Sunkist vs. Magic Mushroom vs. Mescalito?

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BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 17, 2011 - 12:45pm PT
Wall Tacos... I'm thinking of doing another El Cap route this year and these three make up my short list. Any opinions/preferences? I know a fair bit about Mescalito and have done some of its pitches while on the Dawn Wall, so I'm perhaps more interested in comments/experiences about Sunkist and Magic Mush, but I'm open to all opinions and information. Thanks!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 17, 2011 - 02:28pm PT
bump for the brass
Mike.

climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 02:41pm PT
Hey, Brassman,

If you like big features, history and don't view flaring cracks as bad, Mushroom is very good. Only one bolt added on the immediate route during the free effort. A couple others within reach which don't detract heavily.

Sunkist is reputed to be good quality, but any EC route that starts halfway up the wall automatically gets downgraded in my mind. Basically a variation compared to the other two.

Mesca gets way more traffic than either. That's a negative IMO. But the consistent difficulty and position of the route are brilliant.

Glad to hear you're going big. Enjoy the process...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 17, 2011 - 03:16pm PT
Do the 'Shroom

I did 'scalito in the last century and thought it was excellent, pretty crowded these days.

The post above makes a good point about Sunkist. Whenever I think of it I remember Slater Slobbering about "a thousand feet of tiny placements" or what ever it was. I made a note then to put it at the back of the list.

When the colonel and I did The shield I kept looking over at MM, it intrigued me. I was drawn to it. A very cool line, in a superb location, with spectacular features.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 17, 2011 - 03:24pm PT
pics are always pretty cool too. (hint...hint)
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Jan 17, 2011 - 03:27pm PT
I would suggest...
















that...







YER GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Jan 17, 2011 - 03:32pm PT
WooHoo BrassNuts is going Big Walling thats what some of us like to see here on ST. Alot depends on when you are planning on going. Agree with Mike in that Mecalito will more than likely see a little more traffic but still if you have not done the whole route it is one for the list for sure. Both Magic Mushroom and Sunkist have a lot of merit. Sunkist has some really stellar rock up there and will not disappoint IMO. Heck just spend some extra time in the valley and do both.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 17, 2011 - 03:51pm PT
Sooooooo,........... the list was made using only route names that refer to hallucinogens.


Coincidence?


Riiiiiiiiight.:)
Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Jan 17, 2011 - 04:04pm PT
+1 Magic Mushroom. Spectacular.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Jan 17, 2011 - 04:15pm PT
Dave,

Nice that you're making plans for after rehab.



The evil one
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jan 17, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
Do Magic Mushroom -- and post lots of pics. Even though it's the oldest of the three routes, it's also the one about which I know the least.

John
FrankZappa

Trad climber
80' from the Hankster
Jan 17, 2011 - 04:54pm PT
I would suggest sticking to the right side of El Cap.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 17, 2011 - 05:15pm PT
Haven't heard of MM being at the top of any experienced climber's best of El Cap list. Yeah - lots of flared cracks is what I always hear first.. Agree about Sunkist only being half of an El Cap route. Check Tom's El Cap reports for views of the train up Mescalito. That's got to be mind numbing - following cracks so worn from traffic up one of the longest sections of the wall. What about one of the routes near Mescalito? South Seas to Space is pretty proud. P.O. Wall used to be more popular, etc. Native Son?
WBraun

climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 07:40pm PT
Do Sunkist.

Magic Mushroom is in deep flaring awkward corners.

Mescalito is over done trade route.

Sunkist will be your fun in the sun ..... :-)

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 17, 2011 - 07:40pm PT
lots of flared cracks is what I always hear first

Does it get better than that? What else is there in life?
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 07:41pm PT
I'm sure you've seen this one?

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1220995&msg=1248554#msg1248554

Am I still in the running as your partner? If so when are we thinking about doing this?

Prod.
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 17, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Well, Mescalito is the only one on the SE face. The others are just slab routes for the first half.

Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:18pm PT
"Just slab routes for the first half".....Give it a shot & see if you survive. I dunno......
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:22pm PT
Have you done the Muir?
BooYah

Social climber
Ely, Nv
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:25pm PT
Mushroom goes from the ground. Significant?
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:28pm PT
Do people actually do the real start of MM...or do most just jug to Mammoth to avoid the yukky slab? The better way?
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:31pm PT
http://www.rockclimbing.com/routes/North_America/United_States/California/Yosemite_National_Park/Yosemite_Valley/El_Capitan/Southwest_Face_El_Capitan/Sunkist_4885.html
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:35pm PT
Most people go to Mammoth and avoid the bottom 10 pitches of slabbing aid. Mescalito is probably the most climbing of the three and has great position as does Sunkist up high. Almost any big ElCap route is worth doing for sure. Let me know when you are going and I'll try to make you famous... unless you bail and then you will be infamous! ;)
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 08:37pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=14825&msg=460578
Eubanks,D

Big Wall climber
Jan 17, 2011 - 09:09pm PT
Do Sunkist.
Beautiful headwall.
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
Jan 17, 2011 - 09:20pm PT
WOS is the leading ege of radness and all others are ghey. Do the WOS.
dave

climber
Earth
Jan 17, 2011 - 09:20pm PT
Yo Brassnuts hows bout something that hasn't seen a 2nd.? Ring, Ring.

D
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Jan 17, 2011 - 10:14pm PT
Decisions, decisions....



BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2011 - 10:44pm PT
Hey everybody, thanks for the info and opinions so far! Good feedback. Anybody have any pictures of the Mushroom or Sunkist? Keep the votes and info coming... :-) Although Mescalito is an awesome line, I'm not a fan of crowds, so that may be the least likely choice for me. I remember really digging the golden desert headwall on the Shield and I'm not a big fan of awkward flared corner aiding, so it's looking like Sunkist is in the lead so far.......
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:05pm PT
I only remember one really awkward pitch on The Mushroom, and it's a bitch.

It's probably a bit less hellish with cams - I was placing pins in the back of it, with cams you only need one hand back in there.

Whatever, it's no more than 60 or 80 ft of that.

The first steep pitches of the route are great, and the pitches below Chickenhead are really exposed and exciting.

That whole Mushroom/flared corners thing is an Urban Legend.
Slakkey

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:06pm PT
This business of Sunkist being only half a route is BS. Plenty of good climbing up there and nice looking granite
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:14pm PT
Those big pendulums on Magic Mushroom, to get to Chickenhead, must be rather airy and exciting. Are they the pendulums nearest to the top of El Cap?

The photos from the FA of Magic Mushroom look like there are some grooves in the upper part, with cracks at the back.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1227384

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/599796/caldwell-sjong-free-magic-mushroom
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:14pm PT
not a big fan of awkward flared corner aiding
sounds like right side in armbars to me!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:20pm PT
Anders,

I have an old snapshot (73) on my fridge looking down the groove up there at Richard Harrison Jumaring. That must be an absolutely great pitch to freeclimb, not hard, and fearsomely exposed.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 17, 2011 - 11:22pm PT
The account of the first ascent, from the Canadian Alpine Journal (1973). With photos:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=387488&msg=387568#msg387568
BriGuy

climber
black hills
Jan 18, 2011 - 01:18am PT
The Sunkist headwall is absolutely spectacular (way better than the Shield) and many starting options exist, we did the Muir start.

Credit: BriGuy
Credit: BriGuy
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2011 - 11:34am PT
Sweet pics! Looks like killer exposure fer sure... the golden desert... More pics?? Also fun pics earlier of the representative "fruit" for each route, very creative :-)
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jan 18, 2011 - 11:46am PT
Great pics! That is a stellar head wall.

