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The NOSE average times, plus your tips and tricks
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crshbrn84


Mar 17, 2006, 3:07 AM
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The NOSE average times, plus your tips and tricks
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hello all
im just curious to know how long it took some of you to do The Nose on El Cap
Im going to be climbing it in mid April (weather permitting)
What were your times? how experienced were you?
-beginner
-moderate
-advanced

plus what were some of your tips/tricks that got you out of some situations that you may have found yourself in 1000+ feet up?
thank you for your time
-kyle


mistymountainhop


Mar 17, 2006, 4:18 AM
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Go buy falcon guides SPEED CLIMBING by Hans Florine and Bill Wright. It has a great P by P description and almost a cheating walkthrough.


kalcario


Mar 17, 2006, 6:06 AM
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If you're asking questions about doing the Nose in April on Rockgumby.com, I'd give you about a 25 to 1 shot of fixing to Sickle. Try Supertopo.com, where people have actually done the thing.


superbum


Mar 17, 2006, 6:42 AM
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well, You'd think that there would be some answers by now to this valid question.

I am curious about the average times and skill level.

For the record, I have yet to climb a wall...


skrunchamunch


Mar 17, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by kalcario:
If you're asking questions about doing the Nose in April on Rockgumby.com, I'd give you about a 25 to 1 shot of fixing to Sickle. Try Supertopo.com, where people have actually done the thing.

Hahahaha. As abrasive and useless as ever. Never fails to amuse me... So what you're saying is that no one _here_ has climbed the Nose???


April _can_ be a perfect time to climb the Nose, although it's most likely wet on the upper section and you'll have snow for the descent. We attempted it last year in April and there were a bunch of people who made it 2 weeks before us. When we arrived, it was snowing and raining. (oh yeah, we were also out of shape, but it was the weather that kept us off).

We came back in Sept and the actual ascent was very easy. Not technically difficult. The free climbing was easy free and the aid was straightforward. Hauling the pig was the hard part. There is only one section that we didn't do 'properly' which was the Boot Flake. There was a fixed rope to get onto the Boot Flake and I can't imagine how hard it would have been to move from the end of the bolt ladder into the crack. It still blows my mind.

It took us 5 days total. Monday we fixed to Sickle, Tues-Thur on the route, slept on top on Thurs night and came down Fri morning. We were moving _very_ slow, but we were still out of shape.

We are 'experienced' climbers meaning we've been climbing a long time (not necessarily hard) so the exposure, although impressive, didn't make things too much harder. That being said, the Nose was our first wall but had no issues with the gear or systems. We practiced for about 20 mins at Manure Pile Buttress.

I've heard that some people go into 'full aid mode' and find it hard to go back to free-climbing. Full aid mode is SLOW, so if you can just pull on pieces to pass a hard section and continue free climbing, things will go much faster. I never used my etriers while leading a pitch.

Bon courage,
Skrunch.


charlet_poser


Mar 17, 2006, 2:27 PM
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Just solo the whole thing like I did, that saves time with all those pesky "rope" issues. If you find yourelf getting tired, just take quick power naps in between bomber hand jams.


cromlech


Mar 17, 2006, 3:43 PM
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I did the Nose in mid-April about 3 years ago. It was my first wall.

My partner and I were both solid and experienced 5.11+ climbers.

We arrived in the valley to snow. We fixed to the sickle the first morning and were back in the meadow for lunch. We have a lazy afternoon packing ad repacking the pig. We set off early the next morning and climbed to El Cap Tower arriving by 4pm. The next day we climbed to Camp 6 arriving just as the light faded. We topped out just after noon.

So it took us 3 days (0.5 + 2.5) of climbing in a 4 day window.

Tips: free climb as much as you can, get a pro-traxion, space haul whenever possible and don't take a ledge (it gives you incentive to get to decent ledges).

I hope the above answers your question, PLJ


jbeta


Mar 17, 2006, 4:22 PM
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My partner and I were moderately experienced and we did the Nose in three days (plus a half-day of fixing to Sickle.) We bivied on Dolt Tower, and Camp IV. We were going to bivy at Camp VI, but we got there early and decided to go for the top.

The climbing gets much easier as the haul-bag gets lighter. I agree, don't take a ledge. We took the Jardine traverse in order to pass a couple groups who were on the King Swing. The Jardine variation is pretty straightforward, but I regret not climbing Boot Flake and doing the King Swing.

We climbed in August and got quite dehydrated...April sounds much better. Really, the most difficult part of the ascent was hauling on that first day. The swing into the Stovelegs is one of the most memorable pitches I have ever done. The pendulum would be interesting without having a corner in the middle, but jumping the corner while swinging across the wall was incredible. And a perfect hand jam awaits you in the Stovelegs crack.

Free as much as you can and pull on anything that presents itself (cams, bolts, fixed junk, etc. ). Good luck.


grayhghost


Mar 17, 2006, 5:08 PM
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day1: Fixed to sickle

day2: Climbed to Dolt

Day3: Climbed to camp 5

Day4: Toppped out

Day5: Walked down

Experience: 5.13+/5.14 climbers with little aid experience and no hauling/jugging experience on their first wall.


sirfallsalot


Mar 17, 2006, 5:08 PM
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Like said before, it will be a lot more fun if you can free climb at least 5.10. My partner and I are moderately experienced. We did the nose last spring as our second wall and I have never suffered more in my life. Can't wait to do it again. Keeping your belay stations clean will also save you a lot of time and frustration.


golsen


Mar 17, 2006, 6:13 PM
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Hi, I did the nose in 1993. There were two of us very experienced trad climbers, not super experienced wall climbers. This was our first wall in Yosemite. My partner had never done a wall but is a gifted climber. Had 60meter ropes (10mm and an 8mm) and did it in about 25 pitches. We took a small rack that consisted of the following:
6 HB Offsets and Rps
1 set of Stoppers (WC Rocks)
1 #1 TCU blue
1 #2 TCU yellow
Friends - 2 #1, 1 #1 , 2 #2, 2 #2 , 1 #3, 1 #3 , 1 #4.
7 Slings
5 QDs (for french free I prefer looped spectra ones to grab the loop)
17 Free Biners.

