Bridwell Hammer Crisis Inversion


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Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 21, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
Inside the East Face of Washington Column exists an alternate world. Gravity more than exists there; it pulls at irrational angles against normality and sensibility. The vortex is palpable. Inverted horizons becoming aretes becoming corners becoming five wonder-walled sides of the inversion box.

Humans are small on the earth, but are diminished further within the chamber. Blind and dumb, we exploit theory and instinct. And the tools of civilization.

Our existence in the flopped reality is homage to those who showed the way. This liturgy is the cause of and the solution to a unique form of sanity. It's a sort of saneness that most people don't acknowledge as sane.

Sunstorms rage all around, but the strange wind blows the light away from our location.

One segment of time ends as another begins. Sequence begets sequence. The conductors of unending transformations of energy have fulfilled their obligations.

Photos by Kristoffer Wickstrom and Mike Ousley


About the route

Mideast Crisis was first ascended by Steve Bosque and Mike Corbett in 1983. The route today is characterized by very little fixed gear—it has no fixed copperheads and 10 fixed pins including optional belays as of 1/12. I recall only one fixed nut. Belay bolts courtesy of ASCA appear to be in great condition. Kindly respect the relatively pristine state of this route by treading lightly.

Topo maps of this route can be found in SuperTopo's Yosemite Big Walls Second Edition (2005) by McNamara/Sloan and Yosemite Climbs Big Walls by Don Reid (1993).

The left-hand Moof variation below the ledge is an excellent alternative.

We found gear with purple tape left on the route. If it's your piece and you want it, let me know. We inadvertently left one cam with runners. Our apology for that.

About the Bridwell hammer

The Bridwhammer was purchased by johntp for members of the climbing community to promote awareness of Jim's considerable sacrifices and contributions to climbing. Anyone wishing to use the hammer on a climb and report on the ascent can contact me (or johntp) here, or hit my ST email.


Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:26pm PT
Top notch Mike! Thanks for sharing!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:37pm PT
Clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap- [whisle really loud] clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap-clap.

Aridzona for now Denver.... here I come...
Jan 21, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
I'd buy you a beer except I'm sure the next time I see you you'll have a whole keg of it (like always).

nicely done.

Trad climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
That photo of jugging the overhang is really inspiring.

Trad climber
East Coast
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:31pm PT
Nice! Is there a story to go with the red daisy chain?

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Jan 21, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
good ascent, lads.
good account of your search,
and of your discovery.

thanks for putting that hammer outta the holster.

i think mucci is out of the country,
but im sure he'll be stoked to see bridwell's hammer
put to use on a bosque route.

thanks for the effort to share with us.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
Your Thread is pretty darn special. Thanks for it .... the thought and creativity are very much appreciated.

I love the travels of Bridwells Hammer. I was fortunate to be there when Todd Gordon put up "The Hammer", in Josh. Peace, lynne
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:34pm PT
Great photos. Cool hammer.

Trad climber
Jan 21, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
What a roof. What a route. What a hammer!

Coronado, California
Jan 23, 2012 - 11:14am PT
Mike, nice job putting this together. :)

Morgan, that red daisy looks like that becasue i failed to inspect my equipment prior to commiting to the climb. half the stiches were ripped from use, so i cut the dammaged pockets from the daisy and turned them around on my harness.. no good story.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 23, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
Attaboy's !!

Just like mike to bring it back to en vogue.

Kristopher too?

Too cool.

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Mar 2, 2013 - 02:42am PT
wow, a whole year and no whammer stories?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 2, 2013 - 11:24am PT

Big Wall climber
Portland, OR
Sep 9, 2014 - 12:42pm PT
Where is the Bridwell Hammer?!?!? And who is making it proud these days?

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 9, 2014 - 03:28pm PT

Trad climber
Sep 10, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
^^^ bump

Big Wall climber
Portland, OR
Sep 11, 2014 - 09:43am PT
C'mon! Lets hear a story or two.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Sep 11, 2014 - 09:49am PT

That hammer is a beast! Probably designed for piton-craft over hand drilling. I replaced some bolts with that hammer and it did a number on my whole arm.

Somebody put a new wedge in the head as it was coming loose, so now it is good to go.

Banquo has the Bridwell hammer currently, so it is in good hands!

I wish more folks would take the opportunity to utilize this gem on bridwellesque climbs, it is a cool deal afforded to us by JohnTP if I remember correctly?


Trad climber
Sep 11, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
if i recall correctly, Mike put in the new wedge and generally fixed the fit of the head to the shaft.
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