Despairadoes (on topic, back country...)

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Messages 1 - 17 of total 17 in this topic
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 21, 2008 - 06:47pm PT
So, it has been twelve years now so I have to ask: Has anyone done this route?


Despairadoes takes the natural line up the east face of the Silver Turret, in The Gorge of Despair in Kings Canyon. Guy Keesee and I got Started on it in 1994. Guyzo, Chelsea Griffie and I returned in 96, and the way it shook out Chelsea and I did the FA while Guy soloed the south ridge to meet up on top. At the time we thought it was .12a, with several bits of .11d along the way. The route features wild exposure and is 8 pitches long. The approach is 12 miles over a high pass.

Accuse me of spraying if you must, but I will say that this is one of the to do back country routes in California. As far as I know it has not seen a second ascent.

Everything you need to know is here: http://www.summitpost.org/route/160528/Despairadoes.html

There is also some good info in Secors guide.


MisterE

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 21, 2008 - 06:59pm PT
Nice one, K!

Erik
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 21, 2008 - 07:02pm PT
Sweet route. You put up some sick stuff!

You should post the pic here too. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=699345&tn=80
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2008 - 07:31pm PT
To help convey an idea of what the setting of this route is like, here is a picture Guy Keesee took at sunrise from our camp under the base fo the wall. You are looking down on the summit of Tehipite Dome!

rhyang

climber
SJC
Oct 21, 2008 - 07:51pm PT
Kris, it's funny, this past weekend I was trying to get a partner interested in going to the Gorge of Despair sometime. He likes to climb more obscure backcountry routes, the Obelisk for example. Even in Yosemite Valley he likes to visit the less-traveled places, even if the guidebook doesn't give them any stars :)

But for some reason he was more enthused about Mt. Harrington than the Gorge itself. I remember the long haul from Deer Cove (4400') back in June, and was perusing Secor for 5.6 - 5.8 free routes a couple of months ago..
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2008 - 08:26pm PT
Rob, you should climb the El Corporale and El Commandante Turrets. It will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Mt. Harrington is a sideshow on the way in. Worth doing by all means but just as an appetizer.
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Oct 21, 2008 - 09:23pm PT
Now who in their right mind would hike all the way up there only to repeat a route when they can have their pick of numerous FAs on beautiful virgin rock??

Climber's are too selfish...
Just kiddin'

...sorta. :)
MisterE

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 21, 2008 - 09:28pm PT
That's actually a really good point, Nate (not to take away from Kris's excellent ascent).

Ya hike in a long day (usually two with gear for a few days), and the world is your oyster - at least in Washington).

You just have to have the first ascentionist mindset, then you start to ask why repeat? when we can forge our own creation...

Thanks for the reminder - oh, bliss.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2008 - 09:44pm PT
When you see the Gorge of Despair you will understand.

Despairadoes is THE line. There are also virtually unlimited new route possiblities, but there are a few really obvious clean lines. Other than Despairadoes the obvious cherries, already picked, are the North Ridge of the Silver Turret and the Fabulous Prow of Cobra, first climbed by Phil Warrender and Gary Valle.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Oct 21, 2008 - 10:36pm PT
More pics please *
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 21, 2008 - 10:40pm PT
Is that face well visible from the road, I may have some diatant shots. I'll have to look.

Kris, kudos for that route, the approach alone sounds like a worthy adventure.

kick ass!!!!
MisterE

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 21, 2008 - 11:47pm PT
Yeah. What Al said.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2008 - 11:56pm PT
more pics please...

oh, ok.


photos by Guy Keesee

edit: several Gorge of Despair formations are visible from the road including the west face of this one. This climb is on the hidden east face though.
MisterE

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 21, 2008 - 11:59pm PT
Holy Overlaps, Batman!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 22, 2008 - 12:11am PT
Of course thanks for spraying K! . What a creative and novel route in the v. special Kings Canyon area. Thanks tons. Yeah, Holy Overlaps. I wish I had been there!

As time goes on there are on ST every now and then these amazing bits about routes that few know about but which routes are stellar. I keep thinking of (The Warbler) Kevin Worrall's rte on Basket Dome too among others. Keep putting this stuff up everybody. This is climbing as I know it.

best ph.

ps. "Modesty is the ability to call attention to whatever it is that you are being humble about."
T H

climber
From: From: From: From:
Oct 22, 2008 - 01:42am PT
Newsletter-worthy to be sure .
rhyang

climber
SJC
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:13am PT
Thanks for the recommendations Kris !
Messages 1 - 17 of total 17 in this topic
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