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The East Ledges Descent of El Capitan
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passthepitonspete


Jul 3, 2002, 5:42 AM
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Registered: Oct 9, 2001
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The East Ledges Descent of El Capitan
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Hi y'all,

I just updated my East Ledges beta while the descent was [painfully] fresh in my mind.

Those familiar, please have a read, and PM me with any suggested edits.

Dr. Piton's East Ledges Beta

Note: This is a temporary post which I will delete in a few days.

Thanks!


glockaroo


Jul 3, 2002, 10:13 AM
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The East Ledges Descent of El Capitan [In reply to]
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I'd like to relate some info on this descent from my one experience on it in '99.

My partner was a Valley local with a lot of El Cap routes to his credit. We basically went via your directions to the "emergency bivy cave" at the bottom of the gulley past the Wild Dykes.

Near this cave, there was (IIRC) a hefty tree from which we rapped over the edge a short distance (40' or so?) to a 3-bolt anchor station. The bolts were Rawl 5-pieces and the hangers were stainless Metolius. My memory is fuzzy so I can't be sure if that first anchor was a tree or bolts, but we did a very short rap to get over the edge onto the main descent face.

We then did 3 full raps to the unrope point, but here's the deal: I don't think we were on your rap route or the A/B/C routes listed by Chris Mac. All our raps were along the smooth, near vertical wall and had no ledges/trees/hassles of any kind. All the anchors were 3-bolt hanging stations with the Rawl bolts and Metolius hangers.

As we rapped, my partner pointed out the "trees of death" descent line to our climber's right, and I saw the somewhat chossy aretes to my climber's left. The lefthand area seemed to match the descent descriptions I've read by others.

On the last rap about 50' off the ground, we had to "lever out" when passing the lip of a small roof. All these raps were simple straight-down affairs with no angling or "oh shiite I'm near the end of the ropes" moments.

When I got home from that trip I emailed Chris Mac about our rap line and he said it was not any of the A/B/C lines in his topo. He thanked me for the info.

I mention our descent line because once we got to the emergency bivy cave area there was no more downclimbing, scrambling, chossy rock, or killer trees. It seemed to avoid most of the DFU downclimbing sections you mention.

[ This Message was edited by: glockaroo on 2002-07-03 10:14 ]


passthepitonspete


Jul 3, 2002, 7:18 PM
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The East Ledges Descent of El Capitan [In reply to]
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Hmm, so much for a temporary post, eh?

Gads, I'm not really sure where you were, and evidently neither was Chris Mac!

All I can tell you is, I've done the descent a bunch of times, and my beta describes the line which is recommended by Dr. Piton as the Better Way.

It may not, however, be the best way, but at this time, I believe it to be.

For certain, the bivi cave is below the DFU sections.

"DFU" is relevant to the size of your pig - with a smaller sow, you wouldn't even suspect these DFU sections to be difficult.

Add a body-weight pack and you'll feel differently.


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