Left Side of the Remnant

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 20 of total 137 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 17, 2007 - 01:48pm PT
Don't know what made me think of that climb but I believe we did it on one of mour first trips to the Valley circa '71 it seemded hard at the time. Anyone else ever done this all but fogotten old Robbins testpiece??

JL
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Oct 17, 2007 - 01:52pm PT
Ed led the right side Sunday. Gary went to look at the left side and got eaten alive by the ants! I think one of them commented that the protection looked scarce!

The right side sure was fun. I need to try the left side.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 17, 2007 - 02:40pm PT
Yes, Spyork, Gary and I were cragging around Reed's this weekend, Mr. Smooth lead Chingando and we went over to look at Left when we were playing on Right (Spyork wanted to take a trip up it).

Gary thought the bottom part unprotectable as an undercling to a left side in squeeze... so we thought about a top rope which might be problematic too, as it overhangs a couple of steps.

But it looked very interesting given our time on Gollum, Left and the Tuolumne route around Olmstead canyon called ? (the name escapes me Gary will remember) which is 5.10d...

We must of made a disturbance in the Force on Sunday that John picked up... we were eyeing Reed's Left which was John's first climb in the Valley with Bridwell (yes?), the next day he was on the FA of 10.96... the stuff legends are made of.
WBraun

climber
Oct 17, 2007 - 02:42pm PT
I did it.

Yeah me, I did it.

Big fukin deal.

Just pullin your chain man. It's all good.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 17, 2007 - 03:04pm PT
I climbed it with Josh Moore* about a decade ago. Cool route! I thought it was one step up from gollum left (shorter, though.)


*(used to live on a sailboat @ Berzerkely marina, neighbor had tibetan prayer flags. (anyone know if he's still there?)
Gary Carpenter

climber
SF Bay Area
Oct 17, 2007 - 03:07pm PT
"The Thrill is Gone" 5.10d Olmstead Canyon is the climb Ed is thinking of.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 17, 2007 - 03:10pm PT
"Gary went to look at the left side and got eaten alive by the ants! I think one of them commented that the protection looked scarce!"

Talkative ants...
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2007 - 05:24pm PT
It's been so long ago I can't even picture it now. Love to see a photo of the thing. This goes back to the days when we didn't know sh#t from shinola and everything seemed epic.

JL
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Oct 17, 2007 - 05:51pm PT
Largo: still waiting for your account of Bob Locke Memorial Buttess...

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 17, 2007 - 06:43pm PT
I did it 20 plus years ago, with, maybe, Keith Guy, Russ Walling, and Billy Russell or a similar ship of fools. It was my lead and I had big cams; so I busted some run out lieback moves the whole way up to the under cling, stabbed the cams in at that vicinity, did the undercling around the corner and got stuffed into the squeeze.

I'm sure Russ remembers it better than I do, if he was actually there…
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Oct 17, 2007 - 06:57pm PT
Or, at least, he remembers it more colorfully!
WBraun

climber
Oct 17, 2007 - 06:59pm PT
So anybody done Moongerms or nightmare continuation lately?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 17, 2007 - 07:05pm PT
Moongerms Werner?
Jeepers, set the bar a little higher why don'cha...
How many ascents total I wonder?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 17, 2007 - 07:12pm PT
Spyork,
I for one tend to suspect the protection assessments uttered by ants.
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Oct 17, 2007 - 07:17pm PT
After the ants started talking to me, I refused to lead anything, suspecting my own judgement...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 18, 2007 - 01:09am PT
Reed's Left has a lot of stories...
...here are two about the same event:




Jim Bridwell Climbing Adventures; A Climber's Passion page 203:

One morning Jim Donini strolled over to my camp site located by the generator. He brought news of a recent arrival I had to meet. John Long was his name and climbing was his game. John was a brash and outspoken with a precocious appetite for the most difficult routes -- of which he had a familiar list. Produced by Peter Haan, the catalog recorded only hard Yosemite routes done in the past two years. John entertained me with his contagious enthusiasm as I inspected the list. Immediately I could see that the record of climbs offered complications for the Yosemite neophyte: Cream, Steppin' Out, Basket Case and other climbs on the scroll were offsized large cracks involving the dreaded 'offwidth' technique, a style of climbing nearly unique to Yosemite. I understood John was from the greater Los Angeles area, a Tahquitz regular and doubtless an excellent free climber.

"Have you done many awful-width cracks?"

