Angel Wings new route...the scoop!

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alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:29pm PT
greetings! I saw the thread "hey peter croft" where some folks were curious about some more scoop about the new route we completed this summer on angel wings....well here it is! The route is called Valkyrie, 16 pitches all free at 5.12. the 5.12 is a short wild bouldery (i.e. Peter's lead) move past a bolt, and the rest of the route is stacks of quality 5.10 with a few pitches of excellent 5.11 and one pitch of 5.8 slab on pitch one. Every anchor at the first 13 stations are set with 2 3/8" (hand drilled) bolts. The route is steep and the setting is spectacular with some memorable belay stances high on the wall. The story of finally completing the route is a fun one spanning many humorous attempts over the years and it felt SO good to pull over the top at last with such a fun and solid crew of friends...clearly an effort of blood, sweat and years! To the best of my knowledge to route loosely follows the original general area of the Steck route for the first half, then angles off into uncharted territory on the brilliant sweeping upper buttress. The details I suspect some of you are after will follow on this thread...have fun and enjoy! Cheers! Dave Nettle
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:30pm PT
Angel Wings: Valkyrie Nettle/Croft/Thau/Epperson September 3, 2012
Angel Wings: Valkyrie Nettle/Croft/Thau/Epperson September 3, 2012
Credit: alpinist
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:31pm PT
Sounds stellar. Congrats!

Pics! Pics! Pics!
(Edit: thanks!)
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:32pm PT
Topo:Dave Nettle
Topo:Dave Nettle
Credit: alpinist
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
topo: dave nettle
topo: dave nettle
Credit: alpinist
Gagner

climber
Boulder
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
That looks way awesome Dave - nice job to you guys. Hope to see you soon.

Paul
ec

climber
ca
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
Right on, Dave!

 ec
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
don't take this too seriously...just for fun, but it does capture the ...
don't take this too seriously...just for fun, but it does capture the norse theme of angel wings/valhalla and there were times I could swear this gal was after us up there! Ha!
Credit: alpinist
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:35pm PT
Soooo sweet. Thx for the efforts, climbing and posting.
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:37pm PT
rough draft!
rough draft!
Credit: alpinist
lucho

Trad climber
California
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:39pm PT
Awesome! Looks like beautiful, high quality stone! Thanks for putting up so many rad High Sierra routes! Still have yet to visit the Angel Wings.
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:39pm PT
peter, brandon and dave..summit of angel wings after FA Valkyrie 9/3/2...
peter, brandon and dave..summit of angel wings after FA Valkyrie 9/3/2012
Credit: alpinist
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
another view of angel wings and Valkyrie route showing the overall ste...
another view of angel wings and Valkyrie route showing the overall steepness of the wall. the route follows the right skyline of the main wall ...the south arete is tucked up in the clouds the the right of main wall.
Credit: alpinist
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:54pm PT
That looks like a great route! I was back there in 1977 and I always wanted to get back there. Did your team use any packhorses or mules to get all your gear back there? I know some parties have done this but I recall hearing last year that horse packers were no longer operating out of Sequoia NP.

Thanks again for the topos & information.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Nov 14, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
Congratulations!! Post any other photos you have, these are the threads many people look forward to reading on ST (especially during these cold months)!
Bravo!
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:01pm PT
Nice to see a new route that utilizes the natural features like ledges and doesn't just run it out for 60 or 70m between bolted anchors.
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
WOW looks sweet, thanks for all the info DAVE!!!
The Alpine

climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
Oh man! Thanks a ton for posting this stuff Dave!

The countdown to a repeat begins...

Levy: I know Cottonwood pack station was operational this past summer.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:21pm PT
WOW!!!

So feckin' stellar!

Nice work guys!

That's the serious shizz right there!
QITNL

climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:30pm PT
Cool!
neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
F'n badass
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
Awesome! Congratulations to you guys, we look forward to seeing some on-route pictures!
10b4me

Boulder climber
member since 2002
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
good job. looks like a nice line.
RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
Spectacular! Congratulations on another badass send!
enjoimx

Trad climber
Yosemite, ca
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:50pm PT
Wow that looks amazing!!
Captain...or Skully

climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:53pm PT
That whole Rock is amazing. Good job on your route...looks like an outrageous position. Frickin' cool, man.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Nov 14, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
Valkyrie - choosers of the slain!

I don't see slain written anywhere on this. :)


SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 14, 2012 - 05:11pm PT

Um, WOW!!!!!

I can't even dream of a climb that hard!
micronut

Trad climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 05:41pm PT
Amazing route fellas! Congrats on a prize proudly fought for.

