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addiroids


Jan 23, 2002, 8:36 PM
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In the Aid Climbing Bible (Chongo's Ground Manual) the first step to climbing a big route is telling your friends about it so you cannot back down. So here it goes:

During the second week in October,
Wallhammer and I, will climb The Nose of El Capitan.


Sure, this may not be much to a few of you out there, but it will be a really big step in my aid climbing career. I have learned a lot (thanks to Pete) and climbed a few shorter walls. During Spring Break, I will be in Zion ironing out the kinks to be ready for The Big Stone. The only unfortunate thing is that I don't get out of school until mid-June so it will be hot by then, but hopefully we can get it done in less than 6 days (I'm still not the fastest aid climber in the world) so we don't suffer too much.

It has been my dream to climb El Cap ever since I first drove into the Valley 2 summers ago. Not just to summit it, but to CLIMB it. The Nose is the most famous route in the world, and I practically have it memorized, so it seems to be the logical choice.

And the best part is that I will be doing it with my friend who has the same experience as me. It just wouldn't be the same if I did it with someone like Pete or atg200 who could almost guarentee success.

I may do a shorter wall to warm up for it (S Face of Column, or W Face of Tower again), but I will have to get on The Nose very soon to beat the heat.

Another big reason The Nose is such a great route is because two (three, okay, four) great climbers have their names forever linked to it. Warren Harding, who did the impossible back in 1958 by climbing right up the middle of the FACE of El Cap when the other routes of the time went around the side. Jim "the Bird" Bridwell (and John Long) who were the first to blast the entire 36 pitches of it in a day in the early 1970's. And the great Lynn Hill who is the only person to free climb every pitch of it on lead (and in a day)!!! And that we will take about 30 times longer to do it than it has been done (3h 23min?) recently.

So I just wanted to let everyone know about my intention and dream. Maybe after that I can learn how to pound pins and do some real aid climbing.

TRADitionally (and about to go throw up now) yours,

Addiroids

(edits were adding "bold's" and updating the date it will be done)

[ This Message was edited by: addiroids on 2002-09-26 21:10 ]


woodse


Jan 23, 2002, 8:43 PM
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SWEET!!!!!!!!!!:D

Good luck on your first attempt, hope it happens for you.

woodsE


Partner pianomahnn


Jan 23, 2002, 10:03 PM
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Good luck.

Aid on, and whatnot.


darkside


Jan 23, 2002, 10:19 PM
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Ya'd best be posting and telling us how it went then. And remember, retreating from the wall would be 'a shame', but now you've declared your intention, chickening out would be 'SHAMEFUL'.
Hope this makes it harder for you to back out.
Good luck and enjoy.


beta


Jan 24, 2002, 9:00 AM
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Ahhhh!!

To realize a dream. Something you will remember for the rest of your life.

I hope to follow your example someday.

beta


passthepitonspete


Jan 24, 2002, 9:39 AM
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Dear Paul,

I very much believe in the concept of "accountability."

By making your public declaration to climb The Big Stone, you have made yourself, at least in some small way, accountable to us.

This is a good thing because you are now committed.

You have put your credibility on the line, and this takes guts.

The Nose was my first ascent of El Cap. It was not easy. It took us a lot of determination, and we ended up benighted in the Stovelegs where we hung in our aiders all night.

Yet never did we entertain the thought of quitting. We ended up on the summit without a drop of water or a scrap of food.

But do note:

We ended up on the SUMMIT!

Please click here if you would like to read about Dr. Piton's Survival Epic on The Nose.

Climbing El Cap requires a combination of many factors. I and others can help you with the technical elements, so you will at least know what you are doing. In fact, by hanging around here, you will know far more than most who climb The Nose, for you will know the better way.

The other elements include courage and perseverence.

I can offer you all of the Dr. Piton Big Wall Tips you never wanted, but you will receive no better advice than this:


Expect to suffer
Keep on keepin' on
Do not quit until you reach the summmit!


If you follow these simple instructions, you will, in all probability, reach the summit.

