El Cap, Summer '95

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Ryan W. Glasg » Thu, 28 Apr 1994 05:04:42


Here's a very vague question for those of you who climb in
Yosemite.  I know there are about a billion routes up El Cap,
and that they are all different, but...

     Would anyone out there like to tell what type of experience
I need to climb El Cap?  One of my goals (dreams) is to climb in
Yosemite (Maybe El Cap, maybe half dome) in Summer, '95.  I want to
be able to take me kids there and say "Daddy climbed that..."
     So far I've been stuck on the east coast at seneca and
the gunks, and am only leading 10's, but that's at the Gunks, and I am
taking a whole year off to climb.  I know that I need to learn to aid
climb and that I will neet LOTS more gear.
     What kinds of difficulty am I looking at for aid climbing?
Do people usually free large protions?  It's hard for me to even
concieve of that rack that one would need to climb the thing.
     If any of you out there are just sipping on your coffee and
so bored that you'd like to give me advice, that would be great.  
If you want to tell me I'm crazy for thinking I can be prepared in a
year, that's fine too.

Ryan Glasgow

P.S.  I'm living proof that not all young climbers are
***ed to bolts.  I'd take a nice long route on natural
pro ANY day over bolted sport stuff.  See you on the rocks!

 
 
 

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Quang-Tuan Luo » Thu, 28 Apr 1994 09:57:45


Quote:
(Ryan W. Glasgow) writes:

|> Here's a very vague question for those of you who climb in
|> Yosemite.

I am no expert in Yosemite (and in rock in general) and this is
why I am responding to your post, to share a beginner's experience.
First, the title of your post: in summer, it's too hot in the Valley.
Best time is spring and fall. This is an important thing.

|>      Would anyone out there like to tell what type of experience
|> I need to climb El Cap?

People with a lot of different background can succeed, but I think
it helps a lot to have done some long routes before. While my partner
and me have a considerable collective alpine experience, this was
our first big wall, and for my partner, his first (real) aid pitches.
I have found that while there is no outstanding challenge on the Nose,
it is not too easy, mainly because big wall wears on you a lot, due to
continuous succession of steep pitches, pendulums, hauling, jumaring,
stuck haulbags and ropes, lack of sleep, food, water. Also because my
rock-climbing level was pretty low and it is mainly a free route.

|> One of my goals (dreams) is to climb in
|> Yosemite (Maybe El Cap, maybe half dome) in Summer, '95.

Half Dome is half of El Cap. Again, summer is not too good (can be
done anyway).

|> and am only leading 10's,

Only ? More than enough. I was not able to lead 10's when I climbed the
Nose, although I led half of the pitches. And it is one of the routes which
requires the most free climbing.

|> taking a whole year off to climb.  I know that I need to learn to aid
|> climb and that I will neet LOTS more gear.

Two climbers joining their racks have enough leading gear for the Nose.
We had (initially !) two sets of Friends and nuts at regular sizes, a couple
of Aliens, one set of micro nuts, 15 quickdraws and 25 free biners. You will
only need aiders, daisy chains, jumars, and  pulley and haulbag is you don't
attempt a speed ascent. No need for pitons.

|>      What kinds of difficulty am I looking at for aid climbing?

A2. Some moves on RP and Aliens. There is fixed gear, for instance in
the great roof traverse. The first four pitches are perhaps the most
delicate. Doing the aid pitches of the South face of Washington column
is a sufficient preparation.

|> Do people usually free large protions?

Depends on your free climbing level. I regret a lot I was not able to
free more, and it's also why I am now looking forward to do more
plain aid stuff.

Tuan.

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El Cap, Summer '95

Post by William Wrig » Thu, 28 Apr 1994 22:22:09


Quote:

>I am no expert in Yosemite (and in rock in general) and this is
>why I am responding to your post, to share a beginner's experience.
>First, the title of your post: in summer, it's too hot in the Valley.
>Best time is spring and fall. This is an important thing.

Actually, early summer isn't that bad. May and June and great months
for climbing El Cap, but I wouldn't recommend August. It doesn't get as
hot up there on the wall as you would think because it is so damn windy!

Quote:
>Half Dome is half of El Cap. Again, summer is not too good (can be
>done anyway).

Actually, it is ideal in the summer and a bit of a risk any time else.
Remember this is a north facing route that starts at 7000 feet. I have
tried to climb it the end of May and the end of September and got snowed
off both times. Finally I did it in early July and it was great. Certainly
not to hot, even cold at night but we didn't bring bags.