This rack was first suggested by Middendorf for one day ascents with 180 foot ropes. However, my partner and I were not smart enough to realize that we ought to think about a few more cams for 200 foot pitches. So there were a few sections where we ran it out. If climbing the Nose in a more traditional manner, I would definitely add more stuff, potentially doubling (but not quite) the rack. (Hell, I now take more stuff cragging than the rack we took up there.)

We broke out aiders for everything harder than 11d which results in only 5 pitches. However, I French freed tons of sections wherever it was appropriate. Had to bail on the first attempt at the Great Roof due to weather and time. Second attempt we made it in 17 hours. That experience of bailing from up high greatly added to our confidence. Back in 93 there was no problem with entering Boot Flake off the bolt ladder. I wonder if a bolt is missing? For us to do it in a day we had quite a few strategies, including leading in blocks, linking the king swing pitch and the one above (with no pro on king swing pitch, fifi on intermediate point) so that the second swings over and does not have to lower off of the boot, etc

Seems like as a traditional wall, grit and determination may be more important than being a superclimber. But if 5.10 gives you fits then I would work on my skills before venturing up there (it will be more fun if you are a proficient 5.10 climber). Oh yes, people die up there in storms, be prepared for this. That might mean carrying the right gear or it may mean bailing like we did. We went with the philosophy that a night on the ground and another attempt was far better than a bad night on the wall (but we were planning on a one day ascent from the get go). These other posters have provided some good info for ya. Have fun.


mikeehartley


Mar 19, 2006, 1:08 AM
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I did the Nose in August of 1980. A set of friends in those days meant a # 1,2,3,& 4. We had two sets plus a set of larger hexes and wires. I can't remember ever lacking gear though I would take one larger cam if I did it these days.

We were moderately experienced 5.10 climbers. Half Dome regular route was our only other wall.

Day 1 - fix to Sickle

Day 2 - El Cap Tower

Day 3 - Camp 5

Day 4 - off with plenty of time to hike down in the daylight.

It's been said before but the keys are being able to scratch your way efficiently up 10a fist/OW, know your pendulum technique, and aid C1 quickly.


texplorer


Mar 23, 2006, 10:16 PM
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I've done the Nose twice. My first experience was a 4 day endeaver. It was my partner's first wall, my 6th wall and 2nd el cap route. We took triples of cams and doubles of nuts.

Day 1 fixed to sickle (hauled route-not recommended but ok). Was actually good since there was a slow party in front of us.

Day 2 climbed to el cap tower

Day 3 climbed to camp 5

Day 4 topped out at dusk


My second time up the following fall I went with an experienced A5 leader. We did the whole thing in under 16 hours. Took a double rack or cams, a set of nuts, and a set of offsets.


golsen


Mar 26, 2006, 5:45 AM
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tex,
just curious. Seems like you and I had similar times. Did you guys aid more than I did? I mean with aiders not french free.
Thanks,
G


timl


Mar 26, 2006, 11:50 AM
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Hey Tex -

Will be in the Valley in September for the Nose. What do youy think is better, leave the aiders at the belay and french free when it gets hard, or bring them. I'll climb up to mid 5.11, but sometimes just having the aiders with me puts me in a different frame of mind.

Hows Vegas treating you?


iamthewallress


Mar 29, 2006, 8:33 PM
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Tip...Know how to convert your lower-out into a haul for the if-and-when the bag hangs up as you lower it across the Grey Bands.

Tip...Climb something like the NEB of Higher, leaving after a good breakfast and getting back in time for dinner. Be OK with the several of the 5.10's at the Cookie in a row, even if you're hangin' some. Be able to climb the Elevator Shaft there b/c it's similar to the Texas Flake...one of the few places that you need to run it out and can't take aid w/o a heroic stick clip. Also try a Grade V hauling wall before you launch up the Nose.

Tip...Make everything fit in one bag, but don't overestimate yourself when packing the agua b/c goofing on that could invite a bail that you might have avoided w/ an extra day's worth on board.

Tip...Jug like it's an olympic race. W/ 34 pitches to clean and belays to change over, you can save a lot of time (or screw yourself) depending upon how fast you get those jobs done. When it starts hurtin' just remember that you'll have refreshments and time to relax when you get to the belay.


amy


Mar 31, 2006, 5:27 AM
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so this really has nothing to do with your post on how long it takes, but be careful with heading there in a couple of weeks. i live about an hour away, and have not been able to hit the valley to climb because we are getting dumped on, both rain and snow. we are supposed to get rain for the next week at least, so that puts us in to april, so check the weather and be careful.
:)


curt


Mar 31, 2006, 5:42 AM
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In reply to:
If you're asking questions about doing the Nose in April on Rockgumby.com, I'd give you about a 25 to 1 shot of fixing to Sickle. Try Supertopo.com, where people have actually done the thing.

Thanks for contributing nothing, once again.

Curt


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