Type: Trad, Aid, 2900 ft (879 m), 30 pitches, Grade V
FA: Bocarde, Porter 1972 FCA: Charlie Fowler, Xavier Bongard, 1993
Page Views: 23,400 total · 221/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Jan 7, 2012
Admins: M Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description

Despite beat out placements & seeing 100s of ascents the Shield is about as quintessential of a big wall as you could imagine. Gone are the rurp seams that Porter encountered on the FA but the overhanging headwall and spectacular position remain and make this a memorable ascent.

The route breaks away from the ledges of freeblast with a few lack-luster pitches up through the grey ledges section. A protected bivy lies below the steep roof above. The climbing really begins with the Shield roof pitch. It looms ominous & steep however concedes with a series of bolts with the rest fixed.

The route seems to go from mellow to extreme and in an instant when you turn the lip onto the windy, overhanging headwall. A single crack splitting the amazing granite face above is why you're doing this route. One C1 pitch and then you're ready for the business. The Groove and Triple Cracks pitches go up this amazing section of rock. Insecure and steep, they are considered the cruxes of the route. While they have gone clean most still feel the need to hammer at least a few pins. Being creative here will save using the hammer too much. Beaks, hand-placed sawed-offs, and offset cams & nuts can make the offensive holes climbable. The headwall finally eases with several sections of bolts and a fat ledge. Above the headwall there is still some ground to cover but the climbing eases as you merge onto the final pitches of Magic Mushroom.

Clean ascents, while coveted, are rare but minimizing nailing will protect this route from further damage.

Location

The route breaks away from the Salathe(freeblast) above Mammoth Terraces and continues up through the grey ledges of Muir. Next it juts straight up and out the roof and up the large, sheer, and overhanging headwall on the left side of El Cap's prow. Finally it rejoins Muir for the topout pitches.

Protection

A typical bigwall rack with emphasis on larger sawed-off angles (1"-1.25"). The new large offset cams are useful & as always beaks as well.

Anchors have at least one good bolt and most allow for 2 portaledges.

Also bring your puffy as you can be very cold even in heat of summer. Not kidding.

Photos