Portaledge on the nose?


Original Post
jlind · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 33

Should i even drag my ledge up the nose?   Planning on trying to get on route tuesday.   What if we have to do the salathe or triple direct instead.

would we need a ledge for those?   Its a little extra weight and hassle but we could camp anywhere if things are full i guess.  Let me know what you think.

Thanks

Joe

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

Well, you don't technically need a ledge on the Nose. But, most of the natural ledges really only sleep 2-3 people so if they are taken then you're going to be out of luck. Personally we took one so that we didn't have the risk not getting a ledge and/or inclement weather. Not a lot of options up high once you get past El Cap Tower (Pitch 12) so you'd be climbing a bit through the night to get to something, hoping no one else is on the next ledge. 

ahparker · · Portland, OR · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 25

I've only done the nose, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but we had one and I thought it was worth it.  As stated above, not a ton of options if there are crowds or you don't make the pitches you were planning on.  There were lots of people on the wall when we did it. 3 groups on El Cap tower, we were last in and thankful to have a ledge over the pee side of the natural ledge.  Bottleneck at the great roof so we slept at camp 4, again happy with the ledge, party came in late with no ledge and it looked pretty miserable, but everyones comfort level varies.  Just my 2 cents.

drock3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 19

We brought a ledge on the nose. First night we were on dolt tower, ledge was a luxury, not a necessity. Next night we slept at the top of the great roof.

It was nice to have. Kept us out of the pee-smelling normal bivy ledges. Also let us pick stopping points based on our pace instead of ledge location.

An extra 20lbs is super miserable when coming down the east ledges though.

JFF · · Durango, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

^Thats exactly how we did it. Hauled ground up so made it to Dolt day 1. The natural bivy there kind of sucks. Then we passed a party late into the night and slept after the Great Roof which is an epic bivy. I would say if the route is empty don't bring a ledge though. Try to make it to El Cap Tower day 1 because Dolt sucks for sleeping

Mydans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 70

I would say it depends on how many nights you're planning on spending up there.  If you're going fast 2-3 nights and want to go light I would ditch it.  Dolt and El Cap tower are nice ledges but camp 4 sucks.  camp 5 and 6 are good for 1 party but if someone is already there it will be and uncomfortable night.  If you're going for more of a 3-5 night trip I would probably take it because then you can sleep anywhere you want.  We had one when we did it and slept at the belay after the great roof which was an awesome place to camp.

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 840

It's sure nice to not haul a ledge. But if you hit traffic, you're going to have problems. Even some of the "good" bivy spots on the route aren't that great. We were aiming for Camp 5 on our second night, and found out it was going to be occupied, so we wound up sleeping at 4, which is pretty bad, and then 6, which is worse than you would think from looking at it.

If you're pretty sure you'll be able to do it in 2 bivies- El Cap Tower (incredible bivy spot), Camp 5, then optionally a night on top, that seems pretty comfortable. If you have to do 3 nights on the wall, like Dolt, Camp 4, Camp 6, those aren't so great.

You should have a feel for the traffic on the route before you blast off, and might make your decision based on that.

What if we have to do the salathe or triple direct instead.

I don't understand. Those are different routes, different plans. TD might be pretty similar, but Salathe is totally different and generally regarded as about twice as hard as the Nose.

Mydans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 70

The Salathe is not twice as hard as the nose.  There is a lot more mandatory free climbing especially some wider stuff but the aid is only slightly harder than the nose.  There are quite a few nice ledges on the Salathe but they can also be crowded.  El Cap spire is an amazing place to sleep.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

I brought one and thought it was worth it. It allows you to call it a day at any point on the route and gives you options if there are a lot of people on the route. Another big advantage is it keeps you clear from the weather. If you do not have a ledge and a storm rolls in while you're on pitch 20, what are you going to do?

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 420

Old curmudgeon reporting for duty....

It depends...if you have a narrow window for attempting the Nose and you want to succeed regardless of pace or number of parties present...then its totally reasonable to take it all in a junk show of hauling ledges, kegs and stereos...(aka Meadow Blaster). Gut it out and succeed no matter what comes (except weather, have a stable forecast) is one way to do it.

But just this last weekend the Nose was busy on Sat with numerous parties slow and fast...and then empty on Sunday all the way to the Great Roof. That would have been a great time to hop someone's fixed lines (the pitches up to Sickle are trash) and do it fast and light using the available ledges. So if you can pick a window and non-traditional blasting day (not fri or sat) you can make good time.

If you commit to going fast and light you WILL go fast and light. 

