Keeler Needle Trip Report

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 21 - 40 of total 54 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
addiroid

Big Wall climber
Long Beach, CA
Sep 25, 2005 - 09:34am PT
Great pictures Chris. I think "loose" needs to be taken on a relative basis. Sure, it's not Yosemite craggin' but all in all it was clean, classic, splitter alpine climbing. That little roof on P2 was a little chalky, but that's about all from what I remember. And safety wise, I thought the climbing itself (not counting the bowling alley) was WAAAAAAY safer than the SW Face of Conness.

Let's try to keep it what it is. It's supposed to be a fairly involved climb, try to keep the adventure to it. Awesome job on the 8.2mm rope for lead too! Burly.
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Sep 25, 2005 - 09:49am PT
Ya, I think loose to a lot of people climbing in california is different than up here. Up in the Bugs even on popular routes there is still plenty of loose rock that just falls down the faces and nails you. You also pull tons of flakey stuff off no matter where you put your feet. Also from what I understand the Candian Rockies are crazy!
426

Sport climber
Tierrany Roofs, Obed
Sep 26, 2005 - 07:23am PT
Nice TR/pics.

Sounds improbable but this was the first alpine route I ever did. An alpine bud decided to take a "lightweight" (free climbing specialist) and designated all hard pitches to said lightweight. Sounded cool.

I was gasping on the whole route but especially on the wide stuff, having never climbed above 10,000 in my life. Dragging up boots and axes ((early season ascent) in the 2nds pack was pretty burdensome for a fly rod like me, so I preferred the leads ultimately.


The crux was filled with dirt, I had to "mine" out placements and aid briefly. Sounds like it's cleaned up a lot since the early 90's.

More than chossy, my memories are of "crunchy" rock. When rock cracks but stabilizes under the foot....


Most memorable was stuffing my nog in a crack to try to drink from a seep. We were out of h20 for hours .


....

The exposure is fantastic, in a way it goes all the way to the Owens Valley.
....


Anybody ever hear from Rahja-maaaan (Mark Rogers)? Last I heard he moved to Bozeman to focus on ice....
Western Sloper

Social climber
Western Slope, CO
Sep 27, 2005 - 09:54pm PT
Nice pics. Not my type of climbin' but cool still.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Sep 28, 2005 - 02:29pm PT
Soon as we heard Keeler went free, Richard Harison and I were on it. Problem is a huge snow cone was sitting at the base and the top was separated from the wall by a 20 foot gap and we counld't cross over to the wall no mater how hard we tried. We couldn't rap off the snow lip as it kept calving away. We were truly bummed after all that hiking and driving to get there. I went to Mexico and Richard returned with Smith a little while later and I never went back. Wish I had . . .
JL
Claude

climber
where I'll end up
Sep 28, 2005 - 05:13pm PT
Murf doesn't know what he's talking about.
426

Sport climber
Lounge Lizard, Obed
Sep 29, 2005 - 08:36am PT
Largo-

We had a similar situation-it wasn't 20 feet wide, but perhaps 10, but being very cold, the snow patch held as I was lowered into the "slot" and started climbing.

No "all free" for us! I was using rope tension just to get on the thing.


My partner raised an eyebrow at my first piece, a #4 friend cammed between ice and rock. Both his eyes were open wide as he "jumped" (with tension) onto the rock.




Frankly, I still think you've got it in you---just find you a "lightweight"...


PS-The crux of Keeler is way easier than Right or Left (yours) at Woodson...
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:14am PT
Hey "Claude," I am curious about your comment that Murph (his real name) doesn't know what he is talking about. If you have info that shows that I and whassername didn't do the second free ascent of the Harding route on Keeler Needle during the first weekend of July 1977 let's hear about it. You would probably need to provide proof, which is something I can do. There is too much bs on the internet forums these days from pseudonym posers. It is just too easy to lie when there is no accountability involved.
I am not that concerned with whether I did the 2nd, 3rd or 4th free ascent, I just want to know the truth. After all, I have been telling people that we did the 2nd ascent for 28 years.
Spill it, or go home.
Claude

climber
where I'll end up
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:18am PT
hey dee-ee~

my note was in now way a question fo your ascent, only a way to rouse up an old friend. Murf is actually an accomplished man and a respected climber.

