Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 4, 2013 - 09:01am PT
My girlfriend and I want to make another trip to Yosemite from SLC sometime in mid-spring (Late March/Late April). Avoiding cragging the whole time I've thought a great idea would be to do the first 4 pitches of Lost Arrow Spire Direct, then camp/ hang out on the big ole belay ledge and rap in the morning. This would allow us to negate haul bags/etc but also get a taste of the big wall experience. I can lead Wasatch 5.9 and can get on some 10's without too much trouble.
Is this an ok idea?
I know this isn't as cool as summiting via a Tyrolean traverse but I think the falls and everything would make it pretty cool.
It's a really great ledge, and the one four more pitches up is even better, but ditto on the approach, its a fair bit of work especially if you're not going to finish the route. I'm sure folks can offer up a nice roster of alternates.
Man you guys are trippin. Its an awesome location and pretty secluded for being directly above the village. The approach is cake and straight forward. I've never slept up there but have done the route twice, once aid and another time free. The free variation has some serious runouts and goes up a slightly different way up the first four and the last few. I recommend the aid and be prepared to climb a bit of wide. My experience up there has been purely magical, in the springtime the falls are going off and you may get the occasional gust or spray but for the most part it should be sunny and warm. All those other options are sure to be a cluster. The LA Direct is usually empty. If you coordinate with another party you can climb to the tip and slide back onto the rim via their tyrolean.
I would say ledge above pitch 8 was the best. Very flat and exposed. I would suggest you guys do the whole route if you do 1st 4 pitches. It is much more work, but doing first 4 is also a good amount of work.
OW on pitch 3 is kind of burly but doable. You will need a #5 and a 6 as I remember.
Too much work for a night on bivy ledge. If you make it 4 pitches up, just finish the route, at least to the notch. But if you make it to the notch, you'll want to climb to the tip!
The nighttime winds are not pleasant at all; in fact they are annoying unless you like being blasted in the face by 40 MPH gust every few minutes and never sleeping. Want to experience it? Just sleep at the base and wait for dusk.
An easier ledge to get to is Dinner Ledge on Washington Column, with an easier approach as well. It's huge with great views of Half Dome.
If you want to camp on a wilder more exposed ledge just A1 the first few pitches of the West Face of Leaning Tower to Awahnee ledge. You will have to figure out how to down aid/ rap off, which is no big deal, and good practice if you ever need to rap an overhanging wall.
The wide bits of the LA Direct are low angle and easy groveling (my memory is 12 years old). But if you plan to summit to the tip and then tyrole out to the rim, you'd need to hike up to the rim first and rap your ropes from the rim and secure them to the notch then jug back out, hike down to the approach and start climbing. You can also rap the face (Roherer sp? rap route) if you don't want the extra effort of hiking up to the rim or if your aren't interested in the tyrolean finish.