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rocky_joe

Training for a Yosemite Big Wall

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A friend and I want to do a big wall this fall in Yosemite, we both have the technical skills, but perhaps what we lack is an idea for how difficult a Yosemite 5.9 is. Where would you guys say we could get a better idea of the style of climbing (eg good multi pitch fingers, hands, off-width)?

To those of you who have climbed in Yosemite, what did you do to get ready for the climb? Where did you climb? How often? And what's one thing you forgot that you wished you would have had on the wall?

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I would suggest a "field trip" to yosemite first to check out yosemite style climbing.

 

Where have you climbed before?

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No matter where I trained beforehand, it took two weeks to get in shape for the bigger walls. Go there and climb like RumR suggested.

To directly answer your question, train for unusually long stretches of similar terrain. Train for polished holds and smears.

Have your haul system dialed in or that will eat you alive.

Work out all day, 5 days a week until you go.

 

Visualize cracks that never end..........

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What sort of Big Wall? There is a big difference between getting on something that is mostly pure aid vs something which has a good amount of free climbing in it.

 

Supertopo might show a bunch of 5.8 and 5.9 pitches on a climb but those can quickly turn impossible to free if you've spent all your energy hauling or dragging up tons of gear.

 

As for getting in shape I do alot of running and alot of big training days at Index. One of our Big Wall circuits at index is to do Rattle Tail then hike up and do a few pitches by the zipper. Then we walk over and do Town Crier followed by Green Dragon and then finish up on Davis Holland where we lap the first pitch on TR until it gets dark :) It makes for a long day but you end up getting about 10 pitches of aid and ten free pitches in.

 

My overall recommendation is to just go. You won't be sorry you took a trip to the Valley. If you really want a big wall then figure out which wall you want, memorize it and figure out exactly how you'll get through the entire climb and then train for that. If you fail then you should have all the answers you need to go back and be successful on it next time.

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Mostly I have climbed at Smith, lots of sport and a bit of trad. The majority of my aid/trad experience however has been at the columns and I am looking to start translating that to bigger, steeper, more difficult crags before really setting a date/plan for Yosemite. Have a favorite crag in OR?

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trout creek would be good...climb in the gorge too...that said, your best bet is to still go down there...

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Trout Creek and Beacon once it opens. I'd say you should get yourself to some granite somewhere as well. A quick spring / summer Valley scouting trip does sound like it would be a good idea rather than just showing up and attempting to do your first wall (though plenty of folks have...).

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A friend and I want to do a big wall this fall in Yosemite, we both have the technical skills, but perhaps what we lack is an idea for how difficult a Yosemite 5.9 is. Where would you guys say we could get a better idea of the style of climbing (eg good multi pitch fingers, hands, off-width)?

To those of you who have climbed in Yosemite, what did you do to get ready for the climb? Where did you climb? How often? And what's one thing you forgot that you wished you would have had on the wall?

 

 

Not to sound like a troll...but if you have to ask these questions......maybe you are not ready to climb a big wall? Just a thought.......

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As for getting in shape I do alot of running and alot of big training days at Index. One of our Big Wall circuits at index is to do Rattle Tail then hike up and do a few pitches by the zipper. Then we walk over and do Town Crier followed by Green Dragon and then finish up on Davis Holland where we lap the first pitch on TR until it gets dark :) It makes for a long day but you end up getting about 10 pitches of aid and ten free pitches in.

 

Nice linkup :tup:

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Sounds like you have not done a lot of multi pitch climbing. Get your systems worked out such as swinging leads, halling, jugging, setting up a wall anchor, managing large amounts of gear, ect. You can burn a ton of time futsing around at the anchors trying to figurre things out. It may sound crazy but my partner and I did some of the worlds shortest 2 pitch climbs at the collums halling a small bag of rocks and everything. It was painfully slow and a big mess at first but it payed off in the long run. Best to do on a wet day with no crowds. Another thing to consider is that a wall rack (usually) is going to be heavier than a free rack. It will drain your energy faster and make freeing that 5.whatever pitch feel harder. Even if you plan on doing an all or mostly free route get at least some aid experience under your belt. As to where to climb, I bet you know all the local areas. Do lots of cracks and avoid the bolts. Basalt is more similar to granet than smith tuft is but it's all good. Have fun and drink lots of water.

