Min-Ne-Ah: Small big wall for some/big free climb for others


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Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 6, 2009 - 12:51pm PT
I posted this on Stump the Chump post and thought if I made it its own post then maybe just maybe the remaining FFA can chime in? I'd love to hear of any story on this wall.
I'm not a good writer, but I hope you all can enjoy this short moment in time.

As posted:

Walleye, I climbed Mindahoonee with a buddy in 97. Great route. Some adventure for sure, but the climb overall was excellent in my book of wierdness.

What James was referring to was that Jake and I did Min-Ne-Ah. Just to the right of Yosemite Point Buttress. I had come out to Yos two years ago, out of shape and in need of a gun like Jake. He took the bait. As we were up on YPB we spied MNA, which from our vantage point looked beautiful and full of good cracks.

We pushed up YPB (my Dutch Lager busted in my camelback only after all the wide sh#t.!!) thinking about MNA. I talked Jake into doing it.

We took off super early and headed up the trail behind the stables, eventually reaching the Yosemite Point Couliar. We rapped into it, noticing that we could have scrambled out into it earlier. The mood instantly changed in the couliar.(sp?) It was cold and dark. It smelled different. It smelled like a cave. I stayed positive because, after all, Jake was going to get us up the thing.......right? He required a calming period. During which time I checked out the route as best I could. The first pitch was stellar looking!!!!! Fingers and hands. Cookie cliff good. Couldn't quite see the rest of the route, but I was positive.

Jake pepped up and won the flip for first lead.
Off he went shaking out his fear until realizing the climbing was awesome. He was happy again and ready for action. This climb is going to be splitter!!!!! Alright, my plan of getting a guide if necessary on Min-Ne-Ah was panning out. Jeez, at that point, with the approach I felt as though I had already done something substantial and the idea of a rope gun was more and more appealing.

I set off and did some jangy traverse right into grainy wideness that would end up characterizing the majority of the climb. Ropes end reached I set up a belay. Jake followed nicely and showed up realizing I may be off route. A small down traverse and he was back into the same grainy wideness, for a long way. I set off on even more wideness on the next pitch as well, but it soon turned into a memorable roofish move to 5.10 pumpfest. All hands to the anchor. I arrived torched. My lack of climbing for 6 months was catching up to me. Jake was only getting more into the groove and floating his way up.

Jake led us up another wideness pitch and I then led us up a moderate, wide pitch to the tops of the Rabbit Ears. Great hang, especially on a beautiful spring day as we had. The couliar curving down below. Lots of grainy and physical climbing to that point. Mostly wide and grainy. Going at Cosgrove/Shipley 5.8 or 9.

Looking up we saw simply ominous looking climbing. That giant roof at the top?! What on earth were we going to have to do to get through?

I set off on the first 11a pitch. I stemmed my way up grain past sh#t bolt to a good bolt to more SUPER SH#T BOLTS that appeared to be out of the rock by 1/4 or more of and inch out of the rock. They appeared to be origional aid bolts. Quite possibly placed well with erosion taking its toll around them. Well, they held my weight nontheless. I had had enough mentally at that point. A bulbousy lyback that was grainy as hell with those bolts defeated me. Reacehed the anchor above and humbly set my partial hanging belay below and extremely overhanging crack.
Jake fired up to me. Racked up and set forth on what has to be one of the best onsights I've witnessed and I've seen a few good ones.

To this point Jake was flawless. He made everything smooth. Even climbing that wasn't supposed to be so!!! This was different. White super grainy rock overhanging desperatly like a wave. he set forth and to our luck found good gear in the back of this absolute GRAINWAVE. He was showering me with so much rock I could have used that amount to gravel the average driveway. I could barely keep my eyes open enough to see him, but I had to. This performance was not to be missed. I had grain in my eyes for days.

Jakes dilemma was that he was at a spot that was quite hard. Very hard and stenuous. Cos/SHip 5.11D, grainy and full of mud and salad fixings. All the reason to call it and aid. Problem was the gear was as good as it gets, no matter what pitch you compare it to. It was solid in the back of that rattly offset think fingers thin hands crack.

He had no excuse. He had to go for it. Oh of which he did baby! The top of the crack is like a gaping v-slot. From my vantage point it looked as though it was over by then. Jake made noises i've never heard getting to that slot and once he started pullling into it I was full of joy and ease thinking he just sent the improbable. I threw words of encouragement and praise only to be interrupted with a shakey, yet very stearn, "Watch me BOB!!!!!!!!" I almost pissed myself.
He grunted through to the sloping ledge. I praised him. Laughing he said,"that's a pitch that 5.13 climbers barely onsighted when putting it up so they had to call it 5.11D".

