Ticking the offwidth list... 12/3/06 TR

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 11, 2006 - 09:52pm PT
Here's a little trip report, mostly on the progress of the 5.10a offwidth recommendations out of Meyers' Yellow Guide. Looking down the list we come across a climb at a cliff I hadn't climbed at before:

This and That 5.10a with a first ascent by Jim Donini and Jim Bridwell in 1972. The first climb on this cliff looks like it was done in 1970, and we inadvertently climbed that one too...

This and That Cliff is located just east of the Lower Cascade Creek Falls. It gets sun first thing in the morning, and this time of year the sun is on the cliff all day long. Here is a shot from the bridge next to the tourist trap parking area:



The climb, This and That, is only 80' long, and the area is actually rather spectacular for its very steep walls. There are some excellent boulder traverses, and other stuff to mess around on, and it does not seem to get visited all too often. We explored the base of the cliffs and saw evidence of new route activity (I suspect Eric)...

Our objective was the great crack, about 4" wide arching up and over. The first half is offwidth, which is turned into a layback once the arch is vertical on its way to overhanging. It protects well with a 3.5, two 4 and two 4.5 camelots, take long slings too.

Here is Gary on the lower part of the climb:



working the great foot jams and getting good armbars low down. The crux is probably the piece of climbing just below an obvious feature on the arete, Gary cruising through the last moves before turning the corner



It was my lead and I went up and down a few times. Gary cleaned out the final corner by the bush, and finished replacing the slings for the anchors. The climb continues, but there really isn't any point in going up, if the day is nice the first pitch is great to do laps on.

So another offwidth ticked!

We then went down and looked at a couple of 5.9 climbs, the one we choose was Whim 5.9 climbed first in 1970 by Matt Donohoe and Pat Stewart. This is a chimney, really vertical, but its slight flair accepts beaucoup pro in the back... Gary starting, his lead:



And making good upward progress



Into very good heel-toe territory, with an absolutely bomber right chickenwing. The rock is very frictiony and you stick everywhere, good for the climb!

Gary just below the alleged crux:



Which really didn't seem all that much harder than the rest of the climb.

While the productivity wasn't all that great for the day, the routes were fun and in the sun, very very warm. At some point while I was belaying Gary on Whim some mad man was yelling up "hello" from the road, not many people out in this territory.

Anyway, as y'all know, I'm just sandbaggin' you into thinking you can climb in the Valley in the winter time. We finished up with the sun setting from the Merced Canyon, and descended to the road to find the morning frost still covering the rocks. We probably had 60 to 70 deg F weather on the wall while the river was chilly!

Hopefully we can tick another climb off the offwidth list next weekend.

Stay tuned!
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand, Man.....
Dec 11, 2006 - 09:56pm PT
Way to go Ed! Keep it up!

Mimi

climber
Dec 11, 2006 - 10:02pm PT
You lucky dog Ed! Good job and thanks for the TR.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 12, 2006 - 07:29am PT
Nice, Ed.
That second one, in particular warms the cockles of my heart.
Skip the small stuff, especially after last sunday. ha-ha
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Dec 12, 2006 - 07:36am PT
Nice work !
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Dec 12, 2006 - 07:41am PT
Very inspiring, Ed.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Dec 12, 2006 - 08:14am PT
Hartouni told me to post here...hehe

Looks super fun...
Jello

Social climber
No Ut
Dec 12, 2006 - 08:18am PT
Good shots of nice climbing...
Sheets

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 12, 2006 - 08:37am PT
Ah, that's what you were up to.

We saw your van after we racked up to climb on Pat & Jack's but saw no Ed or Gary.

We went up and climbed Nurdles, Knob Job, and I got worked by Sherry's Crack. Good times, we were going to try and hit Generator Crack but the sun couldn't keep up with us.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Dec 12, 2006 - 08:39am PT
Nice! That first route looks really cool.
scuffy b

climber
The town that Nature forgot to hate
Dec 12, 2006 - 09:11am PT
Way to go, Ed and Gary!
They both look really cool. Is Whim in the same area as This
and That?
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 12, 2006 - 11:28am PT
Dimitri's "Back In the Saddle" (5.11a), "Humdinger" (5.10d) and "Cramming" (5.10d) are all nice warm winter routes in the same general area as "This and That". "Whim" looks cool.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 12, 2006 - 12:40pm PT
Hey, Ed--

What gives with this grovel-lust? I remember This and That as being horribly awkward and strenuous for a 10a. I think you can top rope Fish Crack from that ledge with the tree. Even if you can't do the crux the lower crack looks good.

