Looking for first ascent info for Yosemite, Tahoe, rest of the Sierra Nevada

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 28, 2004 - 01:14am PT
Rock and Ice has asked me to compile a list of first ascents in the Sierra Nevada for the last two years. Doesn't matter how hard, but they should be somewhat noteworthy. For examble, a new classic 10 pitch 5.7 would be noteworthy but a new 5.13 toprope problem would not. Anyway, anyone who has beta, please post it here. I need dates, FA info, a line about where it is and maybe two lines about why it is noteworty. Thanks!

For Example: Air Stream, Incredible Hulk, High Sierra. FA: Dave Nettle and Peter Croft, 6/2004. Striking line up the middle of the Hulk between Postive Vibrations and Sun Spot Dihedral. Probably the hardest route in the High Sierra.

Thanks for your help!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2004 - 05:23pm PT
ok, since i am not getting too much help, ill post myself:

This from Cedar Wright:

The Psychedelic Wall climbed with Jake Whittaker at 12c R,
12pitches spring of 2001, and Medicine Wall aka The Uncertainty
Principle, Climbed with Jose Peryera in 13 pitches 13a summer of
2001. The Psychedelic Wall, and The Uncertainty Principle are the two hardest routes on the sentinel to date. The Psychedelic Wall is characterized by run-outs on sometimes marginal gear, and the Medicine wall while still bold and beautiful is a safer but more difficult alternative.

Gravity Ceiling Variation to Higher Rock 13a. fall 2001 One of the largest roofs yet freeclimbed in yosemite valley. An Exposed and Burly pitch requiring the full bag of tricks.

Cedar and Lucho Arrowhead arete┤s East wall. spring of 2004 First
Free Ascent onsight with no bolts or pins, 5.11c R. A dangerous yet proud outing, and the only other route on the Arrowhead Arete formation.

Cedar and Lucho Camp Four Wall, summer 2004 ĘCamp Four Terror FreeĘ
14 pitches at 5.12a R. The only free route up the large wall behind camp four. Memorable pitches include 5.10 R bush traversing, and a runout face pitch with original 1960 quarter inchers with drilled through lost arrow pitons for hangers.

Extension to Hotline with Renan Ozturk on Elephant Rock. ╦lephant
Man 12 pitches 6 new. 5.12a fall of 2004 Finally pushes the classic route to the top of the formation. The first pitch off of the Worst Error, a ground up bolted face pitch,makes an excellent extra pitch if topping out the formation seems like too much work. It is possible to rap the entire formation, starting off the anchors on top of Killer Pillar.

Cedar and Lucho, The Obelisk Summer of 2002 Far Out, 11c,
7pitches A steep and beautiful mega classic free route, with a show stopper roof on the 6th pitch. Obelisk Pillar 11c R/X 5 pitches. The first ascent of an amazing freestanding pillar that flanks the largest face of the Obelisk. Both routes were onsite first free ascents requiring no bolts.

East Ridge Wall of Mt.Russel 9 pitches 5.10 plus classic A direct line up the steep center of the wall. Sustained 5.10

Positive Vibes direct pitch 12a ffa???
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2004 - 05:23pm PT
from Dave Nettle:


Here's a few tidbits for your project:

East Fuller Butte
Eagle Buttress 5.11, AO (7 pitches)
Dave Nettle, Brandon Thau -August 21, 2004

East Fuller Butte
Eagle Dihedral 5.11 (7 pitches)
Dave Nettle, Brandon Thau -FFA August 20, 2004(originally 5.10, A3)

Ruby Wall
Ruby Tuesday 5.11 (6 pitches)
Dave Nettle, Aaron Zanto -June 30, 2002

Incredible Hulk
Airstream 5.13 (11 pitches to ridge)
Dave Nettle, Peter Croft, Greg Epperson July 3, 2004

Incredible Hulk
Venturi Effect 5.12 (11 pitches to ridge)
Dave Nettle, Peter Croft -September 11, 2004
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 29, 2004 - 05:24pm PT
In 2000 and 2002, my friend Jason Lakey and I put up 2 routes, 9 pitches 5.10b and 5.10b C1 (had to pull on gear for a few moves at a particularly hard/ thin (rps)spot) respectively. Both routes are in Rock Creek up in the Ruby Wall cirque, the tower we climbed is to the right of the descent gully used for the route Pteradon, we heard from Strassman that our first route may have been the first route to summit that formation. Both routes are good and were done ground up on-sight with no holes or bolts, Alpine (loose rock, solid rock, chimneys, and splitters). I have topos, and some more particular info. concerning these ascents if your interested.

