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[TR] Yosylum - Da Nose, Leaning Tower, Braille Book, Fairview 7/16/2009

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Trip: Yosylum - Da Nose, Leaning Tower, Braille Book, Fairview


Date: 7/16/2009


Trip Report:

an experiment in heat stress, yosemite in continuous 100 plus heat everyday - what's the worst could




miker at the helm the majority of the way, we rattled off the 12 hour drive in high style, he bubbling over w/ebullience, me "shut the fuck up and drive donny" crab-style, heat-inspired, which was to be the temper for


me for the duration, sorry mike :)


from our basecamp at hard-on flats, where you should never, never wander off the road into the woods if


you wish to avoid the poo-monster and his many, many iep's, we managed to do the following:

- the nose to dolt tower, where heat stroke and some might say good sense compelled our ignominious retreat

- fairview dome's regular route

- braille book on upper cathedral

-the west face of leaning tower

- plus a fine amount of euro-bathing in the merced, jail-bait oggling, babbling w/ tourons and muslims, etc, etc.


and so it's mostly a full on photo assault w/ random funny shit to hang the whole thing together - go!


the captain - hard not to feel like a little fumbling fuck-up on that oh-so-short pilgramage to the nostrils of the nose


your friend and humble narrator on the first pitch, whereupon the extreme value of red aliens was quickly grasped


mike on pitch 2/3



me on pitch 4, leading to sickle ledge - perhaps the only time i've whipped out my jugs on lead before? :)


mike below sickle ledge


our day 1 plan going well - we'd climbed to sickle, now to haul the bag up and spend the last night on the ground - i volunteer, out of the kindness of my heart, to rap down, get the giant haulbag from the car, and come hook it up, leaving mike the simple task of hauling it up 150 meters - for some reason rapping all that way on a single strand, passing 2 knots in the process, made me feel a little funny in my pants :)


passing the first knot - i liked mike's idea of making the principal connection of our 3 ropes an alpine butterfly w/ the fisherman's just as the backup


now that's one long motherfucking rap


after herculean effort, mike had the bag up while i made small talk w/ wise austrians, whereupon we retired to harden and prepared our souls for Da Big Push - next morning saw 90+ temps by 7 AM, but unlike the day before not a breath of wind as i started the super-jug up to sickle


once there, mike followed me up, both of us already through a liter of water after the effort - the plan was for me to lead the next 4 pitches to get us to the base of the stovelegs, then he'd get us to the top of dolt tower


- hopefully we'd have enough energy/time to continue on to el cap tower and be halfway there!


here i'm linking 5/6, visible as the tiny dot at the edge of the 4th class, actually FREE-CLIMBING 5.9 :)


looking back at mike from the top of 6, him hidden behind the solar-shield AKA da alpine umbrella (rei special bitzes!)


mike following me into the dolt hole - my first real pendulum of the trip (and somehow, i'd get every single one of them from there out :grin: ) into the dolt hole, mike following by using the tag line to rap to the plumb line - i foudn the penji easy enough, what annoyed me was not feeling safe to free climb at the other end, affeared of being yanked off by the rope pull and having to repeat the whole goddamn sun-baked enterprise


me setting off pitch 8, out of the dolt hole, up a long bolt ladder, then off on a gaint penji - note the huge barrier on my right that i'll have to hop over-and-over while workign out the swing - this one i fucked up - the bolt ladder seemed to end 3 bolts early w/ a bunch of lower-off webbing and the bolts mostly stripped of their hangers - i thought i was at the top of the penji, so dicked around at different lowered lengths trying to

stick the swing, bruising the shit out of my heel before realizing i just had to be higher up, reclimbing the whole damn thing, then doing it right - once again, i was annoyed that i could easily free climb the other end b/c of drag/fear - i missed the proper belay point as it was only 1 bolt, and climbd 10 meters higher, suckered by an inaccesible rap station, beefore i figured it all out - as such, the heat, pain and confusion had sapped me, and i was very ready to hand over the sharp end to mike for the stove legs - holy fuck, had i drunk 6 liters of water already? and surely there's no way we're making the top of dolt tower till dark!


