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buckwheatgoespasting


Apr 13, 2004, 11:24 AM
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recomendations for first big wall
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As a climber who lives in the southeast, I'm currently working on leading A2+-A3 , increasing the number of pitches I climb in a day and trying to save money to go "out west" to do my first big wall. I'm lucky to have Looking Glass nearby, which offers several great A2+ and A3 climbs.. most 3 and 4 pitches. I'm curious what everyone would recomend as a location for a first big wall. Zion looks and sounds great (although the stories of Zion in the rain sound horrible). Yosemite is.. well Yosemite.

I'm also looking for encouragement. I have been a free climber for 30 years and just started aid climbing at the age of 50. While I am teaching myself hauling, cleaning, etc.. I find that Advil must follow me everywhere.
How about it? Are there any other "older" climbers out there with similar dreams/goals? My wife wants me to join AARP... I just spent 401K money on a haul bag and some heads. Mid-life crisis or man on a mission? You be the judge.
Buckwheat goes pasting


flamer


Apr 13, 2004, 11:51 AM
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Never too late to start something new.

I would recomend something in Yosemite as a first wall over something in zion.

I generally feel less worked after climbing walls of similiar difficulty, in yose as opposed to zion.

That being said either place offers classic "easy" , "beginner" routes.

The typical reccomendation are as follows:

Yosemite:
West face of leaning tower
South face of washington's column
The prow on washington's column
Zion:
The lowe-weiss route on Moonlight buttress(aka"moonlight")
Prodigal son on angels landing
Spaceshot on the leaning wall
Touchstone on cerbraus gendarm(this is more like a big free route with a couple of aid pitch's).

I've done all of these routes and think they are all good fun routes.
They all have good fixed anchors-the ones in zion are continually changing however. The climbing is generally straight forward and there are few pendulums and/or lower outs needed- although there are a couple.

HAVE FUN!!

josh


epic_ed


Apr 13, 2004, 12:10 PM
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epic_ed moved this thread [In reply to]
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epic_ed moved this thread from General to Aid Climbing.


ricardol


Apr 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
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-- removed stupid response --


mountainmadness


Apr 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
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Dude try to do your first big wall by Clean AID only or Free CLimb...Life is more "fulfilling" that way. ANything else is just "via-feratting".


epic_ed


Apr 13, 2004, 12:34 PM
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I've also climbed in both Zion and Yosemite, and I'm still relatively new to the aid game. I've logged some laps on some pitches of trade routes in both spots, but don't have many summits ticked off the list yet, so take my input with a grain of salt. But here's some insight from my experience.

How much time will you have? Do you want to do several trade routes that are grade IV/V and can be done in a couple of days? Or are you more interested in hopping on a multi-day grade V/VI wall?

The biggest difference between Zion and Yosemite (aside from the obvious sandstone/granite contrast) is the length of the routes. Zion is a place where you can spend a few days on a wall, hauling gear, portaledge, and water -- but most of the routes can be done in a fix-and-blast style. The crowds on the trade routes really make it disadvantageous to haul and bivi on the wall. And frankly, the top out on Prodigal Sun, Moonlight, Space Shot, or Touchstone with a haul bag just sucks. The rock quality is rather poor on top of most of the formations and it's often low angle. Prodigal has a nasty chimney, to boot. It sounds like you have enough experience that you could fix four pitches and go for the top of nearly any route you want to tackle in Zion. There are also some nice routes that don't see nearly as much traffic, but others can speak better about those options and beta is a little harder to find.

Yosemite is the better destination if you want to actually do some vertical living. If you're competant on A2+ then that opens a lot of options for you in the Valley. Many people will suggest Leaning Tower as a good first wall (and it is), but if you want a little more of a challenge then the Prow on Washington Column might be one to look at (C2F).

I love climbing in both places. Zion is beautiful, spectacular, and captivating. The quality of rock isn't bad for sandstone and if you have a week, you could get in a few routes if you're ambitious. Yosemite is all the things Zion is...and a little more. For me, Yosemite is magical.

As for the age thing -- there are others in your shoes. Chad (Timpanogos) is in a similar boat and could probably relate very well to the aspirations you have.

Good luck!

