1st valley day suggestion(s) ?


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Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 26, 2014 - 02:53am PT

i'll be in yosemite this october.

my trip partners (who get there a few days before me) will probably be on the wall on my 1st day.

so i'm looking for routes or bouldering suggestions to spend my 1st day, in case i can't find a partner for the day.

ideally something that meets one of the following descriptions:

1)short multipitch (up to 500 feet?), 5.8-5.10 range, bomber anchors (bolts or massive trees), well protectable with double cams up to c4 #3, short pitches, easy to retreat from (=good self belay free route)

2)single pitches that can be easily accessed from above (fixed line & microtrax). Ideally good training pitches for multipich free and "mostly free" routes (astroman, regular NW, east buttress, freerider, nose, etc...)

3)boulders with safe landings and/or lots of people (lots of pads and spotters)

i can give europe and fontainebleau beta in exchange :)
thank you

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 26, 2014 - 03:25am PT
just drink tons of f*#king wine and
wander through the boulders and meadows
and get acquainted with the tilted
reality that governs the vagina of the sierras.

one of the boulders is the sweet spot.
it's your job to find it, and
she'll be especially pleased when
you surmount it.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Aug 26, 2014 - 06:38am PT
the vagina of the sierras.

LOL Weeg,
just sprayed coffee laughing at that line.
BTW, that would make a great route name for a new one in the ditch.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Aug 26, 2014 - 06:47am PT
Norweegie the tour bus announcer.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 26, 2014 - 06:52am PT
But the Black Canyon is a tighter hole.....must be younger.

Unfortunately, many Valley routes have been "comfortized" with bolted belays.....but certainly not all. This isn't Europe, if you want to trad climb in the USA, learn how to be comfortable building anchors.

A route that fits your requirements perfectly is the Central Pillar of Frenzy. Get there early or wait in line....a lot of people like "comfortized" climbs.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 26, 2014 - 09:23am PT
lots of recommendations, but generally any of the multi-star routes in the variety of guides that are out there indicate quality routes...

the problem would be sharing them with the other visiting climbers looking for a similar set of climbing experiences... roped soloist tend to be slower than roped teams, and it is considered bad style to occupy quality routes with the often laborious and slow roped solo. and fixed lines on popular routes for mini-traxion are not considered acceptable during the busy climbing season.

a better use of a day would be to scope out the approaches to the base of the climbs on your list, and getting a measure of the place... maybe even talking to climbers you'd encounter on your path.

the level of efficiency afforded by knowing how to get around pays back dividends once you and your partner are executing your list of climbs...

Gorgeous George

Trad climber
Los Angeles, California
Aug 26, 2014 - 09:39am PT
I like the bottle of wine suggestion. My choice would be a fine Pinot Noir from Napa (ok, shameless, they need the business right now).

Don't be in such a hurry to knock off climbs, drink in the beauty and tranquility of the valley. Go to El Cap Meadows and lie down in the tall grass, take a dip in the nearby Merced, freak on all the tourists and traffic, and try to daydream of what it was like when the indigenous people were out gathering nuts and seeds.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 26, 2014 - 09:46am PT
If you were a music lover and you go to one of the biggest record stores on the planet, and you already had a chance to look at their catalog before going there, when you arrived would you start by grabbing the nearest set of headphones or sitting down with a book in a chair by the corner?

I think the first impulse of most climbers coming to Yosemite is to climb something. If you don't have a partner, probably better to pick something ahead of time that you KNOW you can do safely on your own first. That's what this person is doing- pretty sensible-seeming to me. Otherwise, you might get excited in the moment and commit yourself to a bigger adventure than you really intended. That's more or less what I did on my first trip alone to Yosemite, and spewing about that misadventure here are supertopo was how I got my first partners. But I could have just died.
the Fet

Aug 26, 2014 - 10:58am PT
1. There aren't a whole lot of moderate, bolted anchor mulipitch climbs, and the few that are are popular. But you should be able to find some single pitch climbs.

Jam crack would be a good easy 5.9 with a bolted anchor but its very popular.

Church bowl tree is a less popular, decent 5.10 with a bolted anchor.

Or the first pitch of some more obscure el cap walls.

I'd check out the church bowl, swan slabs, and el cap base areas and look for climbs with bolted anchors and no crowds.

2. There's a supertopo for top ropes, but I haven't read it.

3. Lots of bouldering. Camp4 etc. Brings some beers and offer a beer and ask to use their pads

The le conte boulder is a short super steep practice bolted aid climb that's fun and a good solo project.