mike setting off on pitch 9, the start of the stovelegs, as evening set in and the sun-fuck-hate-god pissed off for a bit


so, to make a longish story short, we didn't arrive at our ledge till 3 AM, me spending all that long-dark-teatime-of-the-soul time wondering why in the fuck we hadn't brought a belay seat (and chain-smoking :) )- sunrise and the pressure cooker came to us after only a few short hours and we awoke feeling thoroughly unwell - despite the fact that each of us had consumed almost 2 GALLONS of fluid the day before, i'd only pissed once, a feeble bob-dole-sque coffee looking couple ounces - i didn't want to

face it, but the lack of a place to hide from the sun made it unavoidable - at the rate of climbing we'd established, as well as the consumption of our remaining 5 gallons, we'd definitely be out of water before summitting - i feebly pushed for at least continuing to the top of el cap tower (goddamn i wanted to do the

king swing!) but the fear of adding to the 8 huge raps we'd already have to do argued against it


at least the view of el cap meadow was inspiring, most especially, as the temps shot back up to a crisp century-note, b/c of the sweat, tranquil, cool waters of the merced that glistened below, it's banks clad in sandy beaches and euro-bathign swedes :)


mike led us down the raps, taking the small haul bag w/ him while i volunteered for the monster - we left 4 gallons of water, which mike inexplicalby wrote his name and cell number on - 2 weeks later, the first party to follow us happened upon the cache and called mike to thank us for the largesse :)


1200 feet to the ground - goddaamn!


8 50 meter raps


me following the glassy raps


the final rap, to the floor of the oven, where we cowered in manzanita, licking our wounds and repacking savagely heavy haulbags for the stumble out


i will be back, cocksmoker! (just not in the middle of summer :) )


we spent the afternoon soaking up the coolness of the merced (and several quarts of sangria) surrounded by foreigners and fowl


when euro-jail-bait-titty-gazing led to ennui, one had only to lift one's eyes to the heavenly vault - here, even in late afternoon dolt and el cap towers baked in the setting sun


so, our asses being kicked on objective #1, we looked for other, cooler things to do - going up to toulomne seemed to fit the ticket, so fairview dome it was - 3 parties ahead of us and a solist passing through, but all in all, a chill climb, save for the lurking fear of thunderstorm roaring overhead - it was blissfully cooler, but still fuck all bright


cool glacial erratics perched atop the dome to the east of DAFF dome


mike leading above the lunch-ledge


lying in my own filth on the summit, daring thor to strike me dead w/ a thunderbolt whilst simultaneously masturbating and playing rope-guitar


mike apparently had twice fucked up the descent off fairview in the background, but my keen alpine intuition clearly was the foundation of this third calm success - now if only we could find a shady spot to mark the mandatory safety-break minus legions of gaint ants? :)


for our third act, we figured we wanted to take on another big route in the valley, but had to have a plan to beat the heat - braille book on upper cathedral offered afternoon shade and non-aid-climbing, how could we say no?


i enjoyed the cascade-ish approach up hateful talus and boulders, interspersed with manzanita tunnels and brush-fucking - at the base of the climb, almost 2 liters into the day (we'd hauled 4-5 each with us), i performed some necessary surgery on mike, extracting a nice piece of gaia set in to the meat of mike's

forearm - this is pretty much the entire reason for the digital-macro setting, no?


braille book from the ground - many air-conditioned deep cracks leading to a chimney - 5 solid pitches of 5.7-8ish fun


even comes w/ a nice shady chamber to prepare for the long road ahead


plus sweet ass views of cathedral spire, sentinel and the rest of the valley


following mike - fuck it's hot!


