Which Route on El Cap?

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Messages 1 - 17 of total 17 in this topic
Chippychopperone

Social climber
SLC, UT
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 28, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
Happy New Year Supertopoans,

I just got the green light to break away from river trips and climb ElCap. I won't be going till Labor Day (I have to plan way away now days), and am wondering what route is best choice. I've only been up the Zodiac, but with a bunch of Zion routes under my belt, I feel qualified for something a little more involved. I was thinking NA wall, but heard that its not that good. Lets hear some votes on which route you would climb if you could only do one and had 8 days in the valley?

Shield? Dawn Wall? HockeyNight to Mescalito? The Girdle????

Cheers!

TDA
Salt Lake City, UT

ps I was kidding about the girdle?

Gagner

climber
Boulder
Dec 28, 2012 - 06:55pm PT
NA is good, Shield is better, New Dawn is pretty good too. All would be a step up from Zodiac.

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 28, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
Mescalito.
North

climber
Dec 28, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Echo what Gagner said in the NA Wall is good (loads of traverses, lower outs, etc. Not just a straight up route), but Shield is better. You can't really go wrong on either. Less people on NA though. Haven't done Mescalito---yet, so can't say firsthand, but folks love it. Have fun and be safe. Oh yeah, if you are going up last week of May, the Black Cave will probably be dripping, as well as the Black Diehedral. On the Shield, the pitch below the Groove will be wet also.
This is why you're up there.
This is why you're up there.
Credit: North
Starting the Shield traverse.
Starting the Shield traverse.
Credit: North
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
Dec 28, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
Mescalito
Gagner

climber
Boulder
Dec 28, 2012 - 09:55pm PT
Mescalito is definitely good, but seems to be getting lots of traffic these days....

More than the others I mentioned on an average year, and definitely more than the NA.

Paul
Chippychopperone

Social climber
SLC, UT
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2012 - 11:35am PT
Great Advice. I appreciate the insight. Maybe for once I will have some El Cap pics to contribute to this site!
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
Dec 29, 2012 - 01:08pm PT
Shield, Mushroom, Mescalito, Muir, NA
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Dec 29, 2012 - 01:47pm PT
Mescalito.... all these big wall heroes can't be wrong!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Dec 29, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
Piling on -- Mescalito. One of the best routes there, but plan an alternative or two because it's gotten rather popular.

John
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 29, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
Mescalito has no bad pitches. Hockey night is pretty cool.

Then again, when I did those routes they would only get one repeat a year. Zodiac would get done every couple of weeks.

I remember having the entire right side of El Cap to myself more than once.

I saw recent pics of Mescalito, and it still looks fine. The heads are now fixed, but the route is super long and super steep the whole way.

I've only done half of the shield :), but it takes a heck of a lot of climbing to get up there to it.

PTPP loves Sunkist. I don't know the logistics of that. Zodiac has half the climbing of Mescalito or any of the other routes next to the Nose.

To the left of the Nose you have the low angled hauling but steep beauty pitches up high. Maybe Excalibur would be good. I have friends who have done it, and it is supposedly excellent although a little odd. Wide cracks with cams sandwiched with wood blocks, lots of free wide up high, and the crack of all aid craps, the rurp crack down low.
Paul Brennan

Trad climber
Ireland
Dec 29, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
As one of the hordes who have done mescalito and zodiac recently (only el cap routes so far) I can attest that mescalito is nice. Didn't feel harder than zodiac, just longer and busier. I had zodiac to myself which was quite nice. The shield looks pretty cool..
Chippychopperone

Social climber
SLC, UT
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
So its sounds like Mescalito is choice. What about all that monkey-ing around the pro-dudes are doing up there to free it? One of my favorite climbs was Lunar Ecstacy in Zion till some hard-ass freed it and made me feel like a yarding puss. I don't like to aid anything that goes free, so how close are they to freeing this route? My guess is that they are doing all kinds of variations therefore the original route will remain aid??? Anyhow, I'll plan on waiting to see if there is a congo line before setting my sights on it. I'm really not used to crowds, therefore I would "settle" for something less classic if everything else it crowded.

Thanks for the advice.

Tda
ms55401

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Dec 29, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
Pac Wall. B there or B ^2
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 29, 2012 - 09:31pm PT
Just climb around their gear. It shouldn't be up there all winter.

People are so anal about anchors. Nowadays you have three fat bolts. Just clove hitch them off in ten seconds and you are good to go. Have them jug on the outside bolt and haul off of the inside one.

People would break out in tears at the sight of all of the original anchors. Bolts not being well regarded, sometimes belay anchors took a lot of time to equalize, or they just plain sucked and you dealt with it by thinking about baseball.
dave goodwin

climber
carson city, nv
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:23pm PT
Groove pitch of the Shield
Credit: dave goodwin
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 29, 2012 - 11:39pm PT
Ahab
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