Dave
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Dec 29, 2004 - 09:06pm PT
Castle Rock Spire -- Cinco de Mayo V 5.10+ A3
May 4, 2002 Brandon Thau and Bruce Bindner
Greg Barnes

climber
Dec 29, 2004 - 10:09pm PT
Strassman finished a new 5.10+ route on E Face of Whitney, but the details are on his www.climbusa.com site which has been MIA for a while (like 3 months). He posted about it at rc.com around end of summer.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Dec 29, 2004 - 10:57pm PT
Chris,

When I was last in Yosemite I saw an amazing slide show given about new free routes in the Rainbow Falls Ampitheater area. Although I'm embaresed to say I can't remember the photographers name, or the name of the first ascensionist. Great slideshow though.

Anyway, a bunch of awesome hard an long routes in a spectacular setting. I am sure you have heard of it.

that's all I can offer.
Larry

Trad climber
Reno NV
Dec 29, 2004 - 11:32pm PT
It's "just a slab," but it's pretty cool nevertheless.

My Favorite Things
15 Pitches on the West Face of Cloud's Rest Peak, Yosemite National Park
Grade IV, 5.10-, PG

This trip report mentions trash at the base of the route. The thing's only had a handful ascents! Please, take good care of Tenaya Canyon, folks. It's awesome.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2004 - 11:57am PT
here is some info from Rob Miller:

the quantum mechanic is FA april 2002 & FFA June 2002 both with James Selvidge it is rated at 5.13a grade V ---washington's column.
in may of 2003 i established gemini with lucho rivera in a pure ground-up style. rapping after each day's progress, we used no fixed lines and made safe the rap stations down mary's tears by cleaning a ruck sacks worth of shitty webbing (ivo ninov would have been proud! however... i not only digress...i jest! ) Gemini is rated as a grade IV 5.12b with all the work of a new route and several exploratory days, the ninth day was not only summit day but the day i red-pointed every pitch in a continuous ascent---higher cathederal rock.
The High Lfe was first established by brian kay, josh thompson and jamie mundo. the rating was
5.9 A3 and they summitted in full winter conditions (6-10" of snow) in april of 2003
jay selvidge and i did the free variation over three days time in june 2003. this is an excellent summer and warm weather climb. from the north toe of higher spire to its summit -- it is continuous 5.10 climbing alll the way to top if one escapes off the robbins route(although this exit is discouraged due to poor rock quality). the recommende exit demands a high quality horizontal hand crack that goes at 5.11d
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2005 - 07:16pm PT
Here's a recent FA that is a variation of a route done about 8 years ago. It's located on the face of the subsidiary peak a couple hundred meters west of Polemonium, the access being the gully before you go down the 'cliff-band' to go around to Polemonium glacier.

Scramble the obvious gully to a large chockstone, and veer right up slab to the face. A series of finger/hand cracks that lead to small ledges provide 3 pitches of fine 10+ climbing with minimal sand/dirt/choss to contend with. It's flared in places, hybrids help, I left a knotted sling-nut along the way as it was rope-solo'd 10-2002

It was a variation from the direct approach up the dihedral, and finishing on the face to the ridgetop. That was done about 8 years ago, with a boulder the size of a Ford LTD car trunk falling, which prompted me to name it "LTD".

The new route was a folly after scampering along Winchell to Sill. Haven't named it, but "Exploding Pinto" comes to mind.


Ciao, Michael Dong
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2005 - 07:37pm PT
this from Bryan "Coiler" Kay

Arch Rock- "Skinny Spire" Cedar Wright and I -Just west of Arch Rock Pinnacle lies this little spire. probably 5.9. We rapped against eachother on opposite sides of the spire to descend

Above the cookie cliff-
Slob Knob- 3 pitches 5.7- with Ken Yager about 2000- Approaching from the west end of the 120 tunnel walking down hill. JUst right of the "Corn Corner" nice knobs, Ken went back and drilled a bolt on the last runout pitch.