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
Aug 26, 2014 - 11:00am PT
Generator Crack. Bienvenidos a la Valle

San Jose, CA
Aug 26, 2014 - 11:54am PT
Go to Camp 4. That's probably where you'll be camping when your not on the wall so maybe start off by getting a site if any are available. Check the bulletin board (at the registration kiosk) for climbing partners for the day, or just do a lap around the place and ask some climbers if they need a partner. Camp 4 also has the most concentrated and popular bouldering circuit in the Valley, and anytime in Oct there should be lots of pads under the classics.

san francisco
Aug 26, 2014 - 12:56pm PT
Agreed. Start with something on the "five open books". Munginella and Commitment are both fun. If you need to bail off of munginella, you should stick to the Swan Slabs area. Get a feel for the rock and get a good view for your first day. Won't you be jet lagged anyway?

Topic Author's Reply - Aug 26, 2014 - 01:06pm PT
thanks for the replis so far.

of course finding a partner for the day would be option number 1, i just like to make plans b and c and d in case plan a isn't possible!

for topropes of course i don't need a bolted anchor, i don't intend to microtrax them the wole day making 45 minutes beta sessions, and if a lead team is coming for the same climb i can jumar up and pull the line : is this considered bad practice??? Or is it more of an ethical thing?

for rope-soloable mp i'm of course also comfortable with any multidirectional anchor that is fast to setup, can be considered bomber and won't eat too much gear.
The problem with 100% gear belays is that they will either need 4 pieces or resetting them from downward to upward pull before leading the next pitch, both options are relatively slow and have some clusterf*#k potential.

out of curiosity has anyone here climbed any cracks in europe, and especially in orco valley? Rumors are that it's the closest imitation we have but how close in terms of style and grading, that is the question!

Trad climber
Bend Oregon
Aug 26, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
Vous allez mourir!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 26, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
Ghisino...gear belays don't need four pieces and they don't need to be reset for leading. I just got back from four days in the Black Canyon which is multi pitch trad with virtually no fixed anchors.
I used predominately two anchors and on occasion only one. When I had one anchor I made sure that it was bomber and I belayed thru my harness not thru the anchor. Belay anchors are a function of the quality of the anchors and the stance. If both are good than fewer anchors are needed and much time is saved. Time, on a long climb, is also a saftey factor that must be considered.
I have been climbing a long time and I have placed thousands of belay anchors without failure. It is my opinion that many climbers today take far too long setting and getting in and out of belays. Climbing during short weather windows in Patagonia has taught me the importance of time saving tatics. It could also save you from forced, miserable bivouacs in Yosemite or make the difference in getting done before an afternoon thunderstorm.

San Jose, CA
Aug 26, 2014 - 02:35pm PT
^^ He's talking about rope soloing them

For mini trax, the best spot i think is Elephant Rock. You approach the top of the cliff from Hwy 41. It's a short walk from the car, then finding the top of your intended route can take a bit of scouting around (if you're driving in on Hwy 140 or Hwy 120, it's prob not a bad idea to pullover and take a look at the formation from across the river, to familiarize yourself with the layout). The most popular routes are on the Killer Pillar, which has a handful of steep sport climbs in the 5.11-5.12 range. In addition to those some other good ones I've TR soloed are Pink Elephant (5.9), Elephantitis (5.10), Elephant Talk (5.11b), and Hocus Pocus (5.11d). Some of the anchors require gear so bring a single set of cams, and some (like Elephantitis) will require that you place a couple directionals as you rap down.

It's all covered in the out of print "Yosemite Free Climbs" by Don Reid. And I believe the Killer Pillar routes are covered in the TR and Sport Climbs supertopo


For short multipitch, maybe try something on the Cookie Sheet or Parkline Slab. There's lots of low angle slab climbs that tend to be pretty easy and well protected by Yosemite standards. Far fewer crowds as well (only because the routes are fairly new and aren't included in the most popular guidebook). The only issue is that many of the routes might not have great options for a ground anchor at the bottom, so you might need to bring a haul hag to fill with rocks or clove hitch the first couple bolts or something. But after the first pitch you should have good bolted anchors the rest of the way (not the case for every route, but many of them). Most of the routes require 2 ropes to get down.

Elephant Rock, Cookie Sheet and Parkline are all in the Lower Merced Canyon, so you would need a vehicle.

san francisco
Aug 26, 2014 - 02:49pm PT
I am doubting that he will have a car, or the time to search for these routes. I'm still pushing for something close to camp 4. Lena's layback is a good warm up for him, and it's easy to find.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Aug 26, 2014 - 04:10pm PT
What's so wrong with After Six and The Nutcracker? About 5 pitches about 5.8 great rock good views nice topout easy approach easy descent

A couple o' classics I'd say

Just get there early

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Aug 26, 2014 - 04:22pm PT
What Ed said: spend the day doing the approaches. You woildn't believe how easy it is to get confused there.

Aug 26, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
walk up valley on the trail from lower yosemite falls until you pass by the stables, then hit talus. Head up the talus until you can head left on the bench. Go check out lower yosemite falls. From there, scramble up to the base of lost arrow spire. Enjoy.

Credit: Psilocyborg
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