Hey - like it works for me, eh?


climber1


Jan 31, 2002, 9:28 PM
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Good luck, hopefully I will follow in your tracks soon.


fiend


Jan 31, 2002, 9:47 PM
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Quote: I can offer you all of the Dr. Piton Big Wall Tips you never wanted, but you will receive no better advice than this:

* Expect to suffer
* Keep on keepin' on
* Do not quit until you reach the summmit!

If you follow these simple instructions, you will, in all probability, reach the summit.

mercy, I think that's the best advice you've ever given pete

[ This Message was edited by: fiend on 2002-01-31 21:47 ]


kman


Jan 31, 2002, 10:28 PM
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Best of luck to you. Make sure you post the details of your climb afterwards.


atg200


Feb 4, 2002, 3:27 PM
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Good luck Paul, and thanks for the misguided vote of confidence.

atg200 - 0 for 2 on El Cap so far.


clipngo


Feb 4, 2002, 3:55 PM
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Good luck, hope to read about your trip when you're done.


kagunkie


Feb 4, 2002, 4:43 PM
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A few words of advice my friend. Work hard to prepare yourself both mentally and physically, and DON'T LET NOTHING STOP YOU! do these things and you'r chances for success are increased. Just think to yourself NOTHINGS GOING TO MAKE ME NOT DO IT EXCEPT FOR INJURY OR RISK OF IMINANT DEATH apart from that nothings stopping me NOTHING!
Oh and it wouldnt hurt to practice your hauling technique either.
Good luck.


krustyklimber


Feb 5, 2002, 12:09 PM
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  We saw it here folks, now he's gotta do it!
We're pullin' for ya dude! Make sure you can set up your hauling systems well and you'll be alot better off! Keep your eye on the prize! Best of luck!
Jeff


uhighfreak


Feb 5, 2002, 12:23 PM
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Awesome!!!!! Good luck on the climb. I hope everything is successful and, as other posted, give the details of the climb on the site


mikedano


Feb 5, 2002, 12:33 PM
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Good good luck, dude. Post some pictures for us pencil-pushing desk jockies.


socalclimber


Feb 24, 2002, 6:44 PM
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Ok I'll bite! I'm gearing up for Ten Days After on the Column. Not quite El Cap, but it's a warm up for something bigger. I'm only going to commit myself to one wall at a time (at least publicly)!

r.f


milesdesbrie


Mar 28, 2002, 9:24 PM
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Okay dammit I've got a good partner and all the gear and I'm going to be firing off on the Prow on Washington Column in Yosemite on 4/2/02. YOU HEARD ME, THE PROW. Okay, now I can't wimp out.


passthepitonspete


Mar 28, 2002, 9:31 PM
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Right on!

SEND IT, dude. And be sure to let us know how you did.

"Better to go down in flames than to fade into the mediocrity of 'plain vanilla'. "

Looks good on you, mate!


crazywacky


Mar 28, 2002, 10:00 PM
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Holy Cow!

All these declarations of challenges to be met and defeated are making me all warm and giddy.

So here goes.

I am going to Climb my FUTON SOLO and sleep on it for at least THREE hours!

There, I feel better now...

Good luck to all of you.
I'm jealous...


agrauch


Mar 30, 2002, 1:34 AM
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So,I'm off to the Valley today. Like many others I shall make make the Big Announcement.

My friend from Colorado and I will be climbing Zodiac. Everyone in the immediate area is invited to watch, speculate, and laugh. I'll be doing the same.

Think DRY.


stigonrock


Mar 30, 2002, 2:10 AM
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Man..just woke up and the suns out here in good ol' England and I saw this post.
I suspect all you guys over the ocean are still tucked cosily in your beds in a state of dreams.

I agree with PTPP. It does take balls to announce a big goal publicly as it puts the spotlight on ya and the pressure is on so too speak. Sometimes its good to do this and place ourselves under such pressure, it means we HAVE to go for it.

So best of luck to you and may you make it all the way. The first road to success is just 'trying' our goals and going for it. You're already on your way man, so keep going for it, keep training and DON'T look back!

