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Good first bigwall?
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sparky


Nov 20, 2002, 4:21 PM
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Good first bigwall?
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My friend and I are hoping to do some bigwall this summer and I was curios what would be a nice "easy" first bigwall, anywhere in the US.


krustyklimber


Nov 20, 2002, 4:24 PM
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The West Face of The Leaning Tower in Yosemite is considered a great first big wall.

Jeff


Partner polarwid


Nov 20, 2002, 4:29 PM
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The Diamond on Long's Peak in Colorado. Just use clean aid instea of free-climbing it. Or freeclimb it anyway!


pbjosh


Nov 20, 2002, 4:35 PM
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Just my opinion here but I wouldn't recommending carrying aid gear all the way into the diamond to aid a route that is super classic, sees a lot of traffic, and goes down at what is honestly a moderate grade (10a).

There are many great options in Yosemite, the most frequently recommend of which are the W Face of the Leaning Tower or the S Face or Prow on Washington Column.

At Red Rocks the Original Route on the Rainbow Wall's not too bad a choice although it's not a good summer wall. Walls in the Valley can be kinda warm in the summer as well, for that matter.

josh


dsafanda


Nov 20, 2002, 5:16 PM
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I climbed SpaceShot in Zion as my first wall. It's straightforward. Moonlight Buttress and Prodigal Son would also make good first walls.


flamer


Nov 20, 2002, 8:21 PM
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A couple of things guys...
First I think this post makes it so I'm not labeled a sport climber anymore(YIPPEE!).
And second maybe you should get a hold of me I'm in Denver, have climbed several walls in Zion and the Valley, As well as plenty of aid, and have tons of aid gear I might lone you. I'll try and put you on the right track. Touchstone In zion might be a good start- lots of moderate free climbing.
Any way drop me a line(another one) and I'll see what I can do.
Josh


bradhill


Nov 21, 2002, 9:02 AM
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I'm not a wall rat (yet), but the only grade VI climbs in Colorado are in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It's the area I have my eye on for my first wall next fall.

And I'll second not aiding the Diamond. With the amount of free climbing traffic it sees it just wouldn't be fair. Winter + clean aid would be the exception to this, but that wouldn't make a good first wall climb.


wigglestick


Nov 21, 2002, 9:26 AM
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The Diamond does have a fair number of aid routes. The right side of the Diamond has numerous aid routes like Christopher Robin and Dunn-Westbay. However, the easiest aid route goes at about A3 or so. Plus add in the additional challenges of doing a wall at altitude and the 12 mile approach make it a terrible candidate for a first wall. Or even a 5th wall. atg200 and myself had bitch of a time lugging all that wall gear up there, we never even got a chance to climb any. Zion would be a good choice. Either Spaceshot or Prodigal. Prodigal would be my first choice if I could do it all over again. Hauling on the first 3 pitches of spaceshot will make you question if this is really what you want to spend your time doing. I haven't done Moonlight yet (planning on doing it next week) but it seems like a good choice too. Easier aid than prodigal at least. There are also a number of shorter routes in Colorado National Monument which would help you prepare for Zion.


mountainmonkey


Nov 21, 2002, 9:39 AM
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The first bigwall I completed was Moonlight Buttress. Two friends and I attempted the Rainbow wall near Vegas but coold weather came in - the approach is more than half of the climb anyway.

Moonlight was a great first wall. Generally easy crack jugging. The rock sucks and is not forgiving. New anchors at all the belays. The approach is mellow and you top out 100 feet from a paved descent trail. Spaceshot is also supposed to be good although it is not as sustained. Zion is about 8 hours from Denver. 4 days round trip if all goes well.

Get your aid stuff dialed in. Plan all the logistics and 'what ifs'. You don't want to get frustrated with a thousand feet of air under you arse.

If you are in lakewood, come to golden to the American Mountaineering Center and look up several books in aid. If you are AAC or CMC you can check out the books for a month. The more techniques you know the better.

good luck


zzsean


Nov 21, 2002, 10:11 AM
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Yosemite is definitely a great place for a first wall. The rock is good, the logistics are excellent and the choices are wide.

The Prow was my first big wall, The Nose was my 2nd.

The drawback of Yosemite is obviously the crowds, but in the right season, the weather is excellent and the climbing worldclass (well duh).

Fun times ahead!


flamer


Nov 21, 2002, 10:34 AM
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Couple of suggestions/corrections.
The approach to the diamond is not 12 miles! Try like 5 or 6- maybe you meant the round trip?
The rock on moonlight is some of the best in Zion, and is pretty damn good(it's not Granite). Spaceshot is harder than moonlight and has at least 2(short) sections of C2- moonlight is solid C1(or 5.12+) the whole way!
Bradhill- Although I applaud your drive in using the Black Canyon as your Big wall jumping off point I would suggest that you at least climb a long free route down there first. Wall climbing isn't something that comes easy(to most of us!) right away- Starting in the Black might make you hate wall climbing! Not that I'm some hardman or anything!
Take care all.
Josh

[ This Message was edited by: flamer on 2002-11-23 14:30 ]


crswallrat


Nov 21, 2002, 10:49 AM
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Prodigal and Moonlight have more of a wall feel than Spaceshot. Both are straightforward and loads of fun. I'd also throw in the superclassic/supercrowded S. Face of Washington Column. Either way, have at it and don't think about the top, just take it one piece and one pitch at a time. And have fun dangit.


mountainmonkey


Nov 21, 2002, 11:00 AM
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Moonlight Buttress



cologman


Nov 21, 2002, 3:54 PM
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I'm right there with flamer about the Black. Although there are a number of V's and VI's I would certainly urge some circumspection before jumping into the Black. I would highly recommend getting to know the Black and then doing a wall rte or doing a wall rte somewhere else and coming back to the Black. The big void is a great place!!!!!


atg200


Nov 22, 2002, 9:38 AM
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I'll add another vote to going nowhere near the Black for your first wall.

No one ever aids the Casual route on the Diamond - if people are going to do a clean aid line D7 is the usual choice, and it isn't nearly as crowded. The approach is indeed awful if you go up there with a full nailing rack and overnight stuff - i won't do it again unless i can be up there for a week and do a couple of different routes. The approach is only 6 miles or so, but it feels like 12 when you are humping a pig.

Keep in mind that cragging in Eldo is not really good preparation for doing walls. Go do some nice long free routes with lots of crack climbing, and practice effeciency. Also dial in your aid climbing. The desert towers near Moab are not a bad start since you live in Denver - routes like the Colorado Ridge on the Kingfisher IV 5.8 C2 are not very hard, plenty scary, will get you prepped for doing a real wall, and are doable in a weekend.

Like pretty much everyone else, i'd agree with prodigal son in zion, south face or the prow on washington column, or west face of the leaning tower in yosemite. i would avoid walls with giant committing approaches like the rainbow wall, the diamond, or the black.


apollodorus


Nov 23, 2002, 2:12 AM
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For Yosemite, the S face of the Column is a traffic jam. And so is the Leaning Tower. The Prow is marginal for crowds.

Go large, and do the right thing: Tangerine Trip. It's a short El Cap wall with low crowd factor. It's steep, but moderate. About the same as doing the Zodiac, but fewer people on it.

If you're doing your first wall, the last thing you want is faster people crawling up your adze, wanting to pass.


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