DNB On Middle Cathedral. Now 5.11? What happened?

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survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Original Post - May 8, 2013 - 07:08am PT
A friend just informed me that the DNB is now rated 5.11.

So I looked it up on Supertopo and found that indeed this is true.

In 1980 Keith Royster and I did the monster in 7 hours. We had major discomfort with another team at the beginning, who was extremely rude about being beat to the route. (We spent the night at the base)

They tried to climb right up our asses for the first couple pitches, when we began to pull away. A friend watching from the meadow said it was very obvious as the day developed that we were blasting and they weren't. She said she wished she had a time lapse of the thing.

Anyway, we were in the meadow drinking beers and watching as their headlamps flickered in the chimneys. They bivied and we celebrated. It wouldn't have been so fun, but we were feeling pretty full of ourselves and they had been such dicks at the beginning, that it was particularly sweet.

It's all a bit of a blur, but we ran as much as we could and paid extra attention in the places we had to. Our efforts at speed were more related to wanting to be sure we finished in a day, rather than going for a record.

A few questions. Did something break off? I remember the crux being hard, but I think it was rated 10b at the time?

I also read that climbers have died on the Kat Walk. Is this true?

What is the record for speed? I've never been into speed climbing really, just curious to know if we stand near the Pantheon Of Greatness!

That thing is freekin' huge!
It also seemed burly, but in this day and age it seems like it's not hard if it's not rated 5.13.

In 37 or so years of climbing, I still count it as one of my best days. So I can tell you where it falls on Bruce's scale of greatness.....
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 8, 2013 - 07:17am PT
Great route!

Bruce, let's both go do the route again and then weigh in our opinion....you game?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 07:22am PT
Ummmmmm, I would never survive the thing right now!

I haven't climbed for almost a year and I have too much bulk in my middle and not enough on my calves and forearms!!!

Might be a goal worthy of aspiring to though eh? I sure appreciate the offer though Dean.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
May 8, 2013 - 07:35am PT
They must have recognized that the first pitch was sandbagged.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
May 8, 2013 - 07:37am PT
Might be a goal worthy of aspiring to though eh?


Let me know when you're ready, my friend.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 07:38am PT
They must have recognized that the first pitch was sandbagged.

Well I thought there were a FEW pitches that were, uhhh, conservatively rated, *ahem*...

But I didn't think any were 5.11, and I didn't think I was THAT tough.
I mean I knew I was semi-tough, but, ah hell you know what I mean!

I will, thanks Dean. I think you have to lead me up that 5.7X route in the meadows first...HA!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 8, 2013 - 08:29am PT

I just remember when a buddy of mine
told me Charlie Fowler had soloed it back in
1977. . . still unbelievable.

RIP, Charlie.
Bad Climber

climber
May 8, 2013 - 08:55am PT
5.11? Not unless there's been some significant change. I did the route twice BITD, and I've never been much of a 5.11 guy. There was a root thing sticking out of one shallow corner that provided a good hold, and that thing was shaky when I did it about 30 years ago. It must have been gone/useless for decades now. What else could have changed? For sure the tech crux was A) the damn sandbagged chimney at the start or B) that in-yer-face mantel shortly above.

BAd
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 8, 2013 - 09:07am PT
The softening of American rock?

I did it in the early eighties with Lynn, "Wheels", Wheeler RIP. Ever know him Survival? Little guy from SLC, long red hair, wire glasses, a face climbing demon, He and Royster were friends.

Anyway, wheels led the crux, but I didn't think it was that hard, pretty sure that was in Eb's...
We did it car to car, one rope, no water, leaving the 4 friend behind to save weight, in 5 hrs.
Our friends started after us with more gear, our plan was to hang with them if we couldn't go fast enough. We made it to the chimnies before the sun hit.

At the catwalk I remember Wheels exclaiming, with sweat dripping down his twisted glasses frames and off the tip of his nose.
"I'm so thirsty, those guys are down there with water, and POT!"
That was a big speech for him, probably the only words he spoke all day.
We were back to the car before noon. Our friends spent the night up there.

We came back after dark with Eric Burge and a gallon jug of rotgut red wine and yelled up the cliff at them for an hour or so, to no avail.. They made it down the next morning.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 10:14am PT
I remember Lynn! Didn't really know him though. RIP? How? Didn't know that either.

Yes, definitely EB's for us.

So nobody knows yet, whether something broke, or if it just got upgraded?

5 hrs? Damn! Well, it did get a little shorter between 80 and "early 80's".
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 8, 2013 - 10:17am PT
Barely qualifies as 10a. More like an ultra-long 5.9. Although that first 5.7 pitch was the crux for me too, maybe that should be the 10a part. But the route should not be rated 5.11. Its more in the realm of nutcracker than astroman.
fosburg

climber
May 8, 2013 - 11:10am PT
What was it rated before, 10b? It's a pretty tricky crux, I thought. I remember when Roland down climbed from there after reconsidering the onsight solo.
Is it common knowledge that the Ho Chi Min Trail is a super high quality variation?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 8, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Why stress over a change in rating on a route you feel you can't climb anymore?

You were better than you knew. DNB in 7 hours is right impressive.

DMT
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
May 8, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Thank you for starting this thread, survival. Really curious about this thing. 7 and 5 hours for 2000ft of climbing is really impressive. Especially when I look at the topo and see how sustained it is...

Its more in the realm of nutcracker than astroman.

REALLY????

Why stress over a change in rating on a route you feel you can't climb anymore?

Because of curiosity. This is a great topic compared to 85% of threads around.
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
May 8, 2013 - 11:37am PT
I also read that climbers have died on the Kat Walk.

ON the Kat Walk, or somewhere below?

I tried DNB several years ago. Pack was mismanaged the night before and apparently a bear swiped it right out from under our noses... we both assumed the other must have put it away because it was right there on the table a minute ago. We substituted my ill fitting book bag. After a small shart on the mantle move, we had enough. A Canadian friend referred to it as "Do Not Bother"... so I never went back. Either way, there is some real climbing to be done, regardless of what some of the pitches are rated.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - May 8, 2013 - 11:46am PT
A Canadian friend referred to it as "Do Not Bother"...


Now THAT is the biggest piece of bullshit yet. Go climb it and get back to me about the "Do Not Bother" thing. Christ, people and their elitist "I'm so cool" comments.

DMT, who said I was stressed about it? As V said, I'm curious because we don't often see things jump from 10b to 11. (Insert Spinal Tap joke)
And I said I wouldn't survive it right now, because I'm out of shape, not that I can't climb it anymore.
Dang, I've got enough troubles without you making assumptions for me...HA!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 8, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Ok cool survival. Lets go climbing.

DMT
snakefoot

climber
cali
May 8, 2013 - 11:52am PT
i agree with do not bother and i did it twice. think i'm so cool also..

edited.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 8, 2013 - 11:52am PT
I didn't say do not bother... :-)

But a tip for the cool kids (who mostly never climbed it)...

when saying 'Do Not Bother' a toothpick in the corner of the mouth really adds to the sarcasm, especially if you move it from one side of your mouth to the other as you say the word 'bother.'

DMT
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
May 8, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Whatever, the guy did the route and didn't like it. He is entitled to his opinion and comments. A few days later they did Astroman and wouldn't stop raving about it. A few days later we did Serenity and SOY... I didn't much care for climbing on piton gashes down low or for the SOY part. But it was an unusual day as we had the wall to ourselves and my partner quite enjoyed it. I thought the crux pitch was pretty fun. If I could come up with a funny slanderous name for Serenity/SOY, I would. To each their own.
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