East Buttress of El Cap, Crux Bolt Gone

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Messages 1 - 41 of total 41 in this topic
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 3, 2012 - 07:24am PT
I am referring to the 10b move at the beginning of Pitch 2. I climbed this back in 93 and there was a bolt at the crux which did a good job of protecting the move. I understand that originally this bolt wasn't there but the first ascentionist gave permission to add it. I did the climb on 9/30/12 and found getting good pro in was difficult. I read, in a thread elsewhere, that one could get small nuts in the thin crack directly above the belay but I didn't have nuts small enough and it didn't look to me like the crack would take any nuts that would inspire much confidence. I tried to place a cam in the pin scar but that didn't work. I finally tensioned to the crack on the far right and got in some pro. I didn't want to make the move without pro for two reasons, I am a gumby and I didn't want to have the potential of falling on my belayer. I suppose if there were an appropriately placed pin (as pin scar's indicate was done before the bolt was placed) that could be a solution but someone would probably pull the pin, then someone would replace it and then someone would pull it etc (pretty soon you'd have a Serenity Crack). Personally, I'd like to see the bolt reinstalled.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:27am PT
then go put it back in

problem solved
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:29am PT
Spice is nice and should suffice.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:35am PT
Your ass is grass, don't get smoked.
Loose Rocks

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:43am PT
The small nut or small cam up high works. I did't test it but it went in fine and looked ok.
Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:23am PT
Old and bold is alpine gold.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:26am PT
When in doubt run it out.
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:29am PT
I lead that pitch on Sep 7, and there were two fixed pieces (tcu and wire) a couple feet above the belay pins. I also was able to step up and place a tcu at the very top of this seam.
Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:33am PT
To foil the mortician, just go fishin'!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:33am PT
seems to me that you can get a really good nut placement above your belayer, and the potential swing is mitigated by the fall being controlled...

while this is the technical crux of the route, I don't think it is the actual crux, the 5.9 sections above being much more cruxy...

In 1964 Frank Sacherer and Wally Reed freed the route, they did so without that bolt. You can now appreciate that accomplishment from first hand experience. That FFA was one of a set that established a distinct Yosemite Valley style which includes bold leads and the consequent of moving quickly on very long routes. Now, 50 years later, climbers with modern technology on their racks and feet, and access to an unbelievable detailed array of information on nearly any route, still have to face the boldness of those early routes.

It is a good thing that we have to measure up to those routes rather than engineering them down to the level of common capability.

Suck it up, buttercup...
if you can't do the time, don't do the crime...
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:37am PT
That bolt wasn't necessary. I heard that Shipley put it in to make it easier to guide. You can get bomber pro right at your feet. It was never necessary and I don't think the fall there is bad. It would be less than a ten foot fall. Protected as well as most sport climbs.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 3, 2012 - 08:50am PT
If it was in a gym it'd have a bolt. I mean, I climb 5.11, but this scares me ....
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 09:00am PT
The bolt hasn't been there for a long time. People seem to be doing fine without it.
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2012 - 09:17am PT
Like I said, I am a gumby. I made through the 10b move but it took a lot of doing to get pro in. If you can get a TCU or nut in the crack directly above the belay, that would solve the problem but, because I am a gumby, I didn't think I could get anything in that would hold and gumbies, like me, don't like to make 10b moves on less than perfect pro. I led the entire climb (because my partner had only done one previous trad lead, Pony Express on Sugarloaf, but he saw sure a good follower and very supportive. I did let him do one 5.7 lead but after he took off and got 30' above his last piece of pro I was scared to death that he might fall and die and what would I tell his parents, me - the big time gumby trad leader - letting him lead). As others have said, the 10b really isn't the crux but I had no other problems. Maybe I'm not as big a gumby as I think. I wonder if people posting on this thread that are saying things like "Old and bold is alpine gold" are only SuperTopo leaders like I have seen so many times on this site. Just wondering,
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 09:18am PT
It was missing about 7 years ago when I did it, just placed a nut up and left of the belay, and I took two big pendulum falls to below the belayer and welded a big nut in there for a few years. Shook me up but no real injury.

