East Face of Lower (The Accomazzo Wall)

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Jorge

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 29, 2006 - 04:47pm PT
So let's hear more about this. WHat follows are shots of the wall, and one of Richard writing down the topo on a car hood once you all got back.









Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Nov 29, 2006 - 04:50pm PT
Whatever became of the Topo?
Jorge

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2006 - 04:54pm PT
It's in the guidebook.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Nov 29, 2006 - 04:55pm PT
Sorry...I was confused w/ the West Something-or-Other that is noted in the FA's and Roper, but not in the topo book.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 29, 2006 - 05:14pm PT
Seen some new route activity over there. It's looks awesome.

But since they ain't sprayin here, I ain't sayin more.

Peace

Karl
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Nov 29, 2006 - 06:38pm PT
Jorge, Very unique photo angles here! The three routes listed in your guide - all 4 pitches 5.10 - are rarely repeated run-out horror shows! I don't believe there are any protection bolts,rather pitons were the order of the day. Steve Gerberding and Dimitri Barton established an 8 pitch "modern" route here in 03'. Annihilator 11c shares one or two belays with the leftmost established route and has many bolts. The crux ,however is gear protected and consists of a series of roofs capping the prominent dihedral far above (sixth pitch?) before running into another mysterious route coming in from the Gunsight. Around the corner on the North Face you can see " The New North Face " V+ 11c A4, that Steve,Mark Bowling and I established in 99'. Super cool route and unrepeated as of this writing. Lower Cathedral Rocks!!
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Nov 29, 2006 - 08:25pm PT
Hey Al,
Can you post a topo for the new gunsight area route(s)?

I ran into Dimitri Barton a year or two ago & he said he & Steve were working on something up there as well. The rock is sublimely featured up there so it sounds like a grand adventure.

Spill the beans man
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 29, 2006 - 08:47pm PT
Hey George, I think that I walked along the base of that face of Lower with you one day. I remember it looking and feeling very smooth. Great shots of Black Primo. Is your camera tilted?

Roger
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Nov 29, 2006 - 09:41pm PT
Jorge-I canít tell you how thrilled I am that you named a geologic feature after me. Can't wait until I tell my mother. To be perfectly frank, though, I had my heart set on a summit.

I will locate my cherished 1st edition of the Yellow Meyers guide, review the topos, and try to put something together about these routes over the weekend. Nice shot of Richard with Camels. Iíll give him a call and see if he remembers more than I do.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Nov 30, 2006 - 01:45am PT
Levy - No topos on hand of the East Face routes ( Annihilator ect. ) although Donnie will include this in the new Free Climbs edition. Might have a topo of the New North Face ....you could bag the second!!

Roger - Black Primo is located on The Middle Cathedral Apron.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 30, 2006 - 07:21am PT
Yeah, I know, aldude. Right poster, wrong thread. Easily confused.

Roger
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Nov 30, 2006 - 02:58pm PT
Actually, if that first photo was a little wider we might catch a glimpse of Middle Apron...they do share a common approach. Or you could walk by Werners' testpiece.....
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nov 30, 2006 - 10:43pm PT
Hey Rick, it has been renamed 'Accomazzo Spire.' Whatever you were standing before the first rappel off was the top.

Buzz
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 2, 2006 - 12:40am PT
"I think that's Perhaps way out there to the left". I lean well back on the bolt station in the Mouth and crane my neck to take in the sea of rock. Past the only visible bolt about twenty feet away, a faint rib led up and left toward some kind of large depression a ropelength away. Perched at the top of the weakness was the tiny Apron pinnacle called Perhaps two hundred feet away. No other spot on the whole Apron held its inaccessable mystery. Originally climbed by one of my heroes Bob Kamps and Andy Lichtman in 1963 the nine pitch route carried a 5.10 A5 (Green Book) rating that made it even that much more elusive.

But here it was and man did I want to check it out. The topo showed only one bolt with some obvious hard climbing right nearby. The rest of the pitch just didn't give anything reassuring away to the eye. "Something will show up," I chuckled to myself. After clipping into the funky aluminum strap hanger, I paddled out left past what I thought to be the 5.11a crux and moved up onto the rib. The rock was clearly steepening and I began to notice that horizontal features disappeared well off to either side of the line of least resistance. If I tried to traverse to get gear the climbing got noticeably more difficult. As I kept climbing higher the options narrowed even further.