Ang


[ This Message was edited by: stigonrock on 2002-03-30 02:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: stigonrock on 2002-03-30 02:14 ]


mountainrat


Mar 30, 2002, 4:10 AM
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Friend- I can tell that you and PTPP have had some contact and/or interaction- you both display many similarities in your writing styles... Hahaha. BEST OF LUCK, dude- I hope this experience is nothing short of an epiphany for you.


milesdesbrie


Apr 3, 2002, 10:56 PM
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Well we went for it but we were SHUT DOWN by having a slow party ahead of us. At least I got to lead the first pitch.

I feel okay about it because I wasn't at my physical best anyway, and learned a lot to apply to my *next* effort.


addiroids


Apr 3, 2002, 11:20 PM
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Just pass the mofo's. In true Euro style, just clip their gear, tie off on their anchor, and use their head as a foothold. I'm sorry it didn't work out. This summer we saw a girl bailing off the Prow (solo) due to lack of committment (as we were approaching S. Face). She looked like she had her sh!t together, but for some reason just didn't feel right. We tried to cheer her up and make her laugh, and it worked, but she still was bummed. Ohh well. Hopefully she is still going strong.

On another note, Wigglestick just climbed Prodigal Son (IV C2) in Zion. He was climbing from 6am to 12 midnight. Congrats to him and his partner on a great climb. It's nice to see others succeed where I bailed (pitch 5). That will not happen this summer though.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


milesdesbrie


Apr 29, 2002, 6:55 PM
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This Thursday, May 2, I'm heading back to Yosemite for another whack at the Prow. This time I'm planning on soloing it. I have my solo system pretty well worked out and think it's high time I put it to the test.

The following Tuesday my partner is coming up from L.A. and we're going to try to get on Zodiac. I picked up the necessary iron today and think that the next time I have to saw off angles I'm just going to let Dr. Piton do it for me.


climbchick


May 12, 2002, 9:05 AM
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OK, here is my Big Announcement:

Next week, on Thursday May 16, I am going to climb the West Face of the Leaning Tower with PTPP, hopefully summitting on the 17th.



In terms of the fear factor, this will be the biggest challenge of my life to date!


treyr


May 12, 2002, 10:26 AM
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Have fun man. You are so lucky!!!

Trob


nikegirl


May 12, 2002, 10:36 AM
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Right ON!! Everyone!!
:0

:0 climbchick!!:0


GO TO IT GURL!!!! Tuna Packets ROCK!! Congealed Chile
yuck!!!!



T


apollodorus


May 12, 2002, 4:40 PM
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I didn't knmow I had to do this on the internet. I thought I could just tell people I knew personally. But, here it is:

I AM GOING TO CLIMB THE EXCALIBUR ON EL CAPITAN WITH MUTANT, GIANT CAMS THAT I MADE MYSELF.

http://home.pacbell.net/takasper/index.html

THIS WILL BE MY SECOND WALL CLIMB, THE FIRST BEING IN 1983. I HAVEN'T BEEN CLIMBING IN OVER FIFTEEN YEARS. MY PARTNER IS EITHER INSANE, CRAZY, OR BOTH. THANKS, PTPP.


passthepitonspete


May 12, 2002, 6:25 PM
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Emphatically, I am BOTH!

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! [Diabolical Dr. Evil Laughter]

Besides, I need your cams......

Fifteen years, eh? Talk about "make or break". This is where Big Wall Theory will become Big Wall Reality.

And nowhere is life more real than on the big wall!

Fifteen years......damn, I just love it when we up the ante!

OK, so consider this my Big Announcement:

Be it with Tom (hopefully!) or be it solo (by default and with Wee-Wee the Big Wall Crab) I - "Pass the Pitons" Pete - shall summit El Cap at least once, and hopefully twice, before I return home.

If not, then you can call me a Big Wall Theorist.

No greater insult could you hurl.

P.S. Don't say "thanks" - just leave me some cams....


jmlangford


May 12, 2002, 6:26 PM
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Good luck Tom! I still want to see those cams! Are you kinda like a member of the A-Team? You know, able to make a machine-gun out of a vacuum cleaner, etc?


passthepitonspete


May 12, 2002, 6:30 PM
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How the heck did you know???

