TR - Tangerine Trip, El Cap - 12/07


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Gene Pool

Trad climber
A trailer park in Santa Cruz
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 25, 2007 - 01:41am PT
Below is a slightly expanded el cap trip report that Floride suggested I post in a new thread so it might reach a wider audience. Hope you enjoy the photos. It was a blast.

Thanks Nanook for checking to make sure we were ok up there. You got it mostly right. The gear on Zodiak is Gene's. Zak is solo on the shortest straw - just to the west. On Friday when everthing began to thaw some ice started getting a little too close for comfort so Wigball rapped to the ground for a few hours until things settled down.

In case you want visions of pitons and ice fall to replace sugar plums, here are a few photos from my brother and my first wall together.

The preparations begin - I was really wishing I had a band saw

Free climbing on pitch 2

Cathedral Rocks!- pre storm

The conditions worsen

How overhung is this part of El Cap?

Another view of the weather shadow we were living in.

My brother leading pitch 4 a couple moves before taking a 40' fall when a head pulled inches from a bolt. Luckily he was smart? enough to not clip any of the heads below so he didn't have to replace any of them. I can't say I would be so brave, but it is a bold example to follow.

My brother belaying me on the killer pitch 5

Cathedral rocks a couple days later

This one is for a friend who isn't sure if she wants to try climbing after she saw an advert in a climbing mag of bloodied hands.

Pitch 5 from the belay with Wigball in the distance preparing to 'journey through the brain' on the shortest straw

Friday and the Sun is out!

My bro with my custom made french press model xmas stove from wigball - thanks santa.

I must not be much of a climber because my favorite day was this day where we sat out the worst of the storm reading and drinking coffee and whisky.

During the storm, I peeked out and saw wigball who was much more exposed to snow and ice than we

The camera didn't capture much of the snow, but it was amazing to see a curtain of snow falling 100' out from us

The storm breaks...and the ice starts falling from the rim

My brother grumpy on a wet pitch 8 with tons of rope drag. Mike "slack!" Me "do you want more than 10'?"

And the top!

Our hasty full moon bivy stamped out at 10pm - it felt like 3am when we ate lentil soup and candy while falling asleep.

Half Dome was a beautiful sight before the reality of the descent hit home

The way down was definitely the hardest, most dangerous part of this trip. 8 hours of dragging two bags each down the icy east ledges only to find the road to el cap meadow closed. But at least we made it home for xmas! Barely. Good luck to wigball who will be on the wall for a while longer. Thanks to Wigball, Peter and Rich for lending us gear.

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Dec 25, 2007 - 01:42am PT
Nice job hardmen!!! Killer pics.

You said in the other thread this was your first time up the Captain?? A winter ascent nonetheless. Very proud!

Dec 25, 2007 - 01:58am PT
enjoyed reading that, thanks

Trad climber
Dec 25, 2007 - 02:08am PT
Awesome work fellas with killer pics to boot! Congrats, mike

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 25, 2007 - 02:28am PT
Very nice fellas. My first el cap route was also the Trip in winter. I think my trip was in 82. Once again, well done. I suffered on that descent. Worst I'de ever done. cheers.

Big Wall climber
El Cap
Dec 25, 2007 - 04:55am PT

CONGRATS!! You guys are contending with BURT BRONSON, seriously!

Niiice pics.
Mr. D

Trad climber
West Coast
Dec 25, 2007 - 07:54am PT
SUH-ICK! nice work guys. what a trip!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 25, 2007 - 09:50am PT
Man, the top looks scary with all that snow! How were the final few pitches? And what about that last bit up to the rim, above the ledge with the big tree-bush?

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Dec 25, 2007 - 12:04pm PT
big white bump for the abominable snowmen

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Dec 25, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
Totally enjoyable TR. Thanks for sharing!

3hrs to El Cap Meadow, 1.25hrs Pinns, 42min Castle
Dec 25, 2007 - 12:39pm PT
Nice work JP and Mike! Looks cozy up there.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 25, 2007 - 12:59pm PT
Thank you - looks like an excellent adventure. Did you have a fire on top, to celebrate, or was it too late for such? It would seem a poetic thing to do - top out, warm yourselves by the fire under the light of the moon. But I guess you were pretty tired. :-)
Gene Pool

Trad climber
A trailer park in Santa Cruz
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 25, 2007 - 03:09pm PT
No fire on top. We were too tired. We heated up soup from our sleeping bags. I don't know if other people have had the same problem, but there is a rock horn that is perfectly situated to catch the haul line on the last pitch. So I had to rappell down and figure out what was going on and after all that, I just wanted to crash.

The last couple pitches were wet, but doing them at night meant that there wasn't much ice. In the morning, they probably would have been hard. Ivo was nice and offered to drop ropes to us if we got stuck by ice, but luckily we didn't need to take him up on the offer.
pimp daddy wayne

The Bat Caves
Dec 25, 2007 - 03:31pm PT
Nice work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1/2way between Yos and Moab
Dec 25, 2007 - 03:54pm PT

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Dec 25, 2007 - 04:16pm PT

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Dec 25, 2007 - 04:17pm PT
Cool stuff. That looked bold up there in the winter. Thanks for the TR!

Merry Xmas!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Dec 25, 2007 - 04:53pm PT
so good

*cross posting to

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Dec 25, 2007 - 06:27pm PT
Very cool. Nice to have done it in winter conditions. Big props to both of you!


Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Dec 25, 2007 - 11:55pm PT
Just to clear things up. It was not our first wall, it was our first wall together as bros. I had an awesome time with my bro and I appreciate all the support we got. This includes the phone calls that said "I hope you guys bailed, cause there is a huge storm in Yosemite right now," the warnings before we left "you guys are nuts," and even the occasional shout from the valley floor while we were on the wall that said "You guys are gonna die." Thanks so much, Mike.
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