This thread needs Die Valkyrie playing while we scroll through the posts...we're all singin' it in our heads....

This will have to do.

The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 14, 2012 - 06:59pm PT
Finally, you guys realized the potential I've suspected exists ever since I first laid eyes on a large format photo of AW.

Congratulations to the FA team - this is an ultimate route, and what climbing is all about, IMO.

Really looking forward to some on-the-route photos.

I'm guessing this isn't the only free route possible with this level of talent and effort...

Classic line on a spectacularly inspiring formation!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:03pm PT
Serious question. How easy is it to bail from the belay stations? Do those bolts have rings on them?
msiddens

Trad climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
very inspiring. Great adventure and love the sharing.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:10pm PT
Stunning line? Check.

Bold Cassini approach? Check.

Way the f*#k in the back country? Check.

Great.

ADNR....

Another Dave Nettle Route.

:-)

THANKS!!!!11111

DMT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 14, 2012 - 08:21pm PT
Sounds rather boring, except for the casual stroll into the clubhouse.

"NICE?!" Jaysus! Major fined.

"F'n bad-ass." Hoorah! Ku-Doze!
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Nov 14, 2012 - 09:07pm PT
Dave, thanks a lot for posting this and congratulations! The route looks amazing! I'm sure it's one of the best ones in your career (so far)!
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
Congrats to you Dave and your partners! Looks like a great route! Sorry to be missing your slideshow tonight, I am rigging in Mexico, catch you later...

Peter
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 14, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Do you guys need special shoes for that?
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
So fantastic!!!!! Thanks for this!!!
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:51pm PT
Awesome Dave. Congrats to you, Pete, Brandon and Eppi.
Sheets

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:37am PT
Looks awesome. Since hiking back there I've always wanted to bring a rope next time I'm in the area. One of the most amazing places in the Sierra.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Nov 15, 2012 - 01:32am PT
Great show tonight Dave. Spectacular!
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 15, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
Wow. A beautiful hard line on a stunning formation in the most beautiful area I've ever been. Thank you for sharing.
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
just getting back to this thread to answer a couple of questions that were asked:

Yes, a base camp at Hamilton Lake can be supported by having your gear packed in (and don't forget out!) by Mules. Charlie Mills at Horse Corral Meadows pack station is the man to contact. He bases the mule and packer charges on 1 1/2 days in and the same on the way out due to the long distance...though they get your gear in on the same day usually around mid day. We've been using mules to stock our base camp the last few times we've gone in there and it's great. A good tip, though, it not to start hauling a bunch of crap in there just because you have mules to shlep the load. More or less plan as if you had to carry it all, then throw in a few comforts like the beefy sleeping pad and a box of vino. The lighter loads saves you money and reduces number of mules going in. here's a picture of Brooke, who was one of our packers this last time...not your typical chew spittin' rough-neck!
Brooke wrangling mules into Angel Wings base camp before the ascent of...
Brooke wrangling mules into Angel Wings base camp before the ascent of Valkyrie
Credit: alpinist
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Nov 17, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
what sort of costs are we talking?

By the way, next time anyones thinking of going into the bugaboos / applebee camp the same thing is available, with human porters from the CMH lodge. I think its about 100 $ for fifty pounds or so.
Very worth doing if you like to have martini's and steaks for the barbie after a day of climbing.
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
The other question I recall out there was about rapping the route. Valkyrie is set up with bolted anchors at each belay station up to pitch 13, with a good percentage of those stations on a good ledge. The route can be descended pretty easily from the top of pitch 12 (the "crusty orange ledge") with 2 60 meter ropes. You skip station 11 (only 1 bolt and off to the side) It is possible, but difficult to rap from station 13 as it's at the end of a long traverse with a lot of features a pulled rope can hang up on...plus at that point you're home free...

The anchors are bomber, but not ring style hangers. As of September 2012 all the rappel anchors from pitch 12 down are slung with super-tape and either a rap-ring or carabiners in place. We fixed the route on this last time so that Epi could jug alongside and shoot the ascent. Should be some great pix. Not sure when or where he'll publish them, but there's talk of Peter writing a piece for Alpinist with Epi's images to come out next summer.

photo attached of station 13 bolts at end of a day that we established 6 new pitches and I hand drilled over 12 3/8" x 2 1/4" bolts for belay stations and a few lead protection bolts...yikes! Frazzled Forearms!