Peace.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:18am PT
ps. To "426".
I wouldn't be callin' Largo a lightweight!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:19am PT
Right on!
10b4me

Trad climber
On that V2 problem at the Happies
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:19am PT
hey T-2,

I am too old and decrepit.
has anyone here climb the east buttress of Muir?
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:33am PT
pps. I thought you could be Claude Fiddler, in which case I would have to bow down.
426

Sport climber
Maximum Overdrive, Obed
Sep 29, 2005 - 09:52am PT
Heh, reread, dee ee, I said he needs to get him a "lightweight"....but the context is in my post upthread; it's the Intrawebs, so maybe I should clarify better...


I think Largo could do Keeler easily with his multitude of wide experience.

Even when I was up in the flare, pulling some aid to the Harding bolts I was trying to remember Largo's video admonishment...

"Never thrash."

dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 29, 2005 - 12:46pm PT
"Never thrash," thrutch!
kevsteele

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 1, 2005 - 05:48pm PT
Cool to see Keeler back in the posts. We did an FA on that great red rock in '91: The Crimson Wall. It went directly up the center of the face for ten pitches. Crux was 5.12. Kevin Brown, Mike Carville and myself then headed left to join the Harding as the upper headwall had to wait until the following year. In '92 Kevin and Mike finished it off, straight up at 5.12d with an A3 pitch. Total of 16 pitches.

None of the guidebooks have really got it right, although the descriptions are OK and vague enough, the lines drawn on photos are just wrong.

Below is a scan from the Alpine Journal ('92) where I've added the line. If any are interested I can post the topos.


Best,
Kevin Steele
Jody

Mountain climber
Templeton, CA
Oct 1, 2005 - 05:59pm PT
Kevin,

You are right about it being a "red rock". From the approach as the sun is just starting to rise, the Whitney massif takes on some cool colors. This picture was taken around 4:30AM in late August one year, not red, but a cool shade of orange.
WBraun

climber
Oct 1, 2005 - 06:00pm PT
That Keeler needle is such a cool place. I remember the second to last pitch or so of the Harding route goes left around the corner and into the shade. I look into the crack and there is this emerald bluish ice in there. I was climbing with no shirt on that day. It was that warm and still ice in the cracks in places.

Kevin S your new route with 5.12d free climbing way up there, yikes, that must have been hard, especially at that altitude.

Kevin Brown and Mike Carville two great guys.
kevsteele

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 1, 2005 - 06:50pm PT
Thanks Werner,
Kevin B and I have been back up there since then and put up two more 6-pitch 5.10-11ish routes on the spires just North (right of the Mountaineers Gully) of Whitney. (We called them There you Have it and Full Moon Dihedral).

I'll post the topo to Crimson Wall on a new thread tomorrow after I scan the old scrap of paper.

Crista

climber
Las Vegas
Oct 2, 2005 - 08:10pm PT
I had an epic with the snow cone, too. I ended up "crack climbing" to the top of it via the gap between the ice and the rock.... definantly not a good idea. I didn't know any better. I grew up in the desert, and it was my first alpine route. I knew nothing about "snow cones." My friend, Michelle, opted for the gulley. What was spooky is the bowling ball sized rock we used for a foothold at the top of the ice popped out of the ice at a 90 degree angle like a punted football when we were at the top of the first pitch... so the lesson is, don't stand on those rocks?

I don't remember the rock quality being that bad, I expected much worse. The sight of that thing made me fill all my poop bags before leaving camp. On the way back to the portal, my pack was a Xmas tree of poop. It's a scary (and stinky if you have fear sensitive bowels) proposition. The most memorable pitch for me was the .10a offwidth which caught me offguard as the sleeper crux. We had a slight epic... Michelle and I got a really late start, and didn't start climbing until around 10am. Another setback was I got suckered into the chimney after the .10c pitch leading us off route. Now that was some chossy rock!!! We topped out in the dark, so we slept in the little cabin on top of Mt. Whitney which was cold and desperate. We then descended down the north face of Whitney so we could sun ourselves by the lake and stare at Mt. Russell close up. All in all, it wasn't that bad. It is the hardest I've ever pushed myself in the mountains. I didn't feel worthy of being up there in the first place... two girls in "hardman's territory".... it almost felt like outer space.

All the pictures are great! They bring back great memories! I climb with Richard Harrison every once in a while, so it's funny reading the "glory posts". His daughter is turning out to be one hell-of-a-climber. She trad climbs and everything.

Note of interest... I met some loon in Mexico who claimed she put up the Warren Harding route.... "because Warren could only climb 5.5" according to her... she also said she was in the CIA and had a working airforce base hidden under her ranch in one of the Dakotas, but that's a whole different story....
Messages 21 - 40 of total 54 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews