Steck-Salathe TR 6/9/06

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Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 16, 2006 - 07:47pm PT
Steck-Salathe TR 6/9/06

Finally, after seven years, I’ve finished my Steck–Salathe “project”. Soon after starting to do roped climbing in 1999, at age 39, I decided to set the SS as my goal. Exactly why is lost to time but I’m pretty sure it was reading Steve Roper’s Camp 4. Back then it was rated 5.9. I made it to the top of the climb a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say that I actually climbed it. I ran out of water before getting to the narrows. I pretty much pulled on the rope and cried for my mommy the rest of the way. We had to bivy on top too. After that, I practiced for almost a year, sometimes on the squeeze chimney I built. Unfortunately. I ruptured a tendon in my bicep which set me back six months. Never the less last fall I gave it another try. Though I climbed competently, I was slow. My mind just wasn’t in it. We retreated from the top of the Wilson Overhang pitch. For the SS you’ve got to have your mind and your body together.
I climbed well all this spring. I knew my overall fitness was not as good as it usually is this time of year. I hadn’t done any long backpacks and the rainy winter hindered my workouts. Never the less, I decided I wanted to do the climb as soon as possible, just to start the summer strongly. I figured I had been “just glad to be here” on previous trips and needed to take a more aggressive attitude if I wanted to climb the route well. My partner, Jon, had been looking for someone to do the route. He climbs a lot better than me so I felt very lucky. We planned the climb for Friday, 6/9. I was hoping that doing it on a weekday would keep down the crowds. There had been between one and three other parties on previous trips. At the last moment it looked like Jon wouldn’t be able to make it. I called and e-mailed everyone who I thought might be interested. Ed e-mailed me back that he was game. Before I got back to him Jon found he could go. It was a good thing for Ed because he ended up doing a first ascent with Eric.
We decided to go light, one BD bullet pack, two quarts of water each. I took a hat, headlamp, a lightweight fleece shirt, 6 granola bars and a space bag. My first aid kit was four 4x4 gauze pads, a roll of tape, a small knife and a few NoDoz. This is about half of what I would normally bring on a long climb. Jon took even less. His bivy gear was a large garbage bag and youth. The leader would not have a pack. Fearing heat more than cold I wore shorts. I wore 1/8” neoprene knee braces. We took one 9.6 x 60 meter rope. We took two sets of stoppers to #10, two sets of TCUs ( some aliens substituted) and two sets of Camelots #.5 through #3. Plus #4 and #4.5 Camelots. We taped the night before.
We woke at Hardin Flat at 4:00. We started up the first pitch at 6:20.
Here’s the entry ramp after you stash your approach shoes.

Yosemite falls

El Cap

Looking up on the approach.

There was a couple in front of us. They were doing the alternate direct start, which starts straight down from the 5.8 lieback on the first pitch. I’ve heard it is 5.10 jamming or 5.9 lieback. The one time I did it, it was just really hard and I hauled on the rope. I led the first pitch. The 5.8 move at the chockstone is very awkward for me. It took three tries to figure it out. Right after there is about 30 feet of groveling that I think is the “Welcome to Sentinel “ wake up call. The steep 5.8 lieback was easier than I remembered. I climbed over the other teams rope at the lieback so I decided to belay at the first belay ledge instead of going to the second in what I think is the normal way. I exchanged a few pleasant words with the woman seconding as she went by me. I remember her name as Erica. Both of them are Stanford grad students. I hadn’t said anything to Jon about the first pitch but as he reached the belay he said, “I guess that was a sample of what’s to come” so he got the “Welcome” too.
Looking up from the P1 belay

Jon climbed to half way up ST P3, setting up a belay at the pin on a big ledge. The 5.8 move off the P1 belay is tricky and a little burley.
Looking down low on P3

Because the belay was half way up P3 I got to lead the 5.7 overhanging groove which is fun. I had to wait at the bottom of the Wilson Overhang for Erica to follow it. I took these pictures.


I’d been to the top of the Wilson Overhang three times but had never led it. All my chimney practice was paying off though and I did pretty well. The 5.10 is just a few feet long but the whole pitch is basically burley 5.8. Chimney to squeeze to lieback to thin hands. Here’s a picture looking down the 5.8 hand at the top of the pitch.