cheers!
Dave
standard issue bolts at belay stations on Valkyrie.
standard issue bolts at belay stations on Valkyrie.
Credit: alpinist
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 03:04pm PT
This is just an estimate and I think Charlie may have to raise his prices in the future but I recall about $225 for the packer and horse, then $125 for each mule. the mules can carry about 55 kilo's each, though bulky items can take up room and cut into the load. Those are per day prices so multiply that by 1.5 if you're figuring on Hamilton Lake. This summer we used 4 mules in and 3 mules out. Our cost for going in was $1250 or about 300 bucks each in and a bit less coming out.
Borut

climber
french, spider
Nov 17, 2012 - 03:20pm PT
Bravo!
TFPU!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 17, 2012 - 04:09pm PT
If you got bucks there is a very nice tent-hotel only 4 miles away:

http://www.visitsequoia.com/bearpaw.aspx


Hamilton Lake campground can get pretty crowded since it is a prime stop on the High Sierra Trail. I noticed several nice areas to camp between the waterfall and Hamilton Lake. You'd need bear canisters for the food for sure. There is a real nice bench opposite the 'Wings near the trail.

The trail in from Crescent Meadow is by far the best. If you are having permit troubles you can also enter via Wolverton. If you are bold you could go cross country via Pear Lake, Moose Lake etc. but that would not be fast. You can also get to Angel Wings via Mineral King in almost the same distance (15 miles) but there is much more elevation gain and loss. Three different trail heads from Mineral King would get you there. Crossing the Kaweah at high water below Bearpaw meadow is... adventurous.

My mind was suitably blown when Peter mentioned on the other thread that he an Andy "day tripped" it. 30-36 miles hiking plus a major grade VI wall!

alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
Yo Spider, some good info on your comments in the thread...lot's of ways to get into that part of the Great Western Divide and a lot of great climbing once you get there!

Just to clarify though, Peter and Andrew's one day "car to car" climb mentioned on the other thread was referring to his recent dash in to Merriam Peak to do two routes in a day on that peak (routes he had previously established, about 6 pitches each I believe..). Clearly still a rocking hard day and I'm certain that Valkyrie will be a prime contender to get a car to car ascent since the 16 pitches are straightforward and the hike (though 16 miles) is relatively mild with a light pack. I might go so far as to say I;d rather hike in with a rack and rope for a one day blitz of Valkyrie than hump an overnight load in there....hmmmm sounds fun!

cheers!
Dave
photo not found
Missing photo ID#274266
David Wilson

climber
CA
Nov 17, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
My dad was with Steck on the FA of the original route. It was left of yours pretty much the whole way, finishing in the big chimney system. It looks like you might have shared one pitch #9. They made a movie of that climb that's quite vintage and cool to see. I'll ask Steck if it's digitized - I suspect not.

Michael Graber and Eric Brand and I tried to do their route free in 85ish and got up about 5-6 pitches when Eric ended up leading a bottoming seam and using copperheads etc...and eventually took a long fall....we bailed shortly thereafter.

Great job on this ! That wall is big and proud.
Send

Trad climber
Central Sierra
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:36pm PT
gotta share this.....
I was the manager out at Bearpaw High Sierra Camp this past summer and heard that Nettle and Croft were in the area from some trail crew buds. Me and my crew of 4 were working hard all summer busting out delicious meals and fresh baked goods to our awesome guests in the backcountry. A few of us on the crew were climbers, and I personally was stoked to hear that Croft and Nettle were close by.
Late season we went out to climb the North Arete of Hamilton Dome, directly accross canyon from the Angel Wings. Supposed to be 6 pitches of 5.7. We spotted an easy rap off. Felt pretty good about it all. Went halfway up to where the route steepened and we got bit off route. I bailed on lead twice on some hard 5.10 loose climbing. Had to get lowered from sketchy slings. Later, at camp, we found out we were on North Arete left side 5.10(described in Secors). My partner was not into leading through it so we thought about bailing the route. 'Should we stay or should we go now' was running through my head but then I asked 'What would Croft do?' and went up a third time through a roof section that felt 10d. I felt this huge rush of adrenaline and topped the pitch out to a nice ledge. We did a few more moderate pitches, topped out and rapped all before sunset. Awesome summit register with very little activity in the last 12 years. Only counted about 10 or 12 names total. Dave, saw your name in there twice. Huge inspiration felt from the nearby team of Croft & Nettle and so glad to get it all done. I later found out that Thau and Epperson were involved which is even more awesome. Thanks for doing what you guys do!
Oh and by the way, Brooke the packer dropped off a lot of loads for us too. Something special that one! Didn't see her put a dip in once.
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
SOLID!!! I'm bummed I missed your slides a few night ago. Thanks for posting. Cheers mate!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Nov 18, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
Wow! Awesome guys! Nice work. Looks like a gem!!!
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 11:07am PT
On this last trip to the Wings, when we finally completed the route, Epi did essentially all the photography and I really don't have many "on route" images. This one is taken of Peter just pulling up onto "Chiclet Towers" at the top of the 13th with Greg in full "jug and shoot" mode.