JL
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Dec 12, 2006 - 12:59pm PT
Largo,

I beleive you are thinking of the route Free Press.

Ken
scuffy b

climber
The town that Nature forgot to hate
Dec 12, 2006 - 01:11pm PT
What gives with this grovel-lust?

How many times have you climbed Waterchute?
I think Ed and Gary are just out there chasing fun. Wide climbs
these days are more mysterious than others, being climbed so much
less often. Information is more avoidable.
I'm not 100% certain in their case, but I did a good job of
avoiding OW for decades, and am finally getting around to
learning how to enjoy it. Right now my to-do list is dominated
by wide cracks. Maybe I'll build up my resume to be just slightly
better than pathetic, well-roundedness-wise.
Cheers
sm
spyork

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Dec 12, 2006 - 01:54pm PT
Keep it going Ed! You're an inspiration!

Steve
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Dec 12, 2006 - 02:30pm PT
Maverick and a trend setter.

Nice.

Anyone going up this coming weekend? How is the weather looking?
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Dec 12, 2006 - 02:31pm PT
Nasty and sweet at the same time, just like how I prefer women.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Dec 12, 2006 - 02:39pm PT
Thanks for the TR Ed,
Wish I'd been up there too.
Zander
scuffy b

climber
The town that Nature forgot to hate
Dec 12, 2006 - 02:58pm PT
Zander, what are your crack machine sizes these days?
After trying Gary's, I can say that for the OW, some depth
is nice, allowing armbars, not just stacks.
sm
spyork

Social climber
Land of Green Stretchy People
Dec 12, 2006 - 03:02pm PT
After climbing on Gary's Machine, and doing a hard chimney, I was thinking of making a chimney machine, on the same principle as Gary's, but it's just wider, but you climb between the all thread, instead of climbing on the front side. I should make some drawings...

Steve
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2006 - 03:32pm PT
John - touche (I should be working, but somehow got distracted)

    In the old days, I would find a mentor to drag me up all these sorts of climbs, determine my ability level, and push me out on the sharp end when I was ready... but the situation has changed:

1) the concept of mentor, at age 52, seems a bit of a stretch (I am probably too crotchety to be a mentee, and I've always been a bit of a wise ass anyway, too much to put up with).

2) to get up long free routes in the Valley it is important to have more than a passing familiarity with wide stuff.

3) there isn't anyone doing the short wide climbs... perhaps these are inelegant, they are certainly out of fashion. There is no SuperTopo select climb that features offwidth... or chimney... why?

4) I suck on offwidth, having a list takes the choice out of the situation, e.g.
partner: "what are we going to do today?"
me: "I don't know, what's on the list?"

and there you are...

My ability to climb slab is my most advanced skill...

Wide crack is no longer my least...
...and grovel fests are a part of the badge of honor (if you look at my ankles, the "red badge").

Finally, my license plate is "510 OW" and Gary keeps reminding me that I can't quite claim consistency at the level... he's into honesty...

but really, it's just keeping the climbing fresh... always something to get better at...
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 12, 2006 - 06:40pm PT
Largo,

I beleive you are thinking of the route Free Press.

Ken

Youre right, Ken. And as I remember Free Press was rated 5.9 and wasn't. That bush had me going there for awhile. Too old.

JL
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 12, 2006 - 08:32pm PT
John,
Free Press 5.10a FA 1971 by Gallen Rowell and Sibylle Hechtel (right next to Fish Crack 5.12b Henry Barber et al. 1975) had the 10a rating in the original (Green) Meyers' Guide, and all the guides thereafter that I know about.

It's not in the Roper guide (at least the one I have © 1971)... maybe you were sandbagged?

By the way Free Press does show up on one of my lists (of course!)
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Dec 13, 2006 - 05:57am PT
If ya make it over to Phoenix one of these days, Ed, we can get some groveling in...pic is of Y-Crack (5.9), but there's also a nice 10"-er at Pinnacle Peak called Hades (10b). Did it a bunch of years ago on TR and it was.



And then there's always Jump Back Jack...
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Dec 13, 2006 - 06:14am PT
Don't forget, Deliverence!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2006 - 07:12am PT
Tell me the red on the back of that tee-shirt is blood...
it seems that offwidth has a way of telling you when you screwed up, and it is in the cutting of flesh and the bleeding... maybe I am perverted(!?) but it's nice to have the immediate and unmistakable feedback on climbing.

But I have this vision of learning to do it well enough to make it look less like grovelling and more like climbing. The "Offwidth Angel" certainly made quick and "easy" work of Generator Crack (GC) when she floated it. The mystery to unlock is just slowing it all down, the key to which is finding the rests.

In the end, if I merely achieve the ability just to climb OW like everything else I will be happy.
leinosaur

Trad climber
burns flat, ok
Dec 13, 2006 - 07:20am PT
Hey you OW crack-machine dudes, what angle are you working with? My buddy set his up straight horizontal, which seems a bit much for learning good OW tech.

Reminds me of Clinton McKinzie's latest Antonio Burns mystery, though.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2006 - 07:24am PT
dead vertical is a good start...
yo

climber
The Eye of the Snail
Dec 13, 2006 - 07:39am PT
Hartouni told me to post on this thread a second time.


bwahahaha
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Dec 13, 2006 - 07:51am PT
"Tell me the red on the back of that tee-shirt is blood..."

Actually ow is an ancient self mutilation for spiritual enlightenment.

In which case, Ed, getting good at it sort of misses the point.

‘Floating off width angel?’—maybe you are being led astray.

Happy holidays.

Buzz
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 13, 2006 - 10:13am PT
An OW that belongs on your grovel list is "Secret Storm" (5.10a) at the base of Middle Brother behind Camp 4. Remember doing it for "practice" the day before Doug Rodhe and I did Steck-Salathe in July 1973 and remember that it was certainly worse than anything we encountered the next day on Sentinel. Lots of hard breathing . . . right-side in. "Edge of Night" is also nearby, but it's 5.10c OW.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2006 - 12:32pm PT
it's there... here is the list we're (at least I am) currently working from, all are 10a in the Yellow Meyers' guide:

Banana Dreams
Cookie, Left
This and That
Nothing Special (Mongolian Clusterf*#k)
Chingando
Reed's Pinnacle, Left
Bong's Away, Center
Hourglass, Right
Gollum, Left
Orange Juice Avenue
Secret Storm
Doggie Do
Geek Towers, Center
Geek Towers, Right
Worst Error, Right
Crack of Doom
Crack of Dispair
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 13, 2006 - 01:19pm PT
Secret Storm is harder than 10a and Crack of Despair is more of a squeeze than a true off-width and the pro ain't great neither. A lot of those ratings depend on body size as well. Bad Ass Momma for instance is absolutely horrendous as an arm barring exercise if your leg and knee are too big to get it inside. It's dynamic arm barring all the way. On some of the wider stuff, however, burly physiques might help a bit. But again on certain things, bigness can really torch you. Edge of Night, as I said, is rated 5.10c but if you can't get inside of it somewhat it's way harder than many .11 ofwidths.

Ed, that list looks horrendous.

JL
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2006 - 05:12pm PT
so it is with obsession, John, your affirmation of the list be horrendous makes it all the more attractive... as I said, I am truely sick. Of course if George hadn't put the list in the back of the Yellow Guide to enable my sickness I'd be sick on some other list.

Anyway, I'll be Trip Reporting throughout the winter and spring on progress. I don't have partners lined up for all the climbs ('cause some of my partners aren't as sick as I), and some of them are better in the fall than the spring so I probably won't tick the entire list, but there it is...

...by the end of it, I'll have grovelled up some of the infamous YV grovells... fodder for the Forum.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Upper Fupa, North Dakota
Feb 25, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
BAWC bump
scuffy b

climber
just below the San Andreas
Feb 25, 2009 - 06:42pm PT
Wild-Ass Biometrician Cult

(I like the letters to move around)
P.Kingsbury

Trad climber
the jeep
Mar 12, 2009 - 10:14pm PT
wideness bump!
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Mar 12, 2009 - 11:45pm PT
it's not a static list, there is always something else.
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Mar 12, 2009 - 11:50pm PT
Ed+wide=Happy.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 24, 2010 - 06:27am PT
jaybro,
do you speak of deliverance at pie shop?

thats a great scum of a scoop. a bit grainy if i recall, but it's pie shop d.g.

