The Nose-Second Ascent 50th RR, Pratt ,Frost, Fitschen 1960

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 1, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
On September 13, 1960 Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, Chuck Pratt and Tom Frost completed the second ascent of the Nose of El Capitan in seven days of climbing. Royal reflected later that the experience was "the most magnificent and complete adventure of our lives."

The first ascent of the Nose was a singular event with respect to the tactics, constraints and variety of players involved. The prospect of repeating the route in a continuous push still held considerable unknown and the team prepared well.

Royal promptly wrote an account of their grand adventure for the December, 1960 issue of the Sierra Club Bulletin. Some of the images suffer for the scanning and I will try to replace and add to them as this thread progresses. My working set of Frost images is out of my hands at the moment but as his work is everywhere, I'll do my best!

Plans are in the works to gather in celebration for this 50th anniversary sometime in October. Tom, Joe and Royal are psyched up for the event by all accounts so this should be big fun. Tom got his start as a photographer during this climb when the Dolt showed him how to use his Leica and then loaned it to Tom! I think that Bill was deeply curious about the character of the beautiful upper dihedral that he never touched once Mark Powell injured his ankle and the Dolt spooked and split!

Loads of history in and around this particular ascent that make it stand apart from other El Cap routes and repeats. More on that front as it flows along...




















The sortout. Frost photo.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jul 1, 2010 - 02:55pm PT
What's with the eye patch? It seems I have seen shots taken during the same day and never once seen the eye patch!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 1, 2010 - 03:08pm PT
Wow, nice share Steve!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Jul 1, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
On October 23,there will be a presentation by Royal, Tom and Joe about this very climb. It will be at the East Auditorium in Yosemite Valley. Stay tuned.

Ken
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 1, 2010 - 03:14pm PT
Very nice! I wonder if the commemoration could be somehow part of the FaceLift, or if at least there could be a presentation about the climb one night?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2010 - 03:58pm PT
This should be a stand alone event even if it is promoted at the Facelift.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2010 - 04:22pm PT
That's the explanation...a hot chunk of chromoly.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 1, 2010 - 04:24pm PT
So much for the 'pirate' theory.
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jul 1, 2010 - 04:32pm PT
Skully, M.H. said 'Pirate' AARRGG

What a great article, thanks Steve!


Thor
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
White cotton balls just not quite sinister enough for a proper pirate! Though, if anyone from the Golden Age convincingly looked the part of a freebooter, that would have been Chuck. Harrrr! Shiver me belayer!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 1, 2010 - 06:45pm PT
When is the anniversary of the third ascent?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2010 - 07:07pm PT
I am trying to recall who did the third. I think that Gary Colliver was in on it but I can't find a citation. Anyone? Not that Jim is really looking for an answer...
scuffy b

climber
Eastern Salinia
Jul 1, 2010 - 07:43pm PT
Roper Kor Denny.

I'll post a good link when I find it again.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=717593&msg=717633#msg717633

There's no end of amazement courtesy of Guido and BBA.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2010 - 08:21pm PT
Late May of 63 in three and a half days! Smokin' fast!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 3, 2010 - 02:07am PT
Nose Bump!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 3, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
May 30, 1963 3rd ascent: Kor, Roper and Denny

June 1965 4th ascent:
Evans, Colliver and McCracken
Mimi

climber
Jul 3, 2010 - 01:55pm PT
You coming to this one, Guido?!?
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Jul 3, 2010 - 04:52pm PT
I'll be sorry to miss this one as well as so many others...

However, I'm planning to be in N. CA during the last 2 weeks of August, and want to make a pilgrammage to Yosemite/Tuolume, hopefully with or meet Guido, Lauria, Hennek, McLean, Cohen, Dozier, and others from that era who may be in the area then. Please let me know if you'll be around.

Ken
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jul 3, 2010 - 06:57pm PT
Shirley
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Jul 3, 2010 - 10:25pm PT
Wow! Just a couple months before I was born, and I thought I was old! God bless these pioneers of the vertical...Such awesome risks assumed as well for these men!!
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