How many people get up El Cap on their first attempt?

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Messages 161 - 180 of total 182 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Brian Gallant

Sport climber
Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 16, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
Got it on my second go!
Jimmy Russells

climber
Nov 16, 2012 - 05:44pm PT
'Check' Mark

Now there's a name that I've not heard in a long time.

"I get route FIRST SIGHT!"
dgealy

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo
Nov 17, 2012 - 05:09am PT
First try on the Nose when I was 18, my partner 19, 4 years of combined experience.
Rad Styles

Mountain climber
Truckee
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:35am PT
Nose first go 4 days, Salathe first go 3 days with Jcory. Damn it's good to have friends with stoke!!! And wine;)
Nilepoc

Boulder climber
Tx
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:07am PT
First try depends on the definition.

In June of 1992 my partner and I entered the valley with the nose in our sites. We had no idea about the logistics of the endeavor, but went forward anyway and climbed to Sickle ledge and bivied there with the next pitch fixed (it seems everyone going vertical camping these days fixes, sleeps in the valley and hits it hard the next day). Very early the next morning 3 or 4 base jumpers exited off of the dawn wall. My partner thought they were rocks, freaked out lost his composure and decided to bail. So down we went.

Most would consider that a failure, I guess if your feet touch back down without any ropes on the route you have failed. I was not going to be stopped by not having a partner though. So I walked out in to the meadow the next day and survuyed the prospects gearing up for the Captain. Lucky for me a group from Arizona arrived with one of the three guys on crutches. Seeing an opportunity I swooped in to see what their deal was. It turns out that the week before one of the three broke his foot and they came to the valley anyway. I smelled fresh blood and pounced. They accepted me into their plan, who knows why? I had exactly four pitches of experience at this point in my career. So the next day they climbed to sickle and I lounged around watching them. The following day I joined them and we headed up the route only to be rained out three pitches off of sickle. So down we go, leaving ropes fixed up to sickle ledge for another attempt. A day later we were back on the wall and headed to the top. I ended up leading about half of the route, Rob lead the other half and the third guy (forgot his name) tagged along for the ride.

So over five days I started the Nose three times and topped out five days after the last start. Personally I considered myself lucky to get up my first El Cap route first try but upon reflection I guess it took me three tries. Crap I am just not the badass I thought I was.

So put me in the not the first time catagory.

Man I should write a TR for that climb.

Side note, Hans Florine woke us up on el cap tower on a speed ascent or attempt while we were on the wall. Pretty cool, I think they did it in four hours and we took five days, but I took almost ten including all attempts. I had been climbing a total of four years and arrived in the valley with exactly 30 feet of aiding experience prior to climbing the Nose. This August My future brother in law and I completed my second route which was the NA over the course of a week. Notably 20 years after my first climb on El Cap.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Hoping to succeed on my second go.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Got up the Nose, leading half the pitches, in 1981, a year after my first lead. Pretty big adventure for me. Did the 4th solo of Zodiac the next year.

but bailed on El Cap a fair amount during the past 15 years as I started taking folks up it more regularly. People get gripped after their first night on the wall and the idea of conquering El Cap seems less important than stopping the fear and loathing

Peace

Karl
Gus

Trad climber
Venice, Cali
Nov 17, 2012 - 12:18pm PT
3 and 3
Double D

climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
1975 or 6, with Bill Price and Kurt Rieder, bailed after a Stove Legs bivy. Shortly afterwards Bill and Kurt became the youngest team to do it back then.

Seriously, this thread needs a few more photos...

Butt-bag and hammock bivy on the legs
Butt-bag and hammock bivy on the legs
Credit: Double D
bob

climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
April 1st 2001 Nose in 22 hrs. Only a few times have I been more exhausted.

It was my first climb for 3 months since crushing my head skateboarding and earning a flight to Phoenix for a bit of dealing.

I had high expectations and wore Boreal Stingers. Oh they STUNG for sure. I did a fraction of the predicted free climbing and lost 6 toenails with my enthusiastic approach to the route.

Hey, it was still sub 24...........

Bob Jensen
GoMZ

Trad climber
Eastern Sierra
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
Zodiac, first try.
Then got shut down twice, both due to weather.
Been 4 for 4 since then though.
Bailed on a few grade Vs before trying the captain though:)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:32pm PT
I'm on my best streak ever right now, eight ascents with no failures.