Swami Jr.

Trad climber
Bath, NY
Feb 24, 2010 - 07:07am PT
thanks ed. always great to see your posts.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 24, 2010 - 07:34am PT
Ed I meant deliverence @ Pinnacle Peak, (.11c as rated by the first clean ascent, mine) Scottsdale Az, where those other routes Wideload mentioned are
L

climber
Just surfin' the tsunami of life...
Feb 24, 2010 - 08:27am PT
I remember reading this thread when it was first posted in '06.


So Ed...how goes the list-whittling over the last 3 years?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 24, 2010 - 08:38am PT
He's gotten a lot done, but I think the lists are growing

I think he's gonna rope gun us up this one;
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2010 - 08:58am PT
Where are we, yes, many OWs have gone down in the last four years. At the moment my back is recovering from the effort, I fear...


Banana Dreams 4/09 scoped out no attempt yet
Cookie, Left attempts 2/07 & 3/08 tricky exit moves
This and That 12/06 the OP
Nothing Special (Mongolian Clusterf*#k) 12/06 & 1/07 off size for my heel-toe, run out on top
Chingando 12/06, 5/06, 10/07 & other times, classic
Reed's Pinnacle, Left 10/07 much tamer with modern cams
Bong's Away, Center 2/00 & 1/09 great climb that should be done a lot more often
Hourglass, Right 10/08 late start and slow approach got us up the first pitch
Gollum, Left 1/07 an improbable offwidth roof that is amazing
Orange Juice Avenue 1/09 oddly strenuous
Secret Storm 3/07 crux is "5.7 chim."
Doggie Do 2/04, 4/04, & 3/07 arm length can get you through crux, this is very slick granite
Geek Towers, Center checked approach 3/09
Geek Towers, Right checked approach 3/09
Worst Error, Right checked approach 11/08
Crack of Doom checked approach 11/08
Crack of Dispair checked approach 11/08
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 24, 2010 - 09:00am PT
Just bitter, jealous and passing through.
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Feb 24, 2010 - 10:36am PT
I want to go try This and That. Maybe soon would be good!
L

climber
Just surfin' the tsunami of life...
Feb 24, 2010 - 10:48am PT
Not bad whittling on that ticklist considering:

1. Your body's falling apart ;-)
2. You're dealing with OW's, which is why your body's falling apart ;-) ;-)



Jaybro--What's the name of that horror-fest?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2010 - 11:18am PT
steve, we should go and "shoot it"
I see segments in the up coming "Wiggle in the Wide" video that are on the "classic offwidths" list... interspersed with "talking heads" and footage documenting the visits to the ER....

maybe we can cross-sports boundaries and have some bicycle riders talking about road rash curatives...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 24, 2010 - 11:21am PT
Put "The Cleft" on your list. It's in the same grade range. Do you ever get out to IC?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 24, 2010 - 12:12pm PT
the three "5.9" OW in Meyers' list are:

The Cleft
Peter Pan
Maple Jam

I haven't done The Cleft yet, but probably on the list once I start climbing again...

IC, not yet, but the Chuck Pratt prophesy from his article The View From Dead Horse Point: "behold the future of crack climbing in America" rings in my head...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Feb 24, 2010 - 12:39pm PT
L, that's Gabriel, 13b/c, Zion -pretty sure Ed has a dark mattter trick up his sleeve for that one....



I've never done the Cleft, either.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 24, 2010 - 12:42pm PT
mock the wind.
it is a very amiable and accomodating fluid.

it merely relocates itself from area's of high pressure to low.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Feb 24, 2010 - 01:14pm PT
Thanks Ed, I enjoyed this! Nothing as satisfying as working through a ticklist...

You really ought to look at The Riddler up at Little Wing. It's a beautiful line, and the sweetest kind of wide there is (beautiful hands in the back!)
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:21am PT
Great thread, Ed-

I am very interested in doing some OW climbing on my upcoming trip to the Valley. i've avoided them for nearly 45 years, but somehow am beginning to find a certain faxcination with them. I think it must be the elegant lines that they present. Hence the thread I started a few weeks back on the OW Training Circuit.