Jon bypassed the 5.9 OW on the next pitch by setting a piece high and then doing the 5.8 face which is balancey and fun.
Looking up at the 5.9 OW

He skipped the regular belay and set up below the 5.8+ OW in the middle of ST P6 using the old pin. I was starting to get a little tired so Jon took the pitch. I had cleaned the belay and was looking up wishing for a strategy. I remembered it being hard. To get a better view and take a last rest I stepped over onto the pin. A voice behind me says, “You’re not supposed to do that”. In surprise I look down and a smiling climber is soloing up to me. I told him “I really don’t care because I’m starting to get tired”. He says, “It’s too early to get tired. You’re still on the approach”. Ouch! Apparently, his name is Zack and he’s been doing a lot of soloing. Jon has had conversations with him before. We exchanged a few more words before he disappeared above me. The 5.8+ was more reasonable this time. The next pitch is the easiest of the climb, excepting the last. Though I was leading I felt I was taking a break, especially since I didn’t need to put in that much pro. I took the left side though the ST takes the right. Jon went right past me into the tunnel through. I untied and he pulled the rope. By the time I got through he was half way down the rappel. Here’s a picture.

I had remembered the next pitch as being fun and easy for 5.9. Bad memory! Jon told me that as he led it he kept thinking, “Zander said this one isn’t bad,” grunted through the lieback/stem moves.
Looking up the pitch

I was pretty tired as I reached the belay. The nice thing about the slab pitch is you can stay on your feet. I managed to put in a #4 stopper up high to protect the move to the hole. The move looks scary but was fine, maybe 5.7. The pro is just a little sketchy after that but the moves are fine. A new bolt protects the 5.9 long reach to the left, switching cracks. This is a tricky move. Here’s Jon following the pitch.

Jon led the crux pitch very well. I had pulled on the rope to get through this section on my first trip. This time it went nicely. Probably because I wasn’t leading I chugged right up it. I had been thinking about leading the Narrows for so long. Yet when I stood there looking at how really small the entrance was I found it daunting. It took me three tried to finally huck myself up into it.

I felt I could lead it but I was just so tired. I lowered myself out and asked Jon to do it. I suffered about three seconds of self-loathing but the relief of not having to lead the pitch quickly restored my equilibrium. Jon decided to trail the rack, which is a great idea. I remember others have recommended this on ST. He set the BD 4.5 at the lip and the BD 4 about four feet further up. He then ran it out about 20 feet to a good TCU placement. He was climbing really well. Now on top rope I wiggled my way up to the narrowest section, about 25 feet up. I remembered this section from last time. My figure eight made a nice yellow-green bruise on the side of my stomach as I strained to push my way through. For a few minutes I was stuck. Dark and ignominious thoughts filled my brain. Moving over three inches and blowing all the air out of my lungs I was able to wiggle a foot higher. One more time and I grabbed a two inch ledge and hauled myself into the reasonable size chimney above. Saved! The squeeze goes for another 30 feet but it’s thankfully wider. The 5.7 at the top of the pitch protects well but is really hard, or maybe just tricky for tired minds. Jon took the next pitch to give me a rest. Looking up the pitch after the narrows.

I took the mantel pitch, which is short and benign. You belay in a cool alcove looking out at the last hard section of the climb. Here are a picture of the start of the next pitch.

I remembered it being really cool 5.9 climbing on flakes and it proved to be a great 20 feet of climbing. This time my memory didn’t fail me. Jon was getting pretty tired but he climbed well and safely. By this time I was incredibly tired, just beat. I fell three times on the crux. I found I really could only do hand jams so I had to bypass some good face holds. I really don’t know if this made it harder or not. Did I mention I was tired? I led the last pitch and we were done. 12 hours 50 minutes. Summit shots.
Jon

Zander

I was so tired I moved at a snails pace on the descent. The descent is not all that hard just really long. There are many sections of Yosemite 4th class (5.3?) downclimbing. The light disappeared after we crossed the stream. We did a lot more downclimbing by headlamp. We picked up our shoes at the beginning of the ramps and drank the water we had left there. I was moving so slowly Jon went on ahead to change and snack. I finally stumbled to the car about 10:45. Wendy was glad to get my call at 11:00.
This climb is hard. There’s no getting around it. Yet there is pitch after pitch of fun climbing and a great summit. I recommend it. Most likely I’ll forget the pain and let someone talk me into going up there again. If I do I’m going for the outside of the narrows.
I could never have done this climb, or had so much fun on it, without the three partners that went up there with me. Greg White, Karl Baba and Jon Brooks, thanks guys.
Zander
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Jun 16, 2006 - 07:49pm PT
Good TR and good job!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 16, 2006 - 08:04pm PT
Bravo Zander! thanks for the trip report and the pictures... brings it all home!

spyork

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Jun 16, 2006 - 08:17pm PT
Great TR! Thats one of my big goals as well. Nicely done.

