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Excalibur - A3 popular

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Route sequence (left to right): 25
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (3)
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Trad, a few pins to 1/2", few heads and hooks. Supersize cams or wooden shims.
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Right off the ground, this route is WIDE: the 11" offwidth of the Sacherer Cracker. Beginning just uphill (left) of the Salathe, the Excalibur is one of the most obvious lines on the SW face. Its 7-10" wide cracks are clearly visible from the Valley floor. From the top of the Slack, it consistently moves up and left, essentially staying parallel to the Salathe from base to summit. It passes through the Thanksgiving Ledge/Salathe Headwall region at the Round Table Ledge, an excellent bivy. In addition to the notorious offwidths, the route offers some fine nailing pitches, including the incredible 26th lead, which goes up a fantastic system of corners and roofs. The mandatory 5.8 no pro "crack" of P17 will amaze you: it's where the corners of two big blocks come together. The top of P10 is a gigantic cave/roof that would make the perfect storm bivy. Little rat-like critters (Pikas) at the Round Table and Frosty's Claustrophobic Bivy will keep you company. HINT: leave your haul bags at the bolts at the top of P26 (below Glass Slab Traverse) and climb two pitches to the summit. Rap 60m to the bags and haul them from a short "headwall" area forty feet West of the tree at the summit. It's a straight shot, almost completely free-hanging.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2006-03-26
Views: 2665
Route ID: 18622

3 Ascents Recorded

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Red Point Red Point ascent by: b_fost on 2004-08-29 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

No comment

Added: 2004-08-29

Flash Flash ascent by: apollodorus on 2002-06-08 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

Pass the Pitons Pete and I slayed this monster in ten easy days of waking late and having coffee. We had two Grade VI pigs, a Grade V piglet, and a Grade VII "Blue Whale". We used two static haul lines, with the piglet and blue whale hung below the pigs. We flagged our ledges above the pigs, and hung other loads (sleeping bags, wallflowers, etc.) below with the piglet and blue whale. We took a 5 gallon bucket full of oranges, apples, avocados and grapefruit. The locals told us that from the ground that it looked like a circus, with stuff hung from top to bottom of each pitch. We had 2 #5 Camalots, 2 #7 Valley Giants, 6 #9 Valley Giants and 2 #12 Valley Giants. I crackwalked all the big stuff, running it out 40 feet between pro, so we had more than enough big gear. There are at least five pitches on this route with WIDE cracks; commercial gear need not apply. The free climbing crux was a 5.8 no pro "crack" at the start of P17, which was actually where the corners of two big blocks came together at their edges. The aid crux was P6. The bivy crux is the top of 25, Frosty's Claustrophobic Bivy: perfectly flat floor and roof above, but only 12 inches high. The top of P10 is a large cave with a perfect roof crack; it would make the perfect storm bivy. P24 and P25 can be linked with a 60m rope. You can haul pitches 27 and 28 together from the summit with a 70m rope, or drop down 30m to an off-route ledge and haul 40m to there first. P27 is a traverse across a slab, and would be a nightmare to haul. Hauling P28 from the end of P27 also looked bad. The direct haul is a straight, mostly free-hanging line. The best bivy was at the top of 23, the Round Table. I slept on the ledge itself because my homemade porta was basically destroyed by then.

Witnessed by: PTPP
Added: 2002-06-08

Onsight Onsight ascent by: passthepitonspete on 2002-06-08 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

I'll write this up when I get a bit of time. It was my eighteenth ascent of El Cap.

Witnessed by: Tom Kasper [apollodorus]
Added: 2002-06-08