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go climb liberty bell.....

 

then go climb the washigton column south face route.....

 

than go do the west face of leaning tower......

 

then go do the zodiac....

 

 

theses routes will open plenty of doors for u....

 

 

have fun and don't bring any minors with you....

 

when you get to the top, yell "KORE" at the top of your lungs....

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Index or Squamish would be good choices. The big surprise for people going to the the Valley is how slick everything is. On moderate pitches (5.10 an under) your always on your feet, I find my calves and toes get tired long before my arms do on Sierra granite. Go to Index or Squamish and practice your slab skills. Also, really work to dial in a good french free system. Even a hard pitch might be doable if you yank on a few pieces of gear to get you past a crux move, this is much faster than trying to aid up the same pitch.

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snail--i'm not concerned about the gear related portions of the climb...that's where i am most confident in my skills and abilities.

 

Cool, well looks like I'll be making some trips up north this summer.

 

Pink-- why "KORE" why not "FUCK YEAH I OWNED THIS BITCH"?

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You don't sound like a troll, but maybe an elf. Ha, well really I'm more asking for good trad crags (I suppose my question was worded poorly). Mostly I've been a sport climber/boulderer, as are the majority of my buddies. I have done some multipitch and I'm looking to get on the big walls. I have done a bit of trad, but most of what I have done on gear is aid; I aid the columns atleast once a week and am getting pretty fast. I am competent in all my systems, from hauling to advanced rescue. I'm just looking for input on places that people have found similar style climbing (without heading all the way down to the Valley), so I can know what to expect.

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Snaileye won't blow his own horn, but he has spent a lot of time climbing in the Valley as he used to be on YOSAR so listen up to his words. Like you he did a lot of climbing at smith and other areas before going to the Valley, where I am sure he lerned a bunch about what he didn't know from climbing at Smith etc.

Shapp

Edited by shapp

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Come to Beacon when it opens and aid 'Ground Zero'. Its first anchor has four side-by-side bolts and is a good spot for practicing setting up a ledge and bivy.

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The big surprise for people going to the the Valley is how slick everything is.

 

Understatement of the year for me given I was coming from a sandstone/basalt background. Slick as snot - especially don't sweat...

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the big wall is more mental than anything else...

 

don't do wall-math..just keep going up unless someone is hurt or your ropes are chopped. just keep going. i've bailed of el cap several times cuz of wall-math and jitters. got sick of bailing so i went back and just committed to going up. it worked.

 

wall-math? you ask.... is realizing how many pitches you've done, how many more are left how many more per day how many more days how much water you have left how much have you had how much water per day is left how many days are left your sides already hurt and they will hurt for how many more days how much have i hauled on how many more hauls how many hauls per day how many more days what time is it when does the sun go down ...on and on...

 

don't do that. just climb and enjoy the views. it all goes away when you pop the top to some ravioli and the boxed wine is flowin each night.

 

you will cluster you will get frustrated you will think you won't make it. f@#k all that and just keep going up. fix the cluster and move on......

 

mental...

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the big wall is more mental than anything else...

 

don't do wall-math..just keep going up unless someone is hurt or your ropes are chopped. just keep going. i've bailed of el cap several times cuz of wall-math and jitters. got sick of bailing so i went back and just committed to going up. it worked.

 

wall-math? you ask.... is realizing how many pitches you've done, how many more are left how many more per day how many more days how much water you have left how much have you had how much water per day is left how many days are left your sides already hurt and they will hurt for how many more days how much have i hauled on how many more hauls how many hauls per day how many more days what time is it when does the sun go down ...on and on...

 

don't do that. just climb and enjoy the views. it all goes away when you pop the top to some ravioli and the boxed wine is flowin each night.

 

you will cluster you will get frustrated you will think you won't make it. f@#k all that and just keep going up. fix the cluster and move on......

 

mental...

nice - this sure is the philosophy i'm counting on this summer! i figure so long as the smokes don't run out... :)

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u goin up on the big stone ivan?

the less a man makes declarative statements the less apt he is to look a fool in hindsight...

 

...but then i've always been a fool :)

 

i got 5 weeks free n' clear from the fam this summer and many, many ambitions, and not all of them in war-shington :grin:

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