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Member Since: Oct 3, 2009
Last Visit: 1 day ago
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Mark P Thomas
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Point Rank: # 3,742
Total Points: 133

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



Where has Mark P Thomas been climbing?










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All 1001 | Routes 2 | Areas | Photos 26 | Page Improvements 1 | Comments 124 | Posts 72 | Stars 454 | Ratings 322
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Contributed Comments

 

Location: Utah : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Burner Buttress : Fire Starter (5.9+)
By: Mark P Thomas When: 1 day ago

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Comments: You can scramble up the gully immediately to the right to set up a TR if you aren't ready to try this on lead. A little dirty but doable cl. 4-5 solo. Or that chimney just to the right looks like a fun 5.? warmup...


Location: California : Joshua Tree National Park : Quail Springs Area : Trashcan Rock : Trashcan Rock - West Face : Baby-Point-Five (5.8 R)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 19, 2017

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Comments: I started with a good lieback/undercling to the left of the direct face start shown in the beta photo. This feeds right into the upper face climbing and felt like 5.8.


Location: California : Joshua Tree National Park : Hidden Valley Campground : The Blob : The Blob - West Face : Beginner's Two (5.5)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 19, 2017

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Comments: Definitely harder and more serious than Beginner's One, but not as hard as 5.7 if you are solid on crack, slab, and wide at 5.4ish. Just be ready to not be able to place pro wherever you want.

At the first steep pod I placed gear high and then climbed the slab out left as that is the obvious line of least resistance (I can see the pod direct being 5.7). It seemed doable for the grade (5.2-3ish), but falling would not be good. Low angle enough that you might get more cheese-grated than hitti... more >>


Location: California : Joshua Tree National Park : Hidden Valley Campground : The Blob : The Blob - North Face : ... : Photo
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 19, 2017

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Comments: Man that route is crowded! ;-)


Location: California : Joshua Tree National Park : Hidden Valley Campground : Potato Head : The Eyes Have It (5.7 PG13)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 17, 2017

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Comments: This seems to be the same route as "Commitments Are for Me". Or how is this one in relation to that one? Do they only differ by the first 10' start?


Location: Utah : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Gate Buttress : Five Fingers Area
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 15, 2017

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Comments: This area has two main approaches, the first is to the ledge beneath what I'd call the Left Side of Five Fingers Area. The second is to the Center-Right side of Five Fingers, ending at a big ledge beneath Fat Man's Misery (which I will call Fat Man's Ledge here), which has a large pine tree on the right side.

Left Side Approach
The belay ledge is reached via a straightforward cl. 3-4 scramble up the first part of Stone the Crows, just beyond CallItWhatYouPlease. It is the ste... more >>


Location: Utah : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Gate Buttress : Five Fingers Area : Fat Man's Misery (5.5)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 15, 2017

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Comments: No wide gear is needed for this climb. I sewed it up and used BD 2x#0.4, 1x#0.5, 2x#0.75, 1x#1-3. Anchor off bushes at the top but be careful of loose rock. You can also reach the rappel anchor to The Waltz & Tenderloin to avoid leaving slings at the top, and an easier descent option from those routes rather than the pine tree.


Location: Utah : Wasatch Range : Little Cottonwood Canyon : Gate Buttress : Five Fingers Area : Waltz, The (5.6)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 15, 2017

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Comments: For my lead, including the direct wide exit, I used BD 1x#6, 1x#4, 2x#3, 1x#2, 1X#1, 2x#0.75, 1x#0.5, 1x#0.4. You can make a gear anchor just above the rapp tree for a better belay spot for the direct finish. That takes thin-wide hand pieces, #1-#5.

I opted for the slab bypass as well and found it reasonable. You can place a #1 BD cam high with a long sling to protect the first half well.

