The RORP Trip Report 5/7/2011


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 8, 2011 - 03:24am PT
The RORP Trip Report 5/7/2011
Gary Carpenter
Ed Hartouni

Last Sunday Linda had said that she ran into Gary and Bob, and that Gary had remembered it was 10 years ago that we had done The RORP which was the first climb for me after my knee surgery and Gary's first climb in the Valley.

We didn't make it all the way to the top that day, and we had a fine epic getting stuck ropes unstuck... after 10 years Gary was ready for round 2.

Also, oddly perhaps, I ran into Amy at the Reed's pullout the same Sunday that I talked to Linda and she was going to go up The RORP too... odd that so much attention recently on this route that doesn't seem to get a lot.

The route is described in Roper's guide:

The Rorp

III, 5.7 Wally Reed and Frank Sacherer, July 1963. Several hundred feet to the right of Reed Pinnacle are two prominent chimneys on the wall. The Rorp (acronym for Right Of Reed Pinnacle) is the left hand chimney. The large, tree-covered ledge from which the chimneys begin can be reached in various ways, all of which seem to involve vertical brush and 5.6 cracks. From the base of the right-hand chimney work left around an obvious corner and enter cracks which lead to the Rorp. Follow the chimney system for several pitches. When the chimney end, work up and left, then back right on class 3 ledges. Follow a long left-facing corner for a pitch until possible to friction left into a forest which can be followed down to the road. Two additional pitches of climbing can be gained by ascending the upper section of Flatus. Iron: 10 pitons up to 2".

except that is not how we do it anymore... a pity that the upper pitches are forgotten, but for both The RORP and Flatus it is possible to go to the top of the cliffs. Reid's guide doesn't exactly show this... and as a consequence the cracks are full of vegetable life once again.

The route follows the faint yellow dots, 6 pitches.
if you continue up the corner from the top of Pitch 6 to the mungy ledge you can (presumably) work left to a large ledge that can be walked, with care, to the west and thence to the road

Here is Gary looking at the mayhem that a 2'x2'x1' rock can cause on the trees and shrubs.

he took this pitch up to the big loose ledge. Some point the remains of a tree fell and launched itself to the ground down the route... hitting right where Gary was standing in that picture (which is where I was standing before beating a retreat). These pitches are up the "5.6 cracks" that Roper refers to in his guide, they are not very inspiring and tend to be filled with dirt. Most of the vegetation has been scraped clean.

I took pitch 2, which was just the traverse, careful not to knock any of the rocks.

Gary had pitch 3, here he is entering the cracks, with Cascade Falls in the background

Gary at the pitch 3 belay.
This is as far as we got 10 years ago, we had "Cowboy Steve" along too, and this seemed good enough at the time.

My pitch 4 was harder than I imagined 5.7 could be... bulgy left facing corner with a crack. Finding the old Bugaboo piton was fun, but the cams were a lot more secure so I just appreciated the history and left it in place without disturbing it...

Glad to get to bolts on this station, I brought Gary up... he got the "5.7 OW" pitch 5, the true chimney....
checking it out
in it
surmounting the awkward flake stuck in the top
where technique is your protection...

At the top he walked the class 3 ledges to the left-facing corner which is really a continuation of the Flatus line... my lead... which was pretty consistent at 5.6-5.7. I was expecting to find two bolts as indicated on the Reid's topo, but there were none, just a thin flake with about 10 old slings, tat, where others had obviously found no bolts either.

Above this was steep hummocks and moss, presumably I could climb this up another pitch and find the traverse left into the forest... but with no pro to surmount the obstacle, and the obvious end of the route as others had decided... after consulting with Gary I lowered off of a newly placed sling and 'biner, back down to the belay station.

We reversed the class 3 traverse (with a rope) to the last tree, which is next to a belay/rap station on Eric Gabel's Beyond I waited for Gary to get there I shot some pictures of Jessica following Alan on that route.

they were very psyched about that climb, but the spring runoff blocked their progress... we ended up sharing rappels with them.

It was a wonderful day in the Valley... great old route, great old friends, and getting the joy of the mountains...
...wouldn't it be wonderful to do that route again in 10 years with Gary!

Mark Rodell

Trad climber
May 8, 2011 - 03:40am PT
Ed, I love your trip reports. I and guy I met in camp did the climb in early 72. Memories unleashed.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 8, 2011 - 03:47am PT
Thank you for your consistently excellent trip reports -- and selection of routes. I've never done the RORP -- only Flatus. Your pictures make the climb look like a worthy project and, for this soon-to-be sixty-year-old, a challenge.

Thanks again.

ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
May 8, 2011 - 04:16am PT
All these old crack lines are unique in that the majority of them were probably put up in one day, free of the modern mores of pre-inspection, bolt placement and over analyzation. A very pure objective and approach.
Captain...or Skully

or some such
May 8, 2011 - 04:27am PT
I've climbed The Rorp! I thought nobody climbed that.
Sure looked like it. Yeesh. I thought it was great fun, with some sweat.
Good stuff. Right on, Ed. Good pics, too.

Trad climber
Washington DC
May 8, 2011 - 08:29am PT
Ed, thanks so much for this report. I had completely forgotten about this route which I did in the very early climbing days. Keep em coming!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
I always thought this was a Frank Sacherer climb, but Wally Reed's name appears first... in particular my wonder as to why Sacherer didn't climb the Flatus chimney, which seemed like such a classic line for the early 60's, it waited until '68 for Pratt and Bob Baumann to do... which seems like a very long time for such a line to sit, undone...


Social climber
superslacker city
May 8, 2011 - 12:47pm PT
good report once again ed. glad to hear lindas elbow is feeling better. keep up the good work
p.s. i'm still working on topo stuff for you and ken

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 8, 2011 - 01:08pm PT
Great adventure, guys! And another outstanding TR, Ed! Almost makes me want to do that climb...almost.
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
May 8, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
Here are a few shots of Ed to add to his predictably excellent TR. It was fun to get back on this route after 10 years. Last week I climbed Flatus with Seneca and later, suggested a repeat of the Rorp to Ed.
Some observations:
• If you have an interest in avoiding loose rock, dead wood & munge the first three pitches of Flatus (5.9+) would be a good alternate start. Note: I immediately purchased a helmet after our climb 10 years ago. (I guess Ed feels his hair provides sufficient protection).
• When we climbed Flatus we discovered the rap anchors for “Beyond Lunacy” they are new, convenient, and a clean way to descend from the 3rd class ledges shown on the topo. THANK YOU ERIC!! Note: “Beyond Lunacy” got rave reviews from the three parties I encountered the past two Saturday’s.
A fun day at Reeds.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2011 - 05:07pm PT
hmmm... Gary didn't take me up on the offer for the next decadal recurrence...

here is "Cowboy Steve" going up the opening chimney, back in 2001,

and Gary in the bidness of Pitch 3

and me prussiking up to the rap station to get a better angle for the rope pull

Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
May 8, 2011 - 06:19pm PT
Hey Ed,

Re next decade...If the body is still able, I'll be there!!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 8, 2011 - 10:34pm PT

wide stoke ++

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
May 8, 2011 - 10:47pm PT
Looks like fun-- Seems like forever since I've seen you guys-- with Jay gone (maybe thru September?) I might not see you at Reeds at all this year! I'll put that on my tick list though. Great pictures, too.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2011 - 11:24pm PT
this is an intertwined report, since I haven't done Beyond Lunacy, but I shot some images on the first ascent... which was in late 2008... here is Eric belaying Linda up to the ledge that is part of the class 3 scramble on The RORP, probably before Eric put in the anchors.

Linda with the orange helmet, Eric in the bush

Eric on the FA lead just below the images I shot of Rebecca above... same pitch

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 8, 2011 - 11:39pm PT

Great stuff, Ed!
How's the back doing?
Coming to widefest at the Voo this year?
Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
May 9, 2011 - 12:12am PT
Hey Ed,
Great trip report. Peaked my interest in doing that one. It was nice to meet you in the parking lot last week.

Trad climber
May 9, 2011 - 02:41am PT
Killer ED!

Trad climber
May 9, 2011 - 01:05pm PT
All right Ed and Gary! Nice TR

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
May 9, 2011 - 02:21pm PT
Nice! RORP seems like a prime climb for my lady and I.

We did the first 3 pitches of Flatus some time last year... spicier than I expected! Gary, did you find a fixed sling way back in the pro-less chimney with microwave sized chockstone at the top?

I remember throwing a biner and sling over some softball-sized chockstones in a part that was too tight for me to reach up, and getting a face-full of ball bearings. From there, it was about 10-15 feet horizontal to the lip of the microwave chockstone, widening up beyond a squeeze, and surmounting chockstone to top out. A fall would be pendulum into permanent body wedge.

I want to go back and finish the whole thing, and surprised that doesn't get more attention too. Prime east bay wide climb.

May 9, 2011 - 03:25pm PT
"If you have an interest in avoiding loose rock, dead wood & munge"

Who would want to do that?

10 Years After: reliable excellence is appreciated.

A pile of dirt.
May 9, 2011 - 03:28pm PT
Looking good Ed - hope the back is better.

See you out there next month!


Trad climber
Red River NM
May 9, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Nice job guys!

Trad climber
East Bay, CA
May 9, 2011 - 05:19pm PT
All those days looking up at Reeds and finally can see those lines more clearly. Thank you for another photo-intensive report that shows a great way to go!

