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[TR] Yosemite Exposure - Various 5/15/2013

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Trip: Yosemite Exposure - Various


Date: 5/15/2013


Trip Report:

I'm not one of those guys who can walk up to El Cap and send it onsight, first try, like this tenacious youngster. I just don't have that type of talent. Rock climbing in general does not come easy to me like it does with a lot of talented climbers who post (and don't post) on here. I'm terrible at on-sighting, whether multi-pitch, big wall or single pitch. Thus, I have to get things wired, sometimes relentlessly, or else it's not an enjoyable experience. Not the best style I know, but I have to work within my personal constraints.


This year I made up my mind to return to Yosemite as much as possible to see if I could desensitize my fear of being up on El Cap. Kyle Flick and I bailed from Dolt Tower in 2007, again out of fear more than anything. I perceived Yosemite, and El Cap, to be too overwhelming and left it to a future date. It wasn't a total wash though, since we managed to climb the RNWF of Half Dome.


I've made several trips down to Yosemite so far this year, playing on El Cap and The Nose. It's starting to feel better, though there is that intimidation still lingering. I've gotten to climb with cool people, like the German Jakob Braun:



And my friend Dustin Moore from Oakland:




I've run up to Dolt Tower three times since February, each time the route feeling a little less daunting. I'm hoping that a few more trips and I'll be ready to climb something on El Cap.


Dean Olin, Spencer Wickler and I spent five days down there last week, hoping for The Nose but getting slapped down by two days of weather, crowds, the relative humidity wasn't exactly where we wanted it, my hemorrhoids were flaring up (John Sherman excuse), you name it. As a consolation, we climbed what probably most Nose bailers climb to assuage the sting: Central Pillar of Frenzy. Yes, splitter cracks like the Nose, but 27 pitches shorter.




We were left with a lot of time on our hands, so at around noon on Sunday, 5/11 we made a spontaneous decision to climb Lost Arrow Tip. The climb is more up my alley, resembling more of a Cascadian adventure than a Yosemite one. Lots of hiking for a couple pitches of climbing, vs. 10 minutes of approach for 32 pitches.


Yosemite Falls was swollen with the recent sweltering temps.



The noise of the falls was present all day, even from our site at Camp 4. It was too loud to be considered white noise. The trail was bustling with tourists, and I managed to score a bite-sized muffin from one of them on the way up.


So, Lost Arrow Tip. If you only had one opportunity to do one two-pitch route in your life, I would choose this one. This is a full-on technical, emotional and physical challenge. On paper it seems pathetic. 4 miles and 3,000' of hiking for what? 220' of climbing? And the climbing isn't even that memorable. But taken as a whole, climbing next to the constant roar of the falls, rapping down into the dark notch with a couple thousand feet of exposure to each side, the expectation and anxiety that you have to do a Tyrolean Traverse to get back out, all of this makes the LAT one of the best Yosemite experiences I've had thus far.


Rapping into the notch to get to the start of the route:



Two 60m ropes and passing the knott 2/3 of the way down get you to the start of the climbing. Use the remaining slack in the second rope as your lead line, which is plenty to crank out the two pitches.


Dean jugging the first pitch off-width.



Pitch one has several new ASCA bolts and a couple pins. Our rack was a single set of cams and a few stoppers. The off-width protects sufficiently with a #2, #3 and #4 camalot. There are nice crystals outside the crack to aid in upward movement, and it's mostly low angled, much like the o/w on Backbone Ridge.


Salathe Ledge offered up expansive views of the Valley:



Dean busted out pitch two, taking us to the top. You will NEVER forget the step out over tons of air off of Salathe Ledge at the start of pitch two!!!



Dean traversed first back over to the other side and set up the other two ropes for Spencer and me to follow on our own Tyrolean. A few shots of the ordeal.

Dean committed to the traverse:



My turn, up there with the ravens. Dean Olin photo.



And trying to add mid-Tyrolean perspective:



Spencer's turn:





The approach, climbing, logistics, and deproach pretty much wiped us out for the day Monday. We did our best on Serenity Crack, but could go no further into Sons. The highlight was a Peter Croft sighting. He remarked on the heat and questioned our sanity at starting the route at 1pm.


So, that's the saga so far. More to come...









Edited by telemarker

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Awesome photos and trip John! :rawk:


That tyrolean looks way cool.The Central Pillar of Frenzy is one of my favorites down there.


Give me a call if you need a partner down there again.

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Great photos, it looks sweaty down below in CA. I'm curious how crowded the nose was?? Don't beat your self up man, you climb like a fiend!

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Great TR. Looks like I have to add LAS to the bucket list.


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Great TR and pics. I call your strategy beating a route to death by sheer will, practice, and determination. The send then seems casual and nobody has to know what the prep was like. Unless you post it. :)

Edited by matt_warfield

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So.....you'll drop into the Triple Couloirs, in the dark, in a blizzard but you're scared of the Nose. This does not compute.


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Double the water, half the food, lighten the haulbag, simplify the cluster, and go send that rig!!!



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wow, awesome! and look at all them fancy pictures, too! wielding a new camera?


i love this one:


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