climbers ontop of cathedral spire


mike following to the top of our 3rd pitch, the last bit of which unnerved the hell out of me, a valley-chimney noob


"all taint, all the time" - the next to last pitch above looked scary, and mike cringed a bit, but got it done nonetheless


a beautiful view of zodiac and tangerine trip hove into view


after stumbling back down to the car after the "chicken-head mania", hanging out w/ a few short-short wearing italianos on the way downhill, we were equally of the opinion, after all this heat and hardwork, of taking a full day off to play in the river - we figured it would work well on the backend to allow us to wake a 3

AM, hike in, and nail the snake dike on half dome - plan in hand, we set to the hard, hard task of getting hammered


drenched in the sweet draft, i could gladly burn and take in the sights...


the black cave, high on the north american wall...


el cap tower and the texas flake...


the boot flake...


my foolish partner's vain attempts, over and over, to capture him mid-dive, before alcohol and lethargy silenced all



the hardest part about retiring early was the heat and the damned mosquito-hour - luckily the small pharmacopia i'd consumed allowed me to tolerate the blazing bivy bag and the swarming mozzies - we were up by 3 and at the trail head by 4 - sweating like slaves, we hiked the trail, a monument to depression-era work programs, int he cool morning dawn - eventually we received this, half dome's south face in the early light, snake dyke being around the left shoulder a wee bit


regrettably, our glorious crusade crumbled into a damned fiasco - where the hell was the route? we had 2 topos and a picture but none of it was very helpful - frantic to get on top before the face was turned into the sun's anvil, we dithered for an hour over the right start, finally settling on this as being proper for snake dyke, not yet realizing why every single placement for gear already was filled, complete w/ bail biner :)


so, it all fell apart and very harsh emotions were dealt with - this was much harder than we thought it was gonna be, we'd brought a dumb-ass halfrope and me no helmet in a tribute to the long approach - mike took a stab at it, backed off, tried again, backed off, handed it over to me, whereupon i did the same damn

thing even as the sun, babe of The Big Bitch of the World, began to bathe us - fuck!!! the emotional low-point of the trip, i figured we were fucked for this climb, but let's at least walk up to the shoulder of half-dome and look back into the n face?


diving board behind mike


i liked the ghostly white outline of a basejumper on the lower north face


wanna do the approach slabs? holy shit they look intimidating!


the ripples of granite waves, kissing the void of the valley, were pretty cool too - curry village lurks at the toe of glacier apron


but best of all, just a mile across the way, in all it's glory, my first bigwall success, smug in its deep shadows - mideast crisis - holy shit, look at all those goddamn huge rooves we passed through, penitent as pilgrims!?


i was glad we'd make the hike up to the shoulder - it salved the festering sores of ignoble failure on snake dike - a long, long, hot, touron-fucked trail awaited us, and there was a strong temptation to call a pox on the whole fucking valley and head back to the cascades, but i felt a powerful need for a bigwall sucess to justify all that goddamn driving - chewing it over on the run back down the trail, leaping over tourists and their oddly-brought toddlers, i enjoyed the view of mist falls...


and then, by the river, had The Big Thought...


we would blow our load on one last phantom - leaning tower - the west face - hey, harding did it AFTER the nose (and we can just set aside the fact we failed on that, right?) - we'd hike all the shit up to the base and get it ready to go, then flee before the sun appeared - bath in the river, then set off on day 2 - 1 night at awanahe ledge, then a 2nd at the summit, then in'n'fucking out and that big boat home!


