Rick Sylvester Zodiac with out a rope?

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john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 31, 2013 - 11:35pm PT


I heard some where that Zodiac was aid climbed with out a rope once.

Seem to remember it was Rick Sylvester, using only the points of aid he was on, back cleaning the whole way.

I had a thread about this many years ago but can not find it.

Hoping for more info on this climb, that's pretty nut's.
BJ

climber
Jul 31, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
Doubt it.

Bob Shoenard did that to the WFLT
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Jul 31, 2013 - 11:42pm PT
I know Russ Mitrovich did some routes with only daisies.
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Jul 31, 2013 - 11:44pm PT
Not sure about Rick Sylvester but Russ Mitrovitch ditched his rope part way up and finished without it. You might just be getting the name mixed up.

Edit: SLeeper beat me to it, ha ha
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 31, 2013 - 11:46pm PT
Yes Ammon, that's the one. Thanks. How did that happen that he continued on with out the rope? Did he abandon his gear?


I will see if I can find the other thread.



OK this is not the thread but on subject.


From PTPP


Jingy,

Yes, my system is complex, but it works for me and I consider it to be the Better Way. This being said, there are any number of systems a person can devise for soloing aid, and the Better Way is whatever works best for you.

I am certain that both the Zodiac on El Cap and the WFLT have been aid soloed ropeless. Russ Mitrovich did Zodiac this way, and I believe set the solo speed record doing so, and a guide who I met at Hans Florine's told me he climbed the WFLT this way.

Basically, what you do is aid solo the route using three or more daisy chains. In theory, this means that you are always attached to the rock in at least two places by your daisies. In practice, what this means is that you are setting yourself up for daisy chain falls, whereby you can generate HUGE impact forces on your only pieces of pro by making a near factor-two fall onto it with a non-elastic daisy. This might be one situation you would consider using John Yates' adjustable daisy with the built-in Screamer.

It's probably more dangerous than soloing a big wall with but a single piece of pro per pitch, because of the forces generated if you blow it.

I would consider the ropeless solo of the WFLT to be much more serious than that of Zodiac, if only for the super-scary move at the top of the fourth pitch to gain Guano Ledge, or the slippery free moves at the beginning of the sixth pitch. Got sweaty hands just thinking about that.

Russ hopped on Zodiac when it was fixed, and had been climbed by approximately one team every single day, meaning the fixed heads were probably all good and well tested. Balls of steel, that lad. Or no brains. Either way, a remarkable achievement!






John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Jul 31, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
He cleaned his placements as he went. I read that he had three daises.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:04am PT
"Aid Man Bob" was the legend of first doing this on Leaning Tower back in the early 80's. Not sure if he actually did it but that was the myth. Considering the stories of his bizarre route on 9'Oclock Wall, Time Machine, I wouldn't doubt that he did it.

Heard Mitrovich ran a big loop of rope that ran through his harness and he would back-clean around it, so I guess that negates a claim of "ropeless ascent".

I just did LT a couple years ago and thinking back this seems like a terrifying proposition. Maybe I'm just old.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:07am PT
What I heard was that midway RS had a snit with a partner, grabbed his gear, pulled out a chute and bailed, leaving said partner to self belay to summit.
WBraun

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:17am PT
Bob the aid man did Leaning Tower with a piece of 40 foot rope for self belay.

That's how he told me he did it.

He had that big grin too while he's telling the tale.

Mitrovich said he used 3 daisy chains to self belay.

And Sylvester never did such crazy sh!t except for his ski stunts.

Sane men stay at home and drink beer, take the garbage out, watch TV, and go to work ......


Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:23am PT
Groveling under the Alcove on a rainy day, Bob the aid man told a bunch of us the same story about the Leaning Tower. He also said the bolt ladders were too boring, so he just clipped up them 1-2, 1-2, without the rope loop !
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:27am PT
Bob was at least 10 years ahead of Russ.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Aug 1, 2013 - 12:34am PT
I've never seen you drink beer Werner.
john hansen

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 1, 2013 - 01:06am PT
I am drinking beer right now. Went to the dump yesterday. watching TV and have to work tomorrow.

A sane guy. Un like Mitrovich...
Rick Sylvester

Trad climber
Squaw Valley, California
Aug 1, 2013 - 02:33am PT
Those who said it wasn't I are correct. Zodiac was the last El Cap big wall route I climbed, and a while back, but with a partner. I never soloed a big wall, by the daisy chain or any other technique. I may be dumb but I'm not stupid. Or is it stupid but not dumb? Hmmm, I may be dumb...or at least in possession of a dumb memory. Werner is sort of but not entirely right when he wrote that the only dumb things I ever did was the skiBASE jumps. I've done a fair share of soloing -- up to 5.10b free climbing; from 14,000' on Denali to the top after conflict with a couple of teammates; 16 days trying to make the first ski traverse of the John Muir Trail after it was so designated, due to lack of partners; 10 days alone to finish the only ski traverse of Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon when partners quit (sort of lost for around a week, 5 days sans food); and the North Face of the Dru when my partner opted out due to threatening weather (he was right) are the main adventures (misadventures?) that come to mind.
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Aug 1, 2013 - 03:07am PT
Russ Mitrovich did Zodiac this way, and I believe set the solo speed record doing so, and a guide who I met at Hans Florine's told me he climbed the WFLT this way.

I don't remember Russ climbing the WFLT in that style but I don't doubt it. I soloed it back in 2000 in 4 hours 50 minutes using a mix of styles. Two aiders up to Ahwahnee Ledge using a loop and leaving a carabiner twice, traditional rope solo on the next couple of pitches and Crazy Aidman Bob style (3 daisy's and rope loop occasionally) to the summit.

Reflecting back, it was a silly thing to do.

How did that happen that he continued on with out the rope? Did he abandon his gear?

I've got a crappy memory... But, I think he wasn't tied into the end of the rope and it slipped through his belay device leaving him to either get rescued, down aid back to his rope or continue without it. But, that could be wrong info, as well.

Nanook

climber
Aug 1, 2013 - 07:24am PT
I was here when Russ did his climb. Tom, Cmac, and I watched him from the bridge.

He didn't use the rope too much--we never saw him use it but he said he used it a couple times. Mostly looked like he was just using two daisies to us. Russ had just gotten back from a Baffin trip and was convinced that if you tested your gear good enough it could never fail.

I talked to him before the climb and was like, that's all good but what about the dowel ladder on the Mark of Zorro?....this was before the bolts had been replaced and those dowels were rough!

At the time his was the speed record, Im pretty sure. 12 hours, topped out around 5 or 6 pm I think.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Aug 1, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
how did my name get dropped on this thread?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
^ Jingy, its from a reply to a conversation you were having with Pete on a thread a couple years back:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1051744&tn=20
klk

Trad climber
cali
Aug 1, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
Russ had just gotten back from a Baffin trip and was convinced that if you tested your gear good enough it could never fail.

well, baffin would be serious overtraining for zodiac
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
Yeah, I watched the climb with CMac and Erik... I was probably more frightened than Russ was! He did have some rope with him although I never saw him use it....and sometimes he was only on one piece of gear while placing another. It was a long 12 hours for the three of us and him too I'm sure!
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