Arrowhead Arete history question

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Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Original Post - May 15, 2006 - 07:12pm PT
Just did that route this past weekend. Simply spectacular. Almost had an alpine feel with the approach, somewhat heads-up route finding up higher and cool summit/ridgeline descent (man, that exposure was sublime). Defintely not a typical valley climb but so very worth it.

When did this route first get done and who did the FA? Saw a bunch of really old pins on it that I imagine have been there since it originally went up.

Thanks in advance.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 15, 2006 - 07:21pm PT
Arrowhead Arete 5.9 Yosemite Falls; Upper, East; Arrowhead Arete Area, 1956 Mark Powell Bill Feuerer

Roper indicates that it is rated 5.8 (rating creep?). He also writes:

"This is the arete which, when viewed from Yosemite Lodge, rises in striking profile above the Arrowhead Spire. Seen from Yosemite Village, it is deeply cleft on both sides by the great gashes of the West and East Arrowhead Chimneys. This classic route was once regarded as 'possibly the most continuous difficult fifth-class climb in the country.' It is particularly amazing that the first ascent party did the route all free."

good show Fluoride!
Loomis

climber
Praha, Ceska Republika
May 15, 2006 - 07:23pm PT
Mark Powell and others, 1958. Was considered the hardest route in North America when it was established @ 5.8. I have done this route 3 times and love the remoteness of the route. On the 3rd time, did a scary var. pitch.

Edit: Yes, 1956, was going on memory...
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 15, 2006 - 07:31pm PT
Mark Powell and Bill Feuerer. 31 October 1956. Powell was involved in probably 20 first ascents in the Valley from the mid-50s to the mid-1960s. Feuerer was a frequent partner of Powell's and was the "Dolt" of Nose fame.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 15, 2006 - 08:18pm PT
Memory serves me that it was THE horror climb then, and that Powell did little else after.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 15, 2006 - 08:27pm PT
Peter

Powell broke his ankle badly on Arrowhead Spire (not Arete).

DMT
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2006 - 08:56pm PT
Thanks Ed (& everyone else who answered)!! I knew someone here would know the answer. I knew it was a very very old school free climb but I was thinking 60's, didn't realize it was 1956.

How'd they even come across it back then? Did they just go up the old Indian Trail and come across it? Very proud for those guys back in that day.

That had to have been one of the most fun valley climbs I think I've ever done. The first couple pitches weren't much but after that, holy crap it was an amazing route. The views of Half Dome/Porcelain Wall and the backcountry behind there were mind boggling. I'm going to download some pics tonight and post 'em tomorrow.

The top out and descent were almost as rewarding as the climb itself. The summit was great, but that ridgeline you have to traverse to finally get to the 3rd class area was wild. I had no idea it was that exposed. Definite DNF territory. Then once you get to the three raps, going off into that long freehanging space where the caves underneath each section are so green and wet...looks like somewhere a Gollum would live. Even doing the raps on that route was a complete blast.

I don't know very many people who have done it, but those who have, they've all done it multiple times and I can totally see why. I'd go up and do that route again in a heartbeat.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 15, 2006 - 09:48pm PT
welcome to the obscurists club...
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2006 - 10:14pm PT
Heh, thanks Ed. I'm enjoying your obscurity threads quite a bit. I'm lucky at the moment I've got a good partner who is up for doing the seldom done stuff. I smiled when I saw the Commissioner's Buttress pic (not sure if it was in fact CB but someone else guessed it) cause that's one that's on our list.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 16, 2006 - 08:53am PT
The AA was probably the first true adventure climb I did (around 1971, with Phil Gleason). We got rained on and lightning dashed that arete exit, the one thin as a saw blade, just after we've made our way off of it. Then all those free raps down the gulley to the left with ice water pouring over us. I have forgotten many climbs, but not that one. A great adventure!

Also, it was said by many that if Powell had not badly broken his ankle he would have vastly changed climbing because he was a super talent felled by injury.

JL
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 16, 2006 - 11:51am PT
A picture from the mid-sixties. The climber is Matt Hale. Sorry about the size---the site where it lives keeps 'em big...F11 in IE gives a little more screen acreage.

Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 16, 2006 - 12:04pm PT
I have climbed the Arete at least a dozen times. It was my favorite climb of its type in the Valley. But on trip number 11 I fell and shattered my ankle. Now the route I love fosters a cold fear in my heart.

DMT
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 05:32pm PT
A couple vista shots I took along the way on route. Cause in addition to the route itself being spectacular, the views from it were such an amazing bonus:







Anastasia

Trad climber
Near a mountain, CA
May 16, 2006 - 07:43pm PT
Beautiful! Now I have to try it out!
I just need to finish my teaching gig before I run off.

Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 09:38pm PT
Yeah Anastasia, it's a definite must-do. Just truly classic in every sense.

However, while Chris' ST guides are for the most part accurate, I have to say the description and topo in his valley guide for this route was somewhat off the mark (we kind of knew the beta for the route but looked at Chris' guide just to compare with what we had). The approach isn't "heinous". He says to not bother with a 60M rope as the ledges for belays are decent. But with a 60M, we linked it so we did the climb in 5 1/2 pitches instead of the 7 pitches he has it at (plus a couple of the belays he has on the topo weren't nearly as good as if you climbed about another 20-30 ft to an even better one than in his book). I think he also had the topout/ridgeline as an 8th pitch...but you'd want to either just freesolo it or if you choose to stay roped, do it in very short sections just slinging a double length runner with biner around the obvious formations. In other words treating it like an alpine climb with short roped sections. You'd never want to do the whole ridgeline in one rope length...way too much penji potential as well as rope drag. But again, it's solo-able anyway.

I'm going to do a write up for the climbing routes section, will go more into detail there.

Loomis

climber
Praha, Ceska Republika
May 16, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
rgold, here's a post friendly version of your pic. Thank you, it captures the spirit of the climb for me, Scott.

flouride, cool pic of arrowhead spire.
Fluoride

Trad climber
on a rock or mountain out west
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 10:43pm PT
Thanks Scott.

I'm so lame, I didn't a pic of the rock one on the way up cause we were just stoked to get on it and I spaced the camera. I took this pic from when we finished the descent. Was in the shade by that point and the route isn't really visible from this angle, but the formation is still cool:

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 11, 2008 - 09:59pm PT
bump
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Nov 11, 2008 - 10:08pm PT
great stuff. i added this thread to the route page here.

I'm impressed how many folks have done the approach to get up there!

http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yoararro
Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2008 - 10:24pm PT
Whoa, I can't believe this old post found it's way back to the front page. Man, time flies.

Now that 2 1/2 years have passed and more trips to the valley have come and gone, I can add it's a much better approach in the spring than in the fall. It was SO goddamn dirty and loose when I went up to do it again this past September (this route never gets old). A full summer's worth of dead dry leaves and dirt built up on the ground made for quite a difference in the approach.

I highly recommend doing it in spring. The approach really isn't that bad. But it's in better shape and definitely goes faster when the ground is more saturated and the scrambles less dusty.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Max V02
Nov 11, 2008 - 10:24pm PT
Wow, thanks for sharing Fluoride! Added to my to-do list.

Fletch
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 11, 2008 - 10:58pm PT
Some past Arete Memories.

Especially nostalgic after seeing Powell this weekend at the Nose Reunion. Last time I saw him was when Roper and I climbed Castle Rock Spire with him in 1961. Climbing with Powell was one of the highlights of my climbing career. Sitting around a campfire, passing around a gallon of cheap red wine, Powell was the maestro at quick and witty limericks.

Brings back fond and not so fond memories. In Sept 1960, Mort Hempel, Phil Scott, Art "the Move" Gran and myself made an attempt on the Arrowhead Arete.
On that long and difficult approach, Gran, who was ahead of us all, knocked a large rock loose. We all scattered and tried to decipher which way it would go. I lost and rolled with the rock for 500 ft to the base. Beat up, severely bruised and one hell of a mess I was fortunate to have no broken bones. Scott who had grown up in Hawaii, took off his boots, put me on his back and carried be to the valley floor and the hospital. Rugged dude.

Spent a good month on crutches and remember the high school coach calling me chicken shi#t for not playing football, I could only smile.

Went back the next summer and completed the route with a smaller crew. Also climbed the East Arrowhead Buttress Overhang Bypass route that summer with Roper. Another fun trip that summer was a climb of Castle Rock Spire with Roper and Powell. Have boxes and boxes of slides and photos from this era but have to get through the scanning process first. Someday!

