Type: Trad, Aid, 1500 ft (455 m), 12 pitches, Grade V
FA: May 1975, Charlie Porter and Bev Johnson
Page Views: 2,777 total · 51/month
Shared By: Ian McEleney on Oct 21, 2019
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

This route is a cool way to get to Tribal Rite. It's also a way to avoid some of the crowds on the first half of the Nose for savvier aid climbers, though you'd also be skipping some of its classic pitches.

Start with the first 3.5 pitches of the Nose.

Where the Nose moves right on its fourth pitch, free climb left on good edges past a bolt. From here a mix of free and aid lead to the belay. There is some loose rock on this long pitch.

Moderate clean aid linking rivet ladders characterize the next 3 pitches. Leave a lot of the rack in the bag and move with more ease. On pitch 8 the Teetotaler Variation is more direct than stopping by the Stellar Cellar, you might use a few beaks on this lead. Put them back in the bag for 9 and 10.

Get that stuff (and the hooks and cam hooks) back out for pitch 11. You might need to do some gardening to find the best placements. At the start of 12 you can see a lot of bolts and rivets, you're headed up and right toward a small ledge with a tombstone flake on it. This thing is loose, avoid touching it. Follow rivets to the first pendulum, then hooks and a spot of free climbing to the second (shorter) swing. Stop here, just above the end of the Jardine traverse. The follower should prepare the bags for a big lower-out. Welcome back to the Nose.

If you're headed to Tribal Rite climb a 100 foot plus pitch of easy aid and free to Eagle Ledge, then another short easy pitch to a sloping ledge on the left. These two could be linked. Now a 60m pitch takes you past the start of the Lynn Hill traverse and through some darker rock to the spot where the Nose penji's left. Make an athletic pendulum to the right aiming for a small slab on top of the El Cap snake. This is the top of pitch 1 of Tribal.

A few quotes about the route from Bev Johnson's biography, The View From The Edge:

Johnson - “I was still fairly strung out from the Triple Direct which I had finished five days before. My mind was still boggled and my wounds still open - an incredible set of blisters from my boots, chunk of meat still missing from my hands, my back raw from my waist loop. I couldn't believe I was going back up. Extended climbs are at least as punishing mentally. Can't relax. Seven days of trusting my life to flimsy gadgets and fragile ropes. Got to stay alert. No mistakes - Ran out of food and water and had to spring to the summit, climbing most of the final night by headlamp and moonlight."

Porter - “That summer Walter Rosenthal and I got interested in doing an alternative route to the Nose. Maybe Bev and I were having trouble then, I don't remember. But we were looking at a long angled climb on El Cap, that I was going to call El Cappidosia. Bev was sitting in her hammock belaying and reading a book about a perverted football player and his perverted fraternity initiation involving a backwards race and the loser eating grapes. The route was so contrived we decided to use the scene from that awful book to name the climb Grape Race."


Location Suggest change

Start on the Nose.

Protection Suggest change

3.5 sets of cams to #1 BD (we used Totems, offset Aliens, and C3's)
2 ea #2 - #4 BD
2 ea small offset nuts
1 ea large offset nuts
cam hooks
2-3 ea size Tomahawks
1 ea hooks, w/1 extra Grappling Hook
Lots of rivet hangers