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[TR] Yosemite - Various 5/31/2007

David Trippett

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Trip: Yosemite - Various


Date: 5/31/2007


Trip Report:

I spent the last two weeks in Yosemite from May 14-29. The first week I climbed with Ben Priestly and the second week climbing with some Brazilian friends.


Ben and I climbed Half Dome and El Cap, each in a day, freeing up to 5.11c. In addition we soloed Royal Arches, me on-sight and without the little pendulum.


Starting from the valley floor we sent Half Dome ground up with no fixed lines. I freed up to 5.11a and Ben took over the aid pitches, except for my on-sight attempt at the first zig-zag that was quickly ended :noway:........ A lot has been written about this route here, so I wont go into detail.


For the West Face of El Cap we managed to start and finish the route in the light in spite of some of my route finding errors on the descent. I freed two of the four crux pitches to 5.11c. This route is amazing and is a great one day ride up the Captain. Lots of crazy featured rock and chicken heads and short cruxes make this very doable.


After Ben went home I had the pleasure of climbing with two great Brazilian friends, Wagner and Daniel, both from Curitiba . We did the stellar Lost Arrow Spire Direct over three days. I can't say enough about this route, the position is unbeatable, there are plush ledges every four pitches, the aiding is clean, always interesting and real, and the grand finale of the tyrolean makes it a Mega-Classic.



The route list below is what we did with the grades we freed at listed...


Royal Arches- IV 5.10b- On-Sight Solo

Half Dome- Regular Northwest Face, VI 5.11a C1/2 23p - 1 day ascent

El Capitan- West Face, V 5.11c A0 20p- 1 Day Ascent

Lost Arrow Spire Direct- V 5.10 C2 14p- 3 days

Lots of Cragging


Here's a few photos, most credits to Michelle Gagnon, Ben Priestly and Wagner Machado....feel free to contact me for any specific route beta. Thanks






DSC01729.JPG Half Dome


DSC01713.JPGAt the Base of Half Dome in the Morning


DSC01714.JPGLooking up the Regular Northwest Face


DSC01721.JPGBig Ben on Big Sandy


DSC01725.JPGZig Zags with the Visor above


DSC01733.JPGBen at the start of the West Face of El Cap route


DSC01742.JPG Looking down the West Face Route


DSC01737.JPG Me on the steep second 5.11c crux on the West Face


DSC01739.JPGBen on the big traverse on the West Face


DSC01744.JPG El Cap Summit


DSC01746.JPG Half Dome from the Captain


DSC01745.JPG Ben and El Cap from near the top of Zodiac


DSC01731.JPG Yosemite Falls Wall and Lost Arrow Direct


argentinacamera1299.jpgLooking up the Arrow


Daniel.jpgDaniel and Wagner on the Arrow


argentinacamera1302.jpgMe at the first ledge on the Arrow


argentinacamera1298.jpgWagner racking up on the Arrow


argentinacamera1312.jpgYosemite falls from the Arrow


argentinacamera1311.jpgMe leading to the cool tree belay on the Arrow


argentinacamera1316.jpgCool and Shady tree belay on the Arrow


argentinacamera1320.jpgDaniel and the Pig


bivy.jpgArriving at the 2nd bivy at 2am


argentinacamera1322.jpgKiss, I love you Yosemite


argentinacamera1342.jpgWagner on the Arrow Summit


argentinacamera1345.jpgSorting out the summit anchor cluster with Michelle, a Canmorean who I met in Frey that joined up with us with her boyfriend Martin to do the traverse


argentinacamera1379.jpgThe Lost Arrow Spire


Lost_Arrow_Spire_photo_Michelle_Gagnon0057.jpgDaniel on the Traverse



Lost_Arrow_Spire_photo_Michelle_Gagnon0083.jpgYosemite-_May_2007_.jpgMe on the Traverse


Lost_Arrow_Spire_photo_Michelle_Gagnon0091.jpg The End


Gear Notes:

Big and Heavy


Approach Notes:

too much walking at god awful hours

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Holy shit, when Ben mentioned doing Arches he didn't say free solo. Damn. I thought that other stuff was amazing anyway. Ben rules.


Avitrip, that some awesome shit.


