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texplorer

[TR] El Cap- Mescalito 7/13/2004

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Climb: El Cap-Mescalito

 

Date of Climb: 7/13/2004

 

Trip Report:

Over the 4th weekend Bigwaller and I climbed the most popular and classic moderately hard aid route on El Cap.

 

June 27 -Arrive in the Valley Sunday morning. Jake eyes El Cap for the first time. That afternoon we haul loads and begin to fix 4 pitches. On the 4th pitch Jake starts up but I notice him waver and blink as if he is dizzy only 25 feet off the belay. The heat and lack of water have taken its toll on him already so I take the sharp end and fly up as fast as I can trying to beat the darkness. I barely do and reach the anchor just as darkness closes in. Upon rapping down at dusk he tells me that this is as far off the deck as he has ever been. His attitude was still good though and we were both still optimistic.

 

June 28 - Jake's father treats us to a big breakfast at the cafeteria. A few hours later we are jugging our lines. We toss one rope and then commit to the 26 pitch route.

 

With over 8 pitches of C3 and only 4 pitches of C1 or easier the route is sustained and steep. Even the first day I was able to haul our bags by myself despite 14 gallons of water and food for a week.

 

The route went pretty flawless except for a couple of days when I got the "dropsies" Yes, I started to get scared after a few offset nuts magically unclipped themselves, I got my first cam stuck (ever) and then I really f'ed up by dropping a #3 camalot. This made it the costliest trip I have ever done. Luckily, the rest of the route went smoother and we managed to hang onto the rest of our gear.

 

Late on the fifth day on the wall at about pitch 15 I was just one move from a bolt and then the anchor. I was relieved this pitch was almost over as it had entailed lots of hooking and clipping of many manky pieces. Unfortunetely, there were two fixed RURPs both without wires or cordage to clip to. I tried hooking several times and took some nice static falls onto a copperhead. After my face and hand scraped the wall I decided that I was done. I had Jake lower me to the belay and we camped for the night. The next morning I ascended and used our fly-pole to stick clip the bolt just 1.5 feet away while topstepping.

 

A few days later we got to the Bismark ledge. It was quite a sweet outlook. We also found a small tupperware box hanging from the belay with a glass pipe, lighter, and a small vile of an oregano-looking substance. We fixed the bismark pitch which required about 10 feet of laybacking up an OW above a #5 camalot. Normally I would try to thrutch up the thing but by this point I was tired enough and gave into the supposed .10a layback moves.

 

The next morning Jake got a good taste of what el cap can do to you. He must have had alot of fun on a certain pitch because he decided to stay on it for over 5 hours. I hid from the sun under the haulbag while Jake had his mini epic. Luckily we still made it to pitch 23 and a sloping ledge.

 

The next day we topped out and both remarked how weird it was to stand on level ground and be out of the harness. We spent the next 3 days sitting around the valley, avoiding the tool, and searching for booty.

 

Overall, a stellar route!!! Long, sustained but doable. We did the route clean (except for my little stick clip). It was Jake's first time up El Cap and my 4th. We had a blast, what did you do for the 4th?

 

Gear Notes:

Double set of hybrid aliens were key to the "cleanliness" of the ascent.

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i love it when cascade climbers go afield! nice way to avoid responsibilty for a week.

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WOW

 

Right on! bigdrink.gif

 

I can't even imagine pulling into the meadow to look at El Capitan for the very first time....never have climbed more then 400ft off the deck, and saying, "fuck it, let's get on Mescalito." Then putting your money where your mouth is. Mad props to you guys, nice job! rockband.gif

 

As will said, very jealous. Will, it looks like it's our turn to step up, eh? snaf.gif

 

Mr. bigwalling definately earned his Avatar name on this one, and Tex, solid as ever! wave.gif

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Last I heard Jake was up to something with Eamonn McNeely and Evo. Those are some pretty hardcore guys to be hanging with. Maybe he can post some more TR's when he returns to the NW

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Tex, try using a bat hook to hook the rurps. hook the hole where the wire use to go through the rurp. Or stick the smallest wire you have through. pinch the bottom of the stopper wire and pass it through. the swage shouldn't go through the hole though.

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Yeah, it's a fun long route. I hung out with Ammon and his son for the rest of my time there. We were going to do a wall but Austin hurt his butt and didn't want to camp. I bailed on Minerals because I felt weak and low on energy and didn't feel like doing our proposed route. Fun trip and I met lots of cool people.

 

I might be heading back to the valley in near the end of August, planning on taking another big step in my wall career. Next week I'm heading to Squamsih though. The Chief will look small.

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shit dude if the chiefs too small head to the eldred

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right on Tex...sounds like fun??? Hope to get down there for the shield in the fall maybe we should climb togeether some time. Jim

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My dad took a few pics that are good. I'll try and post them later this week. Karsten is also getting slides from someone who took pics from the meadow.

 

Dru, how many of those are there? I can think of Bald Egos and maybe Straight White Male.

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