Ed

edited to change rating of the Prow


Partner tim


Apr 13, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Glass Menagerie

short, not very committing, close to you, fun, awesome

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=19249

one of these days I'll shrink it down to size, although Chris (the_alpine)'s photos are better than mine anyways. Regardless, it's fun, it's close to you, there's shit loads of beta all over the web on it, just don't haul anything and you'll be fine. If you get halfway up and discover you hate aid and your brain is on fire, you can rap on two 70m ropes even from after the big roof. If you only have two 60m ropes you get to climb down a tree ;-)


Partner tim


Apr 13, 2004, 12:44 PM
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you've already knocked out Rowin's Route, Glass Menagerie, etc. right? esp. if you're leading A3 pitches.

If not, be sure and hit those before you leave :-)


flamer


Apr 13, 2004, 2:32 PM
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In reply to:
the Prow on Washington Column might one to look at (C3/A2+).

Hate to burst your bubble ed, but the prow is NOT C3!! More like C2-.
The fixed heads are the only thing even remotely sketchy.

josh


epic_ed


Apr 13, 2004, 3:02 PM
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Yer not burstin my bubble -- I don't rate 'em. However, after checking Supertopo it looks like it does go at C2F (if all fixed gear is in place, it's C2). So it's very much in a difficulty range that this guy should be able to handle. The Prow is certainly a better one to haul on than the S. Face of W.C. if he really wants to spend a night or two on the wall. But then, you could always just bivi on Dinner Ledge and not haul above it. :roll:

Just my worthless $.02.


flamer


Apr 13, 2004, 3:08 PM
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In reply to:
Just my worthless $.02.

your 2 cents are not worthless!! I listen to what you have to say all the time!!

josh


epic_ed


Apr 13, 2004, 3:12 PM
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I pity you. 8)


Partner holdplease2


Apr 13, 2004, 3:47 PM
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"logged some laps on trade routes" in yosemite and Zion?!

Ed...now, what is that!

-Kate.


Partner holdplease2


Apr 13, 2004, 3:49 PM
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Is that like how ive kinda "logged some laps" on Desert Shield? ...pp and down the approach, like 3 times?


-Kate.


epic_ed


Apr 13, 2004, 3:59 PM
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Logged some laps on some pitches is what I thought I'd typed. Hmm. I guess that does read like I've been up and donw trade routes in Zion. Definitely not my intention as I think I tried to convey in the next phrase:

In reply to:
... but don't have many summits ticked off the list yet, so take my input with a grain of salt.

In fact, it was the opposite -- to indicate I've been up and down all sorts of stuff -- usually below the fourth pitch -- but haven't actually summited dick.

And what the hell are you doing on the ground so soon?


lambone


Apr 13, 2004, 4:02 PM
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Hey old timer,

If exposure doesn't scare ya too much, I'd say stick to the steeper routes. The Leaning Tower is easier on the old back because the hauling is no sweat. However, jugging and leading on the streeper walls is more strenous.

The Prow is a great route, and the view of Half Dome is unbeatable. But I can vouch that toping out on the Column is a big drag...literally. And the North Dome Gully is a more difficult descent then the Leaning Tower. The aid on the Prow is C2F. Hooking deadheads being the most exiting climbing on the route.

Sounds like you've got lots of experience, you should probly just jump on the Nose. Probly the most asthetic Big Wall route in the world, hands down.


Partner holdplease2


Apr 13, 2004, 5:32 PM
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Ed, I know you have not summited "dick"

But didn't you summit Wet Denim Daydream, which brings to mind images of dick, so it counts?

And to the originator:


Remind the wifey that there are far worse things to do than take up aid climbing for a midlife crisis.

A certain male in my family spent plenty of time humping a pig for his midlife crisis. Probably spent a little 401k money on her, too, as I recall. :evil:

Enjoy your pursuit! I would love to climb some of those 4 pitch-ish aid routes where you are. May have to check that out. How perfect!

-Kate.


scottcody


Apr 13, 2004, 5:53 PM
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In reply to:
A certain male in my family spent plenty of time humping a pig for his midlife crisis. Probably spent a little 401k money on her, too, as I recall. :evil:

Now if I could only bottle that bitterness... and take a swig every morning before work.


Partner holdplease2


Apr 13, 2004, 6:05 PM
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I got some I could sell ya...

I'm not really so bitter, just kinda thought the paralells were somewhat humorous in the context of a midlife crisis.

