Going back to Cali!


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Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2012 - 12:45am PT
Big Mike here getting spendy posting live from fireside via 4g. My Currie time was somewhat productive tonight but slow and posting on an iPhone ain't easy and can be very frustrating.....

I had a reply for everyone but alas it was lost in a netherworld of 1's and 0's when they cut the wifi. Suffice to say getting to the rim is going to happen sooner than later and Nate you should be here.

The plan for the day was to support Luke and head up to the base of the captain for a little cragging.

First though we wandered over to the bridge to meet Tom and see if we could pick out the boys.

Tom at work.

We started off on Pine Line 5.7 and I led it so I could set up a rope to take pics of Aislinn. I found it pretty darn slippery at the bottom but it took good small gear and my toes fit in the pin scars pretty good so I found it pretty secure..

I'm still getting used to Yosemite granite so I placed more than I should have probably but still fired up it pretty quick. I brought Relic up and we set up a quick rappel so I could get a few shots of Aislinn

Aislinn fires in the pro on Pine Line 5.7

Getting er done...

After we went over to Salathe p1 which was just too good to pass up.
Relic ropegunned it for me and took a decent whip trying to figure out my rack. He got it done though and I cleaned it but with much effort. Amazing pitch!!!!

I lowered Relic and fixed the rope so I could take pics and they Aislinn and dan could rap off after.

Dan on p1 Salathe wall

Dan ended up being our fourth for today and we weren't even looking for one... We ran into him at Currie last night after we missed the last bus.

I just stuck out my thumb for the first car and he stopped, but said he was going to Yellow Pines so we let him go. 20 m down the road he turned around and came back to say that if we could find him a partner for tomorrow he would give us a ride.

Not wanting to walk or really have a third if we could avoid it, we told him he could climb with Aislinn. ;)

Aislinn following Dan up Salathe.

(I hope this is right I forgot to lablw this one when I copied links)

Moments after this photo was taken we heard a cry of "Rock!" and I looked up to assess the situation. What I saw next was one of my scariest ever rockclimbing experiences ever.

A large block was heading straight for us as Relic and I ran for cover, (His was much better than mine).

I heard a whizzzzzz! And saw a what I thought to be a basketball size rock falling at terminal velocity land just meters left of Aislinn and pulverize into one million little pieces. The blast radius completely missed Ais and I was showered in granite dust.

After that we were all pretty rattled but Ais tried to finish up so they could get outta there. We heard another rock cry but didn't see one and that was enough for Ais to ask Dan to drop her which he did very expediently.

We moved all our stuff under a small overhang and didn't really want to put ourselves in the line of fire after that one.....

We waited for Dan to get off the corner which kinda sucked cause he had to pull all the gear. He made it down safe and sound and we were all left without a scratch on us, but a much better respect for the stone and all it's inherent dangers.

I truly do understand the phrase "Yer gonna die!!!" now and Bruce was right I am an idiot for humping loads with no helmet yesterday, although a helmet would have made no difference today in a direct hit situation...

After that Dan told me he needed to get safe to wash his brain of that horrible image. We went to talk to Luke who wasn't going to be hauling for some time and therefore no longer needed us to take his extra haul lines down.

We had quite enough of the base of the captain by that point and decided to head back to the meadows for a meeting...

Dan mentioned something about it being awhile since his last safety meeting and when I asked how long he replied "since 95!". I guess he was a bit spooked, he told me he truly thought Ais was going to die. We were all quite happy to be still present on this earth at that point and were very content to chill in the meadow.

The view was nothing less than stunning

El Capitain

I Really love this new pano option on my iPhone!!!

270 degree pano of view from the meadow.

Before dinner we went bouldering for a bit over by the Swan Slabs

Relic on some boulder... (Just kidding, don't remember the name right now)

I did it!! Wow. It's waaay past my bedtime!


Ice climber
Oct 16, 2012 - 06:31am PT
Mike is Luke on the Muir?

He e mailed me and asked me what route he should do,and I told him the Muir.

A great way to see a lot of the big rock.

If Luke and partner are on the Muir right on enjoy it and by far one of the best climbs I did on the big rock. Luke if you read this take the 10d flare chimney about same elevation as great roof. Roman chimneys will be a cake walk after that pitch.

Enjoy Mike wish I could come and visit in the ditch it's just so awesome there right now and yeah the pano is a sick feature on the phone yeah.


Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
Oct 16, 2012 - 09:40am PT
GO Go Go!
Luke and Doug on El Cap yesterday
Luke and Doug on El Cap yesterday
Credit: Tom Evans, El Cap report

Ice climber
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:39am PT
Looks like the 4th pitch belay down low.

Sweet those guys are going to love it man. A great first route. Nothing to hard every pitch is a moderate with the exception of the 10D OW Flare.

The second to last pitch has this cool lower out penji to a buttress of rock with a 5.8 hand crack splitting it. When you start up the crack and get a view between your legs is just big air and vast amounts of sweeping rock. A view I have not forgotten some 20 years later almost. Yippee for them.

Right on! The upper dihedral is so amazing and clean. The pitches below that are steep.

This is one of the longest routes on the big rock a real day to day grinder but if your fast you can tick them off pretty quick short fixing and hauling hard.

Have fun guys, and Mike Super Slacker Highway at Pat N Jack is a real gem of a climb get to it if you can.


Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 16, 2012 - 11:12am PT
Keep the reports coming.....

Stuck at the desk....

your fine adventure is good, vicarious, fun....

Go do Bishops, Jam Crack...fun fun
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2012 - 09:53pm PT
Silver- Luke is on the Muir yes... They are doing well and were leading a pitch in the dark when we left the meadow...

Ok couple more images i didn't get to post yesterday...

Dan at the base of Pine Line

Dan on the first pitch of Salathe

The valley pano again but bigger.. Blowout those borders!!

Relic bouldering

Aislinn on the same problem

Relic Heel Hooking at sunset


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:40pm PT
Dammit Relic, screw the heel hook, flip the wing and press that mantle out. And btw you don't really need a pad there. %^)

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 16, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
Yayaya. I can't mantle this stuff for shite. I get ny long limbs all folded like a pretzel. Bouldering here is harrrrrrrd. Humbling for sure.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
Big Mike here coming at you from Dan's computer!!! So sick.. Iphone can suck it as far as typing goes...

Woke up at 9 this morning so my thermarest patch must have done something... Relic was no where to be found so I started organizing gear... The plan for the day was Central Pillar of Frenzy and I was stoked. It was a bit of a late start again....

We finally got up there and there was another party all ready on it, and they weren't moving very quick.

We asked if they were planning to do the whole climb but they weren't sure so we decided to head over to Pee Pee Pillar to warm up. Aislinn wanted to lead the 5.7 and when ais wants to lead something we let her.

Aislinn on p1 Paradise Lost 5.7



The other party bailed from Central Pillar so after all climbed it we went over to the base. They were canucks too from toronto. Relic led the first pitch and dragged three ropes, Two halfs and a tagline single. By the time he got to the top and brought me and Ais up he was over it.

I took another valley pano from up there though.. So sick!!

Ais at the crux

Relic wanted to bail and leave me and Ais to finish up, but by the time we got all the ropes untangled I was over it. I always stack my halfs together because it makes for good belays but when you try and take one rope out of the system you're f'ed..

We decided to go back to Pee Pee Pillar and Ais gave me the little shove I needed to lead it.

Aislinn Merkel photo


one more of elcap


A long way from where I started
Oct 17, 2012 - 12:10am PT
We decided to go back to Pee Pee Pillar and Ais gave me the little shove I needed to lead it.

WTF? You channeling me or something, Mike? Pee Pee Pillar was the first 5.10 I led in the Valley. Might even be the first 5.10 I led anywhere.

That was about the time of the last ice age, though, when EBs were the hot new shoe, Whillans harnesses were state of the art, and hexcentric chocks were amazing new pro. And since I'm about half your height, that means it was twice as hard...

Now get back out there in the morning and finish the Central Pillar. Or the East Butt.


Oct 17, 2012 - 12:28am PT

Now get back out there in the morning and finish the Central Pillar. Or the East Butt.

yea what Ghost said!!

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 17, 2012 - 04:22am PT
You should be getting up just about now. You will be the first in line at CPF, then you can fly. Don't stop to take pics (we've all seen the first section) until the sun comes. Forget us, enjoy the climb.

By the way, that Pano option is sicko! It's not natural.

But neither is getting up at 4 am in Camp 4. It's too alpine.


Ice climber
Oct 17, 2012 - 06:42am PT
Right on Mike get up early and get after it.

I recommend your just go do Astroman it can't be that hard. Werner can do it and I bet there is no line there.

Sick pics Canucks really fun looking times yer having.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2012 - 07:20am PT
Couldn't resist checking this morning. Middle is still on the list but serenity sons is the plan for the day. Somewhat early start...

Trad climber
Oct 17, 2012 - 07:43am PT
Tell Relic he isn't allowed to bail anymore!
From what I understand, Mike might have a bit of trouble on the Harding Slot if he did AMan.
Jealous of you guys.
this just in

north fork
Oct 17, 2012 - 07:45am PT
Don't know how long u guys are here, but if you wanna check out shuteye, hit me up.

Ice climber
Oct 17, 2012 - 07:47am PT
Royal arche's to crest jewel. The line mist be a mile long for sons already.

Have fun
Big Mike

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2012 - 07:08pm PT
Mouse- Thanks. We did a lot more climbing today and the only photos I took were from the belay.

Silver- Not a soul there today. Arches was busy, Dan did that link up the other day and said it was awesome besides having to pass 6 parties on Royal Arches... It's on the list for sure...

Justin- I would love to but Relic wants to go boulder in Bishop so I don't think it's gonna happen, but I'll keep you in the loop.

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Oct 17, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
Ya sorry for bailing on Central Pillar Nathan. Climbing with 3 people, one normal seventy metre, and two half ropes sucked balls beyond belief.

We got on Serenity Crack/Sons of Yesterday this morning. Got up earlyish to beat the sun but not early enough apparently. The whole thing was cooking hot by the time I started leading the first scary pitch. By the time I was able to get my first piece in about 35 feet up, I had buckets of sweat blinding my eyes. Jah I'm whining about one of the best climbs in the valley, but I think there was a reason we were the only ones on it today. It is too freaking hot!

We did one of the crack pitches on Sons, then I had to make us rap off due to heat exhaustion. :(

this just in

north fork
Oct 17, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
Never had a bad time in Bishop, love that place. Enjoying your photos and look forward to more, have a great rest of your trip Mike and Relic.
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