BNuts, what ever route you choose, it is awesome to see you planning to do one.
Stick with the rehab and keep to your training. I am rooting for you.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Jan 18, 2011 - 12:49pm PT
Brass Sunkist sounds and looks great. How about doing Dorn Direct to it to spice that up a little more. You could do the start to the mushroom or the Muir to get up to the start or you could do JR start. Plenty of options for starts but if it was me I would head off to Sunkist and avoid the crowds of the Mescalito and the flairing Mushroom.

Hope the arm is getting better and cool to see you having a goal to test that new arm.

Silver
Buju

Big Wall climber
the range of light
Jan 18, 2011 - 12:55pm PT
You could start on mushroom and finish on sunkist...thus accomplishing half of your list!
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jan 18, 2011 - 06:56pm PT
Here's a vote for Sunkist. I would say it is one the very best El Cap routes I have done out of 27 different ones.

It has great location, great rock, and the upper headwall is amazing. It's hard enough to be interesting, but cruiser enough so you don't sweat too many difficulties.

I have no photos because we lost the disposable camera we had on the descent. Bummer! I may have to climb it again to get some photos like the Briguy's.
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Kentucky
Jan 18, 2011 - 07:11pm PT
I did Mescalito this fall and had NO issue with traffic. I was alone after pitch three. I would say it is rare to have more then 2 parties on the route at once and it is a BIG wall so there is plenty of room. Most parties will bail before pitch 5 anyways. Tom would have more info, but I think he would agree.

It is a great route on an amazing part of the wall. It is like 2 zodiacs stacked on top of each other. No really easy pitches, but never to hard either.

But, I really do want to do Sunkist also...
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Jan 18, 2011 - 08:39pm PT
Bismark <br/>
Kris Solem belaying.
Bismark
Kris Solem belaying.
Credit: rincon
Eubanks,D

Big Wall climber
Jan 18, 2011 - 08:53pm PT
BriGuy, sweet Sunkist pics.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 18, 2011 - 10:31pm PT

go BN!!!!!

Howse the arm coming, big guy????
Don't you be overdoing it too soon, you hear!!!

(big brother talkin' atcha)!!!

hee hee hee. . .
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 18, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
More excellent feedback, thanks everybody! More great wall pics pleeez!
duncan

climber
London, UK
Jan 19, 2011 - 10:02am PT
Sunkist is great. Mescalito is great. I'm sure Magic Mushroom is great too!

Sunkist, 1996; unfortunately my photography is not great.

Mike.

climber
Jan 19, 2011 - 10:13am PT
Right on, Duncan. Any big EC route is gonna be high value. Stoked for ya, brassie...
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Jan 19, 2011 - 12:04pm PT
Dave,
Pete Takeda's article on Sunkist in CLIMBING back in the late 90's was one of the better pieces of climbing writing I've read. It has stellar photos by Eperson and was a super motivational read for me dig it up. (Though I've still never been up El Cap) It might sway you toward that golden sheet of goodness just hanging there in the sky. Good luck!
BooYah

Social climber
Ely, Nv
Jan 19, 2011 - 12:05pm PT
Pete never finished that route. Significant?
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 19, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
I'd say if you've done the Dawn Wall, slide over to the left, though I don't think having another party on the same route is that bad. A little company can be fun.

From what I've heard, hard to go wrong with either Sunkist or MM. I was trying to ogle both when I did the Shield in the early 90s. Same stretch of awesome orange granite. In fact, I tried to talk my partner in coming back the following year to climb Sunkist, but he demurred. If I can ever manage another trip up the Captain, it'll probably be Sunkist.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 20, 2011 - 12:31am PT
More good opinions and pics, thanks everyone! Cheers to those who asked about my arm - its doing pretty well - officially "healed" in 2 more weeks, so I'll start doing some weenie routes in the gym at that point. Currently doing my high rep, low weight exercises to try and get everything firing again - it's gonna take some work! Here's an old pic of my buddy Quinn coming up the Groove pitch on the Shield, BITD... Really bitchin exposure up there, amazing to think that Sunkist could be even more "out there"... makes things tighten up a bit just thinkin about it!
The Groove pitch on the Shield.  Spectacular position!
The Groove pitch on the Shield. Spectacular position!
Credit: BrassNuts
Captain...or Skully

climber
leading the away team, but not in a red shirt!
Jan 20, 2011 - 12:43am PT
I think ANY El Cap Route, base to top, will provide "Full Value".
I've climbed Mescalito, & while it was a great experience, I still long to cross that Golden Headwall. Cheers, BN, on whatever you choose. Just remember to check in for "Full Value".
Oh, yes.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 20, 2011 - 10:41pm PT
Mescalito is nothing more than an A2 trade route. Proud section of wall, straightforward route. Climbed scores of times each year.