My list now:

Uncle Fanny
Trial by Fire
Little John, Left Side
Doggie Do (toprope)
Bongs Away, Center
Generator Crack (toprope)
This and That
Whim
Although I will be in Yosemite nearly 3 weeks, I don't think there will be enough time other that make a small dent in this list, as as I have lots of other routes that I consider "unfinished business" from previous visits; i.e.: "The Caverns", "Goodrich Pinnacle, Right Side."
and "Hanging Teeth."
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 19, 2010 - 10:52am PT
Beware, exploding Karbuncles!
Scuffy, post Chingando, if you saw his blood stained pants, from that day, your first thought would be, amputation!
Credit: Jaybro
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Apr 19, 2010 - 11:37am PT
Mega offwidth bump Ed !!!
altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
Apr 19, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
As I was I just getting interested in Chingando. Sheeet.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 19, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
Go for it, it's christened in blood!
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 19, 2010 - 01:40pm PT
Is Chingando a little soft in the grade now because the caked blood flakes make extra crimper edges?
Alexey

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Apr 19, 2010 - 03:42pm PT
everything become from impossible to soft after doing many times.
Sheets

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 19, 2010 - 06:35pm PT
I tried Ahab and Generator Crack this weekend with poor results. On Ahab I wriggled up to the OW part after the squeeze but but was out of gas to finish the climb. Generator == total fail. Someone told me Bong's Away is good precursor to Generator?
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 20, 2010 - 07:13pm PT
I'm bumping this to see if anyone comments of Sheets' pondering comment re: Generator Crack vs. Bongs Away.
franky

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 20, 2010 - 08:49pm PT
Who has the beta for Doggie Do?

The bottom is a hand/fist stack left side in with a heal toe... But after the alcove, I'm at a loss, can't get anything out of me feet. I ended up lieing it back using the good lieback inside the crack, but it is insanely strenuous.

I encourage everyone to go toprope that f*#ker, it is a walk instead of a drive from camp four.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 20, 2010 - 09:25pm PT
Bongs Away Center
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=778179
http://widefetish.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=370.msg3001;topicseen#msg3001

Generator Crack
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=119587


I find them very different. Bongs Away Center is pretty classic offwidth and consistent at grade. To me Generator Crack changes character a few times through out, the start, the section to the bottom of the chimney, and then the chimney... all good, but the OW on BAC seemed pretty consistent, and maybe not as steep...

Try also Orange Juice Avenue which is a great 10a OW...

...and Secret Storm

scuffy b leading in the bidness on Doggie Do:



not his side in... done that way it is a reach problem, longer arms are better... Jaybro did a nice job on TR.... but I couldn't see his magic...


much of this is discussed on the Wide Fetish, Route Beta page.
franky

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 20, 2010 - 10:27pm PT
damn, that beta page makes me feel like an ass! I thought Doggie Do was pretty hard... didn't feel that much easier than the moves on generator crack to me, not that I've even TRed that one clean yet. Oh well, much to learn!!!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2010 - 08:41am PT
Watched Ed's video on Bongs Away Center, and was impressed by the nice clean character of the rock--not to mention the fabulous position at the end of the climb!
Bump for a cool thread!
Also watched the Orange Juice Avenue video; looks like a real nice crack.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 22, 2010 - 03:14pm PT
Hi Ed,
I was told by someone who climbed it last year that the actual OW on BAW center was pretty short and that you can work the features on the face before and after. That sound right?
Z
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2010 - 03:19pm PT
I found the OW on BAWC (should be our climb!) to be quite good, Gary lead it and didn't have much of an issue... I didn't think of anything other than OW for the section of OW... don't recall how long it was. The entire pitch is not OW...
EdBannister

Mountain climber
CA
Apr 22, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#154816
an Ed to Ed post
isn't there some sort of personality imbalance to be seeking out offwidths let alone making a tick list?

with that perspective, two short sections of offwidth in that grade range on otherwise nice routes:

The start of The Spectrum, Dome Rock, put up by Leversee
and
5.9 but dead vert,
start of second pitch of Spooky (not spook book) at the needles
as in the pic above.
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 22, 2010 - 03:34pm PT
Ed Bannister,

Look in the mirror to see your personality imbalance.
You make OW seem ickier than spiders, slugs, broccoli and dirt
combined...