Another small coincidence- Its March 1988,Boche and I just sailed my boat into Honolulu after a 17 day passage from Tahiti and were in the Hawaii Yacht Club sucking down some tall cool ones and junk burgers. I'm in the head and I hear this voice which could only be Phil Scott. As you know, few people have a voice as distinctive as Phil. Sure enough it was-had not seen him since the Arrowhead Arete climb in 1960! He had been visiting his brother, a retired navy submarine commander. I remember when Phil was a student at Cal he lived in a tent in Strawberry canyon behind the Botanical Gardens. Quite a character.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 11, 2008 - 11:38pm PT
I've got a scanner and would volunteer to scan...
wildone

climber
GHOST TOWN
Nov 12, 2008 - 05:06am PT
Did it about a month ago with my bro eric. We used a 70m and stretched it out every time. Did a roof variation that was definitely 10hard, and we were blown away by the quality of the route. We did the arrowhead spire first, then rapped to the start of the arete. Anyone else?
Domingo

Trad climber
El Portal, CA
Nov 12, 2008 - 06:01am PT
I agree with Fluroide, and would add that in spring you get to see the falls roaring down Indian Canyon when you're on the Great White Flake pitch.

I can't write enough about how glorious this climb is so I won't even start.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 12, 2008 - 08:03am PT
A great Route!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Nov 12, 2008 - 09:13am PT
CLASSIC

Shot this the past weekend at the Reunion. Had forgotten how beautiful it is.


altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
Feb 10, 2009 - 02:34am PT
This route looks like a great time! Rob Sharpe suggested it to me in the fall. Looking for something to do next weekend/monday. Hmmm...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 10, 2009 - 07:47am PT
take you ice tools...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 10, 2009 - 07:56am PT
When the Arrowhead Arete went up, it was not the most technically difficult route in Yosemite but was arguably the most contiuously difficult route in the country at the time.

When you are up there, imagine Mark Powell free soloing up and DOWN the route in hard soled boots!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 10, 2009 - 07:58am PT
look here too: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=387993
Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2009 - 09:25am PT
Great pic Zander! That topout shot just shows the icing on the cake of this climb. And it still keeps going past that. You top out then have this heady ridgeline traverse to get across to the foot trail that leads to the first rapel. And the raps are great fun. Those wet, fern covered caverns!

A couple more months and it's return time again!

Mmmmm. I'm smiling just thinking about it.
altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
Feb 10, 2009 - 10:46am PT
Ya big time on those ice tools. From time to time I forget it snows and get to tranced by the rock. Or maybe I just forget that its winter when I'm still up at 2am.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 10, 2009 - 12:36pm PT
Yeah Flouride, this climb keeps on coming after the top out.


I'd love to do this climb again.
Zander
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 10, 2009 - 12:55pm PT
A very young Mort Hempel, Arrowhead Arete 1960 attempt.



cheers

guido
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Feb 10, 2009 - 01:03pm PT
Climbed the AA in Sept '85 with Jacqui, an excellent climber from Victoria (BC)on the advice of my soon-to-be-ex boyfriend. LOVED the route.

We were told to hike to the rim & descend the Falls Trail - it completed the adventure of the route. He was rite and, oddly enough, I was just the other nite telling the story of that fine day climbing to a friend rite here in my kitchen..........and well look what thread pops up.

Hail to the wonderous Arrowhead Arete. Lovely route.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 10, 2009 - 07:27pm PT
So Guido- was Mort prone to singing while climbing and, if so, what sort of material?
BBA

Social climber
West Linn OR
Feb 10, 2009 - 08:17pm PT
I remember the Arrowhead Arete from 1961 or so, but can't recall with whom. What impressed me about the climb was that it was not typical valley friction or crack climbing, but sort of like Tahquitz with rough rock. True face climbing. I don't recall it as particularly hard, but mostly airy. It was beautiful because of its exposure and the way you see the valley all around.

