Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by TomCorco » Sat, 24 Dec 1994 03:39:04


Myself and my partner who are solid 5.9 leaders who have done one small
aid pitch in our lives are planning to climb the nose in the second week
of May 1995.

The question I want to ask is this to ambitious? We have been getting
together the gear and plan to start aiding routes in Eldorado in the new
year and go down to the Black canyon of the Gunnison in March/April.

What is a good aid route in the black canyon with the objective of the
nose in mind? Where can we get beta as there doesn't seem to be any
guides?

What are the chances of hitting a storm on El Cap in May? I would also
appreciate any other advice anyone has to for a begineer wall climber.

Thanks,


 
 
 

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by Jeff Elis » Sat, 24 Dec 1994 04:54:03

: Myself and my partner who are solid 5.9 leaders who have done one small
: aid pitch in our lives are planning to climb the nose in the second week
: of May 1995.
: The question I want to ask is this to ambitious?

Yes, but not outrageously.  I just started climbing 5.10 at the end of 1979.
My partner and I climbed alot of 5.10's (mostly in Eldo) in 1980.  We had
almost zero aid experience (maybe 100' of easy aid).  In October 1980 we did
the Leaning Tower, Half Dome (Regular Route), and the Salathe on El Cap.
No problems.

: We have been getting
: together the gear and plan to start aiding routes in Eldorado in the new
: year and go down to the Black canyon of the Gunnison in March/April.

I wouldn't spend too much time on aid; a couple days should be plenty.  Have
you climbed in Yosemite much?  I'd practice CRACKS.  Start climbing some
5.10 cracks before you get on El Cap.  Of course you should practice jugging
and hauling too.

: What is a good aid route in the black canyon with the objective of the
: nose in mind? Where can we get beta as there doesn't seem to be any
: guides?
: What are the chances of hitting a storm on El Cap in May? I would also
: appreciate any other advice anyone has to for a begineer wall climber.

The Black Canyon has worse rock, probably worse weather, a much worse
approach, and if you have to bail off you also have to hike out those damn
gullies!  Maybe you should use El Cap as practice for the Black!!!

If you do go to the Black, maybe you should pick a mostly free route and try
to move fast.  Get used to aiding small sections of an otherwise free pitch.
Scenic Cruise is excellent.  Journey Home is supposed to be good and it's a
bit easier and shorter.

good luck,
Mort

 
 
 

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by John Byrn » Sat, 24 Dec 1994 05:02:46

Quote:

> The Black Canyon has worse rock, probably worse weather, a much worse
> approach, and if you have to bail off you also have to hike out those damn
> gullies!  Maybe you should use El Cap as practice for the Black!!!

Yes!  "Once you've gone Black, you'll never go back!"  :-)

Quote:
> If you do go to the Black, maybe you should pick a mostly free route and try
> to move fast.  Get used to aiding small sections of an otherwise free pitch.
> Scenic Cruise is excellent.  Journey Home is supposed to be good and it's a
> bit easier and shorter.

You might try Porcelain Arete (to the East of the Painted Wall, take the
SOB gully).  It's a high quality, 12 pitch, 5.9 route.  There's quite a bit
of 3rd and 4rth classing on it to round out your day at 2600 vertical feet!

Route info at the Black can be gotten at the Ranger station on the North
Rim.  As far as I know, you have to go there.

Good luck,

Lord Slime

 
 
 

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by TomCorco » Thu, 29 Dec 1994 09:20:52

Paul\Kevin,

Thanks a lot for the detailed replies.

Yesterday I begun preparation with a solo aid pitch. The guy in the shop
said that most big wall climbers use 2 pairs of etriers. Why is this and
how would this work better than 1 pair?

Should you clip your daisy chain from the same loop each time or adjust
the length each time, if the former what is the best length? Is it better
to have 2 daisy chains?

Do you clip the rope into the current piece of gear or the last piece
each time?

Are there any easy ways to backclean an overhanging section - getting to
out of reach pieces etc?

Quote:
>The Great Roof can be aided on nuts but it takes one mid size nut
>all the way.

Is it possibel to leapfrog nuts or is this only considered desirable
with cams?

Quote:
>There is a pitch in the upper dihedral which only takes rps.
>I'm assuming you are leaving your hammer at home! Don't drop
>those wee nuts.

So there is no need to bring any pegs for backup, say in case the above
pitch proves undoable for us?

Thanks,

Tom.

 
 
 

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by GStetl » Fri, 30 Dec 1994 11:17:56

Quote:
TC writes:

Yesterday I begun preparation with a solo aid pitch. The guy in the shop
said that most big wall climbers use 2 pairs of etriers. Why is this and
how would this work better than 1 pair?

Two pair make it considerably easier to get high in the steps, esp when
the route is overhanging and the wind is spinning you and everything else
around at 331/3 rpm.  Use one daisy per pair.  With regard to cleaning
overhanging rock-I prefer to do this by following on aid if it is
extremely overhanging-go placement to placement cleaning below you (rather
than by jugging).  You guys may want to try the S Face of the Column as a
shake down route-it has good anchors at all belays allowing one to rap the
route after topping out-which means no hauling on the upper pitches!  Good
Luck!
Gary Stetler
Boulder CO

 
 
 

Big walls: El Cap and Black Canyon

Post by Sakr Fak » Fri, 30 Dec 1994 18:52:14

Quote:

>Myself and my partner who are solid 5.9 leaders who have done one small
>aid pitch in our lives are planning to climb the nose in the second week
>of May 1995.
>The question I want to ask is this to ambitious? We have been getting
>together the gear and plan to start aiding routes in Eldorado in the new
>year and go down to the Black canyon of the Gunnison in March/April.
>What is a good aid route in the black canyon with the objective of the
>nose in mind? Where can we get beta as there doesn't seem to be any
>guides?
>What are the chances of hitting a storm on El Cap in May? I would also
>appreciate any other advice anyone has to for a begineer wall climber.

High probability of hitting snow in may.  
:wq

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Good luck. . . I recommend detailed route description before getting on the wall.  Make sure the climbing is well within your ablility. . .often when aiding things harder than your freeclimbing ability, you may be out of luck. . .they must be free-climbed.  As for route info, I have no clue.  

Quote:
>Thanks,