There's more to Life than sunny granite slabs...
EdBannister

Mountain climber
CA
Apr 22, 2010 - 03:41pm PT
oh my,
'just a little fun,
and i know i am not well. but i do prefer the cookie to Human Sacrifice off Geology tour road.

and i would much prefer Broccoli

edit dos:
or, if you will, look at what the Largo rightly asked:

What gives with this grovel-lust?

Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 22, 2010 - 03:49pm PT
Hey Franky,
While climbing with Ed, Gary and scuffy I've been spanked by Doggie Do, Secret Storm and Left Side of The Cookie, all 10a OW. The thing is... then later I've been six pitches up something OW and everything I've learned "failing" on those climbs allows me to cruise it. The first time you throw in a hand stack way the hell off the ground and it gets you through the blank section, well, it is an awesome experience. You'll do it too and when you do report back.
Zander
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 22, 2010 - 04:45pm PT
Yes, Ed,
but consider Largo's background when he posed that question:
he had climbed Waterchute how many hundreds of times?

No painful hand jams on a real offwidth, lol
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2010 - 05:03pm PT
I'm surprised that Chris hasn't included any climbs form the This and That Cliff in the ST Yosemite Free climbs guidebook. Just looking at Ed's pix--This and That looks classic, as does Whim!

Added in edit; Bongs Away Center is also missing!
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 22, 2010 - 05:50pm PT
Well, the Supertopo page for Reed's Direct carefully explains how to avoid
the icky 5.9 rattly fist at the top of Pitch 2 (some people think it's
off width) and goes on to say the preferred finish is to tunnel
through to the Left and climb the last pitch of the Regular, avoiding the
crux pitch of the Direct.

Any surprise that Bongs Away Center is missing?

EDIT: I, myself, don't think the fist section is icky. That was an attempt
to use a literary device.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 22, 2010 - 06:46pm PT
I have fairly small hands, so an "icky rattley fist" IS an OW for me!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 23, 2010 - 08:00am PT
Comment on "grovelling!"

As a younger climber, I really loved elegant faces with tiny holds and steep! Think of "Anthill Direct" in Eldorado, or maybe "Yellow Spur." These all required several factors that no longer, in my case, obtain: finger strength, flexibility and being able to make long reaches/high steps, and a slim lowfat build.

Now that I'm older (and heavier) many of these conditions no longer exist; sigh!

Now I'm gonna' start "grovelling."
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2010 - 08:58am PT
for those of us who climb in Yosemite Valley, some familiarity with Offwidth Technique is necessary as routes (particularly ones with older FAs) will often have OW sections.

The original intent was to enlarge the repertoire of climbs we did by overcoming personal limitations caused by lack of familiarity with OW (and chimney) technique.

Perhaps if I were a better climber, I'd have just avoided those climbs with OW and done the harder climbs without... but I have my limitations.

The fact that 90% of climbers (that's just a made up statistic) avoid OW has two advantages: 1) we never wait behind other parties to do those climbs and 2) since few have done the climbs we get to talk them up to the general climbing public who, while curious, will never venture onto them, preferring the guaranteed thrills of a "classic" to groveling in some nightmare. In other words, we get bragging rights.

However, when encountering OW these days, it sure is nice to know how to get through it with the same elegance and efficiency attributed to other rock climbing techniques.

And that was the original point of the list...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 23, 2010 - 09:05am PT
Why climb anything else?
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Apr 23, 2010 - 11:44am PT
For me Bongs Center was many degrees easier than Generator, a climb I've tried three times and still not topped out on.

Bongs Center offers all kinds of scumming for your shoulder and hip on the right and all kinds of features for feet and even hands at times on the left. Total length of the wide section seemed about 35 ft. Easy to set up a TR after doing the easy Bongs Left if you're not sure about the lead. Great climb, but aren't they all great climbs?
Jingy

Social climber
Nowhere
Apr 23, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
jaybro - "Why climb anything else?"


becuase you can!!!???

lol

cheers
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 23, 2010 - 01:44pm PT
A couple old school off widths that don't get much ink.

Vendetta. Not a total or pure off width but a good climb.

Crack of Despair. All time classic rarely done. Stiff for 10a.

Edge of Night. Weird flare. Short but technical.

