Pennyroyal Arches rappels (Tuolumne)


Original Post
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 115

I've never climbed at this area and want to check it out on my next trip.  Has anybody done the rappel descent in the last couple of years?  How are the bolts/anchors?  Is the tree/trees for the first rap solid?

luke Lydiard · · Mammoth Lakes, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 754

Haven't been up to the Meadow yet this season but I bet the Pennyroyal area is going to be wet for awhile. 

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 930

Phyllis,


I don't know of an established descent from the top of Pennyroyal Arches.  When Clint and I rebolted The Vision we used a tree at the very top, and then the bolts on Chandlee's route Alchemists Revision, but the anchor on top of pitch 2 on the big ledge is gear.  We rapped off to climber's left on a jammed knot with a #1 friend as backup.  Clint came down on just the sling with a jammed knot.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 115

I was wondering about the wet issue, Luke.  I'm not headed up there until the beginning of August, but it could still be an issue many places in the Meadows given the snow situation.  Hi Bruce,  Nice to hear from you!  I was thinking of doing Euphoria, which is over to the right from the Vision, and the comments here on MP do describe the rap route which is indicated in the Reid & Falkenstein guide.  Don't tell me those stories about Clint!  I've seen him do similar things in the past and it freaks me out!

Bruce Hildenbrand · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2003 · Points: 930

Phyllis,


I talked with Greg Barnes about the rappel on Euphoria.  He said the bolts are OK.  Don't know about the tree at the top.  Hopefully, he will post up a bit more info.

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 115

I got a PM from a climber who said the tree at the top is a giant pine. I'll take a bunch of new sling with me and replace anything that looks sketchy. Always fun checking out a new cliff!

splitclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 5

The Vision looks so good.  Thx for rebolting Bruce and Clint

2 ropes for raps out there?

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

There's a rap descent on Pennyroyal now? When did that happen?

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Curious about more info for rapping off of Pennyroyal after doing The Vision... Phylp, did you ever get out there and check out the tree at the top?

Thanks!

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Carla R wrote:

Curious about more info for rapping off of Pennyroyal after doing The Vision... 

The walk-off really isn't bad at all and is probably faster than rapping.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,748
Marc801 C wrote:

There's a rap descent on Pennyroyal now? When did that happen?

Heard that it was probably sometime in the early '90s. 

In October 2002 we replaced some of the 1/4" bolts on The Vision, Alchemist's Revision, and Ooze and Aahs. We also found the rappels (I forget who told us about them), and backed the bolted belays up with a new bolt each (the old bolts were 3/8" stud bolts, some sealed with silicone which were very rusty, the others not sealed and somewhat rusty). So the 3 bolted rap stations each have 3 bolts one of which is stainless (we had no way of removing 3/8" stud bolts at that point - even now, a hand-cranked tool to spin the bolt is a new thing).

Rap beta: first is off the tree about 130' straight down to bolted anchor. Second is about 140' straight down to the bolted anchor. But the third you rap quite a ways to the right (climber's right, skier's left), about 110', to a bolted anchor above the edge of the big arch. The last rappel is 200' to the ground, or 140' to 3rd class slabs (Tuolumne 3rd class...maybe 4th/low 5th class!). I think we had one 50 and one 60m rope, or maybe a 50 and a 55.

The walk off to the right is pretty quick but definitely high 4th class/low 5th. Easy for veteran Tuolumne climbers, could be risky for those not good at route finding. Anyway it would be nasty in a thunderstorm. I haven't done the left walk off.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110
Greg Barnes wrote:

Heard that it was probably sometime in the early '90s. 

In October 2002 we replaced some of the 1/4" bolts on The Vision, Alchemist's Revision, and Ooze and Aahs. We also found the rappels (I forget who told us about them), and backed the bolted belays up with a new bolt each (the old bolts were 3/8" stud bolts, some sealed with silicone which were very rusty, the others not sealed and somewhat rusty). So the 3 bolted rap stations each have 3 bolts one of which is stainless (we had no way of removing 3/8" stud bolts at that point - even now, a hand-cranked tool to spin the bolt is a new thing).

Rap beta: first is off the tree about 130' straight down to bolted anchor. Second is about 140' straight down to the bolted anchor. But the third you rap quite a ways to the right (climber's right, skier's left), about 110', to a bolted anchor above the edge of the big arch. The last rappel is 200' to the ground, or 140' to 3rd class slabs (Tuolumne 3rd class...maybe 4th/low 5th class!). I think we had one 50 and one 60m rope, or maybe a 50 and a 55.

The walk off to the right is pretty quick but definitely high 4th class/low 5th. Easy for veteran Tuolumne climbers, could be risky for those not good at route finding. Anyway it would be nasty in a thunderstorm. I haven't done the left walk off.

Thanks, Greg! And thanks so much for all your hard work!

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Greg Barnes wrote:

The walk off to the right is pretty quick but definitely high 4th class/low 5th. Easy for veteran Tuolumne climbers, could be risky for those not good at route finding. 

I'll gie it that. It can get uncomfortably difficult if you miss the optimal line.

Anyway it would be nasty in a thunderstorm. I haven't done the left walk off.

I think crossing the road is nasty in a Meadows t-storm!

I've done the route about 5 times - the left "walk off" never looked walkable!

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,748
Marc801 C wrote:

I'll gie it that. It can get uncomfortably difficult if you miss the optimal line.

I think crossing the road is nasty in a Meadows t-storm!

I've done the route about 5 times - the left "walk off" never looked walkable!

Yep, that's why I've always walked off to the right!

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 115

I'm headed up to Lee Vining tomorrow Carla. Will probably head to Pennyroyal Sunday or Monday. Thanks for the description, Greg. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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