the hike up the talus field to the base of the climb, with its 4th class ledges (well fixed already) was unpleasant to say the least - we'd decided, to ensure success, to bring 2 gallons of water each per day - we were stoked to find a gallon at the base too, and brought it along for the ride - additional discoveries at the awanahe ledge allowed us ultimately to leave 4 gallons at the summit


the 4th class traverse once-again reduced me to a whining bitch - i was carrying way too much in the haulbag, and hanging from my jug on an unglimpsed fixed anchor, i thought of The Big Fall


our final night at harden done with, we got an early morning start, hoping to be at the awanahe by whenever the sun appeared on the face - we'd hide from the sun all afternoon, then fix 5/6 in the evening - i pulled pitches 1/2 (we linked all pitches except 9/10) - 1/2 is the mother of all bolt ladders, and i thought it'd be fun to not clip a single one so that mike could have the mother of all lower outs for himeself :) - the book

says its a consistent 110 degree overhang down here


halfway up p 1/2


haulbag in space - the first pitch starts you at 400 feet off the deck already


mike on pitch 3/4, mostly gear w/ the occasional bolt/fixed piece - steep!


by the time i followed to our bivy ledge, the sun was out and mike was simpering below the solar shield - i made sad, scared noises as, just below the ledge, a 5.6 slab traverse causes the fixed line to got scrapping across a hell of a lot of granite :)


so the name of the game was solar survival for the next 5 hours - mike grabbed the alpine umbrella


i used the haul bag, my bivy sack and my gang-dana to make some shade


i took in my goal for the evening, pitches 5/6 to the anchor above


by 7 the sun had set enough to get going - true to form, it didn't go well though - i started by clipping a bolt, lowering 20 feet, then penjing into a crack - 4 gear placements later, i was back even w/ the penji point, but now a good 15 feet beside it, having pulled all my gear as i advanced so as to not make the drag insane - but here it's c2 - i had a good green alien and a so-so hybrid alien and a lot of thin, ramping ground to cover - the cam hook i try blew after i got on it, falling me onto the hybrid which held - next i tried a loweball - it went in well, looked good, and took a bounce test - i was loathe to leave 1 of my 2 green aliens behind, so i pulled it and moved onto the loweball - highstepped, fifing the placement, and then everything

exploded - a great sensation of narrowing - the loweball gone, i shock-loaded the hybrid, which decided 2 falls was too many, and blew too - now there was nothing between me and the only other piece of pro, the bolt at the start of the penji, and so i reversed the penji, upside down, cartwheeling and laughing/crying as i swung 20 some odd feet down and 20 some odd feet sideways, ripping the leadline along the edge the whole way, looking up at a terrified belayer, me dangling in space, free of the wall, 800 feet up from the talus field :)


so anyway, that was when i decided i could just as well do those pitches in the morning :) drinking warm wine in the nascent darkness was much more enticing :P


watching the jovian sunset was pretty cool too


the crescent moon didnt' didn't dissapoint either


the next morning, refreshed, i sought my revenge on pitch 5 - the fall i took the previous evening was from a point halfway between the first bolt and where i am here - a few minutes after this pic, i managed to take another 15 footer after a nut blew when i was topstepping on it, trying to start into the free section


looking back at mike from the same point - i sewed it up a bit on the 2nd swing :)


at the top of pitch 5/6, ready to haul


spacious awanahe ledge


mike off on pitch 7/8 - the whole trip i'd yet to pull an aid-belay session from an anything like a stance :)


mike entering into what i dubbed "the great swallow sewer"


me starting on pithc 9 - fantastically steep - very reminiscent of my last pitch on mideast crisis, save for all the fixed gear which makes it an XtremeClipUp!


so steep, in fact, that i entered a 5th dimension of sight and sound, straight to the soul of my heart chakra :)


looking down, i was pleased to finally see mike suffering at a shitty belay :P


i probably could have continued on into pitch 10, but the anchor atop 9 was an actual goddamn ledge - though it reeked of swallow piss and was greasy in the afternoon sun, i decided it was a perfect place to watch mike deal w/ some steepness from - he didn't complain too much :)


mike starting pitch 10, a fine place for a #5 camalot!


near the traverse exit for the summit


hauling from the summit - the shadow cast by the shitbag was my fav


haul bag ontop!


me cleanign the traverse - excellent job on coordinating my action suit colors w/ the rock, no? :grin:


mike at our night 2 bivy just below the summit


starting the first of many low-angle annoying raps


rapping into the chimney


the final rap


the leanign tower from the rap


and so, a sucess to hang our hat's on, we bid adieu to californication!