Edge of Night. Strenuous for 5.10. Good technique essential, unless you're Ron Fawcet (my sometimes partner back then) who just lybacked it.

Right side of Hourglass. Classic right side in humper.

Peter Left. Long walk but good.

Right side of Absolutely Free. Used to be impossible to protect the first thirty feet so you had to be solid at the grade (10b??).

Center Route of Absolutely Free. Beauty.

JL

nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 23, 2010 - 02:05pm PT
Second the motion from le_bruce that Bongs Away Center is casual for the grade. I though Bong's Away Left is about the same! To be fair, I only TR'd BA Center so my judgment was impaired.

Generator crack is significantly more stout.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Apr 23, 2010 - 08:31pm PT
Ed's comment about overcoming personal limitations is the main reason for my upcoming venture into offwidth climbing. I've avoided several climbs over the years because of the OW portions therein.
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 24, 2010 - 10:56am PT
Vendetta: whether you think this is a real offwidth will vary with your
personal contours and perimeter.

The money pitch is mostly around 4", with the right side of the crack
very rounded into a flare.
For someone like Largo, it's probably solid fists, but awkward to reach
in with the right hand, so climbed left-side in, shuffling.

It is the real deal offwidth for me. No hope of a fist jam for a long
way, stacks and arm bars, bigger than foot jams, very tight knees except
where the knee doesn't actually fit.

Superb quality, that 2nd pitch.
okie

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Apr 29, 2010 - 05:49am PT
Puzzles me what Long means when he says Vendetta isn't "pure ow"- it starts out 6" (rule of thumb: add an inch to whatever the guidebook says) and then tapers to 5" for the rest of the pitch. There were a couple of spots to place a 4" cam but it's basically 5" up there. Unless you have big green hulk hands it's ow. I was doing tight hand-fist stacks through the final section. And like Scuffy, I got my knee stuck at the top.

The anchor in the alcove may need renovation...because, there wasn't one! LOL! Exciting exit out of there on the next pitch too...
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 29, 2010 - 08:02am PT
At the beginning of the third, "come-out-of-the-roof pitch" on Vendetta, 1972 or so, it was my second time up the route, first was with Schmitz in 1971, spring. I think this is one of the better routes in Yosemite.

Credit: Peter Haan

the second pitch is offwidth, has a large-radius left edge (not the right side as Scuffy says). It is armbarring and the left hand deals with the large radius left edge. You are right side in and there is plenty of friction actually to the rock. Stiff shoes, protectable. You have to be patient also.
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 29, 2010 - 08:36am PT
You have it backwards, Peter.
okie

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Apr 29, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
That's a cool pic Peter. Did the belayer take that? Puzzling because I didn't see anything that high in the alcove- there was some cut tat on some tightly wedged blocks way in the back of the alcove, at the bottom of it(last weekend). I just did a "Donini Belay" off a single 5" cam in there (oh well...)
Perhaps the next pitch could be linked, I almost did that anyway in my search for anchors.
I really got a sense of adventure on this route- and there were crowds just next door on Catchy.
I tried the Twilight Zone... Things were going well for a bit until it bulged and those great edges on the face went away and the beast reared its overhanging head...but I think that crack is the coolest looking thing in the whole canyon. I shall return.
By the way- I know that doing these things with cams is not even in the same world as what you guys were in. I think Mark Chapman said it best here on Supertopo: "sport crack climbing" to describe how we climb nowadays.
scuffy b

climber
Where only the cracks are dry
Apr 29, 2010 - 04:20pm PT
That piece in Peter's picture is further out towards the lip than it
appears.
How did you like the 2nd pitch, Okie?
okie

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Apr 29, 2010 - 04:44pm PT
Good stuff, Scuffy! Hey, I went over to Wide Wednesday, but nobody showed! I guess people figured it was raining too much... and I thought so too... until I went in my backyard and starting playing on my crack machines and realized they were dry- hence Gary's might be dry too...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2010 - 07:50am PT
Once upon a time climbs like Crack of Despair made the cover of "the journals of reference"...

I believe the leader below is Tom Higgins, the photos were John Dill's (hey Dill, how come you don't post more here? especially old images like these!) Who's sitting in the tree?

