Zodiac Beta - June 1994 (El Cap, Yosemite CA, USA)

Zodiac Beta - June 1994 (El Cap, Yosemite CA, USA)

Post by Bradley R. Carli » Sun, 04 Sep 1994 00:41:26


> Subject: Zodiac beta, anyone?

A gear list and some beta for Zodiac on El Cap follows:

Zodiac:  (6/94, Brad Carlile, Brian Baker)

General Comments
"Great climb", "It's steep", "No crux to prepare for - it's consistent",
"Memorable pitches", "Haulings not bad due to slight continuous overhang",
"There will be enough suffering..."

Gear summary:
  * 50m 11mm new lead line
  * 50m 11mm haul line (now I think I'd opt for a smaller static line)
  * 30m parachute cord  (for lower out, but it broke on pitch 4)
  * 2 RURPs (didn't need, but some of the fixed were a little old)
  * 4 KB (2 short, 2 long
  * 11 Lost Arrows, mostly short thick
  * 2 leeper Z's (small & Medium - nice but could get by without)
  * Angles
     3 1/2"
     3 3/4" (1 sawed off")
     2 1" (1 sawed off)
     1 1-1/4"
     1 1-1/2" (not used)
  * few #2& #3 copperheads
  * 4 Fish Doubloons (homemade)
  * 8 small rivet hangers
  * 8 1/4" wingnuts (for bolt studs - then loop rivet hanger on, we back
                     cleaned or leap-frogged rivets between bolts)
  * 4 RP hangers (not used)
  * hooks
     2 chouinard hooks
     2 talons
     1 leeper pointed hook
     1 fish hook (2" hook)
     2 captain hook (3" hook)
  * 2 sets of nuts
  * 2 sets of micronuts (RPs & HBs)
  * 2 - 0.5 tricams (nice in pin scars)
  * 1 - 1.0 tricams (nice in pin scars)
  * 1 - 1.5 tricams (nice in pin scars)
  * Cams
     2 .375 aliens (very useful)
     2 .500 aliens
     2 #0.5 - #3.0 Friends
     1 #3.5 Friend
     1 #4.0 Friends
     1 #4 camolot (needed for *** pitch, #10)
  * about 90 ovals/d' biners for lead
  * 8 locking biners
  * 10 pin tie offs
  * 12 quick draw length slings
  * 8 shoulder length slings
  * 2 double length slings
  * portaledges - it's generally steep
  * botswains chair (can make out of a plastic seat bottom of a sturdy
    folding chair), most belays are***...

Pitch Summary
p1 - bomber hook to first bolt, Leeper nice top of pitch.
p2 - aid under roof (don't space to far apart otherwise hard to clean) to
     free moves.  One rope length to ground from anchor.
p3 - nice pitch (look for bat hooks - cuts down on nailing), don't get
     fooled (I did) by 3 bolts in middle of pitch - it's not the anchor.
     It is one rope length to pitch 2, so you can fix two to the ground.
p4 - Some loose stuff at the top, also hook move at top, need some large
     a friends at top (#2.0-#3.0).*** bivy possible here.
p5 - 5.8 moves to a arching rivet ladder. back clean entire rivet ladder
     and join pitches 5&6, one rope length if backclean.  Ledge bivy here.
p6 - should join with 5.
p7 - fixed rurps on 7, "ledge for one" here. Black tower interesting.
     not clear where anchor 7 is, might be able to make top of 8 from
p8 - traverses to left, watch rope drag.  Goes vertical at the Great
     Circle (also called Grey Circle or Zodiac). Rivets to anchor.
     The route gets steep here - slight overhang till p14.
     Hanging bivy here.
p9 - nice pitch, lots angles and aliens.*** bivy here.
p10- *** pitch, lots of aliens and small pins.  #3 friend, #4 friend,
     and #4 camalot needed to get to the bolt at the ***.  I've
     heard it's been done only using #4 friends - but it'd be interesting.
     hanging bivy here.
p11- Mark of Zorro. wild. may need some copperheads on upper part
p12- need large friends,*** bivy here.
p13- back clean entire traverse left and back right at the start.
     Peanut ledge here, sleeps two (no porta ledges required)
p14- #4 friend walk (use 2 #4 friends and leapfrog - or can use the
     #4 camalot in addition to always have two pieces in), protected
     with rivets bolts every 4-5 placements.  You want to tape or pad
     sharp edge at the top for hauling and for the fixed rope.
p15- hook traverse left to vertical(slightly right traversing) crack,
     watch out there is a oven-door size loose flake directly above
     belayer when the next left traversing hooks moves are started.
     Bomber chouinard hooks and fish hook moves.  Climb a short (30')
     vertical broken-up section and then look down and to the right for
     the anchor.  It's almost straight above the last anchor.  We've
     seen a lot of people wander all over the place on this pitch.
p16- short pitch to the top 80', get under overhanging boulder and
     traverse to the right to find the anchor rivets and bolts at the
     top.  Watch old copperheads -try to equalize them.
Descent: East ledges.

Cruxes: p1, p3, p7, p9, p10, p11,

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