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[TR] Washington Column - Mideast Crisis (V 5.8 A2/C3) 9/12/2010

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Trip: Washington Column - Mideast Crisis (V 5.8 A2/C3)


Date: 9/12/2010


Trip Report:

The summer was drawing to a close and I was eager to get out of town to some real sun and granite. My usual wall partner suspects (who are few in number to start with) were unavailable (or unwilling) to head to California so I hooked up with Moof.


We'd met before and he'd done a great job sewing up my Russian aiders, but hadn't climbed together. We settled on Mideast Crisis which he'd done not to long ago but was happy to get on again and I wanted to do it clean. I figured it wouldn't be quite as committing as El Cap with a new partner and looked like a fun and not too crowded route.


We made it to Yosemite in my Chinook with just enough time to meet my girlfriend for pizza and then to do a run up to the base with some water and hardware and crash there. We headed down for breakfast and then hauled the rest of our crap up.




The plan was to string together the haul line and lead line to the top of pitch 4 and do a long haul to camp up there the first night. We also chose to start via Planck's Constant roof. Moof lead the first pitch while I fought to get the haul line untangled form the tree. I got the fun roof, and then he lead up our third (4th on the topo) pitch to a tree and hanging belay. I busted out the headlamp to finish the cleaning and we set up the haul.








It took us a while to get our hauling straightened out as my small pulley jammed and melted somehow, but a little counterweight helped and we were soon setting up Moof's new homemade ledge and chilling with some yummy food and a beer (albeit in the dark). We both slept pretty well and got up when we felt like it just before the sun hit us.






I got the next fun pitch up an overhanging corner and into the tricky thing section which I got through clean with a hand placed medium pecker and a #1 ball nut. Sean got the next super fun roof crack and I led the last pitch to Hotel California ledge and the great slab. On this pitch we deviated again from the topo taking the obvious hand sized crack to the left of the awkward 5.8 flare. This turned out to be a fairly easy cam plugging crack and skipped the usual A2 nailing in the back of the flare.








The ledge was not bad for chilling on but didn't have any real comfy place to sleep two (possible, but not ideal), so we pitched the portaledge again. The sun hit us just after breakfast and this was the only day where is really got hot in the couple of hours of direct light. Moof led the slab pitch mostly free and got to do the crappy slab hauling . I headed up the C2+ loose rock into one of the steepest roofs I'd ever climbed on mostly bombed #3 camalots. This haul was super easy after we got the bags unstuck.










Moof led the last pitch of the day to a somewhat cramped hanging belay at Pitch 11. Although it was a bit hard to spread out and the wall sloped away under the bolts we decided to camp here anyways and set about some partner gymnastics to get the ledge set up while mostly free hanging.






This time we barely got any sun in the morning because of the massive overhang, but it was still nice t-shirt weather as we packed up and I led up the next roof on nice small cams.


















Moof took the last real pitch which turned back into slab and then we both ferried out gear up the 4th class finish. With plenty of food and water left (and beer) we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon chilling and enjoying the views and hike down the next day.








The hike down sucked with so much crap. We ferried two loads down the gully then sacked up for big bags in the forest and back to the car. It was long and hot, but well worth it for the climb.


The route was awesome, mostly great cam plugging, only a dozen or so fixed pieces or bolts (except for belays), and I didn't think it was that hard to do clean. Moof was a great partner and the weather was great, what more could you want? I even had extra beer on top!


P.S. Thanks to the x-mas white elephant that game me the 20 oz Old E to enjoy on top (actually the stout I had next was far more enjoyable, but it's the tradition eh!).



More pics here: http://picasaweb.google.com/matthiesen/MidEastCrisisOnWashingtonColumn#




Gear Notes:

Lots of big cams, and then some extra ones (at least triples of everything), a single set of offset aliens was handy, and a couple of peckers and ballnuts for the one thin bit. Leave the hammer at home!


Approach Notes:

Up the hill, not far from the base of the Prow and Astroman.

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Cool. Congrats! But I thought aid climbers were a dirty lot. You guys look way too clean to be legit.

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no fair - moof, like, learned lessons from our climb to make the 2nd trip up the thing way more gangsta! your just not having fun unless your screaming at the haul system! :)


glad to hear no alcohol was abandoned on the summit this time.


my fav pic of dr moof-instein from our mideast crisis trip


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Cool. Congrats! But I thought aid climbers were a dirty lot. You guys look way too clean to be legit.


Yeah, somehow I managed to haul a few extra things up there including handi-wipes, a change of clothes, and an accidental 5lbs of extra food and 2 extra beers (beyond my one per day). Moof packed light with only a summit beer, but he still got to do the worst of the hauling. ;-)


Ivan, yeah, I think we learned from your trip! Avoid the ugly flare and ferry gear on the 4th class. I still don't believe you guys hauled 1:1 on the first couple days. I was happy to get the hauling ratchet dialed as I couldn't budge the bags otherwise. Maybe I need to gain weight. Thank god Moof brought an extra pulley after we melted one of mine!

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Thanks for getting that posted Stew-beef!


Most excellent trip. Stewart was an excellent partner, and climbed fast enough to make up for my plodding pace. We finished earlier each night, and kept things to a pretty casual style.



1. Starting pitches so overburdened with gear you can hardly move, and finishing them with just a few cams and a set of nuts...


2. Projectile vomitting MRE and orange Gatorade all over the top of the slab pitch. Note: Don't buy the Chicken in Buffalo Style Sauce MRE's.


3. Being unable to walk up stairs once I got home.


4. Sleeping in my own homemade ledge, and not having it collapse (Yay!).


5. Leaving water at the top for the third wall in a row.


6. Avoiding the hateful flair. C1+ variation is highly recommended.


7. 12 pitches, only clipping 12 pins, 12 bolts, and ZERO copper heads.


If you back clean as much as Stewart, 4x of #1-3 is probably fine, but if you're like me 5x in in order. 2x #3.5, 2x #4, and 2x #4.5, and 2x #5 camalots about right for the Planck's Constant roof (old school sizes). Double #3.5 and #4.5 is all that is needed higher up. I biffed and was a cam short in the #4 size due to improper size conversions and hasty preperation (sorry Stew!).

Edited by Moof

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Great trip report! Did this one about 15 years ago. I agree about the variation to the flair thank god a freind of ours did it just before and mentioned it to us. Surprised it still has not shown up on a topo yet.

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