I followed hanging multiple times and being totally blown away at how hard it remained up at the v-slot. IT was absolutely desperate, wet, full of veg in the back and had no gear at that point.

Next pitch was the bolt ladder. I relenquished my post and let The Gun take over. He walked up this 11c pitch littered with those bolts I spoke of before. It looked like 5.6. No kidding. He only paused long enough, half way to re-tie his shoe! But then he reached the slightly overhangingish wet, slimy ass crack ramp/squeeze thingy. He let out words of horror as he stood 40 feet above the last bolt, digging out moss, and rotten rock so he could get situated and not take a roaring ride of a tumbler. I remember feeling so fortunate not to be on lead at that point.
He got in the #6 and shimmed his way forth. I was probably sweating more than he.

Bobby J. was big walling at this point, supporting a mega free send by a buddie. Hand over hand and I was at the maw of a squeeze thingy. It was hard, wet and scary on TR.

Next I was off on some more wide, grainey sh#t that put me lying back a pinnacle of rock (or fin might be better) that "was breathing" as I yarded up it. Increased grain on the route at this point. Folks, this is saying a lot since the route was already bonified GRAINEY. We were in that really white rock. that would just fall apart.

Next Jake took off and a face traverse that was hard up to some more hard crack shtuff.
I was off after that up some wide sh#t, then cut it short because I just couldn't see what to do. I was done. My mind was just hanging on.

Has anyone here looked up right of YPB and seen the HUGE roof up high and right? There is a giant fin like feature that sticks out on the right end of it. Maybe this doesn't make sense. I had to try because the feature is SO COOL.
At the top of it all. Only two pitches left. Jake stepped left bridging this gap that is visible from the valley. Its very easy to see. What an ending. We could see the light and this move was exhilarating to say the least. We are tall and had very lttle trouble bridging the gap once our minds allowed us the privilage. Then.......yup, more wide ass grainy sh#t that was supposed to be 5.6, but was three letter grades harder. Last pitch was still wide grainy sh#t.

I forget how many pitches the climb was for us, but a lot I know for sure. We happily used a #6 Friend on all, but 1 pitch. I mean we were STOKED to have it. Very very much so.

An unbelieveable adventure this was. For both of us. Jake made it up without ever falling. We never had a lick of beta except looking over from YPB. We never talked to Coz and Ship is on another adventure. We couldn't find anyone who'd done it. It was truly impressive. I would never have been up there without that Mr. Whittaker.

Great job Cozgove/Shipley. Did you have any wide gear up there? Whoa! I would love to hear the story of that day sometime if you're ever up for it Scott.

Cheers to great adventures. Regardless of grain.

Bob j.


Toostoned, AZ
Jan 6, 2009 - 01:27pm PT
Cool story Bob.
Just remember, you're MY ropegun now.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 6, 2009 - 02:13pm PT
Great story, Bob - thanks for sharing!

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2009 - 02:21pm PT
Thanks, and does anyone know anyone who's done it? I know Coz has done it!
Bob J.

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2009 - 10:54am PT
I know I'm bumping my own thread, but I want to drag this lure in front of big fish Coz just incase he bites!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously though Coz, if you have even a smidgen(sp?)of time to write about the days adventure you had on this route, I'd love to hear. Hopefully others would too.
Bob J.


Big Wall climber
Jan 7, 2009 - 01:21pm PT
Yeah Bob, that was awesome! Bob pretty much hit all the details, except that he probably would have sent too, but he had the bad luck to get that bullsh#t, practically unprotected kitty litter lead. It was fun to follow.

The crux had a nice Jailhouse kneebar right where I was about to pump off!

Also, at the end of the bolt ladder pitch where I was at least 30 ft. above the last bolt on the slab, cleaning wet moss out of terrible cam pseudo-placements, there was still a bolt ladder off to the side...well, the holes at least. This was depressing, to have to f*#k around so much and fear for my life where the old dads were bolt laddering. A little re-engineering and replacing would go a long way towards making the route ultra-classic...grain...like J-tree!

Its a great feature of the Valley that I'd looked at for years, and was psyched to squeak through in perfect style, carrying my tennies, water, and clothes the whole way, except the slab, where Bob took my stuff since he'd switched to big wall aid mode. Too bad we had to aid the approach....

I'd love to hear the story too Coz! Its rad how many lines you and Shipley did...I always know where to turn when I want a REAL adventure...its kind of anxiety-ridden though, considering your guys' reputations!

Oh, and the bridging move Bob mentioned, in case no one got it, is hands on one wall and feet on the other, staring staight down at the stables...you probably don't have to do it that way, but its the easiest way and one of the coolest moves ever! You have to just stand there and then fall forward and stick your hands out...hopefully you don't come up short!

