Question about Lost Arrow Spire Direct


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Travis Haussener

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 4, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
My girlfriend and I want to make another trip to Yosemite from SLC sometime in mid-spring (Late March/Late April). Avoiding cragging the whole time I've thought a great idea would be to do the first 4 pitches of Lost Arrow Spire Direct, then camp/ hang out on the big ole belay ledge and rap in the morning. This would allow us to negate haul bags/etc but also get a taste of the big wall experience. I can lead Wasatch 5.9 and can get on some 10's without too much trouble.

Is this an ok idea?
I know this isn't as cool as summiting via a Tyrolean traverse but I think the falls and everything would make it pretty cool.

Any thoughts/ideas are greatly appreciated.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
My first thought:

That's an awful lot of work to spend one night 4 pitches up. You could do the same thing on Sickle, or Peter Pan, or the Leaning Tower, or Washington Column...

The approach is somewhere between tiresome and hateful, depending on your hiking prowess. by the time you do all that work you might feel like you should just go ahead and top out.

How exactly are you negating the haul bag?

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
I might as well get in the first TYPICAL Response.



Don't do a GOOGLYMOOGLY on us!

The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
If you do it, be prepared for MEGA wind and cold temps. That area is the windiest in all of Yosemite Valley.. I know many who have had sleepless nights up there.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
It's a really great ledge, and the one four more pitches up is even better, but ditto on the approach, its a fair bit of work especially if you're not going to finish the route. I'm sure folks can offer up a nice roster of alternates.

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
One word...

Credit: Ihateplastic

But... great views.

Why not South Face Washington Column? Great views, nice ledge, easy (easier) approach, easy descent.

Experience wise I think you will be fine. Especially if you can do a little aid if needed.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Feb 4, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Lost Arrow Direct
Lost Arrow Direct
Credit: Dapper Dan

1st bivy ledge on Lost Arrow Direct
1st bivy ledge on Lost Arrow Direct
Credit: Dapper Dan

Here's the ledge and our two man tent . It would be a lot of work for a four pitch route , but who cares , it's your adventure ...

... and you definitely get a great view and perspective on the Valley.

When we were there the winds weren't that bad ...

Go for it ! Make your girl happy and she'll be more inclined to do walls with you in the future

Trad climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Man you guys are trippin. Its an awesome location and pretty secluded for being directly above the village. The approach is cake and straight forward. I've never slept up there but have done the route twice, once aid and another time free. The free variation has some serious runouts and goes up a slightly different way up the first four and the last few. I recommend the aid and be prepared to climb a bit of wide. My experience up there has been purely magical, in the springtime the falls are going off and you may get the occasional gust or spray but for the most part it should be sunny and warm. All those other options are sure to be a cluster. The LA Direct is usually empty. If you coordinate with another party you can climb to the tip and slide back onto the rim via their tyrolean.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
So that's the no-haul-bag version: cake.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Feb 4, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
Check out my TR for pictures:

I would say ledge above pitch 8 was the best. Very flat and exposed. I would suggest you guys do the whole route if you do 1st 4 pitches. It is much more work, but doing first 4 is also a good amount of work.
OW on pitch 3 is kind of burly but doable. You will need a #5 and a 6 as I remember.

Feb 4, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Too much work for a night on bivy ledge. If you make it 4 pitches up, just finish the route, at least to the notch. But if you make it to the notch, you'll want to climb to the tip!

The nighttime winds are not pleasant at all; in fact they are annoying unless you like being blasted in the face by 40 MPH gust every few minutes and never sleeping. Want to experience it? Just sleep at the base and wait for dusk.

An easier ledge to get to is Dinner Ledge on Washington Column, with an easier approach as well. It's huge with great views of Half Dome.

If you want to camp on a wilder more exposed ledge just A1 the first few pitches of the West Face of Leaning Tower to Awahnee ledge. You will have to figure out how to down aid/ rap off, which is no big deal, and good practice if you ever need to rap an overhanging wall.

The wide bits of the LA Direct are low angle and easy groveling (my memory is 12 years old). But if you plan to summit to the tip and then tyrole out to the rim, you'd need to hike up to the rim first and rap your ropes from the rim and secure them to the notch then jug back out, hike down to the approach and start climbing. You can also rap the face (Roherer sp? rap route) if you don't want the extra effort of hiking up to the rim or if your aren't interested in the tyrolean finish.

Trad climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
Nothing new from me.

Approach sucks ass, not in a good way, and would suck more ass. with snow on it.

It's as windy as a team of corn eating mules.

Didn't sleep a wink at the base. I literally spent the night holding on to a big ass rock.

Still on my tick list.


Trad climber
Melbourne, florida
Feb 6, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
Thats a keeper

It's as windy as a team of corn eating mules.
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