You can click here to see where Tom did make a, make a...

...what the hail DID he make?

I think it's a vacuum cleaner from a machine gun.

He's like, the California version of Red Green, eh?


apollodorus


May 12, 2002, 9:32 PM
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Red Green is the Canadian Bob Villa. I'm not either one of those guys.

Maybe I need to link you to the patent office, where you can see my name on FIVE DIFFERENT PATENTS. That should put any "Red Villa" nonsense to rest.

And PTPP, as long as you're into having the ante upped, I call your Dr. Evil and raise you this: I escape from the local mental hospital this coming Friday evening.

BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH . . . .


passthepitonspete


Jun 11, 2002, 9:04 AM
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Two down (Leaning Tower, Excalibur) and one to go (Shortest Straw).

Looks like Shortest Straw will be a solo ascent.

Yikes. That route is Pretty Darn Hard. I'll pick up a couple extra beers today. And more coffee.

Freakin' bear busted a couple of my water bottles yesterday. Sheesh. All this objective danger, and I haven't even left the ground!

I'll feel safer soloing those A4 hooks today.

Cheers,

Pete

P.S. If you don't hear from me for a couple weeks, you know where I'll be. Look for my Crab-O-Ledge on the right side of El Cap, the SE Face, just left of the grey circle of Zodiac. I'll be on Channel 2 if you want to call up. I'll need some help on the descent.


P.P.S. You can click here to see a photo of Tom's twelve-inch Valley Giant Cams which we used to defeat the spooky offwidth cracks of Excalibur.


spike


Jul 1, 2002, 10:53 AM
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3rd Wall this season.
Heading to Yosemite Valley tonight (07/01/02)
Going to solo West Face Leaning Tower.


cragchica


Jul 1, 2002, 11:27 AM
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Good luck, man! It's awesome to hear you're going for it. Let us know how it goes.

With any luck, I might see you in the Valley.

Cheers,

Cragchica


duck


Jul 1, 2002, 12:04 PM
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I hate michigan....there's nothing to climb here but the stairs.

There are 2 rock gyms within an hour drive (Climb Kalamazoo here in town and Higher Ground in GR). The nearest rock is Grand Ledge and that's hours from here.

Anyone into urban climbing? Overpasses, train bridges, buildings? Etc?



spike


Jul 10, 2002, 11:22 AM
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Solo'd West Face - Leaning Tower over 4th of July week. July 2nd - approach & fixed P1. July 3rd did P2,3,4 and fixed P5 & 6. July 4th did P7, 8 & 9. July 5th did P10 & P11, rapped and hiked down to truck. I will write up a detailed trip report. I collected 6 carabiners, 2 nuts and 1 blue Metolius cam --- booty. THANKS PTPP --- the FROG system to jug and the Gri Gri with single ascender to clean made the climb possible.
Richard / SPIKE


atg200


Jul 12, 2002, 12:50 PM
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On August 1-3, Wigglestick and I will climb Christoper Robin on the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado. Not looking forward to humping all that gear up the 6.5 mile approach at high altitude, but the climbing should be great.


wigglestick


Jul 12, 2002, 1:18 PM
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Wait a minute. You never said anything about a 6.5 mile approach. I am not going anywhere unless I can get there in flip-flops

It should be a good time. I am looking forward to it.


spike


Jul 16, 2002, 4:02 PM
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Driving to Yosemite Valley Monday (07/22/02) to climb THE PROW with Ben. Planning to spend 2 nights on the wall & bivy at the summit before hiking down the North Dome Gully.
Richard / SPIKE


