Most Unpopular Yosemite Bigwalls

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klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 10, 2013 - 12:13am PT
is bigwalls a word?

are they unpopular because they are dirty and suck or because of a death potential?

TTrip on El Cap sucked for me because I thought it was a forced line missing all the features around it that potentially could have made a great route at the time when Porter put it up.

Tell me, what's the crappiest BIGwall you have done and why. I doesn't have to be recent. I'm going to write a book and I would love to hear all your stories of suffering.

Edit: you will be acknowledged for your contribution, however, not monetarily.

Edit: Hudon has an opinion, lets hear it

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:25am PT
Electric Ladyland on the Column seems to get a bad rap.

I thought it was steep, grainy and sometimes loose. Not that that was wrong, in fact, it was great and a fun adventure.

Even Seargent Liquor muttered congratulations! while passing each other, heads set too...

The worst thing wasn't the 30' A4 head seam above a ledge. It was that for the 3 days we were up there, no one climbed Astroman.

Best pictures ever from a wall team looking down from space ? It didn't happen.

Oh, well...
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2013 - 12:34am PT
I guess TTrip is not exactly "unpopular" but it lacked a "vision" for sure, just like others that post here, and I'm not just talking about Nannok aka Erik Sloan
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:38am PT
TT is at the bottom of my El Cap Like List as well.
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:54am PT
I guess I have a different perspective. TT was my first El Cap route and I did it in winter during an epic storm back in 82. I have nothing but high praise for the experience but I don't really have anything to compare it to as far as quality of El Cap routes in general. Does it really matter?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:01am PT
Gold Wall. One pitch up, then quit walls. Sold gear.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:13am PT
9 o'clock wall has my eye.

You gotta have the 'vision' for one of those.

The wall of no repeats version #2?
nopantsben

climber
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:14am PT
someone lacked vision when he climbed straight from the top of the pillar of hammerdom to thanksgiving if you ask me. not that it matters much.

it happens to everyone sometimes...
GoBig

Big Wall climber
beakland
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:18am PT
Don't you know it's all about free climbing those a2 beauties these days. Nobody cares about groveling up choss piles on the more obscure faces lacking finger and hand cracks. Drilling machine heads on the porcelain wall is so played out because nobody wants to watch a 30 minute video of you moving 10 ft on some sketchy b.s. crimp down on a match stick with no rope and the camera rolling and we will all rise up from or holes to take notice of your Instagram. Damn Purist . What did we ever do before camera drones. Mad respect to those who shrug off the virus and get scared.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:38am PT
hey there say, klaus...

interesting share and thought...

thank you for posting... :)
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:59am PT
later bought gear, even a portaledge, climbed some slag, then El Cap, then Kings, then El Cap again.

Out of those, Freak Show in Kings Canyon, is quite unpopular... because it's not in the valley. Never had to wait in line.

Closest to thing to a crowd was a locals fixed line on a project that we saw one trip. It was gone the next time we were there.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 04:42am PT
"Most Unpopular" is not really the same thing as "crappiest", of course.
As you said, walls infrequently done could be:
 hard / runout aid climbing, like Continental Drift
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Continental-Drifting/t11224n.html
(TR by Neil Chelton, where he introduces the concept of "half a pitch Pete" :-) )

 hard / runout mandatory free climbing, like Son of Heart
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/682186/Son-Of-Heart-T-R
or Jolly Roger
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/472819/Jolly-Roger-Photo-T-R
(TRs by Levy)

 obscure - you can't find the topo and are not sure where it goes, like maybe Mediterraneo
 stuff that's way too hot - Mt. Watkins?
 stuff that has a very long approach - might as well do a FA out there instead?

I've done a few unpleasantly dirty pitches on walls, but had fun overall:
 Salathe' - "Jungle" or "Sewer" pitch
 Horse Chute - muddy/slimy arch (at least it was fun until I stupidly broke my finger a few pitches from the top)
 Never Never Land - muddy pitch where it gets steep before the rivet ladders to Pinnacle of Hammerdom
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2013 - 09:09am PT
I was thinking Porcelain Wall as well. I didn't drill the first ladder on it and not the last either. But it does have the best thin nailing crack in the valley. I guess it's all about free climbing these days.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:25am PT
I think it'd be awesome if you wrote a book about your climbs Klaus.

I'd buy it.

Most all them are pretty much unpopular right?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:28am PT
Klaus, seriously man, you should type that stuff up. There is an entire experience of a different kind that hardly anyone breaks into that you were part of. It would be a shame not to share that perspective.
nopantsben

climber
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:33am PT
the polish route on polar sun spire got a big deal of attention and respect. so does silvia vidal. or dave turner.

it's aidclimbing in yosemite that seems to be of no interest to anyone but those who do it.
i can see why.
I mean what has really happened since sea of dreams in terms of difficulties or whatever the climbing media (stupid as it may be!) is into?
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:36am PT
You made it public dude. Now you HAVE to write more.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
Bridwell told me he did the 2nd and final ascent of Arches Direct.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
Is Clouds Rest a 'big wall'?

