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[TR] El Capitan - Triple Direct 5/19/2010

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Trip: El Capitan - Triple Direct


Date: 5/19/2010


Trip Report:

I basically lack words other than I feel really happy. If you develop some basic aid climbing skills, learn to be efficent and get in shape it's not hard, just a lot of work. Get on it!


I spent what climbing time I could muster this spring dialing in the aid climbing while Owen just spent time being Owen, hiking pitches that I can barely follow. The hauling, jugging and leading seemed to take all of a pitch for him to sort out.


We knocked this off in 5 days RT from home, our itinerary being...


Day 1 (Wednesday, May 12th)


Catch a 6 am flight from Seatac into San Fransisco. On the road by 9am. Grab two cases of bottled water in El Portal and pack the piglets just inside the park boundary. Pull into El Cap meadows at 2:30 pm. Immediately walk to the base of The Nose. Look at people scattered everywhere over the first four pitches. Move over to Free Blast which is essentially empty. Start climbing at 3:30 PM. Reach Triangle Ledge at the top of Pitch 6 by 9 PM. Bivi.


Day 2 (Thursday, May 13th)


Get up early. Start climbing, climb some more, keep climbing, race darkness across some big pendulums into the Grey Bands and a decent bivi at the end of Pitch 18.


Day 3 (Friday, May 14th)


Sleep in. Climb a nice Pitch of 5.9 into Camp 4. Apparently no one on the Nose has made it past El Cap Tower. Climb the Great Roof. Owen learns to lower out following it. Continue up the Pancake Flake, through Camp 5, up to the Glowering Spot and into Camp 6 by 6 pm. Camp 6 is a shower. Fix the ropes and rap back to a ridiculously exposed 18" wide ledge. Drop the food bag. Laugh. Have a surprisingly good nights sleep hanging in your harness.


Day 4 (Saturday, May 15th)


Start early. Get wet on the beginning of the Changing Corners pitch. Climb into the sun at a perfect belay stance at the top of Pitch 28. The exposure up here is beyond comprehension. Experience an overwhelming joy. Two short fun pitches, the last an overhanging bolt ladder and we're at the top by 3:30 PM. After a glorious descent, experience culture shock in the Mardi-Gra like atmosphere of Curry Village. Drink to much beer, eat to much pizza and crash out in the forest below El Cap where the constellations in the heavens are joined by a constellation of headlights from other climbers scattered across the wall. Breathe taking.


Day 5 (Sunday, May 16th)


Coffee and pastries in Curry Village. Then hike up to the base of the most beautiful thing ever. Perfect temps. Back to Curry Village to pilfer through all the cool gear in the Mountain Shop then on to El Cap meadows to repack the bags for the flight home. Leave Yosemite by 1 pm, catch a flight in the evening, stumble in the front door around midnight. Back to work!


Enjoy the pics....



Geared Up





Free Blast, Pitch 5





Into the aid climbing on the Muir Wall





Racing darkness across the pendulum pitches in the Grey Band





Climbing into Camp 4 on The Nose - no one around!?





Approaching the Great Roof





Owen survives the lower-outs under the Great Roof





The spectacular Pancake Flake, first of many pitches in the upper dihedrals





Unbelievable exposure at the top of Pitch 28





The end of it all





Compulsory Team Picture at the Top-Out Tree





The glorious descent down the East Ledges





The Most Beautiful Thing Ever - Yosemite Falls





Lazy afternoon repacking in El Cap Meadows




Gear Notes:

As many #7 and #8 al offset nuts as you can bring. Lots of #2 and #3 Camalots for the upper pitches.

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Hells yeah homeys!


Definetly the best way to do the valley: drive in, get on the wall, climb, get off the wall, get drunk, go home.

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Now that's what I call five days well spent! Interesting to see all the snow along the base of Middle Cathedral in photo #4.

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sweet!!! TD looks like a great route with way less crowds then the nose. looks like you guys made the most of your trip!

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Damn cool D! awesome job. so jealous.........


seattle to up high on elcap in one day is f@#king rad.

Edited by genepires

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Thanks for reminding us that climbing can be "simple", awe-inspiring and joyful.

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what'd you have for a rack? heavy on the offsets I see but what else? would a double standard free rack to #4 with a few more pieces in the #2 C4 range cut it? plus some cam hooks?


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Awesome TR! I really love that shot looking up at the Great Roof, never seen a picture of it at that angle.

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