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Rock Climbing Photo: Kor Roof on a windy day. Hard to tell which way is...


Member Since: Oct 3, 2009
Last Visit: 4 days ago
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Mark P Thomas
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Areas = 15
Routes = 10
Photos = 5
Page Improvements = 3
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All 930 | Routes | Areas | Photos 12 | Page Improvements 1 | Comments 117 | Posts 70 | Stars 419 | Ratings 311
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Royal Arches : Trial By Fire (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jun 7, 2011

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Comments: Harder than it looks! Bring a gear sling (for convenience) & wide gear (I placed 2 #4 & #5 4CUs & 1 #3 that barely worked). 2nd pitch linkup to SS is fun and not too dirty. I found it reasonable to step left from the chockstone left and cross a face to a crack system to bypass the first 'roof'. At the second 'roof' I cut left and found a tree with rap slings and enough spare rope to get to the base of P2 on Superslide in one pitch.

I highly recommend linking this route up with... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Five Open Books Area : ... : The Surprise (5.10a)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 23, 2011

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Comments: Fell at the .10a crux when a crimper flake broke off. Something not too common on a route in the Valley! Apparently this route doesn't get climbed a lot :-) Really fun last 2 pitches though. 1st pitch was dirty & forgettable.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Valley Bouldering : Curry Village : ... : Circuit Breaker (V2)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 10, 2011

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Comments: I'm a trad climber. What is this in YDS? I originally heard it was 5.10d but every conversion chart I've seen would place V2 at 5.11a/b to 5.11d, more consistently at 5.11+/5.11d.

Really fun. 3 move crux then it gets gradually easier. It leaves your finger tips feeling hot!


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 18 - Generator Station : Generator Crack (5.10c)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: Bottom section goes well with hand stacks and a calf jam. Once you're high enough to shove a leg in, you can do a double-fisted hand stack for a couple of moves before climbing all the way inside! If you have thoughtful footwork you can take your time and rest throughout this part (e.g. once your thigh is inside you can tuck the foot back outside the crack for a bomber knee jam rest).

I've found the best way around the projecting flake is to tunnel inside. I didn't believe I could fit, and I st... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 14 - Cascade Area : Cascade Falls - Left : Golden Needles (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: Maybe I climbed it wrong, but I found the crux to be entering the double cracks from the belay. It was pumpy, awkward, and hard! The 2 5.8 roofs are intimidating but go easily if you find the footholds on the face.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Grant's Crack (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: Eats nuts nicely too, and these leave more room for fingers.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Swan Slab Squeeze (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: Led this yesterday. A questionable #6 Camelot works 1/4 of the way up the crack if you place it deep. A bomber microcam works in the horizontal seam on the left at about 3/4 of the way up. Although you can climb most of this on the face outside, if you actually stay in the Squeeze fairly deep it is very secure and doesn't seem runout. I don't think it would have felt any worse if I only placed the TCU and no Camelot.

[2016 update] Led it again. A 0.3 BD C4 is bomber in the small crack 3/4... more >>


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Manure Pile Buttress (aka R... : After Seven (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: with a 60 m you can do two rappels from above Jump for Joy & Haley's Comet to those route bolts and then a second rappel from there. The bolts at the second rappel are a bit sketchy though . . .

Much easier and better protected than the 5.8 pitch of C.S. Concerto.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Manure Pile Buttress (aka R... : Haley's Comet (5.10a PG13)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: The bolts at the top of the route (midway down the face) could use some maintenance. One looks to be an old buttonhead (?) and the newer bolt has a spinning hangar with a loose nut. It was halfway off the projecting bolt shaft when we came by the anchor!


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Manure Pile Buttress (aka R... : Jump for Joy (5.9 R)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Apr 5, 2011

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Comments: The bolts at the top of the route (midway down the face) could use some maintenance. One looks to be an old buttonhead (?) and the newer bolt has a spinning hangar with a loose nut. It was halfway off the projecting bolt shaft when we came by the anchor!


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area : Bongs Away, Left (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 7, 2011

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Comments: After climbing, make sure to TR Bong's Away, Center (5.10a). It is a great OW - clean, sustained, and very exposed. It starts thin and widens to hand stacks. It has some nice calf to knee jams too. Either downclimb the top of the 2nd pitch of the Regular Route to follow the line (a little dirty on the lower part), or swing over from the ledge to the start (it is much cleaner from here on up).


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Church Bowl : Bishops Terrace (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 7, 2011

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Comments: It is not necessary to use the alternate start to do the 5.7 OW variation, despite how it appears in SuperTopo. The alternate start sucks in several ways compared to the standard start. I don't see any reason to use it unless you're climbing with a 50m rope.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Church Bowl : Black is Brown (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 7, 2011

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Comments: I agree with kennoyce's comment. Going further right the terrain stays more mild, but pro is sparse and many of the moves are on slab or seams with lots of loose grit to make things slippery.