Mark, just wondering why you don't consider this a "failure?" Not an attempt at flaming just wondering. Or have you done 8 El Cap routes since?

Disclaimer: I've never done a big wall and I suck. Just curious as to what defines success and failure on a big wall.

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Iron-Hawk-Solo/t11586n.html

EDIT: BTW, this is one of my favorite TR's ever and have shared it with many people. Very inspiring.

I don't know what to call this one, to tell you the truth.

I certainly didn't climb those last two pitches, but I certainly did climb everything below them. I guess I consider it both a failure and a success for reasons that I can't really articulate.

In black and white, sure, I had to get rescued, but in shades of gray, there are tons of successful ascents by people who jugged other people's ropes and didn't climb the first few pitches.

I'm sure as hell not going back and climbing the whole route and those last two just to count it as a route! Ha! I'll get up them one way or another, Cheyne and I are planning on climbing the AO this spring...
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
You know, now that I'm thinking about it, "Success" on El Cap, including the mystery of why it's so addictive, why it's so spiritual, why my ascents and partners are so important to me, transcends "Success" or "Failure".

Sure, you do your part to contribute to the ascent, you climb all the pitches, you get to the top, black or white, Success. If you don't, Failure.

Sure, so put my Iron Hawk ascent into the public Failure column. But for me, the twelve days up there, everything that happened, everything that happened to me emotionally, Cheyne rapping down that rope to me, me crying, dang, I can't call that a Failure. Something spiritual happened, something changed me, and it happened over twelve days on El Cap.

Black and White, yes, a Failure, but Dang! I moved, I changed, had a significant life experience, I can't call that a Failure.
Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
Nov 17, 2012 - 04:19pm PT
Well said Mark! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and bravo on all your ascents.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Nov 17, 2012 - 04:42pm PT
You know, now that I'm thinking about it, "Success" on El Cap, including the mystery of why it's so addictive, why it's so spiritual, why my ascents and partners are so important to me, transcends "Success" or "Failure".

Sure, you do your part to contribute to the ascent, you climb all the pitches, you get to the top, black or white, Success. If you don't, Failure.

Sure, so put my Iron Hawk ascent into the public Failure column. But for me, the twelve days up there, everything that happened, everything that happened to me emotionally, Cheyne rapping down that rope to me, me crying, dang, I can't call that a Failure. Something spiritual happened, something changed me, and it happened over twelve days on El Cap.

Black and White, yes, a Failure, but Dang! I moved, I changed, had a significant life experience, I can't call that a Failure.

It was a big success from "I kicked my ass to the limit" point. And it is a true success. Only a few get to do that to themselves. When I do a climb that is big and scary from me and end up surprising myself and getting it without a problem I actually get kind of sad. Should have picked something harder.
One of the tough things I have 'failed' on, rank as my favorite trips ever though. Climbing is personal and it is good to know what a personal success vs a failure is.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Nov 17, 2012 - 04:48pm PT
I had Cheyne put my rope up on one pitch for me on my Shortest Straw solo. Do I consider the ascent a failure? Nope. I sacrificed half a day so they could pass me without hassle. In return they fixed my rope on one of the easiest pitches of the route. Big deal...

Cheyne should start a business, call it the "Rope Fixin Hotline" or somethin!
jurach

Big Wall climber
sacramento, ca
Nov 17, 2012 - 05:50pm PT
Nose, first try. Zodiac, first try. Shield, first try. Salathe, well, still working on that one.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Nov 17, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
Mark gets credit for the pinkpoint, anyway. Heck, this is just a game and everyone seems to play by different rules. I would have considered it a great acomplishment, and leave it to others to decide if I got the route clean, etc. If you're not climbing at the level where you fail sometimes, then you're not challenging yourself. Nothing to be ashamed of.

In the "Portrait of the American Climber" trailer, they say Jim Erickson slipped one time on his attempt to free the RNWF of half dome, and considered it a failure. I guess it was, then. It's up to him what he was trying to do.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:20am PT
Hey Mark Hugedong,

Why don't you just tell it like it is? You have climbed 7 and 24/26ths El Cap routes without bailing!

{wink}
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Nov 18, 2012 - 01:36am PT
Ha, yeah, there ya go!
Messages 161 - 180 of total 182 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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