We bailed that day, but did it a couple other times.

Bolt not needed.

Edit: The 1-2 face moves was the technical crux of the route for me, but if you can't handle that little runout after then it's a good place to bail low on the route before creating too much of a clusterfvck. I say having that bolt there would let more folks through who are more likely to have an epic higher up on the route.
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2012 - 09:19am PT
behilden: How do you know they "are doing fine without it" Maybe most parties are rappelling after the first pitch.
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Bolt has been gone for a long time. I did it 5 years ago with no bolt. My partner led that pitch. Got a small cam or nut up high. Fell, swung into me in the alcove belay. We laughed. He did the move.
Farouk

Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove
Oct 3, 2012 - 09:21am PT
Everyone who has posted so far would smoke you in the gym Gumby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pvalchev

Social climber
Mountain View, CA / Calgary, AB
Oct 3, 2012 - 09:30am PT
Honest question: if you didn't know there was ever a bolt there, would you propose that one is newly added?

For what it's worth, I did the climb a few years ago and led that pitch, I remember the move being exciting and I was scared, but I don't think anyone can seriously injure themselves there (in fact the party before us took multiple falls at that spot and seemed fine). I think I got a yellow alien in the right crack but didn't fall to test it. I don't have super strong feelings about these topics though... I don't like the potential thought of falling onto the belay/belayer so if a bolt was there I'd clip it, but if there's no bolt that's just part of the climb, gotta deal with it. Pretty sure you'd feel the same if you didn't know there was ever a bolt there, and it sounds like the history of that bolt is "questionable".

How about we discuss the Serenity bolt now? :)
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
Oct 3, 2012 - 10:01am PT
If you can get a TCU or nut in the crack directly above the belay, that would solve the problem but...

see post # 9
Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Oct 3, 2012 - 10:13am PT
I'm old and bold, soon to retire,
Am still on crags a frequent flyer!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 10:19am PT
How about we discuss the Serenity bolt now? :)

Troublemaker!

I agree with Ed. The start of the second pitch has the hardest move, but the 5.9 higher takes more effort.

John
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 10:25am PT
I climbed this a month ago in 85 degree heat and high humidity- slipped off a move or two after pulling the crux and took an unexpected ride onto the fixed nut and purple tcu. Clean fall (10 feet past the belay)

its better than coffee
Pcutler

climber
Iowa
Oct 3, 2012 - 10:48am PT
I read, in a thread elsewhere, that one could get small nuts in the thin crack directly above the belay but I didn't have nuts small enough

seems to me that it wasnt the lack of a bolt but a lack of an appropriate rack that made the move unprotectable.

either way... you got through it, maybe just a little more time and energy. I climbed the thing a year ago and there's definitely a bomber small nut above the belay that allowed me to cheat through the crux.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 3, 2012 - 11:33am PT
The OP questions, 'behilden: How do you know they "are doing fine without it" Maybe most parties are rappelling after the first pitch.'


One might offer that "doing fine" in climbing means no serious injury. To me, rappelling is not a bad thing. I've been on many routes where the 2nd rope comes out and I say "I guess I need to train up for that one!" Not a thing wrong with that, and nothing hurt except a bit of ego.

It's great that you want to get out and challenge yourself. And long routes in Yosemite can be just the ticket. But, as has been said here, there is pro for those moves and that's why the retro bolt was removed.

In other words, get the proper gear, train up, and do routes that don't scare you too bad. You'll have lots of fun without trying to bring the challenges down to your level of competence.

JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 12:02pm PT
In fairness to the OP, it sounds like that's what he did, k-man, since he was able to complete the lead and, apparently, the climb.

Good advice generally, though. I think I made the most progress as as climber as a result of failures and bailouts (or, as another thread named it, yellow-pointing).