The route might actually be a lot nicer staying in the crack and doing the .10a variation.

Also note that the area above the route is extremely loose - worse than the Five Open Books Area. We knocked a rock off at the rappel and it landed near the base of Uncle Fanny & Church Bowl Lieback.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Church Bowl : Church Bowl Terrace (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 7, 2011

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Comments: I'm all for fighting grade creep, but at least in relative terms, compared to other 5.8 chimneys I've climbed in the valley, and the 5.9 squeeze section of the final 20' of Generator Crack (according to SuperTopo), this was MUCH harder physically and technically!

Hmm, or maybe I should have attempted to jam the inside crack more - but that seemed like less fun :-D

Really fun and aggressively flared. It is a tad wet near the top in winter, but still doable.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Sunnyside Bench : Lemon (5.9-)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 25, 2011

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Comments: Setting up a TR by rapping from the 1st pitch of Jamcrack isn't too difficult, despite what SuperTopo says. Rapping from the higher anchor is unnecessary.

As of January 2011 the tree is gone, but so are the new bolts :-( There are threads but no hangers. There is one old rusty bolt that I would barely trust for a rappel much less a TR. However, you could make a gear anchor to TR, then clean it on rappel.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Sunnyside Bench : Lazy Bum (5.10d)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 25, 2011

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Comments: 2nd pitch can be TRed from the 2nd pitch Jamcrack anchor and is a fun climb. A directional is recommended. We used the hanging flake just to the right of Lazy Bum.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area : Ejesta (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 18, 2011

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Comments: There is a 'fixed' BD #4 in the wide section as of January 2011. That part is pretty easy if you know how to bridge your feet - you can just walk up it and use your hands to steady yourself.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Manure Pile Buttress (aka R... : After Six (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 18, 2011

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Comments: The first "5.6" pitch was the hardest 5.7 I've led in the Valley, and I've led a lot of them. Then again, the route was a bit wet too (in January).

The 5.8 finishes are fun. The triple crack is good, and the roof is a burly-yet-solid bouldering move. Place a very small TCU high in the roof to avoid a bad fall, or bypass it to the left via a 5.4 slab after climbing the 5.8 crack variation. (I did the roof on TR after bypassing it since I didn't have pro for it).


Location: CA : San Francisco Bay Area : Berkeley : Remillard Park : Pinnacle Rock
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: This rock is also good for practicing self-rescue techniques like assisted rappels and hauling up an injured second.


Location: CA : San Francisco Bay Area : Berkeley : Remillard Park : Plaque Rock
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: This rock is an ideal place to practice self-rescue. Hang-belay off the bolts and set up your hauling system there for raising a fellow climber off the ground!


Location: UT : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Gate Buttress : Prune Face Slab : Prune Face (5.9+ R)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: Ahh, that explains it. The beginning felt a lot harder than 5.9! Although you can make it easier by using the tree :-)


Location: UT : Wasatch Range : Big Cottonwood Canyon : Salt Lake Slips : Use-to-be-bushy (5.4)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: NOT 4th class. Somewhere between 5.3-5.5 feels right. Nice for drytooling since it's so dirty anyways.


Location: UT : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Lisa Falls : Lisa Falls Buttress : Sweep Left (5.10b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: What's fun about the crux is when you get fed up with falling on it, you can attempt to sprint up the slab and past it. However, this is futile as your legs spin out like a cartoon character as you slowly slip back down.

I found two ways to get past the crux. One involves quads of steel, and the other is more elegant with better technique :-)


Location: UT : Wasatch Range : Wasatch Alpine Areas : Mt. Superior / Monte Cristo : The Cottonwood Traverse (Easy 5th)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 24, 2010

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Comments: The WURL is on my list. So is doing this ridge as a 2-3 day winter ascent via the valley. What a great ridge run in summer, eh?! More like III in summer if you're reasonably fit for mountaineering, though I could see it being IV for others. Mostly cl. 2-3, with one cl. 4 crux near Monte Cristo.


Location: CA : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 15 - Knob Hill : Pot Belly (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Dec 15, 2010

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Comments: These comments make me feel better about climbing so poorly on 5.8 slab. After sliding/falling 3 times on the start when leading, I chose the undercling variation, which is much more manageable (although it would be ugly if you fell near the end, as if your feet popped out on the slick granite, you would smash your face into the undercling lip before you fell to the ground). I could do it on TR, but it felt really hard! Perhaps it has gotten slicker over the years?

Ditto about the crack above. ... more >>


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