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What for a first big wall route.
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atg200


Aug 2, 2001, 1:12 PM
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What for a first big wall route.
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Hi,

Walls are a lot of work. First, dial in your aid climbing skills on one pitch routes until you are very comfortable with the system. Spend a few days practicing jumaring and hauling-the John Long How to Climb Big Walls book has very good advice for learning these skills. You should also be in good shape and able to endure some suffering-it can get miserable up there. Do some long(Grade IV) free routes also, and work on efficiency, especially at belays and with rope management.

After you have all that down, do a Grade V wall for your first. Yosemite is probably the best place to start-South Face of Washington Column is the traditional first wall and easy to do in 2 days. Do the Prow on Washington Column and the West Face of Leaning Tower, and then you should be ready to climb and grade VI on El Cap. Don't try to do anything too hard or long for your first wall or you'll probably get shut down.

Have fun, but don't try to rush things.


elcapbuzz


Oct 4, 2001, 11:41 AM
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I don't know where you live in the world but I think Yosemite is the place to learn how to climb big walls. The walls there are very accessable and range from easy to death routes. There's lots of tricks you will learn before you become a sucessfull wall climber, such as the load-release knot, to lower out your bags. Anyway, atg200 and method are right. Start out on small stuff and work your way up. I've noticed in Yosemite, most of the climbers who bail off walls, don't really have a good reason why. They sometimes say, "I just wasn't psyched". A lot of things go through your head up there. Being non-psyched will be one of them. I think it boils down to commitment.


Partner camhead


Oct 4, 2001, 12:58 PM
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This may be just because I've never been to Yosemite, but a great first bigwall (especially for sandstone), would be Angel's Landing in Zion. The route is called Prodigal Sun. 5.8 free climbing, and the aid is fairly straightforward.


atg200


Oct 4, 2001, 2:10 PM
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Have you done Prodigal Sun camhead? I am planning on soloing it in two weeks, and was wondering what the 5.8 bit is like. Easily aided or possible to pull on gear(I hate free climbing while rope soloing)?


Partner camhead


Oct 4, 2001, 2:34 PM
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unfortunately I have not done it. A buddy of mine soloed it last year, said it was pretty bomber aid placements, all clean. I can't remember the rating.


elcapbuzz


Oct 4, 2001, 5:49 PM
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You're right camhead, Prodigal Son is a great first wall adventure. Hey atg200, bring a double set of nuts, I set of cams, 2 set of tcu's, and I think a bat hook. Can't remember. Also, Moonlight Buttress, Space Shot, Touchstone Wall are good for a first wall in the Zion Area.


socalclimber


Dec 10, 2001, 7:40 AM
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I'm not so sure that Zion is the best place to do your first wall. The rock quality in Zion is not for beginners. Very soft! Others may feel differently, but I would suggest something in the Valley. Skull Queen is an excellent route!


elcapbuzz


Dec 10, 2001, 6:35 PM
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Hey socialclimber, we are talking about trade routes in Zion. The rock quality is usually bomber but it all comes down to the comfort level of the climber. Yea, Skull Queen, or "rivet queen" as we call it, is another good route to start on. I can't remember a lot of the route because Cedar Write and I climbed it in 2 hours and 59 minutes. Anyway, I don't think you should scare people away from sanstone. It's not as bad as most people make it seem. Of course, thats just my opinion.


graniteboy


Dec 10, 2001, 7:43 PM
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Hey; I think the valley is a good place for a first wall. I'm not gonna spew abt how I "don't remember such and such a route cause my egoissodamnedbigandIwasmoovintoofastforthe sunlighttocatchupwithme" though.
Instead, I can't remember all the details cause I'm old and in the way. But I think the regular route on the east quarter dome is a pretty good first wall. The aid's easy, the view's nice, and the bivy ledge is pretty big. And if you look close, you can still see a homemade bolt hangar way up near the top that has Yvonne Chouinard's initials stamped in it.. It's a bit of a hike in to get to this wall, but I think that just keeps the freeway traffic calmed down. One down side of that is that you have a lower probability of rescue up there if you screw the dog. But definitely, definitely, definitely start out by doing some grade 3's and 4's first. Try the East butt and the North Butt on middle cathedral (pretty easy climbing), and if you're up to it, the DNB (a little more committing) or freeblast just to get your timing figured out.


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