.


thx skull-aye! 

it's that sensation of the 'beginners mind' of zen like concentration being a requisite to ascending.  I had a similar experience trying to practice on some wyde stuff with the wyde crew over the last year or so. exploring that space of being uncomfortable with your climbing skill, but at the same time building the skill.  very paradoxical.

cheers all, I'll try and post some more stuff over the coming days or weeks, depending on what unfolds for climbing ops and the weather.

Offline *Mucci*

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Re: Premeditated (part 1 - TR)
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2010, 01:49:40 pm »
Well, turns out the crux of this route for me was waiting 2+ weeks to get back to the second pitch.  I had way too much time to think.  I was in the "Mode" when myself and Tyler met up with Munge at the parking lot, a few laughs and we were off to finish this beast!

A helping hand and a med beak eliminated the need to climb the A3 off the belay to set up the tension traverse.  The section we avoided was by far the worst looking rock on the entire route.
A few semi free moves yield a ok red alien placement, followed by a blue alien to get established in the corner proper.



Finally in the corner which was thin, mostly arrows and small cams.

The corner went by smoothly, then I hit the tenuous section. The seam vanished and I began the searching for a good way to get up to the roof.  This required some rubble removal and a hook followed by a expanding placement that kept spitting out gravel and dust.  Whew!

Setting a crumbly hook.


This section up to the roof was very marginal.  Blow it toward the top and your looking at a huge fall potential, with a ledge and corner to navigate around on the way down, PDH mentally.
The roof crack was all arrows driven straight up.  



About the time I was in the middle of the roof, a teenager made his way up to the base.  After Tyler warned him of falling rock he decided to climb up the small buttress to the left of where we were.  Toiling around he found himself contemplating a 20 foot jump down to a grassy terrace which was another 40 feet to the ground!  I warned him, as did Tyler that doing so would be a death wish.  He was having none of it!  I watched him attempt to get in position when I hear from the belay "Hey man, I really don't want to come off this thing to initiate a body recovery, find another way off!"  Or something like that.  I was laughing so hard hanging there under the roof!  Munge was stern and it worked, he found another way off.  All three of us thought this kid was dead, and all due to an effort to impress his hiking buddies.

Now I've got this thing by the throat!  I nail left and can see the belay!  WHOOP!  As I place a very bad small arrow in an expanding flake I know it has a time limit.  I get the daisy ready to clip the bolt, highstep and make the move.  SLACK!!! OH GOD!!!  I watched the arrow explode the rock and shift down a half inch!  "No way Mucci! not on the last placement! One move and you got it in the bag"  I say to myself as I make a half dyno for the bolt hanger.  Clipped in and now this mother is finished!

Munge then set out to clean the pitch, very efficient and yielding Bridwell's hammer for cleaning, he funked out all the pins with ease.  He had a few laughs at the gear, and followed the traverse by clip cleaning and using his grigri.  Very smooth indeed!
Leaving the belay

A Mudbeak Placement

Hitting the traverse

At the belay, very happy to be done with the adventure


So, we had a plan, good beta, and that highly sought after Pinnacles Passion for early repeats.  I would like to thank Brad and DES for the great info and the new bolts at the belay's, those guys had nothing to go on when they did it, which surely made the ascent more spicy.  

Throughout the two trip it took to finish this route, we had birds following us.  First it was the sparrow, when we were racking up, then the swallow by the truck and finally the Condor that wanted a look at me while at the belay.  This huge beast was literally 30 feet away from me.  Floating around he took a b-line for me and I thought he was going to attack me!  Munge saw me scream and curl up at the belay, He got so close I could see his eyes!  Absolutely Beautiful!

Having Jim's hammer with us gave us the psych.  To do this route is one thing, but having the tool of my hero alongside made this ascent go from a dream to a reality.  The Bird was definately with us!

I hope we set the bar high for future recipients of JB's hammer, it's the only way he would want it.

Cheers,

Mucci

A special thanks to Tyler Martin for ground support, suicide watch, and photography.  It's nice to have a 3rd for the pictures.  Not to mention he and munge figured out at the end of the day they had climbed together years ago!  HAHa!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 11:06:50 am by *Mucci* »