Comments: Vertigo roof is shorter, with one hard move. No one move is as hard on Psycho Direct, but the burly factor goes on much longer, and the pump starts to stack up. Canyon classic with 2nd pitch of 3 OF.
Comments: One of the first ascentionists of this classic climb, Mike O'Brien, passed away within the last couple of years. I learned this about a week ago when on a road trip to El Rito, N.M., Henry Lester pulled out a collector's quality, Swiss-made, wood shafted, north wall hammer to pound in the tent stakes. After remarking on its beauty, Henry informed me that he had acquired it from Mike's estate.
I doubt that when Mike bought this hammer as a young man in the '50s for his alpine adventures that ... more >>
Comments: Several bolts added to the first pitch, now eight bolts + two for the anchor, make it well protected. This makes a great pitch on its own, and is 12a IMO. Not chipped, glued, or chained as far as I can tell.
Comments: One of the best catches of my climbing career occurred on the 4th pitch, and the climber wasn't even on my rope. Eons ago, Jim Ghiselli and I climbed the Doub-Griffith to arrive at the shared, last pitch ledge with Super Slab. Another team climbing SS had arrived first, so Jim & I set up our belay just below. While Jim led the also slightly dicey D-G, the unmistakeable sound of a falling climber grabbed my attention. The other party's leader hurtled straight towards me. She fell 35 feet, pa... more >>
Comments: Ken Trout showed us his one rope rappel today. A 70 meter rope is essential, but gets you down no worries. When you are at the top of the wall looking out to the east, rap off the anchor on the right, the one with the long chains. Head down the ramp as you normally would, but stop at the first anchors you come to, about 25 meters down. The second rap goes climber's left off the ramp. After about 20 meters, it's a short rap, you will find an anchor on a small slab. (Ken told us he scrounged... more >>
Comments: Pitches 2,3, & 4 rate 3 to 4 stars for quality; they are superlative. Pitch 1 is forgettable, and the last pitch is wet ( we combined pitches 5 & 6), but interesting with positive holds and reasonable pro. If you are not put off by conditions such as this, or even seek them out for the adventure, you will enjoy this route, as did I.
Comments: Yesterday, we used the descent described in the comments section of the Red Wall. It is a much better option than The Camel. The exposed downclimb at the top may be fifth class, but no harder than 5.2.
Comments: Gear alert. The fixed nut is missing. As we had no gear besides quickdraws with us, and unwilling to commit without that bit of gear, we traversed from the top of Free Willie, to the anchors on Days, hung the draws, including extended slings off the crux bolt.
Comments: The bird poop in the middle, the loose jug after the crux, and the contrived runout thereafter on uncleaned lichenous holds to the anchor will certainly keep the crowds away from a climb that otherwise has very good movement.