Church Bowl
"Haley's little warm-up" 5.10d- with Ken Yager- Just around the corner from "black is brown" short little dihedral to 3 bolts- stemming crux

Washington's Column
"Tora Bora" V 5.9 A3+ - With Josh Thompson winter 2002- starts inbetween the Bad Wall and the Great slab route 12 pitches. We were going to call the route "Thin Is In" 'cause in the first 7 pitches
the biggest piece was a #1 Camalot. On top of pitch 10 is the Buried treasure, two OLde englishes buried on the ledge.

Sentinal Rock-
"Early Times" a.k.a. "Silent Skies" V 5,9 A3+- with Josh Thompson 2001
I was on that route solo during 9/11, picked up Josh after fixing the first 4 pitches on the solo. My dad died while I was on the final push. Later Cedar Wright freed some of the pitches after drilling on the crux pitch. He also renamed the route "unceartainty principal" and did a huge spray article in "Alpinist". (what a weasel)

Cathedrals district-
LOWER SPIRE WEST FACE- "Operation Bravo" V 5.9 A3+ with Jon Blair
This was a great route, only one hole, a rivet. Super steep and natural. Also has a mandatory O.W. to keep it sporty.
HIGHER SPIRE, EAST FACE FROM THE NOTCH- "Grizzly bear, Ninja, Cowboy" 5.11c with Cedar Wright and "Singer"- A worthy splitter through a huge roof, excelent crack climbing.
HIGHER SPIRE NORTH FACE-"The High Life" V 5.9 A3+- with Jamie Mundo and Josh Thompson
This is by far the longest route on the Higher spire. Rob Miller freed parts of it with Jay Selvige.Goes through the middle of a large copper stain obvious from El Cap meadow.
HIGHER SPIRE N.W. FACE- "Spire It Up" V 5.9 A4- with Robert Newsome- This was a great route, a little short but up obvious features. Lot's of thin nailing. On the third pitch, I hammered an Olde English can behind the hanger on the key bolt,the bolt that protects the A4.
HIGHER CATHEDRAL ROCK, EAST FACE- "The Wild apes' route" V 5.9 A3+ With Mark Garbarini and Jon Blair
this route made us giggle it was so obvious. Cedar Wright freed half of the now notorious "Gravity Cieling" near the top. The second half of the gigantic ceiling awaits a free ascent. The route has only been repeated in it's intirety once.
HIGHER CATHEDRAL ROCK,NORTH FACE- "The North Sea" V 5.9 A3+ with Jon Blair and Mark Garbarini
This route was gorgeous. Approached via reversing the descent from the catwalk. Many huge parties at the base. "heavy duty" almost died trying to descend in a stupor! Many more parties on the wall itself. Steep nailing on amazingly lichened rock. Found an origional Yvon Chouinard K.B. piton at the point where our route crossed the origional Chouinard Pratt route from 1960.

Fifi Butress-"T-Bags hanging" V 5.9 A3+ with Jon Blair and Mark Garbarini
Starting next to and then crossing "the Vortex" Nice little aid climb, some thin pitches notable ones include the "meat and potatoes" and the "Lazer Beam Dream"
"The golden Road (to eternal obscurity)"-V 5.8 A3- My first big aid solo, some thin nailing and thats about alll I remember about it. Starts just right from "The Colony Of the Slippermen" 7 pitches

The Wall Of Ages-(below and left of the leaning tower)
"The Age Of Exploration" V 5.9 A3+ -with Josh Thompson
This amazing route starts off the top of the "thief" some steep scary nailing past the "Spooky Spike" leads to a very natural line to the north shoulder of the leaning tower. Origionaly proposed to go to the top of the leaning tower, but when we got there that looked contrived.
"The New Age" V 5.9 A3+- with Josh Thompson and Jamie Mundo
Just right of the Watchtower. We scoped the route from the Age of Exploration. Notable feature is the "Lodge" ledge, it's not quite as nice as Ahwahnee ledge but still a happy place on a wall. Josh broke his finger on his first lead. I splinted it with a K.B. piton. A pretty steep line.

"Old Dad Spire" II 5.8 A2- Solo- I was still expirementing with solo aid. Found this little spire at the toe of lower cathedral rock. almost right in the long cathedral straigtaway. Thought I did the F.A. of the spire but found a summit register from 1936. I did do the F.A. of my route , but the old register was the prize. The route has seen alot of repeats from people going up to look at the old register. I left it up there but who knows if it's still there.
Well, Chris, that's about all I can come up with off the top of my head. I know there's more but a list would take sometime to compile. These are mostly the wall routes. Take care man-Coiler
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