Steck-Salathe TR 6/9/06


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Slovak Republic, Europe
Jun 19, 2006 - 12:51pm 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

Chalet Neva-Care
Jun 19, 2006 - 12:59pm 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.

Trad climber
auburn, california
Jun 19, 2006 - 02:05pm PT
awesome job on an awesome route! you gotta love that slot move.


Trad climber
Fort Mill, SC
Jun 19, 2006 - 04:23pm PT
Congratulations! Nice report too, inspirational.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2006 - 11:23pm PT
I faced as in both photos in the thread. Facing more or less downstream. Right shoulder towards the valley.
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.

Trad climber
Golden, Colorado
Jun 20, 2006 - 08:56am PT
Thanks for the TR. Great pictures! I think that this climb is one of the best...period.

Mountain climber
Jun 20, 2006 - 09:51am 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

Jun 20, 2006 - 10:07am PT
Great TR Zander. Congrats on the send.


Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 20, 2006 - 10:13am 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

Jun 20, 2006 - 10:39am PT
Very nice. A fun read.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2006 - 07:30pm PT
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,

Mountain climber
Jun 21, 2006 - 01:22am 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.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2006 - 09:26pm 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.
Jerry Coe

Trad climber
Jul 24, 2006 - 06:25pm 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.

tahoe city, ca.
Jul 24, 2006 - 07:37pm PT
Don't know anything about the narrows but I like the Powermatic.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jul 25, 2006 - 04:08am 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 - 01:00pm PT
Hi Zander, congratutlations. Great report.

And, Hi Jerry. Welcome to ST land.

Best, Roger
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 20, 2007 - 12:49am PT

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 - 12:56pm 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.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2007 - 06:34pm PT
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.
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