Happy Hooker at Tahquitz

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Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 3, 2014 - 06:10pm PT
I ran another lap on The Vampire yesterday, and spent my time at the belays looking over at The Happy Hooker. It has always piqued my curiosity, although I'm not much of an aid climber. I've done some easier walls up to C2 in the past, and have done a significant amount of hard free climbing, but I've never tried anything that was even close to A4. I've always thought it would be a hilarious day to pack a mini haulbag with beer and have a go at the route. Who here has done it? Is that a stupid idea? Is it dangerous? Or are the falls clean? I've never met anyone who has climbed it (that I know of).

Thanks for any info, stories, amusement, or flaming...

Josh

P.S. I'M GONNA DIE!!!11!!1!1!!!!
Pie

Trad climber
So-Cal
Sep 3, 2014 - 06:44pm PT
I took a gander the other day, copperhead looked intact to link features down low, but man some of the hooking looked so wild! Hard face climbing to tough hooks back to hard face climbing. Most of the bolts looked pretty new, falls seemed clean. It's totally out of my league, FYI. That's all I got.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Sep 3, 2014 - 06:47pm PT
something something thin features something something ledge fall something.

That's the rumor round the shop, these days... my memory is a bit dusty.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Sep 3, 2014 - 06:56pm PT
I heard you get around the world if you send the route...?
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Sep 3, 2014 - 07:16pm PT
X Cracks on the South Face are pretty exciting,

Can't help out on the Hooker, but some extra space above the deck should help.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 08:04pm PT
As long as you are bringing the mini haul bag with beer, you're good to go then.
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
I did it rope solo about 20 years ago. I remember being terrified, and in over my head. Unfortunately I don't remember much in terms of beta. I do remember some scary hooking, and some questionable copper heads I removed and replaced. If you see an old copper head with a "unhappy" face tapped into the surface, it's mine. DON'T TRUST IT!

It will look something like this:

o o
xx

Kristoffer

climber
mali, africa
Sep 3, 2014 - 08:13pm PT
I think its safe to say the route gets harder after each attempt.. some "key/obvious" hooking features have broken off, by saying that I am not implying that it no longer can be climbed, but rather the hooking is just a bit more wandering and thinner. I ripped it twice at the crux and came mighty close to the ledge. now that I think back I glanced something on the first plunge.

anyways, here is what Bob Gains told me back in 2006 when I was kicking around those parts and cooking up the plot.

"What I remember about that one is using quite a few different
hooks, working two or three at the same time to distribute my weight, and
being very scared. Make sure you have the black diamond talon hook for the bat
hook holes. I've talked to two different people who attempted Happy Hooker, but
turned back at the crux. They both tried to do the thing in one pitch, but when
I led it I did it in two (like the topo shows), for less rope drag; I think
it helps when trying to balance around on those very precarious hooks.
Good luck!"



rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:22pm PT
Damn, at least you had beta. I wandered up there completely clueless, not much has changed!

Also, the talon hook is mandatory in my book.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2014 - 09:24pm PT
Something something ledge fall?

Well hell. Why didn't you say so?

I love the ambiguity of this statement. Are you excited about the prospect of potential ledge falls? Or is it terrifying and now you don't want to do it....? Both?

How was aiding the Pirate? I tried to give it an onsight burn. Holy hell the gear was not confidence inspiring and I backed off near the bottom rather quickly. Props to anyone able to onsight that thing!

It sounds like the route is quite committing. I'll have to mull this idea over a little more. I've done very little hammer swinging outside of bolt placement and replacement. A lot of the falls looked clean, but I take it there's potential of falling on the first ledge the route leaves after the flake? I was hoping it was more safe since long clean falls are fun/hilarious. Ledging out due to ignorance on how to set a copper head is terrifying....

Josh
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:34pm PT
Now I am interested.

How long is the route? Hard Free climbing off hooks with ledge potential?

Hmmm
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
The Pirate was my first aid lead. Thin HB offsets helped tons. Of course, stupid is as stupid does. I'm the same idiot that rope soled Tons of Junk, and Rurp Romp here in Josh around the same time.

Gerberding and I were working one day at Cap Rock and we wandered over to Rurp Romp and I told my tale. His comment, "That's why I don't do hard aid close to the ground."

Point taken. Now the only hard aid I do is to get out of my chair.

Good luck. That ledge is all yours if you don't have good hooking skills. I just got lucky.
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
Aided the Pirate mainly with nuts long ago, no offsets. Don't know what it's like now. but don't use hooks on any face holds- they may break off.
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:52pm PT
Yup, small nuts (gear wise) is the ticket. The offsets were great for me.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 3, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
Higgins, Prrrdylady is a troll account that was started when stitch got booted from MP for talking about the real prrdylady's prrdyness, unless prrrdylady was aiding the pirate a month ago while prrrdy darn preggers.

I rope-soloed Tons of Junk and Rurp Romp (stripped most of the heads and was able to manage a clean go at it) last year, not too bad considering some of the stuff you can find yourself on at Riverside Quarry.

Say the word Mucci and I'll meet you down there.
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Sep 4, 2014 - 06:03am PT
You're a better man than I. I placed I think two heads. I've done a few out the quarry about the same time frame. Vertical Vee was fun. Can't remember the other 3 I did. Talk about expando.
Johannsolo

climber
Soul Cal
Sep 4, 2014 - 06:40am PT
Go check out Flying Circus and let us know how that goes.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 4, 2014 - 10:19am PT
love when a troll account becomes a real account
BG

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Sep 4, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
photo by mike borrello
photo by mike borrello
Credit: BG
Here's a photo from the first ascent, 20 years ago (in 1994). I'm hanging from a bolt placed at the end of the scary hooking section. This photo was taken from the hanging belay about 50 feet off Vampire ledge. The first bolt is a 3/8 incher that protects the tough hooking section. Although it doesn't look too far here, it's a distance of about 20 feet to the next bolt (that I'm hanging off).

So if you try it in one pitch, skipping the hanging belay, if you blow it just below the second bolt (that I'm hanging off here) I'm guessing you'd fall at least 60 feet (figuring 30% rope stretch) but wouldn't hit Vampire ledge.

I've talked to a few people that have taken the fall!



mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Sep 4, 2014 - 03:43pm PT
Drilling that second bolt must have been.....*shudder*!
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