spike


Jul 26, 2002, 9:19 PM
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Just got back from Yosemite --- SPIKE (Richard) and Ben Banks did The Prow. 07/22/02 (Monday) drove to YV, hiked to Washington Column and Ben fixed P1 on The Prow. We bivied at the base (no one on the route). 07/23/02 Tuesday morning Ben jugged the staticline and hauled as I cleaned P1. I lead the even pitches and Ben lead the odd pitches. We did P2 & P3 plus fixed P4 & P5. We bivied at Anchorage Ledge using an A5 double portaledge. On Tuesday a forest fire started on the west side of Half Dome and burned for 4 days. 07/24/02 Wednesday we jugged up the staticline on P4 and hauled. Ben cleaned P5 and took the staticline up to haul. As Ben hauled I jugged up the leadline. We did P6, P7, P8 and fixed P9 and bivied on Tapir Terrace. 07/25/02 Thursday Ben jugged the staticline on P9 as I cleaned it. We did P10, P11 and P12 summitting at 3:30pm --- We enjoyed the summit, sorted gear and watched the fire burn on Half Dome. We bivied at the summit (full moon - every night) and rested up for the North Dome Gully Descent. We started hiking down at 6:45am 07/26/02 (Friday morning) and got down to Ahwahnee parking lot at 10:15am (3 1/2 hour hike down). A more detailed trip report will be posted.
SPIKE/Richard

[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-07-26 21:21 ]


freeclmr


Jul 28, 2002, 10:11 PM
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Spike,...that's awesome! So what's next??


spike


Aug 4, 2002, 3:04 PM
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Hi Freeclmr,
It looks like Skull Queen V 5.8 C2 on Washington Column the first week in September.
Richard / SPIKE


spike


Sep 23, 2002, 4:39 PM
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Didn't have a partner for Skull Queen, so helped PTPP get his stuff to the top of P3 on Lunar Eclipse. Will be heading to Zion on Wed. Sept. 25, 2002 with Ben. We are going to do Lunar Ecstacy V 5.9 C2+ on Moonlight Buttress.
Richard / SPIKE


rocks4jules


Sep 23, 2002, 4:42 PM
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  Wow -- what a great ambition!!! Good luck and blessings to you. YOU CAN DO IT!

Climb on!!!

JULES


victoriaclimber


Sep 23, 2002, 4:48 PM
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You inspire me, post your pics when it is done! GOOD LUCK, Climb Safe



spike


Sep 28, 2002, 11:42 AM
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Ben Banks and SPIKE did Lunar Ecstacy V 5.9 C2+. Wednesday (09-25-02) drove from LA to Zion. Ben B. did odd pitches and I did even pitches. We bivied at top of P3 with lightening and light rain. Tuesday (09-26-02)we did 5 pitches and bivied at top of P8. Ben B. did P8 in the dark, so I could do P9 a C2+ pitch. This gave both of us a C2+ pitch, Ben B. got to do The Amoeba pitch. Friday (09-27-02) morning I did the Original Finish pitch, we took photos on the summit, hiked down, back at the visitors center by 1:00pm and home by 8:00pm.
Richard / SPIKE

[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-09-30 11:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: spike on 2002-10-01 11:26 ]


timpanogos


Jan 23, 2003, 10:12 PM
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Well, the national weather forecast says Its prime time to go do a Zion wall, as it will be partly cloudy highs in the days 60 lows at night 30 through next Tuesday. Tony, sorry, Im bailing on you Sunday and heading south.

Zion, Prodigal Sun, V 5.8 C2 here I come shaking in my boots, twisted stomach but something inside is driving me to go and do it.

slabbyd said you can fix 3.5 pitches with 2 ropes. Im going to leave early tomorrow (about 4.5 hour drive), and start fixing as soon as I get there got the weekend to figure it out, If I get stuck doing a hanging bivie so be it Im heading for the top.

If you dont hear a report by Tuesday, you can read about me in the funny papers.

Chad





nailzz


Jan 23, 2003, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Tony, sorry, Im bailing on you Sunday and heading south.


PSHAWW!!

Don't ever apologize to me for bailing on some loosely laid plans to go to Zion!

Go man GO!! Be safe ... or at least safe-ish, and send that sucker! I wish I could join you. Call me when you come back, I wanna hear about it.



apollodorus


Jan 23, 2003, 11:20 PM
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"If you keep your shame public, there's nowhere for the Various Times to go with it."

- Dr. Johnson


Partner camhead


Jan 24, 2003, 8:21 AM
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well, if this is the "Big Announcement" thread... here I go...