Trad climber
May 9, 2011 - 06:19pm PT
Nice Ed & Gary!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
May 9, 2011 - 06:22pm PT
Would it be correct to describe the outing as a RORP romp?
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
May 9, 2011 - 08:45pm PT
Hi Scott,

Yes your sling was there and I clipped it (thanks). I put in a small piece before the lip but I didn't trust it. That was another "your technique is your protection" pitch. 5.7 Pratt!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
May 10, 2011 - 03:13am PT
Very cool!

Always wanted to check it out, since I did the first 3 of Flatus. Now there is a cool overlay and psych at my fingertips.

"We did the first 3 pitches of Flatus some time last year... spicier than I expected! Gary, did you find a fixed sling way back in the pro-less chimney with microwave sized chockstone at the top?"

I biffed it trying to place a cam in the chockstone, Plinko'd down the chimney maybe 20 feet, landed on a nice, flat pad.

Promptly Bailed.

Thanks for the TR ED and Gary
scuffy b

dissected alluvial deposits, late Pleistocene
May 10, 2011 - 06:31pm PT

Oakland, CA
Dec 14, 2011 - 01:18am PT
Bump - solid TR.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Dec 14, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
talk about "great minds think alike", I was pondering the RORP in Roper just yesterday and was wondering if anyone had climbed it lately.
I'd missed this thread first time around.
Ed: I still owe you my topo notes for Dream Easy. Send me your email address.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 14, 2011 - 02:12pm PT
Thanks Ed for the report, and thanks all for the great photos.

The RORP was one of the first multi-pitch routes I climbed in Yosemite: way back in 1975. Did it with Gary Clark, and I led the 3rd pitch. For some reason the crack through the small tree seemed hard, and I traversed out right on steep slab. After about 40-50 Ft. of runout, I traversed back to the crack.

Stupid me. Next time I did it, a few years later, the crack seemed easy.

We did top out both times, and walked off left. I remember it as "an adventure," but the details are lost in time.

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Dec 14, 2011 - 02:59pm PT
Always good to see the Valley obscurities revisted by your reports Ed. Great Stuff!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2011 - 12:41pm PT
Just a note,

this is the winter that the block which had sat, loosely, at the belay anchor labeled "3" on the above photo-topo, departed the cliff. All in all a good thing as it was a natural feature to grasp for while exiting that mean slot. Loose and dangerous for the leader. (Gary's foot is perched upon the departed block in his photo above captioned "The Rorp P3")

Also, the bolt stations have been upgraded with links to eliminate the need for the "slings & rings" rappels... I recommend that if you go as high as the 4th class ramp between "4" and "5" that you use the Beyond Lunacy rap stations at the far [climber's] left of that ramp (most western extent). You will need two ropes to rap from there.

There are still "rings & slings" around trees, use these with extreme caution.

Also, someone sawed half-way through the oak tree of Fritz's story, but couldn't finish the job. It is an old cut, and the oak seems to have survived it just fine... but people, don't do that! Let's try to take on the challenge rather than reducing the climbs. Part of the fun is visiting a place where the hand of man has not altered the place. While Yosemite Valley is far from a pristine wilderness, that is no excuse to accelerate the process of Disneylandification.

Also along those same lines, Eric wanted me to recant my dissing of the upper pitches. As Fritz notes, RORP goes up to the mid-cliff ledge, not just to the bolts... and Flautus goes to the top of the cliff. The top of Reed's is an amazing place to visit, and there are ways off, both rappelling and walking, I recommend the walk because of the adventure, but since most of the ecological damage climbers do around cliffs are approach and descent paths, I certainly endorse a less damaging way off for the hoards of climbers I know are dying to top out on that cliff.

It is about 1000' high, so you'd think that moderate passage with that many pitches would be popular... apparently not. And note that the upper 40% of the cliff cannot be viewed from the pullout, take a look from the pullout on the east side of the long tunnel on 120 and check out the size of that cliff, note where you usually climb, and extrapolate.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
Dec 28, 2011 - 03:30pm PT
Awesome stuff Ed, thanks for sharing, good to revisit a route after some time away!!!!

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Dec 28, 2011 - 08:50pm PT
I went digging today and found some old slides of my May 1975 ascent of The RORP with Gary Clark.

Thought the photos might be fun for you route-history buffs. Of course, the route was well established by the time we scuffed up it. It was just one of those considered good "warm-ups" for aspiring Yosemite climbers.

Gary had climbed some in Yosemite, but I had not.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2011 - 09:03pm PT
so cool!
looks like that last picture in the sequence is the upper pitch, next to the last (?) before getting on the exit ledge.

thanks for posting these!

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 28, 2011 - 09:35pm PT
Thanks Ed and nice photos Fritz.
History and history!

Dec 29, 2011 - 11:23am PT
Nice pics Fritz, Thanks,

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Dec 29, 2011 - 11:52am PT
Old pics of old routes... so cool!
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