Name this YV Obscurity #2


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 16, 2006 - 12:30am PT
OK, now after the Ski Jump we were psyched, but ablegable was very coy and would not reveal the next climb on his list until after breakfast on Saturday, May 6. By the way, ablegable is a wonderful cook, he believes in keeping very good care of his partners on such a trip, the more so if the obscurity list is being ticked.

Guess this summit... the features across the Valley are obvious, the one just left of ablegable's head is Sentinel Rock

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 12:38am PT
no, not Lost Brother...

Social climber
The West
May 16, 2006 - 12:38am PT

Monument Manor
May 16, 2006 - 12:49am PT
Pohono Pinnacle?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 12:51am PT
aldude is right!

I'm working on the trip report... post it very soon!

O5 could be something like, "Spireview point" or Pohono pinnacle"

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 02:03am PT
Trip Report: May 6, 2006
Ed Hartouni & ablegable

Sentinel Area

route description from Roper's Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley 1971 ("green guide") page 226

Pohono Pinnacle - North Face

II, 5.6. George Sessions and Felix Knauth, August 1958.
Pohono Pinnacle is a small, sharp point located 1,400 feet above the valley floor and directly above the Pharaoh's Beard. Start at the lower right-hand corner of the north face and work up and left via class 4 ledges, class 5 jamcracks and a chimney to the bowl just below and left of the summit. Wander up the bowl, then climb a moderate chimney to the obvious notch behind the pinnacle. A short scramble then leads to the top. Descent via the West Slope.

The climb follows the trees just illuminated by the sun cutting across the North Face pictured below. The pyramidal summit is also seen, with the "bowl" on the left side, the climb goes up and around the back.

From the base the climb looks like this, following the obvious vegetable line up the cliff.

It is a wonderful outing, up crack systems which connect a set of ledges, something like 6 or 7, all the way up to the bowl. The climbing is full on old school 5.6, be prepared for every type and style of 5.6 crack climbing, fingers, hands, offwidth, squeeze and chimney. ablegable going up a chimney, heel-toe:

We'd climb some, then walk some, then climb some more. All this in the shade of the south side cliffs. A very pleasant climb that day with interesting difficulties. On the pitch before entering the bowl, the last pitch of the face, ablegable stands atop the final "jamcrack"

The last pitch was 200' (with some sneaking up by the belayer) up wide crack and a final chimney which would have been really heady had it not had a great crack inside leading up to a chock stone. Getting through the chockstone hole was akin to only one other thing I've ever done in my life (at the beginning of it on the first day). We dumped all the gear for the down climb and went up on the summit. Basking in the warm sun, having a bite to eat and enjoying the views.

There was a summit register! the first entry was 1960

Reading through the register was moving for me, it made a connection to the past rarely experienced... there was Bill Amborn and Harry Daley recording their Northwest Corner climb!

And then there was Chuck Pratt in 1968

and Eric Beck!

Now us!

We're looking for a pro-deal from Budweiser...whaddya think?

The last ascent in the register was Coiler's in 1999... also of the N. Face

The descent was ugly, but I wrote about it in the [url=""]Ennui[/url] thread... except we didn't get the rope wet in the end...

It was a "Great Climb"... getting that high that easily.

Careful if you go, there is a lot of loose stuff on that route, and you have to be mindful of climbers down at the base... not too hard to knock stuff off.

And we didn't even see a soul up there! but we heard some!! apparently going up the 4th class or maybe the NW Corner. ablegable made sure to leave them a greeting by putting a rock in each of their left shoes... anyone want to fess up?


May 16, 2006 - 02:09am PT
Ed, your stuff rocks. I always loved going to obscure and off the path routes and bridges and railings.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 16, 2006 - 02:42am PT
I'm curious now. How did you descend? Could a soloist just downclimb?

Any routefinding issues?


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 16, 2006 - 02:51am PT
we blew the descent on the West Face and had to rap low down... we went too far south. My guess is that if you stick closer to the NW Corner you can find the "fourth class" descent. As far as solo, there are probably a couple of spots where you'd have to suck it up really big time. My guess is that you could probably reverse the climb if you didn't mind down climbing chimney and some wide stuff.

It is also feral... so be careful if you go up there all alone.

Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 16, 2006 - 08:00am PT
You are nuts, Ed. Well, so to speak, anyway.

But your appetite for the whimsical is astounding. And outstanding.

Good TRs. Curious that Pratt and Bauman and then Beck and Cohen would climb it in 1967 and 1968. Both ascents were early in the season, so maybe it is climbable early. Or, maybe they were just trying to establish which route in the Valley was the “worst route in the Valley.”

Best, Roger

right here, right now
May 16, 2006 - 10:51am PT
nice ed, got any TR's for split pinnacle?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 28, 2008 - 09:56pm PT
Just added this climb to the route database

Oct 28, 2008 - 10:14pm PT
Super report, Ed...stylish send of the route and an entertaining account. Bravo!

Here it is, folks. ST gold at its purest. Nice resurrection, CM.

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 28, 2008 - 10:19pm PT
Perfect TR....Beer, Beautiful Pics and Boss Summit Reports. What a life !

Social climber
Vancouver, Canada
Oct 29, 2008 - 01:28pm PT
Ed that route looks a lot like stuff in Squamish or the Coast Range !!! All those trees !!! The ancient summit register ! Nobody fer miles around !!

I was all at once wistful for a tree belay and almost went out back out house to tie myself up to the pear tree just for nostalgia's sake when I realized that might alarm the neighbours.

You'll never get Bud to bite fer sponsorship. Yer tits aren't big enough.


Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 29, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
Great report, Ed.
Especially the photos of the register.
I wish I'd taken some of when I first climbed Castleton
Tower in 1977. The original register, Kor & Ingalls
plus many other real big names. At the time we were the
42nd ascent. Probably as close to history as I'll ever be.
Thanks for the memories.

Trad climber
novato ca
Oct 29, 2008 - 03:00pm PT
super cool
the bubba

Boulder climber
Oct 29, 2008 - 03:40pm PT
holy cow, you were the first guys to climb that thing since 1975??

Trad climber
The here and now
Oct 29, 2008 - 03:49pm PT
Great stuff! I hope I get a chance to meet you someday, maybe even climb some YV obscurity together, talk some physics. I'd be honored.

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