Great pitcure of Mort by Guido. Mort and I hung around some from 1960-1962 and he did some good yodeling. We also would listen to classical music LPs rented from the Berkeley Public Library, but any efforts to sing those things (Handel Oratorios in particular) were doomed to failure.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 10, 2009 - 08:48pm PT
Steve

Funny, I just got an e-mail from Mort,first contact in many years.

I don't recall Mort singing on climbs but we had some horrendous "Teton Tea" parties back then, and Mort or Bill Briggs would serenade us into the wee hours of the am. Yep, had my first hangover at age 14 in camp 4. I remember Calderwood chasing Roper with the intent to kill because he was messing about with his lady.

Hi to BBA.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Feb 10, 2009 - 11:36pm PT
got benighted on the Arrowhead Arete once, way back in the olden days...

cold up dere!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 2, 2009 - 08:15pm PT
Classic Bump!
MattB

Trad climber
Tucson
Nov 2, 2009 - 09:03pm PT
Superb route, way up high off the valley floor... an experience from the valley floor all the way up and back again.

I climbed it in my old vibram mountain boots, I think in 2002, due to a foot injury. Still seemed about 5.8, but a few spots I had to think "What would Spencer Tracy do?"

Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2009 - 01:13am PT
Sweet, I can't believe this thread resurfaced.

If you haven't done this route, do it. You won't regret it. You'll want to keep returning.

Re-read my post from last fall and stand by it. Would still recommend late spring. Plus the backcountry views are the best then.

Was going to do a return trip up there this year but life took a different turn and the Eastern Sierra is where I stayed. Oh well, it'll always be there for next year. One you'll always look forward to.

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2009 - 05:25am PT
A classic route done in the year of my birth, guess I'll have to do it.

Who's in? Beth?
Jeremy

Social climber
Hanging with your mom...
Nov 3, 2009 - 08:02am PT
HOLY SH#T IT'S A CLIMBING THREAD BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BETH GO!!!!!!

Thanks for the cool thread guys!

WOO HOO!!!!

Jeremy
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 3, 2009 - 10:49am PT
Memory serves me that it was THE horror climb then, and that Powell did little else after.

Peter, MP taught me how to climb, in 1973. So he did some good things after.

Shattering his ankle, changed his life.

He tells the tale to all freshmen in his Geography 101 class.

It's a very cool tale about motivation and desire.

He did put up maybe the first 5.11 on the planet, "Chingadera" in febuary 67.with Kamps.

I wish he would join the TACO....the stories he could tell.
Tami

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Nov 3, 2009 - 11:09am PT
Did anybody else other than me walk to the Rim after AA ? A girlfriend and I did the route & walked to the Rim & down the Falls trail c'os someone had scared me away from doing the rap descent.......

It really was a mountaineering outing & that was my last trip to Yos. Fall of 1985.

Jacq and I did all sorts of Valley classics on that trip; E butt Middle, Snake Dike and AA. Love the AA !!!!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Nov 3, 2009 - 12:14pm PT
Although classic and remote (for the area), its hardly obscure. Vampire Spires, perhaps.
John Morton

climber
Nov 3, 2009 - 08:39pm PT
I spent the night by a bonfire in the W Arrowhead Chimney with 3 others after doing the arete. I think I wanted to rappel in the looming darkness but was outvoted. Those house-sized chockstones are truly awesome, whether or not you can see them! I always thought anyone who hiked to the rim was just chickenshit about those rappels.

For the historians, regarding a comment earlier in this thread: I remember hearing that Powell shattered his ankle in a fall on the Apron, not on Arrowhead Spire. He fell on lead and pendulumed into Beverly, his belayer. Or was that a different injury?

John
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Nov 3, 2009 - 10:01pm PT
Can't recall all the details, but I climbed that with my old climbing partner John Ely sometime in the late 80's, and we ended up doing an unplanned bivy somewhere (after the actual route, I believe) on our way to the rim, then we got to the rim and hiked down the falls trails the next morning.

Not sure why it took us so long. I recall we had been thinking we would find a way to rappel off, but did not see any possibility of where a rappel route could possibly be, so we made the decision to continue to the rim, which took a long time to get there.

Also, I recall thinking there were lots of variations of the route along the way. One or two pitches matched the green guide description, at least!
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 4, 2009 - 09:08am PT
John Morton......

Mark tells this tale about his fall......

He was taking a "young lady" climbing up the Arrow Head Arete.

