The Grand Wazoo, Middle Cathedral

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Chief

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 25, 2009 - 12:03am PT
Steve Sutton and I climbed a five pitch route between the Bircheff Williams and Central Pillar of Frenzy back in 95? Bolt protected (hand drilled on lead), 12a. Wondering if anyone has done this route or if it's relegated to obscurity?

PB
dickcilley

Social climber
A cova Dos Nenos
Jun 25, 2009 - 12:27am PT
Give us some details.
Greg Barnes

climber
Jun 25, 2009 - 12:43am PT
I was there the day they were finishing it up (early '95?), goes up Bircheff-Williams for a couple pitches then up the arete and face to the right.

The Reid guide last edition was 1994...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 25, 2009 - 12:49am PT
It gets a fair amount of rappel traffic - people descending from Central Pillar of Frenzy.

It's listed in the 1996 AAJ, so the FA info is known.

It's listed in my "guidebook update":

2312. The Grand Wazoo FA: Perry Beckham, Steve Sutton, 1995

http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/update.htm
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2009 - 01:53am PT
Wow, that was a quick reply!
Dick Cilley, good to hear from you, it's been a long time.
The Grand Wazoo started over beers, pipeloads and binoculars in the Meadows. It took a few sessions and some investigating both by asking around and climbing the Central Pillar to the dike traverse to the Bircheff Williams to confirm the line. Steve and I recced and set up the rap route from the top of the fifth pitch of the CP down to the top of the first pitch of the Wazoo and through to the top of the second pitch of the BW. It's a good way to avoid traffic on the way back down off the Central Pillar. Scott Cosgrove solved the initial arete on the first pitch off the BW, some of the harder moves on the route. After placing an anchor we bailed and Cozzy had to leave.
Steve and I finished the first and climbed four more pitches to a small ledge not far below the base of the U Shaped Bowl. Each pitch was a little harder and longer, the last on a good fifty meters and quite sustained. It was October and we worked for about a week, fixing our way and hand drilling 3/8 bolts (mostly stainless) off hooks. After reaching the high point, we pulled our ropes and climbed the whole thing via the first two pitches of the Bircheff Williams. It was a lot of work, but seemed well worth the effort. Once you get to the start, all you need are quickdraws to go a long way up Middle!

PB
bob

climber
Jun 25, 2009 - 06:56am PT
Chief, my buddy and I were headed up the CPF and after some of the tree stuff and mud wrangling we started to head down with one rope. Thanks for the bolts so we could get down without too much effort. THAT LINE LOOKS RAD!!! We guessed the grade right. We mostly climb friction/ edging stuff up in the high country and thought that route to be right up our alley. I sat in El Cap Meadow one day and proceeded to watch an enormous rock fall shower all of those routes. I'm done climbing there because that isn't the only one I've seen in that area of M. Cathedral. I'll only climb Kor/Beck and left or N. Buttress and right on Middle now. Does it make sense? I don't know. That CPF/ Stoner's section is dangerous in my mind. Like rock climbing. Dangerous! Hee hee.
Always wondered about that route. Cool info.
Bob J.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jun 25, 2009 - 07:24am PT
Chief,

send Chris McNamara (ST) a topo of your route. He can put it in his Obscurities pages for others to use.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 25, 2009 - 07:37am PT
I have seen the anchors a couple of pitches up and would love more info if you have a topo and a tale! Looks like great climbing out there!


Where does it go through the bottom section?

Yet another fine FA Perry! Congrats.
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Jun 25, 2009 - 08:00am PT
Perry

I remember selling you some random 3/8" bolting gear after getting down from a captain route (drill bits, 5 piece rawls and hangers) in the meadow around that time.

Is this where they went?
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2009 - 01:06pm PT
Thanks for the feedback.

Bob J. I agree about the rockfall concerns and have seen some big stuff come down, in particular during the big quake in spring of 80? (We were near the top of the Hockey Dawn). Spring is probably the worst time and there probably is no guaranteed safe time.

Peter and Steve, I'd draw a topo but it's been so long I'd be short on details. Someone's going to have to climb the route to provide something accurate. The following description may be helpful for now.

Start with the first two pitches of the Bircheff Williams (11b, 10b) to a nice ledge on the arete. The BW 10d Choss pitch starts from here.
Pitch three, 35 meters, follow three bolts past 11d crux on arete to no hands on easier ground above. Several more bolts on 10b face to rap anchors.
Pitch four, forty meters, follow bolts past balancy 11b crux near arete to easier arete and face to cool rap anchor belay under a tiny roof at the top of the left facing corner.
Pitch five, forty five meters, pull the roof and follow bolts past a fixed pin and an 11c crux to a small ledge with rap anchors.
Pitch six, fifty meters, follow bolts to 11d crux, carry on right through the dike connector from CPF to BW and on to a great belay ledge with rap anchors.
Pitch seven, fifty five meters, follow bolts (12-15?) up this incredible "Flat Iron" feature past a 12a crux to a cool ledge at the bottom of more broken terrain leading into the U Shaped Bowl.

Rap the route.

I think there's a great independent two pitch start up the arete of BW. It might be tough to bolt, but I think it's all there at something medium twelvish.

T2, thanks for the bolts, yes some of them went into the route.

This climb is well protected and highly recommended.

PB
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 25, 2009 - 01:52pm PT
Cool - I drew it into my book. I have also heard others speculate that the arete on the BW below it might go. (Maybe already did go? I think there is an anchor on it?)

dickcilley

Social climber
A cova Dos Nenos
Jun 25, 2009 - 02:34pm PT
Hi Perry,Wondered who the Chief was.Wish people would use their names .That 10.d on the BW. isn't choss.There's a beautifull pitch under all that grass.Climbing that thing while gardening will get you pumped out of your gourd.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 25, 2009 - 02:46pm PT
Chief = Perry, but this was his first thread.

The Chief = Rick Poedke
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jun 25, 2009 - 02:56pm PT
Another Canadian!

This place is goin to hell.

hehe

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 25, 2009 - 04:00pm PT
Welcome Perry !
-Roy
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 25, 2009 - 04:42pm PT
Tr'ed a few of the pitches on the way down from Central PIllar a time or two and enjoyed them. Agree that a topo would help the route see more traffic

No way that second pitch of BW is 5.9. Above that, I got confused whether BW stayed in the corner or climbed the spitter crack to the left. I climbed on the right side and it seemed to dead end and I wound up cheating somehow to get left.

Peace and thanks

Karl
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2009 - 05:37pm PT
Dick,
I've climbed that pitch several times over the years and it's choss, period! I agree there's a great crack under that choss if it was cleaned up. Clint, you're topo's close enough. Just a reminder that once you're on the Wazoo proper all you need are quickdraws.

Perry Beckham, aka Chief, The Chief, Tomahawk etc.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 5, 2009 - 02:42pm PT
Stop and drill on the next ...bump.


Middle on a soggy day.
coz

Trad climber
California
Jul 5, 2009 - 03:17pm PT
Great photo truly one of my favorite crags in the world. The Wazoo must be a great line as I climb it to the high point with the Chief. I do remember drilling the crux bolt and doing what turn out to be the crux of the climb. Beautiful scoops palming an arete.

The climbs a bit like space Babble but slightly steeper or seemly steeper. Where Space Babble is hard for only the first pitch the Wazoo, is hard the whole way. I would have to say it is one of the best. Having climb most routes on the face with the exception of Mother Earth.

Hats of to Perry and Steve, and a coveted second if it hasn't been done, is a prize for certain.


Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 5, 2009 - 03:30pm PT
Hmmm... looks good, might have to pencil that one in for October...
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