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Basket Case T 

Basket Case 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 800'
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: FA: Jim Donini, TM Herbert, 6/1972 FFA: Mark Klemens, Jim Bridwell, 7/1972
Page Views: 1,806
Submitted By: Alexey on Aug 15, 2013

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Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The route from the base looks jaw-dropping. You guessing about the size of the crux pitch. Is my knee would be in? Can I hand stack?

P1. Strait forward and easy 5.8. Your target big grassy ledge where 1-st pitch in Reid topo start. Probably length of the pitch depends where you finish you approach. It can be Zero [0] if you make horizontal approach to the big grassy ledge, but easiest is to traverse 100 feet lover

P2. (link p1 and 2 in Reid topo ) Stelar 160 feet of hands, wide hands and fists in the corner. You will use all your #3 and #4 you brought. Hard for 5.9.

P3+P4: 80ft +80 ft: We linked them in one pitch . You need double purple, green and red camalots for this pitch. End of p4 has nice thin crack, hard for 5.9.

P5. Crack in the left facing corner. And overhanging because left facing corner lean toward the left. Crack changing size from hands to #4 and than to #5. beginning has better size, but more overhang. First 100 feet sustained hard 4-5"ow with at least 2-3 good rests. Last 40 feet become wider and easier. Crux pitch about 150ft. 5.11b
Save #4 friend for belay at the end of crux pitch.

P6. Up to this point Reid topo was fine. But P6 left me in doubt what we did. From belay directly above was dirty mossy corner with no pro which possible was the route Donini climbed 40 years ago. At the same time clean wide crack leaning 45 degree toward right from belay and looks well protectable , but very hard. And it was no way 5.10. Than it goes vertical hard double crack with some hand jams. We call it second crux 5.11. 80ft.
Edit: my theory that some big blocks of rock fell near the top of p5/ beginning of p6, since 1972 FFA. This made transition to 5.9/5.10 chimney impossible leaving only the choice of 5.11 wide crack leaning toward right from the top of p5.

P7. You have the choice to climb left chimney or right chimney. Topo did not help to make the choice. We climbed right chimney and still not sure did we make correct choice or not. 160 ft, 5.8.
[Edit] After reading Christina TR where they ended up at the same dead end as we did- I think Left Chimney should be taken which make an easier way to the top of Dome.

Climbing eased up
couple more pitches to reach the top of Basket Dome following crack system. We reached dead end on our way, down climb, transitioned left to other crack system and finally reached the top of the Dome

The route has no bolts, no pitons, no slings- nothing can imply that anyone climbed it before you. At the same time most of the pitches have superb quality, but with some dust and dirt falling in your face if you looking up watching your partner. Except some funny sound plates on p3, no loose rock on the route.


Started at Porcupine trailhead. ~5 miles to North Dome. We bivi near the North Dome to save time. Next morning approach to the start of the route took about 2 hours. We took upper approach #2 ( see enclosed pdf)
You can study approach from hi resolution photo.
It is not very long, but it was confusing even with printouts from the link above. Closer to the base of the route the ledges become very exposed class 3/4 and one mistake and you out forever. In the end of approach we un- flake the rope and tied in.
If you start climbing at 7 am you can be in the shade for most of the route, sheltering from sun behind big left facing corner.


0.3-0.5 C4 single
0.75-#5 C4 double
#6C4 single
+#4 friend

Photos of Basket Case Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Second Crux-  pitch 6 : credit:Salamanizer
Second Crux- pitch 6 : credit:Salamanizer
Rock Climbing Photo: Reid topo
Reid topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux pitch5. credit:Salamanizer
Crux pitch5. credit:Salamanizer
Rock Climbing Photo: Long shot of Basket Case
BETA PHOTO: Long shot of Basket Case
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach for Basket Case. Take upper, do not go on...
BETA PHOTO: Approach for Basket Case. Take upper, do not go on...
Rock Climbing Photo: A straight on view of Basket Case which goes up th...
BETA PHOTO: A straight on view of Basket Case which goes up th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2, hard 5.9. credit:Salamanizer
Pitch 2, hard 5.9. credit:Salamanizer
Rock Climbing Photo: Clint Cummins Basket Case overlay
Clint Cummins Basket Case overlay
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux Pitch5. credit:Salamanizer
Crux Pitch5. credit:Salamanizer
Rock Climbing Photo: Clint Cummins side view for p6 from Glacier point
Clint Cummins side view for p6 from Glacier point
Rock Climbing Photo: Last 5.8 pitch: credit:Salamanizer
Last 5.8 pitch: credit:Salamanizer

Comments on Basket Case Add Comment
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By Alexey
From: San Jose
Aug 16, 2013

1.FA 6/1972:Jim Donini, TM Herbrt
story about first assent

2.FFA:Mark Klemens, Jim Bridwell, 7/1972

3.Second free assent :Peter Haan,Ed Ward

4. Third free assent from Mountain 33 (March 1974.)
"Notable repeats include an outstanding series by Dale Bard who climbed Basket Case (third, all nuts) with Tim Harrison

any more?

and trip report from July 2013:
By Christina Freschl
From: Berkeley, California
Oct 2, 2013

For a different experience of the route, check out my TR on supertopo.

I think my partner and I are extremely humbled:)
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Oct 2, 2013

Christina, I was extremely humbled too.
Do you think I was hallucinating on second crux pitch 6 when I mentioned "vertical double hands"?
By Christina Freschl
From: Berkeley, California
Oct 3, 2013

I don't know Alexey, but it was definitely not a hand crack. I think that a bit of hallucinating is typical for this route. :) We should totally climb together sometime. Are you going to the November gathering?
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Oct 4, 2013

I made some editing after reading Christina report and add Clint's overlay photos which can explain some route finding problems on the upper part of the route.
And there is no more "double hands crack" on p6 - it is gone!
Christina am planning to be at november Balch camp fest and hope we will meet there

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