Steve
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 16, 2006 - 08:41pm PT
Nice TR,
What a nice piece of history that route is; did it first in '79 and guided it in '86 with a tough guy ex-army ranger who was in his 40's at the time.

I had a Pepsi and a Pipeload on the Flying Butress and dropped down into the chimney, then up the 5.9 fist on a nice buzz.

Thanks for the effort!
'Fun read.
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
Jun 16, 2006 - 09:12pm PT
Great TR and be proud of your training to be worthy of the climb and then your actual ascent. You did it in good style, fighting all the way.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jun 16, 2006 - 09:26pm PT
Zander...Our paths aren't so different, so I'm always really rooting for you when I see your TRs or your plans. When I saw "Steck-Salathe TR" next to your name, I had my fingers crossed of you as I opened it, and probably was more interested in hearing that you pulled it off than I have been of any of the recent superhero feats. I hope that doesn't sound too weird, but your stories have definately been one of my more inspiring takes from the internet. Huge kudos...I feel proud for you!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 16, 2006 - 09:56pm PT
Congrats Bro!

Awesome ascent! I'm sore just thinking about it.

"If I do I’m going for the outside of the narrows." Yeah, that's what I always say too but it looks pretty dang scary when you're there!

Did you face North or South in the Narrows?

Peace

Karl
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jun 16, 2006 - 10:25pm PT
Great stuff! You really shared the feeling with us. Makes me want go back for thirds
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Jun 17, 2006 - 04:22pm PT
Karl,

North/south? Isn't it more east or west? Wouldn't it be a lot harder to get up in there facing upstream? I didn't even consider that at all.

Zander,

I liked your report and all the pictures. I thought this was a really fun climb, but I hated the long loose decent. Still, maybe my memory of that is just about fuzzy enough that I'm ready to go do it all over again. Good job.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 17, 2006 - 04:34pm PT
"Karl,

North/south? Isn't it more east or west? Wouldn't it be a lot harder to get up in there facing upstream? I didn't even consider that at all. "

South means facing the main wall, North means facing the Yosemite Falls. Upstream is East, Downstream is west.

at least the way I remember it

Peace

Karl
yo

climber
I'm so over it
Jun 17, 2006 - 06:26pm PT
bump

One of the all-time routes.

Oh, and that shot looking down Valley is nuts. I had no idea Sentinel was in that position.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 17, 2006 - 08:35pm PT
Russ, Ed, Steve, Tar, David, Melissa, Karl, Jay, Fingerlocks and Yo,
Thanks for your kind words. This is a great route!
Melissa,
I remember reading a post of yours two years ago about the SS. I've always wondered if you went for it. If you haven't, keep the idea alive. If you have, give us a report. The funny thing about Supertopo is that I really feel I know so many people here really well that on reflection are not really my friends at all in the traditional sense. Still, there is a line from a Bujold novel, "The diference between heaven and hell is the company you keep". I feel like I'm in good company here.
I hope to climb with you all sometime.
Zander
Gary Carpenter

climber
SF Bay Area
Jun 18, 2006 - 09:48am PT
Zander:

Thanks for the inspirational TR! It gives hope to guys like me who started climbing later in life but still have dreams of getting up some of the classic test pieces.

You mentioned that you built a practice squeeze chimney. What was your design? Ed and I are still working my OW crack machine Wednesday evenings. A squeeze chimney would make a nice companion piece. (The neighbors already think I’m nuts so this will just confirm their judgement).

I also enjoyed your Chockstone Chimney TR It’s on our list for this season.