It's not steep, but it sure is big.

It doesn't get climbed all that often, or so it would seem.
nopantsben

climber
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
well, it didn't make the news... haha
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
it's aidclimbing in yosemite that seems to be of no interest to anyone but those who do it.

Let's keep it that way. Let the milk runs floweth with noobs, whilst the test pieces gather dust.



Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
I'll go for that, Mucci!
nopantsben

climber
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:34pm PT
exactly, mucci.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jul 10, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Big wall is TWO words, not one! Just cuz Chris Mac made this McStake and Nanook is repeating Chris' mistake, does knott make it correct!

How do you define "unpopular"? It is either "hard" or "crappy" or both, I should think.

Lots of Klaus' lines are unpopular because they are very hard, yet they could offer superb climbing. I've climbed lots of routes that are unpopular because they are hard, or reasonably hard, yet offer excellent climbing.

Here you have Pete's Picks on El Capitan.

In my opinion [49 El Cap routes] here are the very best unpopular routes on El Cap:

Bermuda Dunes
Jolly Roger
Sea of Dreams
Lunar Eclipse
Bad Seed

Here are a few unpopular routes that I thought were quite good:

Cosmos
Excalibur
Sunkist
Genesis
Iron Hawk
Native Son
KAOS
Shortest Straw
Born Under a Bad Sign

Routes I did knott like, and why:

Pacemaker - a pretty good natural line, but the cracks are so dirty in this part of the wall, and I had to spend a horrific amount of time and energy cleaning out the plants and the mud

Dihedral Wall - not total crap, just not that great. Direct finish is the worst on the Captain. Severely dumbed down by Todd Skinner's added bolts, often right next to perfect C1 placements!

Son of Heart - even with Valley Giants, the chimneys are very awkward and difficult, just not my idea of fun. Yet there are many on this forum who disagree with me. I think if you are a Real Valley Freeclimber you would enjoy it more

Magic Mushroom - stunning natural line, but hard to climb because of endless flared chimney-cracks. You have to reach in at arm's length to place a piece, and then you can only get up about one step in your aiders before you clean the next one!

NA Wall - beat out pinscars, traversing all over the place. One man's Classic is another man's .... well, I just didn't like it.



As you can see, for the most part, it is hard to find a bad route on El Cap!

Cheers, eh?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Bridwell told me he did the 2nd and final ascent of Arches Direct.
Good example of unpopular - dirty, hard, some poor rock, and runout. Not included in the topo guidebooks. But I believe Kor and Pratt did the second ascent in 1963, so maybe Bridwell's was 3rd.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
What? No one mentioned the old North Face routes on any of the Cathedral Rocks. The Pratt/Hennek line (or, for that matter, the Pratt/Kamps/Chouinard line) on Higher always intrigued me. Now that the Gong Flake fell, has the North Face of Lower lost some of its allure? And who's done the Pratt Chimney?

I can think of some others, one of which (Firefall Face) is still on my to-do list. How can I resist a route Rowell recommended to those who like steep, circuitous and dirty direct aid?

John
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
how about Disco Strangler on LT? anyone here done it? CVL said he wants to do it.
snakefoot

climber
cali
Jul 10, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
funny, earl told me while we were on the salathe that his tape recorder broke on the leaning tower and that song disco strangler was all they could listen to while on that route.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 10, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Brandon, trolling is beneath you. Besides, Clouds Rest has been skiied.
Yeah, I know Sylvester 'skiied' the NA Wall, but that was different.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jul 10, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
Ha. Spaz and I tried Disco Strangler a few years ago but we got defeated by the approach. The ledge to the north of and beyond the start of West Face gets really nasty. I think you would want to first traverse over, then fix down to the ground and haul from there.
Nanook

climber
Jul 11, 2013 - 11:13am PT
Bigwalls is the chillaxin of 2010s,hahaha. New words are made all the time Pete, haha. Still no one is climbing them.

I don't think I"ve ever done a bigwall I didn't like. Crystal Cyclone, which got partially wiped out by rockfall a few years back, is understandably the least popular bigwall I've climbed. It was cool being up there though.


Dan Oppenheim(spelling) climbed Disco Strangler and made whatever changes you see on my topo.

cheers,
erik
yosemitebigwall.com
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 11, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
In 1978 Bridwell, Kauk, Schmitz and I did a new route on Watkins (Bob Locke Mem. Buttress) and we thought it was one of the best and most novel walls we'd ever climbed, with mostly free climbing way up high. But it's too far back there and never gets done. Too bad.

JL
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