Finally, I could see the edge of the weakness coming up about twenty feet away. In front of me the wall was concave and steepened just as the edge of the ledge came into reach. The runout to this point was a whopper, even by Apron standards, at over one hundred feet and the situation didn't look promising. The glaciers left nothing but a few scoops in this spot and the ensuing angle change made these less than savory the higher you went. Pure friction. "That lip has just got to be good," I mumbled unconvinced as I gathered myself and stepped away from my last rest hold. My read on the angle was accurate and each scoop became steadily worse by about a letter grade as I moved upwards. From the last dismal smears I set up to extend and slap over the lip and finish this thing off..... Not so fast. At full extension my hand barely stuck and the alarms began to sound. The fall was almost a joke it was so absurd! With that much rope out, I imagined that the rope would continue running upwards undisturbed while my cartoon ass went cartwheeling on by! Several more difficult palming moves and at long last I succeeded in positioning myself to step over the lip and back into the land of the living. An uneventful last pitch then led leftward to the actual summit of Perhaps. As I sat on that exclusive spot, I wondered how many others had been on that crazy ride. "At least one I guess," I laughed as I headed down.

Great and obscure testpiece Ricky. This seems like a good spot to post it.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Dec 4, 2006 - 11:32pm PT
I had noticed the East Face of Lower Cathedral from the climbs on Middle. It looked like similar rock and pretty featured as Georgeís photos show. (George, how did you convince the rescue chopper pilot to scout new routes for you?) From the bottom, the face looks smooth as colored glass, but this is an illusion. The rock is scaly with skyward -facing incuts, like no-wax cross country skis. You canít see this from the bottom, but as you engage the moves and proceed up, you gradually see more and more horizontal incuts and scallops, most around an inch or two inches wide.
The face is steeper than Middle by at least ten degrees. Itís pretty featureless as far as landmarks and the key to finding the routes listed in Georgeís guide is a small corner that goes up for about 20 feet or so before blending into the face. This is the start of Shake and Bake, the first route Richard Harrison and I did on the face. You start up the little corner, climb to its end, and then incut after incut reveal themselves. A short traverse or two to link lines of holds and pretty soon youíre at the first belay. The same sort of thing continues on the next pitch, then the angle eases until you reach the big ledge that cuts across the face. I know this is not very helpful, but give me a break, this was thirty years ago!
There are scattered small cracks up there where you can drive thin pins or fiddle with tiny stoppers, including a number of hairline cracks in the back of the incuts where you can drive a short knifeblade straight down, as if you were trying to pry off the hold. Donít worry though, the rock is impeccable and these pins are rock-solid. I think we left a couple in place. We called the first route ďShake and BakeĒ because it was a hot summer day and there was some, if not "a whole lot of shaking going on." I donít remember individual moves, just the fine feeling of exploring untouched, multi-hued stone, and having the rock yield an improbable path up.
The second route, Starfire, starts at the same place as Shake and Bake, but traverses right before following faint weaknesses upward. I think the route name had something to do with the rich colors in the rock as mentioned above. Richard later returned with Yabo and did the left-most route on the face, Spooky Tooth.
If someone out there has done these routes since, I would enjoy hearing about it. They are no more than mid-5.10, are not death routes, and I suspect the reputation as desperate leads is exaggerated. But I can't be sure, given the intervening decades.

Steve-. Thanks for rekindling old memories with your comments and the vivid description of the Mouth to Perhaps, which Mike B. (Fig) and I did in 1974.
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Dec 5, 2006 - 08:31am PT
Shows the need to go actually start up, doesn't it Rick? I wasn't kidding about walking along that face with George and deciding that it was just too smooth and won't go. Pretty cool sounding routes.

Best, Roger
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Dec 17, 2006 - 05:18pm PT
Jorge- any chance of a topo to this wall before the book comes out? It looks like a blast!

JL- Mouth To Perhaps description anything like you remember?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 22, 2011 - 02:32pm PT
A couple of photos with a different lighting/angle, to go with Rick's cool description of the nature of climbing on this face.
Accomazzo Wall &#40;Lower Cathedral Rock - East Face&#41;
Accomazzo Wall (Lower Cathedral Rock - East Face)
Credit: Clint Cummins
Accomazzo Wall detail
Accomazzo Wall detail
Credit: Clint Cummins
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 22, 2011 - 04:07pm PT
Enticing photos, Clint. When I was in good enough shape to consider climbing there, I was too intimidated by its reputation for serious runouts. As Roger says, that's why we need to start up the walls. . .

John
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 22, 2011 - 04:11pm PT
We know what you are up to Clint! Don't think we don't see it.

Clearly this is an attempt to talk about climbing. They won't fall for it.


good stuff. good side of the canyon to be on with the temps up there, eh?
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