Gary

Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jun 18, 2006 - 11:28am PT
Very nicely done. Great trip report. That´s an all time mountain climbing type of experience. A proud send for anyone.
JL
F10 Climber F11 Drinker

Trad climber
e350
Jun 18, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
Nice TR, I really enjoyed all the photos, they brought back some great memories. Did the route back in 75 when I was 19, makes me wish I had some photos of the climb, thanks for the memories and great job
JB
off route

Trad climber
s lake tahoe
Jun 18, 2006 - 03:33pm PT
awesome story and pics, congrats.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jun 19, 2006 - 07:15am PT
Zander...I still haven't climbed the Steck-Salathe, or even on the Sentinel. It seems like I'm always in some way training for it though. Maybe one of these days, I'll feel like the stars have aligned. In any case, it was really cool to see you actually reach your goal.
scuffy b

climber
Chalet Neva-Care
Jun 19, 2006 - 08:59am PT
Way to go Zander!
You really paid your dues for this one.
This is a great trip report, big on the human element, loaded
with nice photos.
Gary asks about your chimney so here it goes:
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Jun 19, 2006 - 09:14am PT
whoa. that thing really looks like opening moves into the narrows.

not that i've ever been there or anything. but i hope to, yet. zander gives all us oldn's hope
kubko

climber
Slovak Republic, Europe
Jun 19, 2006 - 09:51am PT
Scuffy, those cracks to the left of the picture are adjustable or just fixed to different widths? In any case, it looks a great home wall! I could use someting like that unfortunately I have no place where to build it.
scuffy b

climber
Chalet Neva-Care
Jun 19, 2006 - 09:59am PT
All the cracks including the chimney are adjustable.
I've only had the good fortune to visit ZanderLand once.
That day they ranged from I think 7/8" to 4.25".
Zander said that the chimney had been used to simulate Chockstone
Chimney before he got back into his Narrows training.
fattrad

Mountain climber
bay area
Jun 19, 2006 - 10:59am PT
Zander,

Thanks fo rthe great trip report, it brings back my memories of one long and very humbling June day in 1978. Good send!!!

Jody's evil twin.
bobmarley

Trad climber
auburn, california
Jun 19, 2006 - 11:05am PT
awesome job on an awesome route! you gotta love that slot move.

Jay

Trad climber
Fort Mill, SC
Jun 19, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
Congratulations! Nice report too, inspirational.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2006 - 08:23pm PT
Karl,
I faced as in both photos in the thread. Facing more or less downstream. Right shoulder towards the valley.
Gary,
I'm enjoying this, before I can log on and answer your question, ScuffyB answers it for me. It's just 2x4s, plywood and GECO deck with 60 mesh sand. Elastomeric paint instead of Geco would work. A little sanding if needed. The cracks are on allthread so they are adjustable. Give me a call if your coming into Berkeley and we'll climb some wood.
I'm going to get someone to measure me. The narrows is even smaller than I thought.

See you all on the rock.
Zander
Grug

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Jun 20, 2006 - 05:56am PT
Thanks for the TR. Great pictures! I think that this climb is one of the best...period.
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Jun 20, 2006 - 06:51am PT
Hey dude,
I'm in the same boat. Getting older every year (51 and counting). When I got back into climbing 4 years ago (after a very long hiatus) I thought SteckSal would be cool (oh yea, along with Astro Man- we can dream :). But as things happen age seems to run faster than fitness. I'm not getting any stronger season by season. And now I'm working full time again. Things can only go downhill. So at this point I'm thinking if I'm going to do this thing I am just going to have to plan on a bivy. Are there any ledges flat enough to really sleep? Anyone else use this strategy. I assume hauling even a small pack would be the shits. But a warm summer night should be doable in a light rain parka and climbing clothes. What do people think. Make the thing back into a real grade V.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Jun 20, 2006 - 07:07am PT
Great TR Zander. Congrats on the send.

DMT
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 20, 2006 - 07:13am PT
Hauling would SUCK. Plan for a full moon in June or something and just keep climbing. If you bonk, bivy for a couple hours. if not--you made it!