"No," he admitted, but blustered on. "But they can't...and I can..."

"Hmmm, uh-huh," I intoned, suspicious of such uninitiated pronouncements. These smooth, featureless fissures were, at best, difficult to protect. Wishing to humble and not to harm, I offered to usher the lad up an easy, though exemplary route: the left side of Reed's Pinnacle. John eagerly agreed and next morning we were tooling down the road toward Reed's in my '56 Ford. As we drove, John extolled his abilities, naming the many test piece climbs he had mastered. I listened as I wheeled the old Ford through the series of turns, knowing that in all probability he would find this route very different fare.

At the base, John announced his desire to lead the first pitch, a chimney of confining dimensions. I thought, Good enough -- it would be hard to fall out due to John's already sturdy stature. Off he charged like a bull at a cape. With a display of power, if not grace, he soon found himself at the belay. I followed using the practiced technique of a Yosemite regular, and quickly arrived at his side.

With little hesitation I picked through the hardware and selected on nut (knowing the necessary size) and two carabiners, then started off. John looked bewildered, but said nothing, perhaps out of respect. I climbed up, clipped and moved past the bolt -- purposely neglecting the rest spot. An interior crack on one side of the main fissure occasionally accepted the chosen nut. But then again, sometimes it didn't. This time it didn't and the nut slid uninhibited and unhindered down to the bolt. John's alarmed voice warned me of the mishap while I moved through the crux section. I replied casually that I was aware of the fallen protection and that it didn't matter. Actually, I had soloed the route several times and felt solid, but certainly didn't want to let on to John and thus ruin the effect of my cool composure.

After dispatching the rest of the pitch, I prepared to belay the lad. He started with robust ease, using his face climbing skills on the large edges that garnished one side of the crack. But the edges vanished at the bolt and the climb became more typical of Yosemite, in a word -- smooth. John attacked the crack with force. His muscles bulged and his veins popped. He neared the polished six-inch-wide vertical crux section with little left but courage. Lactic acid crescendoed as panic replaced what little technique he had. He tried to slump onto the rope for a cheater's rest but I was having none of it and paid out slack in kind. If he made it up, I wanted him to know he had done it on his own. His face flushed with effort, his once powerful arms quivered, but his heart wouldn't quit until the synapse collapsed. Just then I took pity and divulged the secret rest hold he hadn't seen behind his back. John's hand shot to it like a chameleon's tongue. Saved! Air flooded into his lungs in great vacuum-cleaner rushes. After a short rest he swam his way to the top and my congratulations.




John Long from Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and Hang Dogs page 77

"So what should we climb?" he asked.
"We?"
"You wanna go climbing, don' t you?"

Hell yes, I did, and without thinking about it, I suggested the Left Side of Reed's Pinnacle. I'd never seen Reed's Pinnacle, and didn't know the left side from the right side. I only knew Bud Couch had failed on the left side, and figured if I got that route behind me, I'd have a leg up on Bud and Yosemite.

"Get your stuff," my new friend said, crawling into a tend and tossing out several rucksacks full of gear. When I say the name "Bridwell" on one of the packs, I froze like a deer caught in headlights.

Jim Bridwell -- "The Bird," as we later styled him -- was the biggest name in American climbing, perhaps world rock climbing. He had burst onto the Yosemite scene in much the same way we'd stormed Idyllwild, coming on the heels of a retiring generation of Yosemite greats. That generation was the first to climb the might big walls, inventing the techniques as they went along. These routes thrust American rock climbers ahead of the Europeans, and as these giants slipped off the cutting edge, around 1969, only The Bird kept the art from slipping back into the period of genre painting.

In a manner, a rope ran from Jim back to the very beginnings of the sport -- for he'd climbed with Kor, who had climbed with Robbins, who had climbed with Wilts, who had climbed with Mendenhall, who had climbed with Clyde, and for all I knew, the only thing separating me from Edwin Whymper and the first ascent of the Matterhorn was the half hour before I could rope up with The Bird.

We hitchhiked to Reed's Pinnacle, a 300-foot exfoliating slab leaning against a vertical wall of smooth gray granite. The slab's left side described a soaring crack, beginning with a wide chimney, which I led. The hard climbing in Idlyllwild tended toward steep face routes, so my crack technique was needy, and I tried to bluster by with brute strength. This worked fine for that first pitch, a moderate squeeze job ending atop a small, tight stance beneath a horrific-looking "off-size" crack. It's a terrible thing to cringe below a ghastly crack that soars overhead like your worst enemy, and not know what the devil you're doing. The situation was altogether different for The Bird, who arrived as my stance, flashed that smile again and led off without a word.