We emptied out handfulls of gravel from our pockets, packs, shoes, underpanties, ears, and makeup kit after we finished...literally like several pounds each, so maybe the route wasn't as hard as we thought.

Gym climber
San Franpsycho
Jan 7, 2009 - 02:09pm PT
"I'm not a good writer" he says. Dude you're an excellent writer!
Bob and Jake are those guys that most people outside of Yosemite hardly hear about because they never spray. So heres some spray for them they are badass! True modern day Yosemite hardmen. Always out there climbing everything from the obscure to the classic. I first met them five or six years ago in Tuolumne and have always looked up to those guys. They've been a great influence in my climbing mainly cause they're always out there having fun! On rest days and climbing days. Great partners, great people and great climbers.
If I remember correctly that same day Zach and I went up to do the Mindahoonee over by the falls which Bob had suggested to us. Thats the climb James mistook for the Min-Ne-Ah in the Stump the Chump post two completely different climbs.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 7, 2009 - 03:43pm PT
How about some photos from Xrez? I added a line on the first one, guessing from the topo.


without line

zoom on crux area, above "The Rabbit Ears"

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2009 - 04:56pm PT
Nice Clint! Those are fun to look at for sure.
Go grain pile!
Bob J.

fist clamp
Jan 7, 2009 - 08:01pm PT
What a good send. I am sure it was intense! Here are a few of the fellas in their natural environs.


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tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Jan 7, 2009 - 09:28pm PT
A frikken men.

Bob and Jake have done all the stuff I've wondered about. Bulging Puke? Who's done that thing, let alone tried to free it?

As I get older, fatter, and whinier, it's good to see you guys are still looking for adventure. I still look for it and occasionally head out an try, but you have be pretty good to bite off more then you can chew. I just bite stuff these days, unless you count the little boy that Genevieve and I just had.

The little guy seems like a big adventure.

Anyway, Jake, Bob, and Pat- if you cruise through this way stop by. I might even have time to go do some bouldering.


fist clamp
Jan 7, 2009 - 11:12pm PT
Another generation of Woods to run around in the Sierra, that is great. I guess that is why I like it so much here, new good people to come. I will shoot you an email in Feb-March about the E.side. Congratulations!


(send me a picture)
Dragon with Matches

Bamboo Grove
Jan 7, 2009 - 11:55pm PT
REAL adventure = going up a Cos-Ship obscuro with zero beta and sending in style.

Bob & Jake you guys are studs and Bob you really should write more, it's great stuff. See you guys this summer.



the ground up
Jan 8, 2009 - 02:14am PT
Aticulate fellas . grainwave and underpanties

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 8, 2009 - 10:02am PT
Nice Coz! Learn a little something new every day. Since the first time looking in the guide book that climb has been calling in some way shape or form. I'd get to that page and pause every time to look at it and imagine what it would be like to be up there. No stars, big route, two names attached for the FFA that seemed to match up to all the other no star big routes around the valley that just made it into the guide. The FFA names also matched up to many a story I'd hear of harrowing free climbing up not the most solid of stone. Affliction, etc..........yeah.
I look forward to some more tales. Thanks!

Bob J.

PS Frightening pics Pat.

fist clamp
Jan 8, 2009 - 02:15pm PT
What is funny Bob is that you and Sean are looking WAY up and smiling. Do you think some TM style tree climbing is ensuing?HA! What other time in climbing do you yell at your buddy who is free soloing "GO FOR IT, yeah, yeah c'mon just do it dude"

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Topic Author's Reply - Jan 8, 2009 - 02:57pm PT
Pat, where the hell do you get these pictures?!!? I've never laid eyes on any of them.
In Ptown. Drop me a line.
Bob J.

fist clamp
Jan 8, 2009 - 03:34pm PT
Maybe in the spring we should get 'afflicted' That is what I have been looking at for years and getting sweaty-palmed about. Maybe I could just come with you and Jake and shoot more secret photos and cry and hang up it. HA!


Trad climber
Jan 8, 2009 - 07:05pm PT
Great thread guys!

Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2009 - 09:37am PT
Thanks for sharing Coz. We kept wondering what you guys felt while up there. A number 4 friend eh? Yikes. Crazy how a freak show like that can turn into one of my fondest memories. Adventure sure has its place. With that said, I don't think Jake nor I would have gone up there if we'd known what was coming. Though, I guess maybe we had a hunch.
I love the name and have found myself saying it sometimes out of the blue. Doubt I'll go back.
Now "The Big Juan" on the other hand....................any comments?
Bob J.
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