Great TR. The S-S remains the hardest thing I've ever done.
the Fet

climber
Earth
Jun 20, 2006 - 07:39am PT
Very nice. A fun read.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 04:30pm PT
Rockermike,
There is one, or maybe two, S-S trip reports on Tuan's Yosemite Rock Page which have intentional bivy's. Both I think have Brutus of Wyde as a participant so maybe he'll have advise on a two day ascent. There is a good bivy shown on the Supertopo right after the rappell. I think Tuan's is accessable through a "Our Favorite Links" here on Supertopo. Hauling would be tough but since not climbing the route is unacceptable, you may just need really small packs.
See ya,
Zander
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Jun 20, 2006 - 10:22pm PT
Hey Zander,
You said you took a small pack. How'd you handle that. Second carried while climbing and daisy chain tailed thru chimneys I might guess. Or did you outright haul it on parts. what's your opin on packs on this route. Can you haul something thru the narrow bits? If we were to bivy at the very least we'd need a bit of water.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2006 - 06:26pm PT
Hey Rockermike,
This trip the follower wore the pack when possible and trailed the pack on a three foot sling in the chimneys. A two foot sling is too short in the narrows. You need to be able to cross your feet to get to footholds. Last time both of us trailed packs in the chimneys. Perhaps the leader could trail a small pack like the BD bullet and the follower could trail a slightly bigger pack. This might get you 2 1/2 gallons of water or a little more. Hauling would be rough. While in his seventies Steck got trapped in the Narrows trying to free the haulbag. He had to bivy there. The guy's tough.
Zander
Jerry Coe

Trad climber
Berkeley,CA
Jul 24, 2006 - 03:25pm PT
Zander: Great TR. Made my hands sweaty, my knees hurt, and reminded me of scratching my long nose in squeeze chimneys. Your efforts to becaome a good and safe climber in these fews years is commendable.
mike

climber
tahoe city, ca.
Jul 24, 2006 - 04:37pm PT
Don't know anything about the narrows but I like the Powermatic.
nutjob

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 25, 2006 - 01:08am PT
I missed this thread when it was fresh, glad to see you made it Zander! Feels good to get something you've worked hard for!
Roger Breedlove

Trad climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jul 25, 2006 - 10:00am PT
Hi Zander, congratutlations. Great report.

And, Hi Jerry. Welcome to ST land.

Best, Roger
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 19, 2007 - 09:49pm PT
Zander,

Thanks for referencing your trip report from the Narrows photos thread - great stories and photos. FYI, the party ahead of you at the start was Dan Arnold and Erika Monahan.

I had an epic the first time I tried Steck-Salathe', in 1977. We started the approach in the dark and missed the main diagonal ramp; ending up soloing to the base of the Chouinard-Herbert from the left side of the wall. We finally reached the real base and the sun got to us shortly afterwards. We didn't know about trailing the back but managed to make it to the Flying Buttress for a dry bivvy. The next morning we rapped off the left side of the Flying Buttress with our single 150' rope, having to "give back" the booty slings and hexes we had scored on the way up the route. We felt lucky to have survived!

Later I went back and did most of the route, but above the Narrows we traversed over and finished on the Chouinard-Herbert. It's time to get back on it and "do it right", like you did!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 21, 2007 - 09:56am PT
It has been a long time since I did the Steck Salathe but I remember the Narrows as being pretty tame once I actually came to grips with it. The old school warm up for that section was the Left Side of the Tilted Mitten. I never went up to "practice" but am curious if anybody else did long ago?
The Roper description goes as follows.

II, 5.9. Galen Rowell and Gary Colliver, August 1962. The Mitten is a 200-foot exfoliation slab located several hundred yards left of Pharaoh's Beard. It lies directly below an impressive, orange, right-facing open book which is visible from the valley floor. This obvious route consists of very difficult jamcracks and chimneys.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2007 - 03:34pm PT
Steve,
I'll go over and check out the Left Side of the Tilted Mitten. Sounds interesting.

I climbed the Left Side of Moby Dick last Sunday and was thinking it would be good SS training. More chimney than squeeze and pretty sustained. The short second pitch was good too.
Zander
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
Nov 21, 2007 - 07:24pm PT
A few months late but the post is still fresh: thanks for the TR. It would be great if all the posts were TR's like yours. (The politics and flame wars just degrade the usefulness of ST to the climbing community.)

More TR's!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 21, 2007 - 07:38pm PT
Zander,
Gary and I went over to do Tilted Mitten, Right (June 4, 2005), didn't and got a good look of Tilted Mitten, Left... we should talk about it before you go...

maybe Mental Block is a better objective over there
nick d

Trad climber
nm
Nov 21, 2007 - 08:19pm PT
Zander, that is a great TR! Congratulations on a fine climb. I never get to the valley, but SS is one of my longstanding goals also. Hopefully I can fare as well as you did on your fine effort if I make it out there. Congratulations again on a steller effort!

Tarbuster....What the hell were you thinking? Pepsi? You are lucky your hair didn't burst into flames, Michael Jackson style. Stick to the real thing, my man.