John
RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Oct 3, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
I have always gotten along fine with a small nut just up and right of the belay.
fsck

climber
Oct 3, 2012 - 12:08pm PT
i didn't chop the bolt, but i was belaying the guy who did it. 1999? not gonna out him here, i'll let him make that choice. not sure if he even lurks here anymore.

didn't know what his plan was back at the lot. was a little confused why a purple crowbar was part of the rack.

had one of the scariest simulclimbing experiences ever later up the route. seconding and got to the 5.9 bit with a huge loop of slack. kept yelling "up rope" before sketching through the moves thinking "i hope he's got a handjam in or something".
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 3, 2012 - 01:57pm PT
I've done the climb many times; usually there are many parties doing it, and I've never seen anyone bail from that point. The bolt was never there in all the times I've done it. The pro seems fine to me. A bolt or two right there would change the feel of the moves a lot; currently you are climbing above and to the right of your pro and have to think about whether you are solid enough to lead up while facing a potential swinging fall. I feel that permission from the FA party is not relevant for adding a bolt, as the climb has been done by hundreds/thousands of people in the 50+ years since the FA without a bolt being there. Too much part of a shared experience to change at this point, in my opinion.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
Interesting question from the "ETHICS" viewpoint

FA says OK to bolt

Community Consensus seems clearly against a bolt.

Apparently even the guy asking the question made it through the pitch.

SO it seems to me the answer is clear

Not to bolt.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:09pm PT
Indeed John, the OP did make the moves, even without the small nuts needed for pro. So kudos there.

Sorry to sound harsh in my responses, but sticking it out a little is part of the climbing game--especially on multi-pitch. In defense of the OP, he did read there was a bolt at the crux, so I do understand the trepidation you'd experience there if you thought it was missing for no good reason.

I did the route a few times before there ever was a bolt there, so I'm familiar with how those moves feel with pro off to one side. I also did the moves once with the bolt--boy did those moves feel different then! And I'll back up what Clint said about the years of experiences without that psychological pro.

For what it's worth, the last time I did that route, I did bail from that point. But not due to the moves being too run out ;-)
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
No need for a bolt.

I easily French-freed that move without it.
Farouk

Boulder climber
Sylvan Grove
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:12pm PT
I easily French-freed that move without it.

So when are you going back to do the route??????????????????????????????????????????????????
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
If we do not put in a bolt, can we at least chisel out a few more hand/foot holds?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
The Valley's version of the Doublecross controversy. So there JT, we know how to go on and on about nothing to.
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
So when are you going back to do the route??????????????????????????????????????????????????


Good question. Haven't been to the valley in over 12 years. In fact, EB El Cap may be one of the last climbs I did there.

Can't complain though....headed to Tahquitz on Friday.
Matt

Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:23pm PT
I cannot believe there was ever a bolt there to begin with!
We climbed that route when we were new, and I am short, and still it was kinda straightfwd- super easy to chimney up and place a piece, then the move is done on TR!

That said, the last time I was up there a friend was in the party ahead of us and I watched him take 3 factor 2 falls directly onto the belay before I broke down and shouted up the beta for said TR, and he was not entirely inexperienced, so I am sure sometimes people struggle there- still, it ain't the gym, even if there are slideshows with free beer...
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Oct 3, 2012 - 02:24pm PT
David Lunn and I did the East Butt in February 1969 and we used pins and a hammer. Those things called hexes and stoppers were only a glimmer in Yvon's mind.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:36pm PT
Yeah, the pin scars are the crux. One move. It is fine without a bolt, and I'm not the bolt police.
custer

climber
Stanky, Litterbox
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
Screw bolts. Shits not pure... but PINS!

Its all about how it was done back in the day. Time to just start banging in pins just like the people that did the FA! I mean isn't that what they belay is on? and that is why there is a pin scar by the crux... right?

Oh yea and im gonna bang pins all the way up serenity since thats how it was originally done.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
... 10b move?
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