And wanted to point out one more way his wife could consider herself lucky hes doing this crazy thing instead of another next time she gives him the ole :roll: if you know what I mean...

-Kate.


dagawebb


Apr 14, 2004, 2:42 AM
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I went to Yosemite for the first time last year and I jumped on The West Face of Leaning Tower first up then got on to South Face Washington Column and I have to say that I enjoyed the West face far more than the South face. The hauling is really good but yes it can give you a sore back (I suffered a little in the back pain area) but i thought that it was a great climb.

The decent is much much better on Leaning Tower than The South Face. I would definately go with the West face of Leaning Tower first and then jump onto something bigger next.

Dont make the mistake we made and dick around too much on the first couple of pitches.

My two cents worth.


reedcrr


Apr 14, 2004, 2:58 AM
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Don't do it stick with sport climbing! :D

Sorry couln't help myself...

That is a hard question to answer online, I would have to climb with you first see where you were at and then find a route that I know you could handle and would be fun for me also. Try the west face, you should be able to haul a pig up this wall just fine.

Man good luck and have fun. Post the climb report I would love to hear about your first big wall route!

And as far as the midlife crisis...going through one now so I bought a new ZX-6 Ninga 636! Oh the joy of toys! :D


stizrizzo


Apr 14, 2004, 10:00 AM
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In reply to:
The decent is much much better on Leaning Tower than The South Face. I would definately go with the West face of Leaning Tower

Whatall's involved with the SFWC descent?

Cheers


cologman


Apr 14, 2004, 10:22 AM
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Hey buckwheat,
As a fiffty something who still gets on the walls, my advice is go for it. Grab a couple (make that three) bottles of Advil and a huge rack and go vertical camping. The previous posts have made some good recs. on rtes. so just pick and go. Zion is beautiful, Yosemite is in a class by itself. But by no means should you let your age hold you back. I just returned from ushering my 18 yr old daughter up Prodigal Sun in Zion for her first "big wall". We had a truely outstanding climb. I must admit that sitting here in my office typing this I'd rather not think about what my knees feel like though. :lol: :lol:


Partner holdplease2


Apr 14, 2004, 10:29 AM
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Cologman:

I was hoping that all went well for the two of you. I met both of you in the parking lot. Congratulations!

:)

-Kate.


lambone


Apr 14, 2004, 10:33 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
The decent is much much better on Leaning Tower than The South Face. I would definately go with the West face of Leaning Tower

Whatall's involved with the SFWC descent?

Cheers

Two options for the SFWC descent. When I did it years back, we left our gear on Dinner Ledge, climbed up to the base of the upper chimneys and rappeled the route from there. We wern't that interested in toping out through the chimneys, and didn't have a haulbag, and didn't want to haul our back packs. Also, hauling through the upper chimneys could potentialy cause rockfall, which has killed people on Dinner in the past. Personaly I don't think I'd go near the SFWC with parties above me...

Of course if you choose to rappel, you assume the risks involved. Including stuck ropes...Plus, you might not make people happy that are trying to climb up below you.

Or...you can do the North Dome Gully. I did it last week for the fist time, alone, with an 80 pound haulbag. It was hard, but not too bad. I waited until the morning and went real slow. It took me 5 hrs from summit to car, but with less gear I'd say 3 hrs is very realistic. Coming from Astroman or Royal Arches you could probly run down the thing.

The crux of North Dome Gully is getting to it. You traverse along the top of the Column, and it is not real obvious which way to go. The mantra should be when in doubt, stay high. You will have to hike up some, which sucks, but if you don't go up when you can, you will wish you did later. Drop down to soon and you'll find yourself perched on steep sandy ledges above a 1000 ft cliff.

I think I went a bit too low at the end, and had to send Miss Piggy down on her leash to scope out the route, and do some sketch 4th class to get down into the Gully. The Gully itself is unmistakable. You practically fall into it, and you'd have to do some 5th class climbing to go past it. If you think your at the Gully, but not sure...don't doubt yourself, you are not there yet. YOU WILL KNOW.

Your only in the Gully itself for a short time, then it opens up into slabs and ledges. Just follow the trail. There are some rappel anchors down at the bottom where it gets a bit steeper.

Don't do it in the dark.

Dingus's Trip Report on NDG is one of the best TR's I've ever red...check it out.

http://www.bigwall.com/ndgtr.html

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