Moonlight Buttress in March. I've no intention of backing out. It will be my first wall, and I'm not even that much of an aid climber. It may be a pipe dream, but I'm planning on freeing as much of it as I can. Failing that, my crazy aider partner will bail my sorry ass out. hehe.

there. I said it.


passthepitonspete


Jan 24, 2003, 8:32 AM
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Shortly after Chad burst on the scene here with a barrage of enthusiasm the likes of which is seldom seen, I went out on a limb and predicted that he would solo his first big wall this year.

I based this prediction on two things: his burning passion, and the fact that he "gets it." [For these are the two most important elements you need to succeed on a big wall] I wish I could find the post where I wrote that, but I can't. It's around here somewhere. Maybe someone else can find my quote.

At any rate, he seems bound and determined to accomplish this impressive task within the first month of the year, thus jumping the gun twelvefold.

So while the rest of us are leading plain vanilla lives, Chad is out there having the time of his! He is climbing something longer and harder than he has ever climbed before, and he is upping the ante by doing it solo.

Good on ya, mate.

YOUR WALL DOCTOR IS PROUD.

Note:

Chad has his Wall Doctor's phone numbers, just in case he needs an emergency long-distance mini big wall tutorial.

[And]bastard had better not call collect! I won't accept the charges even if he's standing on his tenth hook in a row! A wall doctor's phoneside manner extends only so far, you know...]


passthepitonspete


Jan 25, 2003, 10:24 AM
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Here is your update on Chad:

As of Friday night, he had all of his gear up to the base, ready to fire on Saturday morning.

He is pumped and psyched!

His plan is to reach a bivi ledge at the top of 3 today, and hopefully fix above to 5, then complete the route on Sunday. I believe it's nine pitches.

He tells me the final pitch is a choss-haul - but he also tells me he has fixed the problem ahead of time. His Far End Hauler is all set up on top of his pig.

The bail rate on first attempts to solo big walls is high. I was either very lucky, very stupid, or very determined because I managed it my first try, though I spent 16 days doing it!

But I sure hope he makes it. My guess is he won't be able to climb fast enough to do it in two days, but retreat is pretty nasty as it overhangs and traverses.

So it should be a great adventure for him, but hopefully not an epic!

I'll let you know if I find out anything else.


mojorisin


Jan 26, 2003, 1:26 PM
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Its great to see all this good spirit for those of you takeing it a step further. One of my goals is to get to El Cap and do a line. I still have a way to go but I remember how I felt on the Prow here at Cathedral ledge and its a feeling I want to keep getting. And thats only a one day climb. Cant wait to hear how you guys make out this year,,good luck to everyone.


klimer


Jan 26, 2003, 2:03 PM
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Good luck. I hope that you make it to the top. That will be quite an accomplishment. Oh, and don't forget to have fun.


passthepitonspete


Jan 26, 2003, 6:46 PM
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Mwah-ah-ah.

It's Sunday night, and no word from Chad.

Is he having fun, or is he having an epic?

Think about such things from the warmth and comfort of your computer screen.


base104


Jan 28, 2003, 6:10 AM
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I am living proof that anyone who can operate a carabiner can climb the Nose.

Our old wall saying was "Don't give up, and you'll make it."

Of course this doesn't mean you can't come down if you have a REALLY good reason. Most who bail, don't, however.