I'll see if I can dig up some shots from our previous trips back there to post.
peter croft pulling up onto chiclet towers, pitch 13 on Valkyrie.  gre...
peter croft pulling up onto chiclet towers, pitch 13 on Valkyrie. greg epperson decked out for action, having just jugged the route and photographed Peter and Brandon's entire ascent to this point.
Credit: alpinist
The Alpine

climber
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:42am PT
yeeeeee hawww!
noriko nakagawa

Trad climber
eldorado springs co
Nov 29, 2012 - 06:14pm PT
Great line and topos/photos. Congrats and thanks for sharing!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Nov 29, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
if you did a car-to-car, you couldn't have brooke pack your gear.

as best i can tell, that's one of the high points.
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
this is great stuff, thanks for posting up.
seneca

climber
jamais, jamais pays
Nov 29, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
Well done. Thanks for the post-up and pictures.
How much do you love climbing in the Sierras.
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Nov 29, 2012 - 08:42pm PT
What an awesome place this must be, thanks for the info and the stoke!

Looks like a well-developed trail below, as well. :)
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Nov 29, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
Is the line that continues up the obvious corner halfway up already established? Why break out right?

Must be a pre-established route? Nice route, guys!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Nov 29, 2012 - 10:00pm PT
So sick! What a route, what a formation! Good job and thanks!
Full stoker.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Nov 29, 2012 - 10:12pm PT
Why break out right?

Why burrow back in a slot when you can move out to a more subtle line on a stupendously exposed unclimbed buttress?

Why follow the obvious crack system?

IOW

Why be conservative?


Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Nov 30, 2012 - 02:15pm PT
standard issue bolts at belay stations on Valkyrie

I've been researching the art - including the state of art - of bolting lately. What is the "standard issue" in the high sierra these days? Are the bolts in your pic (last page) SS or something other? Are your hangers SS? Thanks!
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 03:04pm PT
just dipping back into this thread with a cool photo that david wilson shared showing the original line on the main wall that was established in 1965 by Steck, Dick Long and Jim Wilson and his dad. The red line is our new line on Valkyrie, the green dots are the original aid line and the red dots to the left
Angel Wings Main Wall showing (L to R) wilson, graber, brand a...
Angel Wings Main Wall showing (L to R) wilson, graber, brand attempt 1985 w red dots/original steck et al aid line 1965 w green/nettle, croft, thau Valkyrie 2012 w red line
Credit: alpinist
is the line that David Wilson, Mike Graber and Eric Brand (solid team!) attempted to free in '85 or so...they were thwarted by having to revert to a significant amount of aid and decided to abandon the attempt as their goal was an all free line.

To address a question a few reply's back about going into the obvious cleft at the halfway point...we chose to avoid it because it was already part of the original line, the buttress looked sweet and the corner was loose and scrappy.

at the point where our route cuts right and the original line heads into the cleft is a large sloped grassy alcove called "upper bear paw meadows" where we found some old rusted cans from Steck and crew's bivvy...
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Dec 1, 2012 - 03:18pm PT
Cool, congrats again! I thought your line shared more pitches with the old one, but it looks like you split off right at the beginning. Someday...
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2012 - 03:26pm PT
in reply to wondering about "standard bolting practices" it's important to note that "state of the art" is not always the overriding criteria. I just recently watched a video interview of Patrick Edlinger (RIP) filmed a few years ago recounting his early days. When asked why many of his early routes were so run out he replied simply that they didnt have any money to buy bolts!

With Valkyrie, when you climb it, you'll be treated to a "clip" along memory lane with an historical assortment of bolts reflecting the various attempts over the years as well as the availability and or changes in bolting gear over the past 2 decades.

Lower on the route you'll find a few 1/4" buttonheads in good shape, a couple 5/16" sleeve bolts (a short lived alternative during the lean years when rawl stopped producing buttonheads and before fixe did..), a couple 5/16" buttonheads and (thankfully) mostly 3/8" x 2 1/4 redheads with fixe hangers..some SS and some plated, but I'm guessing your grandkids will be much happier clipping "old" 3/8" sinkers than we are now clipping manky old 1/4" spinners!