If you commit to going slow and heavy...I hope you like hauling and you may have less chance of succeeding after you get your balls busted by a few hauling epics.

Theta Gamma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 23 days ago · Points: 0

Agree with 20kN. I would bring a ledge.

Back when we did the Nose we were on Camp 4 around dusk. A strange noise emanated from the cracks at the back of the ledge. Within minutes we were swarmed by millions of silverfish. I think I even ate a few inadvertently. The wet slime of silverfish guts remained on the sleeping bags for the rest of the route...

Theta Gamma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 23 days ago · Points: 0
Mydans wrote:

The Salathe is not twice as hard as the nose.  There is a lot more mandatory free climbing especially some wider stuff but the aid is only slightly harder than the nose.  There are quite a few nice ledges on the Salathe but they can also be crowded.  El Cap spire is an amazing place to sleep.

I thought the Salathe was twice as hard as the Nose. Its a good bit longer with traverses, downward pitches from Free Blast etc.

I also lead all the pitches...that was probably why I think that...

darrell Cornick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 5

Bring a ledge. They are really nice for a ton of reasons. 

Darren Mabe · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,530

We used one and is pretty essential these days because of the traffic. We also brought espresso maker and steamed milk. But probably not essential. 

sc thomas · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 0

agree salathe is much harder than the nose...

Mydans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 70

C'mon people the Salathe is C2. Its the third easiest route on the wall. The free climbing will get your attention but its only 5.9 and the aid isn't that hard.  

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 840

Are there people out there who think "twice as hard" in this context means something about the technical grade?

Like twice as hard as C2 would be C4?

What is twice as hard as 5.10a?

Everyone who I know who's done both the Nose and the Salathe say the Salathe is about twice as much effort. That's what I meant. If using the word "hard" like that was too imprecise... well, apologies.

I'm just a punter who's only gotten partway up the Salathe, but I think calling it 5.9 A0 is a crock. There's definite mandatory 5.10 climbing.

Mydans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 70

It's El Cap so by definition its big, scary and a lot of work. The Salathe is harder than the Nose but its mostly C1 and the 5.9 rating came from the people who pretty much invented the YDS.  Its a total classic but it is a trade route thats been free climbed more than any route on the captain except Freerider which is just a short variation around the headwall. If you include the free rider variation that's been soloed. Its hammerless and requires almost no hooking (I think we used a couple cam hooks)  I'm not trying to take anything away from the route cuz its amazing but it's only a small step up in difficulty from the Nose.  Even the aid on the Zodiac is way harder and more sustained than on the Salathe or Nose.  

Theta Gamma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 23 days ago · Points: 0
Mydans wrote:

It's El Cap so by definition its big, scary and a lot of work. The Salathe is harder than the Nose but its mostly C1 and the 5.9 rating came from the people who pretty much invented the YDS.  Its a total classic but it is a trade route thats been free climbed more than any route on the captain except Freerider which is just a short variation around the headwall. If you include the free rider variation that's been soloed. Its hammerless and requires almost no hooking (I think we used a couple cam hooks)  I'm not trying to take anything away from the route cuz its amazing but it's only a small step up in difficulty from the Nose.  Even the aid on the Zodiac is way harder and more sustained than on the Salathe or Nose.  

Yes but the Zodiac is 1/2 as long as either, probably 2/5ths of the total climbing on Salathe.  Does that mean it is 1/2 as hard or 2/5ths twice as easy?

Zodiac was my first El Cap route. I also soloed it. I thought it was by far easier than Salathe, too. 

Eric is on to something imo, theres the "depth" and "breadth" of "hardness" that can be measured in non-quantifiable measures...to others...

For me Salathe was way harder than either and also harder than NA Wall. Felt about the same as Mescalito, but not quite as hard as Muir (probably because I pretty much led every pitch there too). On Salathe didn't have a #5, #6, or #9.   There were also some "disturbances in the kitchen". I think if I went up there with a a 6 and a VG it wouldn't feel really bad  (at least as bad as then), but that was then, this is now.

It's okay if other people have opinions too.

Eric-to answer your question 10.20b is twice as hard as 5.10a. Again, jmo

darrell Cornick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 5

5.9+ is twice as difficult as 10a. I have no idea why. Back to the original topic. Another big reason to bring a ledge on the nose is that with that if you use a microtraxion, the hauling with a ledge isn’t that bad. The increased pulley efficiency over the mini trax has really changed my thoughts on bringing a ledge. As have a few big wall bivies without one.  

timinthehouse · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0
   "There were also some "disturbances in the kitchen". 

Hahaha hahahah

That made me laugh for real.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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