spike


Jul 3, 2003, 10:13 PM
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West Face Leaning Tower --- SPIKE & BEN [In reply to]
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West Face Leaning Tower
Its Thursday 07/03/03 and I got back from Yosemite Valley last night. Ben and I wanted to do a warm-up wall in YV. Last year I solo'd the West Face and Ben hadn't done it yet, so we agreed to tick it off his list. We also wanted to take a look at Wet Denim Daydream. We left Los Angeles 7:30am Sunday morning 06/29/03 and arrived in YV around 12:30pm. We drove to Camp Curry and put some stuff, the in a bear box. Drove to the Bridalveil Falls parking area, organized our gear and started our hike up to the base of the climb at 2:00pm. I told Ben it was about a 45 minute hike. Two hours later we had our 2 pig up to the start of the catwalk. It was HOT on Sunday and we hiked up during the hottest part of the day. We didn't take a portaledge, but we did take 16 2-liter bottles of water!!! For July we wanted 1.5 gallons of water per person per climbing day, plus water for the hike up and the rappel/hike back down. When we got to the base of the wall we saw 2 different teams of climbers on the route. As we reached the bivy spot at the start of the Class-3 section we ran into 2 climbers who did the route in a single push starting the night before. They told us we had a party of 2 and an International party of 3 above us. The party of 2 had spent last night on Ahwahnee Ledge and the party of 3 were just getting up to Ahwahnee ledge. We could tell that the party of 2 were just getting up to the top of P7 and it was 3:00pm. This kind of concerned us ... we hoped they were trying to get to P9 or P10 before night fall. It took us an hour to shuttle all our gear over the exposed 4th-class section. A newer/better fixed rope has replace the worn one that was there last year. It was 4:00pm by the time we reached the dead tree and were standing at the start of P1. With a party of 3 on Ahwahnee Ledge we decided to just fix P1 & P2 and bivy on the catwalk. The west facing wall was hot to the touch ... so we decided not to start climbing until 6:00pm. We moved over to the 3rd-class section under the shade of a tree and drank a lot of water and rested. At 6:00pm Ben started up P1 and was going to link P1 & P2 together as one. As Ben started to climb we could see ropes hanging in space above us, but because of the over hanging nature of the route, we couldn't see what was going on. When Ben got up to the top of P1 he could see that the party of 2 were bailing off the wall!!! I heard rope... rope.... rope and the next thing I heard was the end of a lead rope whip-snapping 40' out from the wall. As Ben got near the top of P2 at around 7:30pm the party of 2 were hanging at the belay. To get the party of 2 off the belay so Ben could fix our lead and haul line we clipped their haul line to a carabiner and let it slide down our haul line, to me, so I could fix it to the wall for them. This saved them a lot of time, they didn't have to down aid pitches 1 & 2, which are very overhanging. But Ben had to wait about 30 minutes for the team of 2 to rap off with their pig and pull their lines. I spoke with the first climber down and asked him why they were bailing. 2 reasons: not enough water and moving to slow/ran out of time need to be back to work on Monday morning. They started climbing on Friday and only brought 8 2-liter bottles of water. They had less than 1 quart of water between them when they reached me. I asked them about the team of 3 above us. He said that they were on Ahwahnee Ledge and that he fixed a static line for them to the top of P6 for helping him to get back to Ahwahnee Ledge from the top of P6. Ben fixed our lines at the top of P2 and rapped down the haul line. We moved back to the 3rd-class section and bivied under a tree were the fixed line for the 4th-class section starts. Our objective for Monday was to fix to the top of P7. Now our concern was the team of 3 above us ... Our goal was to get up before 5:30am and be climbing by 6:30am. We wanted to get most of the climbing done before the route goes into the sun around 1:45pm. Monday morning at 6:30am Ben lowered me out on the haul line with the pigs hanging below me. The exposure first thing in the morning gets the pulse racing ... Ben started cleaning P1 & P2 as I used the FROG System to jug up the haul line. I hauled the pigs as Ben finished cleaning P2. As I climbed P3 I could see the team of 3 jugging the fixed line up to P6. Great for us ... they didn't actually climb P5 & P6 ... they should be out of our way. The fixed gear on P3 is pretty good, but sooner or later, the webbing on a couple of fixed tri-cams will blow. I had to use a small Leeper cam hook to make the last move onto the belay at P3. P4 went pretty fast because the last part is a bolt ladder. I knew I was getting close because I could smell the urine. I did 1 hook moved on P3 & P4 using a BD Sky hook. I fixed the lead line to Guano Ledge and moved over