Anyone wishing to replace bolts (that need it) on a route I've put up is always welcome to in the style of the original placement (ie hand drilled). Not so stoked about chopping or adding though..but that's another thread I'm sure! Ha!
dave nettle engaging in "new route therapy" on Angel Wings in 2009...a...
dave nettle engaging in "new route therapy" on Angel Wings in 2009...about halfway up Valkyrie
Credit: alpinist


enjoy!
Dave
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Dec 1, 2012 - 05:28pm PT
Looks killer! Great job!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Dec 1, 2012 - 05:58pm PT
I really REALLY WANT!

Paging Donini...Jim, let's get on that next summer!!!


THANKS for the great post...and AWESOME effort on establishing this line Dave, et al!!!!
David Wilson

climber
CA
Dec 1, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
I was set to have dinner with Steck, Long and my dad tonight but the bad weather kept Long up in Carson city. Their ascent was 1967, just two years after Steck and Long came off the Hummingbird ridge. Those guys were on their game. I'll try to get more beta from the silverbacks when I see them. Their route seems ahead of its time for back country walls.

Our attempt was in the mid 80's. I think we were on the red dots on the left in the pic above. We arrived at the big ledge ( marked in the pic ) all free. Then what looked good from below turned into seams. Eric led off on a pitch above that ledge and pulled out all the tricks, tied off blades, copperheads, hooks etc.......He had come off a bunch of badass EC routes, so he was fine with the turn of events.

Three or four hours into his lead, Graber and I were pretty relaxed, jawboning at the belay, watching a mother bear and her cubs in the talus below. We heard a ping and down Eric came, maybe 50' or more, ending right at the level of the belay about 20 feet to the side. Our conversation abruptly interrupted, Eric looked over and delivered a cool "watch the slack dude " then finished the pitch. We got up under the overhanging slot in the pic and that looked like more aid as well. The whole endeavor had gone from a free climb to a hard aid route and we weren't there for that.

Awesome you guys pulled this route off all free !

The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 1, 2012 - 09:45pm PT
Did you guys consider moving right to the upper route on pitch 8 above those roofs?

That looks like it could go in the photo...
alpinist

Trad climber
tahoe city
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 3, 2012 - 09:46am PT
Oh yeah. That was our original "target"...sweeping out onto the upper buttress right above the roofs. but like a lot of Angel Wings real estate, looks can be deceiving... And if you want to snoop around out there, there's a bolted belay station and a few lead bolts leading out there into the void... That direction was abandoned due to very poor rock, and discontinuous features. Peter headed up there and had a couple hours of touch and go just finding a place to wiggle in a shitty cam to lower off of...I;ve never seen him more relieved to be off of something...enough said in my book.

Although the line looks like it avoids good features around pitch 8-9 that's actually one of the more enjoyable sections of the route with steep crafty face climbing into hidden flares and features. No doubt this wall can and will sprout variations along the way, but we were just stoked to connect a continuous, quality line and scamper back to Hamilton Lake for sunset and a mug or two of vino..
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Dec 3, 2012 - 10:04am PT
What an incredibly refreshing and inspiring thread. Great work, guys! This is what it's all about!
MisterE

Social climber
Dec 3, 2012 - 10:10am PT
Great looking line! Congrats to the team for the fulfillment of the years-long effort.

Three or four hours into his lead, Graber and I were pretty relaxed, jawboning at the belay, watching a mother bear and her cubs in the talus below. We heard a ping and down Eric came, maybe 50' or more, ending right at the level of the belay about 20 feet to the side. Our conversation abruptly interrupted, Eric looked over and delivered a cool "watch the slack dude " then finished the pitch.

That is really funny, Dave!
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 3, 2012 - 10:17am PT
With all the possibilities on that formation, combined with the size, there should be lots of free routes. I've always thought that just from photos, but the rock quality factor is the wild card, I guess.

The whole formation is one of the most inspiring in the Sierra for sure.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Dec 3, 2012 - 10:27am PT
Dave has apparently found the anti-aging secret. He hasn't change much over the years...well except for losing the mustache:)
Living large
Living large
Credit: can't say
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jan 24, 2013 - 10:48am PT
BUMP and the story from AAJ web site

http://aaj.americanalpineclub.org/climbs-and-expeditions/north-america/contiguous-united-states-lower-48/california/2012-sequoia-national-park-angel-wings-valkyrie-by-brandon-thau/
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
I highly recommend checking out Alpinist 44 for a quality Peter Croft article about the route.
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