Easiest 5.9 in Yosemite

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Messages 1 - 37 of total 37 in this topic
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Original Post - May 21, 2013 - 01:39am PT
Yeah, we've talked of hard-for-the-grade routes, but want about the reverse. Easy for the grade.

Here's where you get to boast of walking up things upon which others fight for their lives.

To get things going, I'm going to toss out Marginal. A fantastic and sparsely protected 3-pitch romp up low-angle slab.

I heard that the FA was done in moccasins. No, not the 5.10 type, but the real thing, leather-soled shoes. Cutting edge at the time, now it's a cool way to get your GF believing she's ready for the real grade.

How about it, any others I can use to boost my ego like an inflatable life vest?
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
May 21, 2013 - 01:41am PT
I always thought the second pitch of Jamcrack Route was pretty easy for 5.9. Certainly, there are some old school slab routes which seem easier in newer, stickier shoes and also some crack climbs which seem to climb easier with cams.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
May 21, 2013 - 02:12am PT
Hmmm - Bruce is right about the second hand/finger crack pitch of Jamcrack. Nutcracker with the Bridwell start (the finger crack) is also pretty straightforward. Central Pillar is varied but not hard 5.9. Commitment is a great introduction to 5.9.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
May 21, 2013 - 02:19am PT
Marginal? Easy?

This thread is too tough for me.

good luck
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
May 21, 2013 - 02:32am PT
Does it have to be rated 5.9 to contend for the easiest 5.9 in yosemite?
Jon H

Trad climber
Teaneck, NJ
May 21, 2013 - 03:18am PT
I seem to recall leading a 5.9 finger crack on the slabs just a 90 second walk to the right from camp 4. I thought it was a piece of cake. Anyone?
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
May 21, 2013 - 05:50am PT
I concur with the 2nd pitch of Jamcrack. anyone have any comments on the 3rd pitch? I keep saying this but my favorite single pitch is Bridwell Corner on the Rostrum. starts wide and ends with fists. funfun! I wish I still had the pictures.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
May 21, 2013 - 07:01am PT
Reed Direct pitch 1
Jamcrack pitch 2
nopantsben

climber
May 21, 2013 - 07:36am PT
the easiest 5.9 in the Valley is probably 5.7 or 5.8 in the guidebook.
Al_Smith

climber
San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2013 - 09:46am PT
I agree that Grant's Crack (5.9 at Swan Slabs mentioned above) is fairly easy for the grade. It is also really nice!
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
May 21, 2013 - 09:47am PT
I concur with Grack Marginal, as long as your wearing modern shoes.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 21, 2013 - 09:57am PT
I've got a better question:

What's the easiest easy route in Yosemite?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 21, 2013 - 10:05am PT
^^^^^

Ahwahnee Sunday Brunch when someone else is paying?

DMT
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 21, 2013 - 10:16am PT
That's not bad at all, Dingus.

But I'm rather partial to the Tenaya Layback.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
May 21, 2013 - 10:31am PT
I guess no one is going to agree with me if I say La Cosita Right, eh?
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 21, 2013 - 10:48am PT
Marginal in RR Verappes didn't seem too easy, BITD! C4 rubber would make a big difference. Second pitch of Jamcrack is a good candidate.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
May 21, 2013 - 10:53am PT
East Buttress Middle Cathedral is pretty smooth sailing. So is Regular Route Fairview, if Tuolumne enters into the scope of the question.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 21, 2013 - 10:53am PT
Commitment
Chim-Chim

climber
May 21, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Lena's Lieback?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
May 21, 2013 - 10:58am PT
They were the best of 9s, they were the worst of 9s.

:-)

DMT
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
May 21, 2013 - 11:03am PT
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
May 21, 2013 - 11:14am PT
After 6
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 21, 2013 - 11:18am PT
Grant's crack, no question.
Barbarian

climber
May 21, 2013 - 11:30am PT
I'll go with Commitment as well. It was my first 5.9, and certainly the easiest I've ever done in the Valley.
brat

climber
El Portal
May 21, 2013 - 11:54am PT
I thought Super Slide was pretty easy for Valley 5.9.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
May 21, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
Anything rated 5.9 in a Supertopo Guide....
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 21, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
In my book, Commitment, definitely.

The Jamcrack may seem mellower to some because it's not very steep or burly, unlike your average Valley crack, but I remember it requiring some footwork and technique on par for an honest 5.9. What I don't get is how some folks feel the first pitch is harder than 5.7.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
May 21, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
great route name there Dingus!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Lena's Lieback?

I have a somewhat funny story about sic'ing a buddy of mine on Lena's for his first lead. The idea was that I'd put in the first pro, and he'd get as far as he could, plugging away until too tired (or scared) to go any higher.

The good news was that he got past my first piece.

The bad news was the exact same.

There he fumbled, a few feet above my piece. Psyched enough to get in a good nut, but too new to know how to clip it.

He fumbled once with the rope, just missing the snag by the biner. Then he pulled the rope up again, but the layback was pumping his gripped hand, and he lost focus, couldn't clip... Oh Sh!t !!!

Pop!!

He comes flying, snags something, flips over and catches the rack between his head and the rock.

I lower him the 16" to the ground and look at the trickle of blood starting to ooze from his forehead. It was the #3 stopper that he struck, and the outline of it was perfectly impressed into his forehead, much like Captain Granitic from the old rags lore.

Laughing I could not stop. This, for reasons not unknown, made Jeff's face all the more red.
Some Random Guy

climber
Under a Little Pink Umbrella
May 21, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Easiest 5.9 in Yosemite
your mom
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 21, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
La Cosita Right
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - May 21, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
No, nobody said Peter Pan.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
May 22, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Michelle writes:


I concur with the 2nd pitch of Jamcrack. anyone have any comments on the 3rd pitch?

This is funny. Most people don't know that there is a 3rd pitch.
My recollection is that it's low angle, in a groove, and much easier than
the 2nd.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
May 22, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
I heard that the FA was done in moccasins.

Regardless, still one of my favorite routes as a youth. I can't count the number of times I did that. It was my first (among a VERY short list) of free solos.

I just wrote to Boche to verify this statement... hopefully he will weigh in here on the history.
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 22, 2013 - 05:00pm PT
Guido and I had a chuckle at the idea that we did the FA of Marginal in moccasins! I know he wore RR shoes. I either wore those or Kronhofers. There's a pic of the two of us at base after the FA that Guido posted a while ago which would show our footwear.

After FA of Marginal, GP Apron.
After FA of Marginal, GP Apron.
Credit: BooDawg, Guido, and Mary Bomba

This photo confirms our footwear as stated above.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
Most excellent! A pic of the FA!!

It'd been about 30 years I carried around that story about the footwear, and each time I did Marginal, I had an image of what that must have been like to dance up there like old Native Americans.

Now I have an image of what it must have been like to dance with boots.

Thanks for putting up such a fine piece that is still so fun to climb.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 22, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Marginal in RR Verappes didn't seem too easy, BITD! C4 rubber would make a big difference. Second pitch of Jamcrack is a good candidate.

Great pic, Ken! I first climbed it in RR's in March of 1972, and traversing between those first two bolts, directly over the roof, certainly didn't feel the same then as the route does now in modern shoes.

This is funny. Most people don't know that there is a 3rd pitch [of Jamcrack].
My recollection is that it's low angle, in a groove, and much easier than
the 2nd.


I only bothered with the third pitch the first time I did the route. It's essentially fourth class.

No, nobody said Peter Pan.

For good reason!

John
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