Michael
SteveW

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Nov 23, 2007 - 10:00am PT
Great TR Zander. SS has always been one of my goals.
Even at our advanced ages. . . I'll still get it yet!
Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA
Nov 23, 2007 - 01:47pm PT
Great TR Zander, Glad to see it, I think I missed it first time around! (Or maybe my senility is kicking in)

Yes, I bivied on my first time up the SS, just before the tunnel-through behind the Flying Buttress. Climbed the aid headwall on that trip. sweet.

Later Steck, Inez and I bivied a couple pitches below the Flying Buttress after a 1 pm start (Steck was hoping for good photography light, hence the late start... 44th anniversary of the FA, as I recall.)

I've also done the route in about 11 hours car-to-car (not remarkable, but it shows that even a gumby like me can get up the thing without a bivy when things work just right)

Although there are ledges in several locations, I DO NOT recommend hauling bivy gear up this route. You will loose time in many places getting the pack un-stuck. You may have to haul the pack outside the narrows. Also, there is quite a bit of loose rock which a haul pack will dislodge. Bad, Bad idea.

Best strategy (which I will employ next time I do it) is to hike to the top of the Sentinel several days before doing the route. If you expect to be way slow, like me, stash water, descent shoes, food, headlamps, and sleeping bags at the top. If you are a mite quicker, skip the sleeping bags. Either way, get up, get on it, and get to the top in one day.

Leave a second set of approach shoes at the start of the approach ramp at the start of the day... only about 100 feet out of your way to pick 'em up on the way down.

The added bonus of this strategy is that it allows you to be quite familiar with the descent when you start up the climb, which can be very useful if you end up descending in the dark.

BTW, even if you climb this beast and top out near full moon, the north-facing descent slabs near the bottom are often in pitch-black shadow with the moon behind the south rim of the Valley. I found that out after climbing Chouinard Herbert, expecting moonlight, and having to bivy at the juncture of the gullies. Good thing the night was short.

Brutus
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 26, 2007 - 05:04pm PT
"Tilted Mitten, Left... we should talk about it before you go... "
uh oh! This doesn't sound good.

SteveW,
Go for it. Then let us know how it went.


Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Nov 26, 2007 - 05:10pm PT
thanks for the really cool post Zander - marvelous.
Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Nov 26, 2007 - 05:25pm PT
Zander
Great TR. Looking at the photos brings back the feel, texture and even smells.
Or just an old man day dreaming?
khanom

Trad climber
the pit
Dec 20, 2007 - 07:41pm PT
Bump for a great TR
gomer-pyle

Big Wall climber
I am everywhere
May 4, 2008 - 07:07pm PT
sweet bump...
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 8, 2008 - 01:14am PT
Christ, and to think I gave up an opportunity to climb the SS with Steck in 1960 in favor of a hot date while crusing through tenth grade in high school. I use to say hindsite was free, but there are scars associated with it. Did try the first winter ascent with Kor several years later, but that is another story.
Demented

climber
May 8, 2008 - 06:51am PT
whoa. another early 60's dood. not many around here. tom higgins and oli, basically. and eric beck's paltry 4 posts. so who is guido? come on, you gotta out yourself...!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
May 8, 2008 - 07:56am PT
What a great TR! Makes us mortals feel hopeful.
Something new for my old man tick list...
the Bucket List!
Who's guido???
Mike.

climber
May 8, 2008 - 03:15pm PT
Nice report, classic climb. Way to go, Zander.


I'm wondering how early it usually gets done. A couple bros did it two weeks ago and did a bunch of raps down the ice-filled descent. They eventually bivied on it. I wonder if that's standard fare for an early descent.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 9, 2008 - 03:09am PT
guido here: aka joe mckeown. Grew up in Berserkley. Lucky to be involved with lots of valley climbs circa 58-70's. First ascent of Coonyard,Marginal, Hour Glass, Hinterland and a host of many first and second ascents with a plethora of climbing partners :Roper, Steck, Kamps,Beck, Amborn,Sacherer,Rowell,Powell, Robbins,Merry, Pratt, Harding, Chouinard,Kor,Hickman,Reed,Hempel,Boche, Hennek,Foott,Daley,Herbert,etc, etc.. You know, the usual suspects. Foott and I made the second ascent of the reg(and only at that time) route on Fairview Dome. Hard to imagine how many ascents since then.

