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El Cap in late April, Good Idea?
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crshbrn84


Jan 21, 2007, 10:09 AM
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El Cap in late April, Good Idea?
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Is it a good idea? Im planning on being in Yosemite from April 20th-29th. I would like to Climb El Cap. This will be my first wall, and I know that this is early in the El Cap season. I was thinking of climbing one of the more over hanging routes. Zodiac looks like it might be winning out. I was wondering if anyone had any good beta or route ideas for doing and El Cap route at this time of year. Thanks for reading
-Kyle


moof


Jan 21, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: [crshbrn84] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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Zodiac as your first wall? You might read up on some trip reports on the post cleanup zodiac state. It's not exactly a clip up anymore. Also beware of the rather prominent waterfall that douses the lower parts of Zodiac for a good portion of the day.

A couple years back I was on Leaning Tower in early April. Kind of out of nowhere while soloing up the third pitch a bunch of clouds formed up and it started snowing pretty good. On that route it was no big deal, the snow was about 20' away. Valley weather is subject to it's own whims.


shimanilami


Jan 23, 2007, 1:14 PM
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Re: [crshbrn84] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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Zodiac for your first big wall?! I like your style, man! I'll be on that in the start of April, weather permitting. I could give you an update when I get back.

Wouldn't recommend Leaning Tower in April. Very cold.


lambone


Jan 23, 2007, 1:37 PM
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Re: [shimanilami] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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No saying what the weather will be like in April, but a good chance for rain and storms.

If you have a shorter window then you need for El Cap, I'd recomend Washington Column for a shorter intro wall. Lots of good routes:
South Face
Prow
Skull Queen
Ten Days After...etc.

pmyche and I climbed the Tower in March once and the weather was quite nice, not too cold at all.


clintcummins


Jan 24, 2007, 12:04 AM
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Re: [crshbrn84] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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April is a good time for doing El Cap - usually good weather, lots of daylight, and not crowded.

As for whether it's a good idea to do El Cap as your first wall, probably not unless you are already a very fast trad leader. Your time might be better spent doing long free climbs, getting faster and meeting some partners for future walls (unless you have a partner already).


pmyche


Jan 24, 2007, 7:12 AM
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dingus


Jan 24, 2007, 7:59 AM
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Re: [pmyche] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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I agree with Clint's assessment. The weather is nice till it isn't. I will say this... in 20 years of living on the edge of these mountains, April usually gets one good dump every year, sometimes more, and you never know if its early or late.

It is unusual to get a big storm in May however. There is a fuzzy turning point there somewhere, always moving.

Yes weather can be used to manage crowds. But after a particularly big late April dump Kevin and I jumped on the Nose only to find 4 parties, two of them with 4 people each, between us and the summit! They'd all been waiting too.

Seems to me the best notion is to be flexible. This is my approach to all mountain climbing plans... be prepared (and just as importantly, equipped) to do free climbs if the long term weather forecast is unstable, to do grade V aid climbs instead of VI, to manage your commitment.

Cheers and be sure to write a trip report!
DMT


stymingersfink


Jan 24, 2007, 4:57 PM
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Re: [dingus] El Cap in late April, Good Idea? [In reply to]
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My regular climbing partner and I went to climb El Cap in late april '05. It would have been my third trip up that side of El Cap, but his first.

It snowed the second night we were there, and the following morning as the top of the stone was bathed in sunlight the ice began to fall. Luckily we were very close to the wall at the base when it began...

As we made progress up our route, Horsetail falls would occasionally be blown our direction, drenching us in freezing cold water. After some gear/lack-of-experience/weather issues we bailed from the top of ZM's P4.

I would have to echo the sentiments mentioned above, in that April may not be the best time to do one's first El Cap or bigwall ascent. It's tough enough to get your stuff dialed in without having to deal with adverse weather conditions. Perhaps better to put it off till mid-May (not to say it's impossible to get dumped on then too, just less probable).

Of course, one who choses to aid climb big stuff shows a predisposition to enjoy suffering. In light of this, who can say anything but.... GO FOR IT!


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