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Member Since: Oct 3, 2009
Last Visit: 2 days ago
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Mark P Thomas
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Point Rank: # 2,923
Total Points: 198

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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3



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All 1025 | Routes 3 | Areas | Photos 37 | Page Improvements 1 | Comments 128 | Posts 72 | Stars 460 | Ratings 324
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Sentinel Creek Area : Pharaoh's Beard, Regular Ro... (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 24, 2012

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Comments: Thanks for adding the nut! That anchor is a little sketchy. 5.8 OW was pretty fun & the summit is really cool.

Also, this climb gets a lot of shade so it is good on a hot day. Last weekend there is a nice snowmelt waterfall next to the Mitten, which was very nice to splash in once the sun started to shine on us.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : Secret Storm (5.10a)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 24, 2012

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Comments: Definitely use a belay on the approach pitch. I'd call it 5.4-5.5 with loose dirt & bushwacking. It kind of sucks, but the real pitch is worth the effort. Make sure to stay further right than you think. Don't take the midway ledge across but hug the wall and keep going up until you reach a rapp anchor off of the tree.

There isn't that much loose rock, though the top belay anchor is a little unnerving as it is two very old bolts backed up by webbing slung through a very hollow knifeblade flake. ... more >>


Location: Utah : Moab Area : Harts Draw
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 17, 2012

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Comments: You sure got my attention. I couldn't believe there would be so many beta posts over just 1 month! :-)


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Chicken Fever (5.10b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 12, 2012

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Comments: The start on this one is a little tricky. Higher up there is some fun mixed techniques of jamming, stemming & flared chimneying. The route looks like it takes good pro until you are past the roof. If you don't want to be in semi-runout knob territory, it looks like it is a small step right to merge with the upper crack of P2 of Sherrie's Crack, which takes some small gear.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Gilligan's Chicken (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 12, 2012

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Comments: I agree that the entry in the beginning is perhaps the crux of the route. Although I could have gotten by without it, I was happy to have a #6 BD cam to protect the entry.

The chimney is very secure with lots of cheater holds to help your arms & legs. You can place pro in the chimney without too much drag (note I was climbing with doubles). There is a thin seam that occasionally opens up, so I placed a nut and small C3, 'cause I might as well! More optional than the entry piece. The exit ... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 18 - Generator Station : Generator Crack (5.10c) : Photo
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: Ahh, the other fist is hidden behind the crack edge. Good to know the giant chickens don't have too big of an advantage on the offwidths . . .


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 24 - Highway Star : Highway Star (5.10a)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: 10b variation looks to be a lead you'd want to do with double ropes to avoid terrible rope drag while still protecting the leader from a dangerous fall at the crux.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Sherrie's Crack (5.10c)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: If your follower has trouble on the lower crack, they can use your first cam or 2 to jumar the crack while on belay :-)

This crack eats up cams & nuts, so you can protect it very well. Great & safe climb to push your crack leading.

I have fat hands, so I could never get a good rest on the 5.9 above, apart from stepping left on the large knob about 3/4 up the 5.9 corner. However, the finger jams lower down were bomber. Stem your feet to keep your weight in line below the finger jams. The wide g... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Royal Arches : Royal Flush (5.10b/c)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: Fun little problem and a great TR after climbing Y Crack. You can also climb a 5.3 corner to the left to access the TR anchors. For bonus points, climb the flare that comes up from beneath the starting platform - about 5.7 or so.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Aid Route (5.11b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: A narrow single & double length sling (e.g. dyneema) is helpful for aiding the knob on the lower section. The second pitch didn't have pro I felt good about falling on! I think if I had brought offset cams or especially offset nuts it would have been solid, though. I never really noticed much of a crux in the second pitch, as it was so sustained throughout.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Lena's Lieback (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 5, 2012

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Comments: You can link the last 2 pitches as one with a single 60m rope as long as you are careful with rope drag. Selective pro placement, long slings, and flipping the rope over the corners helps. Upper crack is work doing. Not too dirty, and the flare requires some thinking to figure out the moves.

The second pitch does have an interesting large flake that is suspended in space by being pinched between the wall and a projecting flake. Don't place pro in this thing!


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Royal Arches : Y Crack (5.10a)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Mar 2, 2012

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Comments: It is in the SuperTopo guide. At least the newer edition :-)

The lower section was mossy last weekend, which made the start a little more exciting. In the lower section I did find a pocket just wide & deep enough to take a #000 C3 as your first piece, about 15' up & about a body length short of a secure stance with better pro. It might have held a short fall.

The 5.3 corner was fun to mess around on & Royal Flush was a great bonus TR. A ginle 60m rope with a rappel to reach those anchors... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : The Buttocks (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 29, 2012

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Comments: Chimney has bomber pro all the way up if you go deep enough inside. There is a flake in there that takes small pro, but it is so tight & secure that you'll wonder why you're placing it. Bring a headlamp if you want to see the way up with the least dirt & grime.

There is free booty in the lodged debris, but you'll probably want to skip that like I did and just get back out into daylight.