If you have a bit of free time, I'd like to see the full meal deal on West Face of El Cap. What you took for pro, how early you woke up, did you fix 2 pitches via aid or free and then toss your aiders down....the whole show!


Shit nice stuff, thanks for sharing it!

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The deal on West Face was we did it ground up and led in blocks. We used a 70m rope and I led the first 8 pitches short fixing where it was possible with Ben jumaring on my block for speed. I french freed the first 11b crux, and fell once on the second 11b crux, then fired it all free right after the fall. I short fixed, soloing any easy pitches while Ben came up until the next crux, an 11c, which I french freed as well and linked to a lower 10c to make a 68m pitch*(see side story). After that was the hardest crux, an overhanging, 11c bulge which I freed entirely after two falls (although at that early in the morning the first 11b is probably the crux). After that we swapped leads and linked any pitches we could to the Thanksgiving ledge and then simul-climbed to the summit. We woke up at 3am and were climbing by ~7am. We were finished climbing by ~5pm.


For the west face gear we took a 70m rope, doubles of everything from #.5 camalot to #2 with one #3 and three yellow aliens, two greens and a blue plus some nuts. Lots of slings and some draws. You could get by with less Aliens....but why?... they're so cute!


We weren't super duper fast...but I thought the style was good given the abilities of the team and the results were positive....we achieved our goal of home before dark. It could definately be done faster.


* That 68m pitch was crazy and was sort of an accident, the lower 10c I passed without realizing it and I kept climbing...I remember looking at my dwindling rack and wondering when the pitch would end.....finally I do some hard moves to this old manky looking hanging belay and I am wondering WTF?!.....this thing shouldn't be til the next pitch. So I clip into it to look at my topo and I managed to link the two pitches to one....which worked out well in hind sight.....anyway, I had no gear, so I clipped a free biner to the threads on the old manky anchor and still had to finish the pitch with no gear to protect the next 4 meters of 11a climbing(there was no way that anchor could be used to jumar on). So i finished the pitch with almost no rope and no gear and I arrive at the Belay ready to jump off that ledge when there is nothing to make an anchor. When I get there there is this perfect horn which I have just enough rope left to sling with a bight!... allowing safe fixing.... I am no badass, far from it.....but that of the most memorable pitches of my life. What a lucky bastard! :laf:



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sandbags are quintissential yosemite. However, i was just talking shit, I've always gone for the monkey swing, which may be less safe than the freeway, but feels somehow more secure. Chris makes incredibly detailed topos but I think the old, often quite conservative grades are better for reasons I can't even explain. Nice trip, but maybe don't spray so hard next time, I had to put on my gore-tex suit...


max (no offense intended) hasson

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Ok Max...no spray was intended, in all honesty.... perhaps no one will accuse me of being overly modest.... and I'm quite aware of where my abilities fit-in in the grand pecking order...but in the context of what gets done around there on a daily basis.... what we did was pretty mundane and the report was made in that spirit, anyway, thanks for the advice!



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Mundane or no that was a pretty badass trip. The regular route on half dome is still one of my favorites. Thanks for the west face beta, I have been thinking about getting on that someday. Your report reminds me of my first trip to the Valley. Nice work on some classics.

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Ok Max...no spray was intended, in all honesty.... perhaps no one will accuse me of being overly modest.... and I'm quite aware of where my abilities fit-in in the grand pecking order...but in the context of what gets done around there on a daily basis.... what we did was pretty mundane and the report was made in that spirit, anyway, thanks for the advice!



I call Bullshit Max, there was no spray. These guys climbed some great routes in awesome style, and Avitrip put some work into putting together a great Trip Report.


Thanks again for sharing it!


Awesome shit Trip.


Theres some damn solid climbers on this site who haven't done those routes, and these guys cranked em out in a week! Like Tex, I think 1/2 dome rules, and also have wanted to do the West Face in a day but have never had the cahones. I suspect that my window may have passed me by, and appreciate Avitrips enthusiasm. However, even if I don't get on it, I can read about it and love it via the internet!


Max, maybe you can point to a Trip Report you did which is the epitome of perfection which can act as a basis of greatness for the rest of us (no offense intended)?

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