It was lower down and because "she" didn't know how to take out pro, he wasn't using any. He slipped and decked on the ledge where she was sitting.

His ankle was shattered.......

But the reason he told this story was to point out a geographical phenomenon associated with Mountain Valleys.

The direction of the wind, in the mornings, it blows up-valley, in the afternoon down valley.

So while he is hurt on the ledge, he tries to "score" with her!

She starts yelling for help.....

He tells her "It will not help, nobody can hear us, it's am.

So she starts yelling even louder....

When the winds changed, about 3 pm or so, folks in the Valley can hear the cries for help and some sort of rescue is organized, but they had to spend the night out alone and cold.

Marks says "she was so happy to be rescued from that bivy"......

I'm sorry for butchering Mark's story, but this is the gist of it.

He is the best story teller I have ever listened to and climbed with.(largo is second)

Guy Keesee

HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Nov 4, 2009 - 07:29pm PT
I did it in April. BITD. Started to snow while we were on the white face (pitch 4?).
Contemplated retreat but carried on. Snow stopped before the rock got wet! YEAH
Awesome exposure.
A most excellent adventure. It's on my tick list to do again. One of the finest long days in the valley. Be careful rapping the west Arrowhead chimney.
I thought it was 5.8, not 5.9

Fred
old toad

Trad climber
yosemite, Ca.
Nov 4, 2009 - 07:37pm PT
Bump the climbing threads, deep 6 the rest!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 4, 2009 - 07:39pm PT
You are pretty close, Guyman. Mark had done the AA several times and had even down climbed the route. On the day in question, for no good reason, he chose to traverse left too early. Rather than backtrack to the approach gully, he chose to rope up and start climbing on easy ground. As he describes it, he paused on a big foothold which broke off unexpectedly. He rattled down for about forty feet and struck a horn with his left foot. A long protracted rescue took place, complicated as you mentioned by the air moving toward the rim.
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Nov 4, 2009 - 10:34pm PT
That sound about right.... most of the 70's are pretty hazey in the memory banks.

Fletcher

Trad climber
somewhere approaching Ajna
Nov 4, 2009 - 11:34pm PT
This is one of my all time favorite threads... each time it gets bumped it's still as good as ever. One of these days...

Eric
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Apr 17, 2010 - 01:37am PT
Bump for Powell and the infamous howl.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 17, 2010 - 09:31am PT
What's interesting about the AA is that it shows how certain climbs cycle through the climbing community and are sort of rediscovered by later generations who were never privy to the original hype. Like, when I started going to Yoz as a senior in High School circa 1971, the really hot, leading edge stuff were long things like DNB, Stovelegs, LA Chimney, and so forth, whic had been done very few times. And of course the new hard free climbs like New Dimensions, Nabisco Wall and so forth.

For the previous generation, who basically left the Valley around 1970, the Arrowhead Arete had been a big deal, probably up to the early to mid-60s. I first climbed the route with an "old timer" (Phil Gleason) who knew the old history, because none of my generation did. Without threads like this one, few present day climbers would know anything about the AA.

To get full value, you'd need o go up there with half a dozen pegs, a goldline, and climb it in hiking shoes sans chalk.

JL
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 17, 2010 - 09:54am PT
Everything about Arrowhead Arete is 100% classic. If there is anyone out there on ST who has not done this route... DO IT! Sure, it may not be 5.14 and all that, but put your ego in your back pocket and go have one of the best days on rock you will ever have!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 17, 2010 - 10:09am PT
Some Arrowhead Arete threads

A Dingus Milktoast classic:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=825335&msg=825335#msg825335

A trip report including the Spire
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=387993

and another
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=31972

gear recommendation
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=7152

TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Apr 17, 2010 - 01:35pm PT
JL nailed it(the sentiments/requirements at the time, not the route...duh)when he mentions DNB, the Stovelegs, and LAC.

John and Will Tyre shaved significant accent time off the DNB @'71! And the LAC was tagged as "the hardest day of your life"...just a pleasant note for anyone having second thoughts. And i remember looking up at the Stovelegs and thinking it was a long way to go and then have to rap back down, as was then the rage.

And the Nabisco Wall with stories of 70 ft. whippers off Wheat Thin, and Butterballs had yet to be plucked...great time for a noob who was all ears.