Also, I don't know if a missing hold broke off or I missed something, but finishing this route via the... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Oak Tree Flake (5.5)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 22, 2016

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Comments: Led it twice over two days and ended up placing the exact same gear in the exact same spots. Basically, place a green #0.75 BD C4 at the start, then a #4 BD C4 halfway up the lieback flake, then finish with a red #1 BD C4 just past the tree branch before the topout.


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Yosemite Falls Area : Swan Slab : Unnamed Crack (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 22, 2016

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Comments: For pro, just bring 1 #5 BD C4 cam and leap-frog it as needed.


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : Sandstone Quarry : Sandy Corridor : Chrysler Crack (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: A few notes:

(1) For the end of step 5 of Justin Hernandez's description, I think the bush is unnecessary and less secure. For those curious, here is the spot:
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of t...
Charlotte about to downclimb the crux section of the approach to the base of Chrysler Crack. Seemed about 5.2ish. A fall would hurt but you won't bounce off the exposed ledge. There are two more easier cruxes after this for the approach. The second one is more exposed but much easier.

Otherwise, I'd say his description is excellent and spot on. No death falls, but on the first & third cruxes, you could maybe break your ankle if you fell, so be careful.

(2) #6 BD C4 is tipped out almost from the get-go. Only bring smaller gear if it is much smaller to use in fissures higher up. The #9 Valle... more >>


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : Sandstone Quarry : Sandy Corridor : The Wallow (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: If you're used to chimneys, this is well protected if you stay deep enough inside and know how to climb squeeze chimneys. You can only really fall if you fall out, and you can only fall out if you stay too far out to use unnecessary face holds. I'd call this a secure 5.6 chimney in Yosemite Valley, for comparison.

This is a great early chimney lead as it isn't too insecure, long, or sustained, but it is somewhat technical, so for those not used to squeezes, I'd recommend top roping this first.... more >>


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : First Pullout : Tuna and Chips Wall : Fishbreath (5.5)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: Route protects well with mostly cams and a couple of nuts if you want to sew it up. The rock is a bit soft in places but more solid than a lot of the trad leading in the area (based on my limited trad leading in RR). It is more solid than average for trad climbing on sandstone in general, but it might be a surprise for those new to leading trad on sandstone.

The end is exposed but not too bad. Just traverse around behind the pillar (entering cl. 2-3 terrain for a bit) and climb it from the back... more >>


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Yin and Yang Cliff : Zoroaster (5.7 X)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: A #1 BD C4 protects this climb fine and it is a great introduction to leading chimneys for the novice chimney leader.

It is only 5.8 X if you climb straight up from the outside and ignore the rest of the chimney.

If you climb the chimney as you would any chimney on a trad climb, you can make it ~5.5 PG. Just walk inside about 10-15' to where a gigantic piece of the formation has fractured and tipped over, sealing the back of the chimney. This part is about cl. 4-5 chimneying on great wa... more >>


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Yin and Yang Cliff
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: Although the routes are short and there is a bit of a hike to reach this crag, the routes are very high quality and allow easy top-roping, mock leading, and leading from 5.7 to 5.11, thin cracks to chimney. IMO, the hike is a nice warmup & scenic, and it keeps this crag very quiet. It is a great place to practice while getting away from the crowds. An approach scramble up and over Kraft Mountain makes it even more fun.


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : Calico Basin : Yin and Yang Cliff : Bigwank (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: Extra fun if you start from down in the hole. It is just a tad too wide to chimney well there, and is easier to do a mild sidewinder technique for a foot or two until you can start chimneying better.

If you want to lead from the hole and protect yourself from a fall without pre-placing a #6 from the starting block, a Valley Giant #9 is recommended. The rest of the rack is spot on for sewing up a lead. It is very easy to push cams as you go.

My only complaint on this climb is that i... more >>


Location: Nevada : Red Rock : First Pullout : Viagra Tower : ZigZag (5.6)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 31, 2016

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Comments: In the photo shown, the final section is the crux, and it has no reliable pro and a ledge-fall potential. I backed off after seeing that the pro was not good and it is easy to fall (and hit a ledge) while placing. You can exit left via a very chill leaning crack climb to the Winger/Woofers anchors.