Gear Notes:

lotz and lotz of gear


Approach Notes:

the i5 nightmare

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and some video



mike on p2/3 of da nose



to sickle ledge






mike following to the dolt hole






rapping from dolt tower



the view from halfdome's shoulder



hauling on pitch 1/2 of leaning tower



mike on p3/4



my favorite video - releasing the capsule!



this one's for you kevbone! cowering in the heat, listenign to van halen :)




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did you take any pictures?


nice Ivan...looks like a nice sunny trip that will warm you through the PacNW winter.

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Kick ass dude!


Way to get after it, though my brain did start oozing out of my left ear seeing Nose names on WFLT pics. Twitch twitch...

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Well spoken sir, but just a note to all, when Ivan gets hot he just gets mad. Not at anything in particular, just angry. His running commentary as he climbs interspersed with talk worthy of a sailor was a fine counterpoint to my finally getting quiet as I climb.


The Nose itself was reasonably straightforward, but climbing it as full on aid with minimal freeclimbing is what kept us a little slower than molasses in winter.

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Jeez, I cant even relate climbing and heat together much anymore, Although here I go again this weekend to Shucksan myself. Way to p-vere dudes.

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RIGHT ON gentlemen!!!! I can feel the G*damn heat of that trip just sitting at my desk in an air conditioned office.

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Sounds like you guys had a real kick-ass time! I think you should take a few more pictures though :poke: Will Beacon ever be exciting for ya again?

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You had an identical experience as ours on El Cap when we tried it in June a couple years ago. I remember the same longing for the ground on some of those long raps and the heat where no amount of water seemed to satiate the thirst. After bailing from Dolt Tower, we were able to lick our wounds and head up the NW Face of 1/2 Dome the next day where there was more shade and easier climbing.

Good work for you guys to finish the other climbs that you did!

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all due respect kyle, but reading ivan's gonzo mtnrng lit, i doubt anybody has an "identical experience" to his unique prism ride...

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did ya'll do the death slab approach kyle? man, the view of it from the shoulder is intimidating!

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Ivan, There was major rockfall that summer (and subsequent years as well) that made it unsafe; so we did the walk around and dropped down the shoulder to the base of the climb. Nice hike without having to carry a pig.

Lunger, You're right maybe not the same--just the essence of heat, thirst, harder than expected climbing and unrelenting exposure conspired to sap our will leading to bailing at the same spot. The main difference is we had the benefit of a single strand fixed line left for the Huber brothers and their entourage which we borrowed to rap down with all our stuff. Frightening when we had to rap over a taped over portion of the rope halfway down the 1200'.

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I tried leaving a spare beer at the top of the column, he hiked all the way back up and drank the thing. Leave no man behind!


Oh yeah, we also had 100 lbs of gear to bring down as well, but the concept of leaving a beer behind gave him a facial tic.

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Great report! I plan on climbing El Cap this spring by Mescalito, if yall are from Portland mabey we can all team up for some aid sessions. Rock on!


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actually i can't remember a word of it - musta happened during one of my black-outs - will always be willing to add another Member to the Madness if you don't mind maniacs :)


if you haven't done go back to the gym at broughtons yet, i'd highly advise it - even more fun solo!

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actually i can't remember a word of it - musta happened during one of my black-outs - will always be willing to add another Member to the Madness if you don't mind maniacs :)

luashvlansdvoiaew;ofijwa;ofiljwesiofhw;oehf;oasid;oj;odsf; ;oaidfonasd;ofnhsi;of;oiasjd;ofij;asiodjjsnadvnuu :P

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