Quote:
>A2. Some moves on RP and Aliens. There is fixed gear, for instance in
>the great roof traverse. The first four pitches are perhaps the most
>delicate. Doing the aid pitches of the South face of Washington column
>is a sufficient preparation.

It is probably  different for everybody, but I found the first four
pitches pretty easy. Then again, I have been up them three times now and
that certainly helps. I thought the Glowering Spot pitch was the toughest
aid climbing, but again I didn't lead them all.

My .02,
Bill

 
 
 

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Bob Harringt » Fri, 29 Apr 1994 00:59:52


[ Reasonable advice about introductory wall climbing, except ...]

: Two climbers joining their racks have enough leading gear for the Nose.
: We had (initially !) two sets of Friends and nuts at regular sizes, a couple
: of Aliens, one set of micro nuts, 15 quickdraws and 25 free biners.

Figure on needing at least twice this many free biners.

: |> Do people usually free large protions?
:
: Depends on your free climbing level. I regret a lot I was not able to
: free more, and it's also why I am now looking forward to do more
: plain aid stuff.

Speed is the figure of merit, so you end up doing whatever is
fastest.  People frequently grab onto the fixed pieces when free
climbing, and aid things that they could free climb if they
bothered to take the time.

Cheers,

Bob Harrington

 
 
 

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Greg Opla » Fri, 29 Apr 1994 01:20:47


Quote:
>Half Dome is half of El Cap. Again, summer is not too good (can be
>done anyway).

Uhhh...seems to me that the NW Face of Half Dome goes at about 24 pitches
and El Cap goes at about 34 or so.  The climbing challenges (aside from total
pitches and time required) are probably very similar.

Good luck Ryan !

-------------

 
 
 

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Terje Mathis » Fri, 29 Apr 1994 23:08:46


Quote:

>>Half Dome is half of El Cap. Again, summer is not too good (can be
>>done anyway).

>Uhhh...seems to me that the NW Face of Half Dome goes at about 24 pitches
>and El Cap goes at about 34 or so.  The climbing challenges (aside from total
>pitches and time required) are probably very similar.

I first went to Yosemite for about a month in the summer of -81 (gee..13 years
ago..time sure flies :-) ), where I met a friend up in the Meadow.  It was a
warm summer, so we spent almost all our time on the Meadow domes.

We did want to do a couple of classic Valley climbs though, so we drove down
one too Camp 4 and (being nice, Norwegian boys), registered with the camp
ranger for a Half Dome climb.  We walked up to the last campground, the one
one the shoulder of HD, in about 3-4 hours and made an early start the next
morning.

By starting the NW face early, and carrying a simple, but double, rack, we
ran up the wall in 17 pitches, including some simul-climbing on the ledges
leading into the main wall.  We did everything up to 5.10/easy 5.11 free,
but used the bolt ladders instead of trying for a second totally free ascent.

We took about 6 hours total, which got us up above the Big Sandy ledge
before the sun started hitting the wall.

It's a fairly nice climb, but I imagine 17 more years of sh** have
accumulated by now!  :-)

The Quarter Domes is a much less used, and in many ways better climb.

About 2/3's up, it has a _really_ great crack pitch, starting from a small
ledge into a _very_ thin crack, which then widen into nice hand jams.

-Terje

PS. We climbed Separate Reality in the rest day between the two walls,
but that is another story!  :-)

 
 
 

El Cap, Summer '95

Post by Michael Brodes » Sun, 01 May 1994 02:28:43


Quote:

>Here's a very vague question for those of you who climb in
>Yosemite.  I know there are about a billion routes up El Cap,
>and that they are all different, but...

>     Would anyone out there like to tell what type of experience
>I need to climb El Cap?  One of my goals (dreams) is to climb in
>Yosemite (Maybe El Cap, maybe half dome) in Summer, '95.  I want to
>be able to take me kids there and say "Daddy climbed that..."

If you are climbing for your kids, why don't you just point at it
and tell them you did it years ago. If you are climbing to make to
have a great time. You should be able to make it up East buttress of El
Cap. 5.9 A0./ 5.10c (reachy) free.

MichaeL

UUCP : {pur-ee,qanad,oliveb,decwrl,hplabs}!intelca!mipos3!td2cad!brodesky
Rootbeer^2 = Beer ?  looking for Free climbing holds.
Arrowhead Arete In Yosemite, A great climb. A Great time. Great Photo'S