Magic Mushroom - I did knott like this route. It is one of my least favourites on El Cap [I've done 42]. The problem is that the corners are very tight and deep - you have to reach deep into the slot to place the gear and then when you step on your aider, you are forced so far outwards because of the slot the next piece you can place is only like a foot higher. I really didn't like this route, and would not recommend it. Unless you like really awkward climbing.

Sunkist - stunning, fantastic. Best A3 on the SW Face if not the entire El Cap. I have been promoting this route since I climbed it in 97, and few have climbed it since. I still need to get the Official Word on the condition of the anchor bolts, though. I think they're OK, knott sure. [Back in 97, I was a n00b, and considered a bolt to be a bolt]
BriGuy

climber
black hills
Jan 25, 2011 - 02:43am PT
This is the pitch that leads to the headwall crack on Sunkist. The climbers in the background are on Golden Gate.

Credit: BriGuy

Credit: BriGuy
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 25, 2011 - 09:43am PT
Cool stuff. Amazing photos.
Jefe'

Boulder climber
Bishop
Jan 25, 2011 - 03:59pm PT
Kevin, I remember a picture Richard showed me of you standing in slings on thin blades chompping your fingernails pretending to actually be gripped.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 25, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
A climbing bump. BN is out of town so he won't see this for a few days.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 25, 2011 - 06:08pm PT
I can't speak for the condition of the climbing these days but nobody has ever done The Jollykist that I am aware of.

Considering the ghastly state of the Gangplank on the JR (peckers tapped into deadheads, yuk!) take a left instead. Big fun in either direction!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 25, 2011 - 08:31pm PT
Chris Geisler and Connie Axelmusen climbed Jollykist when Connie ran short of time, so Chris told me.
Neil Chelton

climber
England
Mar 10, 2011 - 11:55am PT
A friend and I climbed Mescalito in September 2010 and had the whole route to ourselves. Of the 6 El Cap routes i've done, Mescalito was definitely the best. Although the climbing is relatively straightforward, it is sustained from the first move to the very end, with each pitch being about C2- C3. Perfect rock, fantastic views and a spectacular location. Do it.

The Molar Traverse
The Molar Traverse
Credit: Neil Chelton
Credit: Neil Chelton


anuk

climber
Mar 12, 2011 - 10:13pm PT
I agree with Warner. I did the Mushroom in 2000 and thought the flaring cracks were no-fun. Basicly I remeber 1 good pitch on the whole route. Mescalito stand in line, but its easy C2 the whole way. Bet sunkist would be super good. I hear chill for the grade.
Oxymoron

Big Wall climber
total Disarray
Mar 12, 2011 - 10:18pm PT
Your style is suspect, pass your penis Pete.
Circumspect. Trustifarian. You're a pretender in the tribe.
Go back to MonTauk.
Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
Mar 12, 2011 - 11:24pm PT
Brian, how were those bolts when you were up there on Sunkist? Plus a bump for more pics!
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 12, 2011 - 11:37pm PT
Do South Seas->PO
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Dec 26, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
bump for climbing
Rocky IV

Social climber
Dec 26, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
the belays on SK are all good except for 1 above the A5 arch. Get on it, the route is incredible.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 26, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
We had Excalibur to ourselves, wonderful.

Always wanted to do the Shroom, but then I want to do The Dihedral and Cosmos too.....HA!!

Sorry to all the snobs, but I haven't done a bad El Cap route.
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