Gravitated to sailing in the early 80's. Built a 50 ft sailboat and spent the 80's in the South Pacific. The cast of characters "cruising"back then reminded me of the Yosemite scene in the early 60's. Wonderful group of characters. Outlaws, bandits, rejects, dropouts, smart dumb and then some you had no idea where they came from.

Spent the 90's in wonderful Santa Cruz and then back to sailing , Currently living in New Zealand after our third pacific crossing and setting up residency. Little climbing now days but still keep in touch with many friends from that era, after almost fifty years. Many have joined me on long passages and there is a great similarity in the "all or none" commitments between setting out on a big wall route and a 20 day ocean passage. Except we can carry our books, wine and women with us!

cheers

joe




SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 9, 2008 - 09:17am PT
Joe
We'd love to hear some stories from back then!
Any pics would be a bonus, but WOW--please let us
hear some!!!!
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 10, 2008 - 11:02am PT
Great TR on a real accomplishment whatever one's climbing level. Our two cents: it also works to clip shoes and a liter bottle to your harnesses, rolled up windbreaker tied around the waist. We let a party of 5.11 climbers pass us low, but hearing them swearing thrutching and yes falling at the Narrows, we went outside. Although you miss a classic bit of the climb, this is a great piece of climbing too: heart-pounding exposure, acceptable pro for a classic route, only "5.8 in the Gunks" if you find the side pull hold up right. Still have to do a bit of 5.9 OW with ancient bolts for pro (having used your only big unit below the overhang). Have at it!
Fletcher

Trad climber
Pasadena, CA
May 10, 2008 - 12:05pm PT
Two years out, almost, and still as fresh as home baked bread. Great trip report Zander, thanks for the photos and writing. I remember reading Brutus' (or was it Inez's?) account of their climb with Stecke back in the wreck.climbing days and was inspired then as well (that may have been before I even began climbing). It's always been on the list for me as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

Fletch
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
May 10, 2008 - 02:44pm PT
Welcome Joe, aka Guido,
Just bought Glen Denny's book of 60s Yosemite photos and saw a picture of you there.
As was said above, we don't get too many from that era represented here. Would enjoy having you share your stories and pictures.
Rick
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 10, 2008 - 10:52pm PT
I will be in back in Americaca for the summer and into the fall.

You have to admire the accomplishments of Steck-very few people have maintained his level of climbing for such a long time. An incentive for all.

Going to get Hennek off his ass and into the mountains for some fun trips. Plan on a trip into the Winds for the first time since 1964-heard it really hasn't changed that much? Guess i ought to ask Kelsey that.

Have great intentions of scanning and digitizing over 20 boxes of memoirs, currently in storage.. Photos, letters and the odd bit of hysterical trivia. Would be fun to dribble it onto ST when I see relevant postings. I just did a search on Sacherer postings. Fascinating all the input and experiences I was unaware of. Think I could write an entire book on trips with him.

Quite entertaining to follow the climbing scene of today. One can only guess where it will be in twenty years.

cheers





Gobie

Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
May 14, 2008 - 10:07pm PT
bump
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
May 14, 2008 - 10:35pm PT
Cik Azz!!!

Now I want to climb it!!!
yo

climber
I drink your milkshake!
Feb 25, 2009 - 09:39am PT
bump

According to Breedlove's old Livesey guide, this whole rig is like 5.6+. Good go anyways!
Fletcher

Trad climber
here to eternity
Feb 25, 2009 - 10:02am PT
Just as good reading through this one a second time!

Fletch
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 25, 2009 - 10:53am PT
More like 5.6++.*

Anyway SS is harder now because stuff that you used to be able to climb has fallen off.

Have you done that route recently Ryan? For me, it was probably 1974 or 75. None of the climbing seemed particularly hard (then) but I was tired in those upper chimneys.

* (Livesey's ratings are not reliable. Like many visitors to the Valley, he fell into the trap of thinking that his personal ratings were more important than the consensus rating.)

Crillz

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 11, 2010 - 03:08pm PT
Bump for an inspiring TR.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 11, 2010 - 06:13pm PT
Nice send! What's next?
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2010 - 06:25pm PT
Hey, where did this thing come from?

Hey donini,
My list this year was going to be LAC again, Basketcase and My Favorite Things. We'll see how it goes, oh yeah!
Zander
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Dec 17, 2013 - 07:54am PT
"Dark and ignominious thoughts" bump.
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