to Ahwahnee Ledge to haul. After I hauled to Ahwahnee Ledge I stacked the haul line into its A5 rope bag and moved it and myself back over to Guano Ledge. A nice new black static line is placed between Ahwahnee Ledge and Guano Ledge which you can clip into as you move across the slabby section. I could see 2 climbers hanging at the start of P7 and a climber about 1/3rd of the way up. Ben reached Guano Ledge, we stacked the lead rope, and I started leading P5. Not more than a couple minutes into the climb on P5 I heard something big swish down past me ! ! ! ! ! ! I saw a blur of something and it didn't look like a bird, it sounded like something else.... I didn't hear rock or an alert or alarm from the climbers above me. I looked up and asked if they dropped anything ... They yelled up to the leader and he had dropped their #4 Camalot ! ! ! But he didn't yell rock or anything !!! Maybe he was clipping it back into his rack or unclipped it by accident when removing another piece and didn't know that he dropped it. P7 does call for a 4" cam. I was lucky that I was at the start of P5 which is a little to the left of P7 and that the route is very overhanging. I assume the piece was dropped about 225 ft. above me and had reached terminal velocity when it passed me !!! The start of P5 takes a few small nuts in the C2 section and then you run into a lot of fixed gear in the C1F section. P5 calls for 3" cams but I didn't use any. In the C1 vertical section near the top of P5 I switch over to the smaller crack off to the left. I made a BD Grappling hook move near the top of P5. I reached the top of P5, fixed the lead line and Ben started cleaning. The leader climber on P7 still hadn't reached the top of P7!!!!! I started a conversation with the climbers hanging at the start of P7 and they said they were going down. I said down to Ahwahnee ???? No!!! All the way down ... they were bailing also. Reasons for bailing: Low on water, dropped their only large #4 cam and moving to slow. It was a party of 3 and only 1 of them had any big wall experience. I yelled down to Ben that they were bailing. When Ben reach me at the start of P6 the other leader had finally reached the top of P7. Now we had to wait for the other party to clean P7, rap off P7
and then rap off the top of P6 to Guano Ledge before we could start P7. The first climber that rapped off the top of P6 to Guano Ledge had to use our fixed static line and his jumars to get back to the ledge. If our fixed line wasn't there, it would have been a difficult/timely pendy to get back to the ledge. Instead of lowering off with the pig attached to a climber, they lowered the bag down to the climber on Ahwahnee Ledge which had a line attached to the pig ... clusterf*%k --- Then they lowered the bag they left the line, which had a loop in it, hanging down from the belay. The loop in the rope got caught on the pig in 2 places. It got caught under the rope the climber was going to use to pull the pig over to ahwahnee Ledge and it got caught on a blue sling hanging from the pig that had a carabiner on it. They couldn't lower the bag. The guy with the big wall experience was standing on Guano Ledge at the top of P4, the bag was horizonal to me as I stood at the top of P5, the inexperienced climbers were at the top of P6 with a major problem. Ben had already done the free 5.7 moves at the start of P6 and was waiting on the bolt ladder for the other party to move. I could see the problem clearly ... I told Ben to have one of the climbers rap down, clear the blue sling and the other line that was causing the problem. The 2 climbers at the top of P6 were not that experienced! Both Ben and I watched in trepidation as one of the climbers did rap down and fix the problem. Almost 2 hours later, Ben was able to get to the top of P6. He fixed the lead line and I cleaned P6. As I cleaned P6 I noticed that someone had placed a 3/8" bolt about 3/4 the way up the 5.7 section of the climb and someone had chopped it. Ben did the 5.7 section and he recommends that you bring chalk and climbing shoes when you do this section. When I got to the top of P6 I fixed the static line which is also fixed to Guano Ledge. Ben lead P7 ,which is a long 140', during the hottest part of the day. When Ben reached the top of P7 he fixed the lead line and rapped down the lead line unclipping and clipping back into the gear. When Ben reached me at the top of P6 I rapped down the static line back to Guano Ledge and Ben followed. It was around 6:30pm when we got back to Ahwahnee ledge. We still had 2 hours of sun light to eat dinner, drink water to get re-hydrated and set up our bivy for the night. MORE TOMORROW - Voices in the night and rock fall.


fishypete


Jul 3, 2003, 11:54 PM
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Re: West Face Leaning Tower --- SPIKE & BEN [In reply to]
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The little key on the right with "Enter" written on it....

Think paragraphs.

Fishy.


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