A #2 BD C4 cam or a solid hand jam protects the crux if you slip on the exfoliating granite.

This rou... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Pat Pinnacle (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 27, 2012

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Comments: I found the crux entry really tricky to figure out. Seemed more like a 5.8+ to me. At least this was way harder than P1 of Reed's Left (5.8), P2 of Stone Groove (5.8), Tweedle Dee (5.8), Tarkus (5.8), maybe on par or a bit harder than Cid's Embrace (5.8), but fairly committing & not with the greatest fall (#6 seemed unstable and easy to knock out the way you'd fall, about a body-length onto sharp rocks). Difficulty eases a bit after the entry but is still a chimney you could fall out of if... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Desperate Straights (5.10b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 27, 2012

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Comments: Does anyone know how feasible it is to do the 5.9 variation by just taking the left slot with the tree midway up instead of the right slot? Although I've only led a handful of 5.10a's so far, I found the 5.10c variation a better option than attempting to step across to the 5.9 crack. That step across is wide and insecure!

Watch out for loose rocks on top. The bolts at the top are in more of a position for rappelling rather than belaying, so I set up a belay at some rocks higher up. The rope end... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Pat and Jack Pinnacle : Unknown (5.8?) (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 23, 2012

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Comments: RE: .10c I thought that 2nd pitch felt hard!

There is an old line in the Reid guide that takes a line up Makayla's (or even the next line of bolts left, which is a bit easier) that also goes to the 2nd pitch via a 5.8 corner further left than the .10c variation. I haven't climbed the upper part of this but Reid calls it 5.8.

There is also a line a little to the right of Suds that is also really fun. Starts with bolts then goes into a nice lieback corner then ends with bolts on a corner/face. I... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Rixon's Pinnacle : East Chimney (5.10a)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 13, 2012

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Comments: I was wondering about that fixed line today when I wandered by the route. Perhaps if I climb it this year I should chop the line to remove any temptations?


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Lower Brother : Positively 4th Street (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 13, 2012

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Comments: A nice, soft 5.9. You can protect the roof very well.

No ants in the bay tree this time. However they were everywhere at the gear belay! They were also all over the small tree atop P3 (5.4) in the Reid guide.

We topped out today, and I'd say the pitch after the 5.4 is a nice 5.6 hand to finger crack with an interesting hummock mantel move to finish. Beware that the Reid guide info of 2 pitches of 5.7 is not correct! We did 3 long pitches, with some scrambling in between. It is very difficult t... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : Cid's Embrace (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 6, 2012

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Comments: I found the upper section to be harder and more interesting than the lower section. I don't see why people stop after the first 60 ft! I found Lancelot to be less burly than this route, so I recommend climbing Lancelot as a warmup.

The upper section doesn't really have a double crack system, but rather, more of a wide flake that divides the chimney into two wide, wavy slots. The flake seemed too rounded for liebacking, so I stemmed and climbed the right slot as an offwidth. Wear long sleeves or... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : Lancelot (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 6, 2012

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Comments: Loose rock is not a problem on this route. The start has some loose flakes, but you can take the next corner over and step back into the system higher up to avoid it. Apart from the start, there is just a loose chockstone at the beginning of the unexpected challenge. You can pull on it, just don't yank out on it.

Great route overall!

Be wary on the rappels if you're using doubles. The current anchor allows the rope tip to snag on a chockstone at the top just before it pulls through the rings.... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 18 - Generator Station : Generator Crack (5.10c) : Photo
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 26, 2012

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Comments: Holy big hands Batman! I have to start with hand stacking, and it only gets wider from there! Great chicken suit, btw.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 22 - Five and Dime Cliff : Inner Reaches (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 10, 2012

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Comments: The first pitch ascends the left side of a fractured tower. Does anyone know what the right side goes at? You can merge with the 5.7 route at the 'cave' section, and it looks pretty interesting.

A #6 BD Cam can be helpful for protecting the earlier squeeze on P1 until you can reach inside deep enough to place a small cam in a seam. Bring 1-2 #5s for P1 pro. You can break this up into 2 pitches and set up a belay inside the cave (I accidentally did this as I wasn't sure when the pitc... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Manure Pile Buttress (aka R... : Nutcracker 5.9 Start Variat... (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2011

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Comments: According to the Reid guide this variation is actually a route called "Dynamic Doubles" with FA credit given to Dan & Sue McDevitt in 1991.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : Doggie Diversions (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 20, 2011

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Comments: Maybe the guide should have clarified a rack ranging "down" to 3 inches :-o


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area : Stone Groove (5.10b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 19, 2011

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Comments: Cruxes were a bit easier than Lunatic Fringe, but this route felt much more sustained and insecure on the jams.

The top anchors can be reached by a fun 5.9 variation around the corner to the right that is worth doing in its own right (I'd give it 2-3 stars). Bring pro through #4 BD C4 and be prepared for some sustained & steep jamming, with occasional surprise stems to keep things reasonably easy. There is a little loose rock that is easy to avoid, and a fun lieback on a hollow flake (1-2... more >>


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