Cozmic Bandito-Gang Bang- South Face, Mt. Watkins

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survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 3, 2009 - 02:52pm PT
Can't find my other pix at the moment from this trip.
AARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Oh well, I can't wait forever to post up. I might get hit by a bus later.

I call it Gang Bang because it's the only wall we ever did with all four original Cozmic Banditos. Myself, Buggs, Keith Royster Stevens, and Mel Johnston. Logistical yes, but what a hell of a party!!

So anyway, here's the first installment. More later.

The objective from Half Dome.






On the march, Mt. Watkins on the right, with that beautiful visor pitch visible at the top.






After the monster Scruffy Buttress, you have to do a pitch and then pendulums to get to the real start. Although this one seemed real enough.






Here's Half Stone from somewhere on the face.





Sorry I'm missing so much from the lower part, but here's the pitch off Sheraton Watkins.




And another.




HELP ME BUGGS!!! I can't find my other set of PIX!!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Feb 3, 2009 - 02:53pm PT
Nice stuff!

Makes me wanna be anywhere but where I am now. . .


My cubical. . .yuck!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 02:57pm PT
Steve,

If I can bring a little relief to the cubicle, then I've done part of my part for the human race today.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Feb 3, 2009 - 02:57pm PT
awesome, can't wait to see the rest.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Feb 3, 2009 - 03:15pm PT
Interesting how much grass was still in those cracks off Sheraton-Watkins. When I did it in 1991, it was mostly clean & free of dirt & grass. I do remember the pitch above was gnarly for being rated 4th class. I reported it to Don Reid & I notices he up rated to 5.3 or so. Great route! I wish I had pics but we went light & did it in a long day valley to valley so no camera was taken. It was before the digital photo age.

Thanks for sharing, it brings back great memories!

That's one of just a few VI's I want to repeat!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 03:18pm PT
A couple of scenery shots from after we left the giant corner and climbed onto the upper face. We never saw another party up there, it was awesome!


Jet and Clouds Rest.



Sheraton Watkins after the long haul up and left.
I hadn't quite expected this level of traversing.
If traversing isn't your bag, you might not want to come here.



Thanks Levy and Bluering. I'll have some more up later.

It took us three days, but there were four of us and the full on haul! Valley to valley??? Holy buckets, does that mean all the way to the lodge? Nicely done dude, that's a big day!

By the way, I really regret all the walls from the past where there was no camera along. Don't do that anymore! No excuse, now that there are all these little shirt pocket models out there.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 3, 2009 - 03:25pm PT
I've heard this route is really stellar, although the approach is a pain. How was the rock? The approach? I would definitely like to do it someday.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 04:01pm PT
PTPP,

It was amazing I thought.

The rock was great except for a couple spots. The location is so unusual compared to the Captain!

Yes, the approach was a bear, but it keeps the weenies away. Plus there were some beautiful pools and amazing house size boulders in the canyon.

The scruffy buttress isn't for lightweights either!

Well worth it to do the thing. I loved it.
Mike.

climber
Feb 3, 2009 - 04:52pm PT
You are a bad man, survival. Making that route look as good as it does. Damn your eyes, man...and thank you!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 05:16pm PT
Ha Mike.

Thanks for the compliment. I am missing some killer shots, but I will get some more up tonight after I get home.

At least I have a few great ones from the top, and maybe Buggs or Keith will pitch in on this. Buggs has some tales to tell with this being his first grade VI.

I remember clearly a moment up high on the Scruffy Buttress, crossing an exposed slab and Buggs's (Carrying a monster bag)foot slipped on some loose gravel but he managed to grab a branch about the size of my pinky before he went over!!!
If my eyes matched his at that moment....we were two Bug-eyed motherfeckers!!

I'm at the library with the kids right now......not climbing....
crackfiend

climber
Feb 3, 2009 - 05:28pm PT
Watkins is my favorite wall in Yosemite.While the climbing not at clean as el cap or hd the setting and fell of tenaya canyon cannot be beat. I remember there being lots of mandatory free climbing and at times the route was not obvious. We bivied at the top of the scruffy buttress and then at a ledge system 3 pitches above sheraton watkins. This has 3 nice ledges, smaller than sheraton for sure but flatter and better to sleep. Some of the cracks are a little mungy but you really get the sense that it doesn't get climbed that often. The pendulum traverse mentioned above the attain the route is off of a pretty scary bolt. My partner climbed the 5.9 variation on the 12th pitch and he encountered no bolts as indicated on the supertopo. The 14th pitch was pretty spicy as well. I would highly recommend it. Definately a step up from a route like the nw face of half dome.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 05:41pm PT
crackfiend, I agree about the mandatory free climbing, and a bit of route finding. The grass and dirt (not too bad) enhanced the adventure/doesn't get done that often feel.
Do you remember the wide pitch with the big ass fern growing out of it up high?

Those last few pitches were so bitchin'!!

Getting off the back of that dome was "sport" climbing too!!
(Not so obvious)

Spicier than Reggae Route on HD fo sure.
We loved it.

I have some good pix of that bivy ledge you speak of. I'll put em up later. That was the TEQUILA BIVY!! We stopped even after sleeping at Sheraton Watkins it was so good. We did fix a couple pitches above there...
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 08:57pm PT
Time for another installment.

The upper bivy ledge was too sweet to pass up.
It made for a short day, even though we fixed a couple pitches above. It gave us plenty of time to drink all our tequila that night!




Same shot more close up.





Looking the other way at Keith and all the freight!





Close up of Keith contemplating the very nature of canned peaches.



SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Feb 3, 2009 - 10:33pm PT
This is such fun!
Keep the installments up--makes me come back for more!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Feb 3, 2009 - 10:46pm PT
Sweet, sweet, and mo sweet...pro nevah but in my dreams....so it's sokay to live vicariously at times, yah ? Nice....lrl
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 3, 2009 - 10:47pm PT
great photos. i just posted a link here to the mt watkins page

http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=ybmwsout#beta
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 3, 2009 - 11:44pm PT
Wow, Thanks Mr. M.!!

I'm honored. Will the rest of the pix go there after I get them in here?

I guess it's probably automatic, I'm just not too tech savvy.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 3, 2009 - 11:52pm PT
Nice thread! Thanks survival!
Z
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
Feb 3, 2009 - 11:57pm PT
That's it Surv.....I've decided I hate you.Sounds like you got Mike goin', too!! Great adventures, Man.
Awesome looking wall.
KILLER! WooHoo!!!!!!

Check in at the Sheraton....Where? The Sheraton Watkins!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 3, 2009 - 11:59pm PT
Thanks for the report - looks like a nice area, and climb.

Perhaps the reason that you didn't see anyone else is that you're banditos - and so the pirates went elsewhere. AARRRGGGHHHH!!!
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