Yosemite is the crack-climbing capitol of the world. For reasons Bridwell couldn't explain, soaring razor-cut fissures bisect virtually every face, big and small, sometimes bottom to top. There are techniques for climbing all cracks but none so dreadful and tricky as that necessary for the hateful "off-size."

The Bird chugged fluidly up the second, crux pitch, and was easily 60 feet off the belay before he placed the first piece of protection -- a dinky, wired nut behind a wafer-thin flake. Above, the crack pinched down to about five inches wide, and he slithered effortlessly on. About 30 feed below the next belay, the wired nut fell out, and not a single piece of protection lay between us, a distance of over 80 feet. I hesitated to yell up the dire news, but did. The Bird paused, chuckled, and said, "Relax, kid, I might as well be walking on a sidewalk." When The Bird went to work, the climb didn't have a chance. He waltzed up the last bit of the gruesome crack, set the anchor, and the rope came snug around my waist. My turn.

The trick to these cracks is to keep a prudent pace, resting and spurting in turn, so you climb a series of short pitches instead of one long and grisly one. But on this climb there was no place to rest -- at all. The crack was too big for fists, too small for a shoulder. My knee didn't fit, though I nearly ground my patella off trying to force it inside. My feet were bicycling around and when I'd try to jackknife up a move, I'd slip down two, fiendishly arm-barring, but buttering slowly out. I was sort of swimming inside the crack -- or rather, thrashing like a drowning man -- yanking out on the lip so hard I thought I'd pull the whole damn pinnacle off the wall.

This kind of climb has a cumulative effect that asserts itself suddenly, and I'd battled to within five feet of The Bird when all at once my body felt as if it'd just swallowed about three yards of quick-set cement. According to the old adage, you never learn anything until you're "pumped." I'd either learn in a hurry, or fall and lose face forever.

"Out right," The Bird instructed.

My hand shot out to a knob on the otherwise blank face; I braced, got my knee locked higher, ratcheted up, stretched and at arm's length, grabbed the ledge and floundered onto it, spent.

"Done many off-widths?" The Bird drolled.

"Hundreds," I wheezed. He handed me the rack, and I led up the last pitch, a perfect hand crack.

So began a friendship that would take Jim and me up many big walls together, from the jungles of South America to Borneo and beyond; and it all started on that oily crack at Reed's Pinnacle.


Alex Perry

Trad climber
California
Oct 18, 2007 - 01:22am PT
Ament led first free ascent of Left Side of Remnant in (?)1967. He has told the story here somewhere.

As I remember, he led up no pro through the first off-width, then did the crux under-cling, all solid to the top with one 5.6 or 5.7 move remaining, where excited to see the big bucket at the top a few feet away he hammered in an angle into what he suddenly realized was the only hold, a finger lock. Rather than hammer it out, he placed fingers on either side of the piton and did a lieback to the right, tried not to touch the piton, and didn't need it, but it was almost impossible for the skin not to touch the steel. The move is easy, if you have that finger lock. He honestly reported this tiny infraction, if such a thing was an infraction, and he felt he had done the route. Pratt, if I remember right, showed the route to him. Dalke had trouble following the tough stuff below but easily made the top move after removing the piton.

Robbins then later went up with Price and hung around a long time to do the route, no where as good style as Ament, but made sure not to place a piton in that one hole at the top, whereby (kind of small of them) they claimed the first free ascent. Ament should get credit, full credit, as the hard stuff was led well, only that silly tiny booboo at the top which didn't matter. That's what I remember.

It is here somewhere in the back pages of super topo.
Alex Perry

Trad climber
California
Oct 18, 2007 - 01:27am PT
Ament was solid back then. One day he led crux off-width pitches on both right and left side of Reed with Pratt. He led Crack of Doom with Robbins, other such routes too, such as Ahab. He led Left Side of Slack crux off-width with Higgins.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 18, 2007 - 01:46am PT
"Sounds like Ament captured lighting in a bottle for a Valley season or two."

According to Russ, it's not lightening, but the electric energy generated during the ass clench required for a proper mantle top-out.

The problem w/ the left side of the Remnant is that it's almost always wet during Reed's season. :-(
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 18, 2007 - 01:48am PT
it's not wet yet!
Messages 1 - 20 of total 137 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta