Climbing the Rostrum with Surfer Bob


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Hardly Visible

Port Angeles
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 8, 2007 - 05:27pm PT
Having started my rock climbing career relatively late in life, and starting it out from the backwaters of far western Washington, my first few trips to Yosemite as a climber were you might say cautious. Lacking the magnetic charisma, the looks, and the climbing skills to attract a partner that made easy work of the classics, I bumbled along and eventually by the end of my second trip had transformed myself into a crack climber of modest ability, onsighting even a few 5.10 b and c climbs.

After I had just led Stone Groove up at Reedís one fine fall day, a good looking blond gal and her companion a tanned muscular fellow with a pony tail came up to do a few laps on some classics.
The gal I recognize from some Greg Epperson photos of her on Midterm as the taco standís own Jobee, and Bob I had seen a very nice shot of him leading the Twilight Zone in a glossy book somewhere. Needless to say they both do Stone Groove so easily that I wonder why I found it so challenging. We hang out and chat while taking turns running laps on Stone Groove and Bob and I make plans to climb down at Arch Rock the next day.

The next day I meet with Bob down at Arch hoping to give my learning curve a big jump, since I finally latched onto a partner who was clearly a far better climber than I was. We share an olive oil loaded protein drink that he has prepared then head up to the rock.
Up at Arch with Bob doing all the leading we climb Entrance Exam, English Breakfast Crack Blotto, Leanie Meanie, and the first pitch of Gripper all in the course of a few hours. I am able to follow these climbs cleanly with the exception of Leanie Meanie where I take a hang 2/3 of the way up the pitch. Based on this performance Bob deems me able to follow him on the Rostrum, I have my doubts but I agree to do it anyway. After all if I wait till I think Iím ready I might never get on the thing.

I meet Bob at the Rostrum pullout at about 10 in the morning we share another of his protein concoctions, load up and head down the hill, stash some water and goodies at the mid point ledge, and then rap to the base of the climb.

The climb starts mellow being no harder than 5.9 up to a set of chains about 100 feet up. Instead of belaying here and then going left for an 11a pitch like most parties do Bob continues straight up into a 10d flare that sort of looks like a reverse version of pictures Iíve seen of 10.96.

The second pitch follows a stellar hand crack up a corner passing a few roofs, certainly one of the finest pitches Iíve ever climbed and one of the few pitches on the climb I could comfortably lead. However Iíd probably want a little more pro than you see Bob using here.

We grab our water and share some snacks on the mid point ledge and continue on.
The third pitch is the crux where after giving it an attempt I resort to doing a few A0 moves not wanting to slow the momentum down. Here is Bob styling it:

Here Bob leads up pitch four which follows hand to fist crack up a beautiful orange corner.

At the start of pitch five Bob does the 10c traverse places a few pieces and has me lower him down the Uprising so he can run a lap on it. It looks absolutely stellar and would love to try it but feel Iíd better save my strength for the mandatory climbing that lies ahead. Here's looking down on the Uprising from the fifth pitch belay:

The fifth pitch offwidth goes down without a hitch and weíre onto the 11b hand pitch which I manage to free climb, hereís Bob jacket casually tied around the waist laughing and joking making it look like its all of 5.8.

This pitch delivers you to a nice perfectly flat ledge underneath the also perfectly flat Rostrum roof a cozy four foot high horizontal slot probably dry in any weather.
From here you do a scrunchy little traverse right over nothingness to gain the final 5.9 offwidth with its museum of stuck #5 camalots and long sticks from attempted retrievals in the back of it and forge up it to the summit.

Climbing the North Face of the Rostrum truly is the climb of a lifetime and now thanks to you Bob Iíve gotten to do it twice. Sorry I never caught or more likely have forgotten your last name Bob but if youíre still around maybe you can drag me up Astroman next time.


right here, right now
Nov 8, 2007 - 05:46pm PT

Trad climber
Nov 8, 2007 - 05:52pm PT
Sweet! Good read and pics!

Thanks for posting Kevin.


Sport climber
Lexington, KY
Nov 8, 2007 - 05:56pm PT
I have wood.

Thanks for the pics!

Right side of the Brain, Left side of the Road.
Nov 8, 2007 - 05:58pm PT
What a beautiful climb! Nice job on the TR Kevin.

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Nov 8, 2007 - 06:23pm PT

Social climber
Nov 8, 2007 - 06:35pm PT
More Wood.
Really Nice!

A tent in the redwoods
Nov 8, 2007 - 06:37pm PT
Surfer Bob's classic.
scuffy b

The deck above the 5
Nov 8, 2007 - 06:48pm PT
Great going, Kevin.
Thanks for the report.
It's only two pitches to the ledge?

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
Nov 8, 2007 - 07:03pm PT
Good work!

goatboy smellz

Nov 8, 2007 - 07:05pm PT
All right, Kevin!
Glad to see you out & about.

Social climber
St. Looney
Nov 8, 2007 - 08:33pm PT
No wood here, but I'm really psyched for you. Thanks for sharing!

Trad climber
CA, now Flagstaff
Nov 8, 2007 - 08:43pm PT
get my #5 camalot out of the 6th pitch offwidth
Hardly Visible

Port Angeles
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2007 - 09:02pm PT
Hey Scuffy,
Yes if you are willing to combine the 10d flare with the first pitch it is two long pitches to the ledge.

Social climber
Santa Cruz Mountains/Los Gatos
Nov 8, 2007 - 09:12pm PT
Bob's a total stud! He bikes the Tioga pass regularly and runs laps on Goldfinger.
The Doctor

Social climber
Da Bronx
Nov 9, 2007 - 09:43am PT
Hey, I think it's Bob Jenkins, but I could be wrong. He lived in Prescott for a while, is a super guy and great climber. He also has the distinction of having the worst tattoo I've ever seen. It's these out of focus bubbles with blurry skulls inside them. Oh the life choices we make when we're young. I just did the Rostrum a month ago with Pennsylenvy after a 15 year hiatus. Like Russ said, Super!! The Dr.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Nov 9, 2007 - 09:55am PT
Not Bob Jenkins...Don't know how googleable he wants to be though. Last name starts w/ a B fwiw. He's still around at the usual places when he's not working out of the area if you're looking for him. Hi, Bob, if you lurk into this one. Nice pictures!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 9, 2007 - 03:26pm PT
Great photos, Kevin - they show those cool pitches so well!
Hardly Visible

Port Angeles
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Hey Clint,
Thanks for the compliments! Every time I go to Index I climb one of your routes, Princely Ambitions great line. What's the history?

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Nov 9, 2007 - 04:48pm PT
Thanks for the TR. Might be the closest I ever get to the Rostrum, unless you count driving by...
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