It looks like you could also traverse very far right and finish up a gully, but that option looks much easier & less fun.

My follower tried placing gear at the crux, fell, and hit a ledge even with... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 21 - Reed's Pinnacle Area : The Deer Route (5.7)
By: Mark P Thomas When: Jan 28, 2015

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Comments: If you do bring any pro, hanging glowsticks on the gear make the scene a little more fun. :-)


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : North Dome
By: Mark P Thomas When: Feb 3, 2014

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Comments: Unless you are wanting more pitches to climb (e.g. Royal Arches linkup) or you are staying in the Valley and the time for driving up Hwy 120 is too unappealing, for any route on this dome I don't see why people don't just hike in and out from Hwy 120.

Coming in, it was a nice and scenic hike on an easy trail, and it only took me 2.5 Mammoth Brewery IPAs to reach the summit (about 2.5 hrs, including stops for pictures and giving hikers & trailrunners beta), and heading back after sunset, even wi... more >>


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Yosemite Valley : Three Brothers Area : Camp 4 Wall : Tweedle Dee (5.8)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 24, 2013

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Comments: Bryan, I think you were off-route on the first two pitches. I have climbed it twice, linking pitches to do it as two, and the rotten rock wasn't that bad and limited to the middle of P1. It is actually one of my favorite chimney climbs in Yosemite! I took the left line, a bit farther away from Doggie Do & Doggie Diversions. I once tried climbing the line that starts directly above Doggie Do, that eventually merges with the line, and I backed off because it was so awful. I wonder if you took that... more >>


Location: Utah : Moab Area : Castle Valley : Castleton Tower : North Chimney (5.9)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 4, 2013

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Comments: Great climb, although I think this climb had me more afraid of injury or death from loose blocks than Kor-Ingalls. P2 beyond the OW seemed the worst with loose death blocks. P3 was fine in that regard. OW is fun and climbs much differently than the one on Kor-Ingalls.

Regarding pro for the OW, I brought a #5 & #4 C4 Camalot. A #4 isn't that necessary if you brought a #5, but I would have preferred a #6. Seriously, while you can get by with a smaller large cam, if... more >>


Location: Utah : Moab Area : Arches National Park : Elephant Butte : Standard (West Fins) (5.3)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 4, 2013

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Comments: Crux is thought-provoking but easy enough to do in hiking shoes. No real point in bringing pro on the climb, just a rope for the 2 rappels.

Fun route with some nice side canyons and squeeze chimneys to explore, and a great rest day detour. At a relaxed pace we were on the summit in less than two hours, and less than an hour getting out.


Location: Utah : Moab Area : Arches National Park : Bullwinkle Tower : West Chimney (5.6)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 4, 2013

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Comments: The crack seems surprisingly hard for 5.6, but if you have some wide technique and commit, you can really sink a leg in and sit on it while you work out the next move.

Current anchor conditions: 1 bolt is gone, the other has a shaft protruding from the rock and I could wiggle it. The third bolt still looks good.


Location: Utah : Moab Area : Indian Creek : Donnelly Canyon : Elephant Man (5.10-)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 4, 2013

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Comments: 3-4 star route anywhere else, but in the Creek, only 2 stars for me. Very well worth doing if you're in the area though!


Location: California : Yosemite National Park : Lower Merced River Canyon : 4 - Arch Rock : Gripper (5.10b)
By: Mark P Thomas When: May 4, 2013

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Comments: Start really felt more like sustained wide 5.9 to me compared to other climbs in the Valley. Chimney is not that hard and pulling the roof wasn't as tricky as expected. What got me was the thin flaring crack after the roof 'crux'. At least for me, I couldn't stay secure or get rests, so that part was really tough for me. We linked P2-3 as a very nice long pitch. Definitely don't stop after the first pitch!


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