Biggest block or flake you've trundled in the Valley...?


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Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 16, 2007 - 07:00pm PT
Having only been there once, and staggered at the size of the loose stuff just hanging up there (including the Texas and Boot flakes) I'm dying to know...
Wild Bill

Jan 16, 2007 - 07:16pm PT
Did anyone here ride to glory on the former flake on Half Dome's regular NW face? It happened the day before we got there (July '91), and boy were we surprised to find it missing. Pitch 8, was it?
Dingus Milktoast

Jan 16, 2007 - 07:41pm PT
Top of the 3rd pitch of Arrowhead Arete, sometime around 91, maybe 92. Used to be a foot locker sized block just sitting on the left side of that ledge, directly above the preceding pitch. On New Year's Day we trundled it in the interest of public safety, reasoning there was no one down in Indian Canyon or the base of the route at the time.

It bounced once and hit the f*#king Arrowhead, dayum it was awesome. Every time I've been up there since I'm glad we did it, it was poised to kill someone someday.


Trad climber
Jan 16, 2007 - 08:39pm PT
I didn't trundle it, it trundled me!

On the descent from JoJo (base of Washington Column, in the ValleyOfTheHardBodies) I stepped on a refrigerator sized block that IMMEDIATELY took off like the skateboard from hell. . . I rode it long enough to get my wits together and jump off and that sucker went crashing through the forest like a meteor!


The smell of O3 was EVERY WHERE!

It's a good thing there weren't people below us.


Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Jan 16, 2007 - 08:46pm PT
Wish someone had, late 70s maybe fourth or fifth pitch on nutcracker. I reached up grabbed a long pointy block only to have it move. I yelled down for my partner not to touch it as at least three parties were below. The last party said they would kick it lose. Well a day or so later it came loose and cut a guy open badly. I heard his swami was all that was holding his guts in.

I climbed the route a few years later and no block. It may have been true about the guy?.

Social climber
The West
Jan 16, 2007 - 09:06pm PT
Aproximatley 5' square by 9" thick off Coral Corner on Aquarius spring '82. Like Ekat said, it trundled me! It spun, fell several hundred feet before hitting the wall, bounced into the forest clipping trees in it's wake. There were people down there and everything. When it was over, there was cheering from the ground and from all over the wall.

Truly amazing both to see, and for the fact that no one got squished!

Now if you want to take about the desert, the trundles get considerably larger, if not as long lasting....
John Moosie

Jan 16, 2007 - 09:50pm PT
Hey Blinny, Mine was similar to yours. Not really out climbling but just playing in the back country. Coming off of triple divide peak in southern Yosemite I stepped on an 18 inch thick slab that was about 20 feet by 10 feet. It started moving fast and I realized I was surfing off the mountain. Jumped off and it went crashing down the slope. Big clouds of dust. Whoa man....

Trad climber
Jan 16, 2007 - 09:54pm PT
HEINOUS, moosie! But, hey. . . we both lived to tell the tale!


Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 16, 2007 - 09:57pm PT
The block that Todd Skinner and Paul Piana dislodged from the top of the Salathe Route must have been pretty substantial.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:03pm PT
Putting up new routes, or climbing old routes people haven't done in a long time, gives ample opportunity to tundle...

Eric has often instructed me to "clean" up a route after he has lead through the mine field of lose stuff... one in particular was at the top of a pitch, which he had the good manners not to mention to me until I was there...

"Hey Ed, see that block just sitting there, maybe you could push it off so it doesn't kill us next time we come up here.."

Sending that sucker down towards the road was truely frightening! and fun! why is that?

Then there are the times when you are just pulling stuff off and flinging it... that was Hand Job a couple of weekends ago, just cleaning flakes forever, especially 'cause you didn't want to move off that scabby sh#t...

So, this is a related discussion: why do we describe the size of loose stuff in terms of household appliances?

a microwave sized... a refrigerator sized... etc...

any ideas?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:04pm PT
Biggest thing I ever saw was either Werner and the famous Base of Half Dome trundle, or Shultz and the top of the Shield Trundle.... both in the 40megaton range.
John Moosie

Jan 16, 2007 - 10:10pm PT
Yep we lived. When I finally got off of it I was 100 vertical feet below my buddy. His eyes and his mouth were wide open and his face had that HOLY SHIZZLE look. I probably looked the same. When my buddy got down to me I said " What took you so long? " He said, " I missed the bus. "

Jan 16, 2007 - 10:12pm PT
I'm waiting for Neal Olsen to show up and talk about his trundle of the big block above camp 6 on the Nose which he rode down like Slim Pickens on the Nuke, sometime in the 70's.

Well, rode it till it snapped his leg anyway. Werner posted that great pic of Bridwell with Neal in the litter doing the first El Cap rescue somewhere else on this site earlier.

Trad climber
Arlington, VA
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:28pm PT
Last summer on the nose a block came off that was, based on the scar, a 3' tall pyramid about 1'x1' at the base. I heard it coming and thought it was a helicopter. Looked over towards the valley to see a monster block spinning downwards. The Nose was packed that day, probably a dozen people in all below the block. Nobody got hit. I was too terrified of more blocks coming down to watch it fall. I just cowered like a beaten dog up against the wall (I was in a fairly protected spot). Turns out it came off from just above the belay at the bottom of the last crack pitch below the final bolt ladder. It was one of two rockfalls while we were on the nose. It amazed me that as much traffic as that route sees, there's still sh*t falling off of it.

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:29pm PT
What happened to the loose block on Nose above camp 6 with all the ratty webbing?

The night before this thread started I dreamed I was climbing at this trad site I had never visited. I was about 2 pitches up and I found a loose block
Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:34pm PT

Remember the rock fall in the valley during the Mammoth Quake?

Jan 16, 2007 - 10:42pm PT
Hehehe, You remember that Russ. Walt and me. Then years later we trundled the entire Dolt Hole. Sheared the bolts below.

Monster trundles ...... good fun.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 16, 2007 - 10:44pm PT
It may in part depend on the definition of trundling, for which no better reference exists than "The Fine Art of Boulder Trundling". The biggest recent rockfall was probably that on Glacier Point Apron a few years ago. The Cookie slides of the late 1970s and early 1980s were pretty large, too. But both were from natural forces.

I'd take trundling to mean deliberate or accidental dislodging of a rock by a climber. Hopefully there isn't too much (or any) deliberate trundling happening in the Valley - not a good place for such antics. Though some fun can be had with intentional trundling, in the right environment.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 17, 2007 - 02:54am PT
A couple of things......

I remember Neal Olsen telling me when he broke his leg on El Cap in 1972 (I think) that he smoked his whole stash waiting for the rescue to arrive. When Bridwell was lowered down to Neal, the first thing Neal did was offer Bridwell a toke! Probably the most successful of the early El Cap rescues as Bridwell was lowered, with Neal, all the way down the face.

Back in the mid-70's The crux of Moby Dick Left (the chimney) used to be getting around a refrigerator-sized(it was more like the size of 2-3 refrigerators) chockstone at about 3/4 height. That block ain't there no more! It fell out years ago.


Jan 17, 2007 - 07:01am PT
Hell, we need some action on this thread!

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