But by '74 i recall the AA as being a must do classic once again...JL must have spread the word.

EDIT: Make that "longest day of your life"(in my case...it was both)!
TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Apr 18, 2010 - 12:05am PT
Arrowhead Arte ranks at the top of my favorite valley climbs. Both for the climb itself, and for my good fortune to climb it with Walt Shipley. In traditional Walt style, I was somehow conjugaled by Walts middle-of-the-day idea to climb it, as it loomed in full view above us from the Deli. As I recall, with minimal gear, we scrambled up there, scurried up the route, and made it back to the deli before the daily gathering had dispersed back to camp for the day. For me, it was a really big deal. For Walt, all he did was drag a rope up to belay me from. What a great guy.

That decent: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=434664&msg=435834#msg435834
Watusi

Social climber
Newport, OR
Apr 18, 2010 - 01:07am PT
Classic! Nice post!:)
wildone

climber
GHOST TOWN
Apr 18, 2010 - 04:22pm PT

Arrowhead arete from top of spire











Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 11, 2010 - 09:59am PT
Nice shots!
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
Jul 11, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
The grottos below the huge chockstones are so cool!
T H

climber
Jul 12, 2010 - 12:37am PT
" ... Saw a bunch of really old pins on it that I imagine have been there since it originally went up ... "
booty call - estimated net worth of $300 on ebay .
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 12, 2010 - 08:57am PT
They have more value left in place, really.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 12, 2010 - 09:18am PT
Did it in the early 70's and remember that it seemed more like climbing in the Teton's than Yosemite.
socialclimber

Mountain climber
CA
Feb 1, 2011 - 12:25am PT
Headed up to do this on Saturday with a few friends, should make for a great day all around, really enjoying all the posts about the route!

Charles
M. Volland

Trad climber
Grand Canyon
Feb 1, 2011 - 08:26am PT
Wasn't Mark Powell overweight when he first showed up in the Valley? Slimming down over a diet of Yosemite climbing to eventually put up some of the truly great climbs of his time?

The AA was the first Powell route I did in Yosemite. The impact it had on me, and the interest I had in Yosemite climbing history at the time, inspired me to climb as many Powell routes as I could. At the time I was new to climbing and he was the first climber who's routes I focused on. I think the summit of the AA is the most spectacular in all of the Valley. The East of Lower is my favorite of his, though I never did give Bridalveil East a try.

Is he a professor of geography now? If so, where?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 1, 2011 - 08:46am PT
He is well into retirement. He taught at a community college in LA.
M. Volland

Trad climber
Grand Canyon
Feb 1, 2011 - 08:57am PT
Thanks Steve. Sort of a dumb question now that I think of the timeline. Its already 2011!

Does anyone have a present day photo of him.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 1, 2011 - 10:43am PT
AA is a great climb. To me, it has all the attributes of a true classic --neat climbing, great location, tremendous historical signficance. As Largo stated, it also was very much off the beaten path in the 1970's, so you were certain to have the sort of isolation that is increasingly rare these days in the Valley. It's hard for me to believe that this October will be the 55th aniversary of its first ascent.

Powell was one of my heroes for two reasons. First, it was clear that the climbers of the late 1950's and early 1960's (or, as I called them then, the old-timers) greatly admired him. More importantly for me, he got himself stationed in Fresno when he was in the service, so he could be closer to the rocks. It takes a special sort of person to come willingly to my little town. During that time, he did a route called "Balch Camp Flake" at the far east end of Patterson Bluff. Climbing there remains adventurous today.

John
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 1, 2011 - 12:14pm PT
Robbins and Powell, Nose Reunion.
Robbins and Powell, Nose Reunion.
Credit: guido
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
Feb 1, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
TFPU.

Those pictures really bring back the thinness of the final traverse, And yes, the little cave systems you slide past like a museum diorama.

A huge amount of fun.



Less see:

Hexs 3-11 Stop 3-8 Runners. 5/24/74

I had the same experience as Largo, with rain and wind coming in, rushing the end to the ridge and along it.


I also remember the sort of first pitch being shy of pro getting to the arete.
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
Mar 26, 2012 - 06:51pm PT
Bump for a great route
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