Behold:





Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 10, 2010 - 08:04am PT
Thanks for the photos of Crack of Despair, Ed. That sure does look like Higgins; the all-in-white featured climber has that "little train that could" look. ( I say this for Tom's benefit of course).

Scuffy is right about the offwidth pitch on Vendetta. Here is a sequence of part of it:








Higher up though you turn around for the hardest part, to face left below the alcove. It is obvious and not optional.






Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Nov 10, 2010 - 08:24am PT
Despair had (has?) bolts?!!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2010 - 08:41am PT
those two bolts, and a two-bolt anchor at the top of that pitch, per Reid's guide...
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Nov 10, 2010 - 08:52am PT
Ed-
Glad to see this thread resurrected (getting bumped!)!! Maybe next year in the Valley? I'm now getting back to feeling more....Normal!
Rodger
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 10, 2010 - 09:01am PT
Despair is a slightly harder, slightly longer Pharaoh's Beard and barely 5.10a. The bolts on the left side were original oldies from the sixties last I knew. I suppose most just do that first pitch and avoid the long moderate s-chimneys above and the resulting longer rappel or walkaround.
EDIT: I did the first unroped / 3rd class ascent of Despair in june of 71.
scuffy b

climber
Three feet higher
Nov 10, 2010 - 09:01am PT
Not sure, but I would suspect the bolts were for aid on the first ascent
of Crack of Despair. There's the story of Sacherer making sure his
partner didn't stand on the bolt (on the FFA) by threatening to pull him off...
martygarrison

Trad climber
The Great North these days......
Nov 10, 2010 - 11:44am PT
in 73 I only remember one quarter inch bolt in the middle of the ow on despair. having said that, it was a long time ago. I really thought I was a hard man after that one. we only went over there because of the article in mountain and of course wore white sailor pants.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2010 - 12:46pm PT
I think a lot of adventures began with the cover of some issue of Mountain... I know a few places I went because of those compelling images!

John Dill - do you have any more images you could share? (I have volunteered to do scanning of 35mm slides, negatives, and I have a new flat bed scanner that works well too)...
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati
Nov 12, 2010 - 07:55pm PT
Thanks!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 21, 2011 - 07:29pm PT
wide bump
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 21, 2011 - 07:32pm PT
There appears to be a disturbance in the Wyde force....
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Dec 21, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
My creaky right bicep and left ankle are starting to signal an incoming WideFront. Expect sustained wind(edness) gusting to 5 to 12 and a 80% chance of precipitation of lunch.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 21, 2011 - 08:21pm PT
Wyde wednesday style bump
tom Carter

Social climber
Apr 22, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
Here's a piece from an old friend concerning a OW in the Valley:

"Peter Paan"

a few unchosen words about 5.9 OW

Followin
Peter pain
I was waxin
with the Norwegian but
de Flames melted the klister
painin
the wood bright burnt orange
peelin
away from the damned skins
so I Bard the dam thin.
Puffin away like an angry Gym Bird,
singin like the old man
fartin the words of mem or he would
Never Ever See the memory
of which he stank.
Then he came to the N
Word. And the angry bled away.

Yeah, I cn cmpete at this level with the best ST has, I tink.
Whaddya, tink?
Winkwink,
Nudgenudge.
But that is not his real nor is Mouse
who descends from Laarson the Caterpillaar
but they dropped two A
and left just the first one A.
A?
I never took the quickie quizzes
Have U?
Did u pass gas as it went
by thrutch and clutch and desperate mewlings
makin TM proud to B a big bro to a gang of Uths?
Or did U refuse the invitation
claimin prior Commitments?
Why did the chicken bother
Brother Mouse the timid if he wanted the truth?
I'll tell U the truth
Crossin the chicken
instead of the road
leads the old man back to where he started
but he suddenly farted
stinkin up the squeeze.
Bright blue skysun and he is free.
Wendy parted
Mathis farted
everyone said he's back.
But he never left
Peter left
So everybody leaves in a huff
in a peak of anger yet again
Fartin stinkin Puffin stuff
Yet we two have joy.
"Five-niney as hell, bro.
Nice lead."
But I raced him on the rappel
and my watch claimed I won.
My loser friend bought the Schliz
cuz we wuz Buds in a frenzy
seekin a way to get away
and become what we were not.
Sittin in a Camp 4 parkin lot.
----
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