steck-salathé approach

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 27 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2007 - 03:44pm PT
Anyone got beta on this? We'll be onsighting it in the dark. Will we get lost? Place your bets...
Flex

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 7, 2007 - 03:48pm PT
Not too hard to spot in the dawn hours as I recall. It did have some pretty real 4th class though with a bit of exposure, a good warm-up.
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Jun 7, 2007 - 03:49pm PT
I haven't been bold enough to approach it. I just sneak in furtive glances. Will be waiting for the TR...
lamadera

Trad climber
New Mexico
Jun 7, 2007 - 04:03pm PT
We found it in the early morning hours without much trouble. Hike up the day before if you're worried. The descent is another story ...
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Jun 7, 2007 - 04:06pm PT
I did it as an 18 year old dork - and lived so, can't be that bad...
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2007 - 04:13pm PT
"I haven't been bold enough to approach it."

Yeah, me too. Time to face up.



Any approach/descent beta appreciated.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 7, 2007 - 04:38pm PT
Straightforward. Hike up 4-mile for a mile, turn right when you hit the creek. Follow the climber's trail for about 15 minutes until you hit the base of the rock; there's a big, beautiful ramp there that you'll follow up. I gear up and leave my pack there at the base, you'll be coming back by there on your return.

Scurry up the ramp, at the top follow the goat trail out right. Keep heading right and up, you'll pass some 3rd class stuff, but eventually you should find the start of the climb. If you go too far on the approach, you'll end up on the West Face!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 7, 2007 - 04:54pm PT
I did it a couple of years ago and it was amazingly straight forward... it follows an obvious ramp system which is pretty well worn, and makes sense. While you get the feeling that there is exposure, you actually don't realize how much until you get down and look at it from the Valley... you are walking on some pretty narrow paths at points, scambling 4th class above slab which gives way (our of your sight lines) to long drops off cliffs.

That being said, it is not a bad approach by Valley standards. You should do fine.

Good Luck!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 7, 2007 - 05:18pm PT
We tried the approach onsight in the dark in 1977, without looking at it carefully from the road beforehand. We ended up going up the left/center of the wall on 3rd/4th class ground and ended up at the base of the Chouinard-Harbert and lost a lot of time descending to the Steck Salathe'.

Best description is to leave the hiking trail at the stream, go up the right side of the streambed on the climbers' trail, and do not go left when the stream goes left. Instead go up to the bottom of the wall and locate the clean right-diagonalling ramp which starts just to the right. Solo up it carefully; there are some exposed lower 5th class moves where if you fall you will die. Jim Adair died in 1978 when he fell from the approach to the Chouinard-Herbert; he was a very gifted climber.


view from Five Open Books descent. Steck-Salathe' approach is the rightmost red line. Chouinard-Herbert is in the middle; it has some 5th class and I rope up for it when it leaves the main ramp.



view from rim near Lost Arrow Spire

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2007 - 06:18pm PT
Wow! Thanks! No excuse now. Hope to send early next week.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 7, 2007 - 06:23pm PT
Hi Jerry,
I've done the thing six times; four times up and two times down. I agree with what Clint has been said above but would add a little more scarediecat beta.

The trail is burned in up to the start of the ramp so if you are not on a trail as you approach the base of the ramps go find it.
Put on your rock shoes.
About 100 feet or so before the top of the first ramp the route goes off to the right around the corner and I think it would be easy to miss in full darkness.
There is a super cool little trail like something out of a movie right after that.
Somewhat later there are a couple of places of low 5th class with a series of funky sloping holds with three hundred feet of outrageous exposure. Forewarned is forearmed
Enjoy.
Zander
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Jun 7, 2007 - 06:29pm PT
Good Beta above. We did it, onsight (went on to the west face) then had no problem a few yrs later for the steck. Went on yrs later to go up Chouinard/Herbert (worse approach) with little Drama. Later, though, I went up to solo SS and was preoccupied with complacency and apprehension, f*#ked up, and faced the terror that might have been what found Jim Adair (who I met on his second to last day of his life);going up there the next time with open eyes I had no problems.

It's not bad, but there is lurking, potential, hazard, if you take it seriouslly and pay attention, you will be fine.
frisbee

climber
{this page left blank intentionally}
Jun 7, 2007 - 06:50pm PT
I've been up and down the descent route and it is my favorite Valley scramble. I didn't find it to be all that loose compared to anywhere else in the Valley.

When descending the gully behind Sentinel Rock, stick to the cliffs on descender's left (north) as the gully has a couple of splits in its channel. There are 3 short downclimbing sections in the gully. Once you leave the gully, follow the creek down and cross it. Then the final tricky part is working your way through the bushes on a blocky/slabby granite outcropping. I found a way through this mess that is 2nd/3rd class, but it took me a while.

Good luck!
Jake
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 7, 2007 - 07:31pm PT
I've only been to the Valley once, and then only for just under five days, but the one thing that really called to me was the left half of Sentinel so I and my friend ran up to the base of SS to check out the approach on my last day. I thought it was all relatively fine except for the final slightly-outward-sloping-pink-ball-bearing-covered-sidewalk at the top of the broad ramp - it's covered with snow and circled in the photo below. I was completely ok with third-classing it as I had no pack or gear to speak of, but my partner definitely wanted a rope to second it so I drug one up with me.

I recall there was maybe one or two lousy pieces of pro along the base of the crumbling ramp wall which were more for show than any else. I wouldn't want to onsight this ramp in the dark with a heavy load of gear. I'd probably run up it sans pack first and fix a line up it and then bring the bag across - that may seem overly cautious as I wasn't used to much of anything in the Valley. I would mainly just be concerned with slipping on one of those pink ball bearings...

jerr

climber
Jun 7, 2007 - 07:50pm PT
For gods sake, when you do climb it, do not carry anything more than a rope ,rack, and the shirt on your back.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2007 - 07:51pm PT
We shouldn't have bags to haul on SS, except some big-ass chalk bags. Shouldn't need fixed lines for those. LoL!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 7, 2007 - 08:30pm PT
"For gods sake, when you do climb it, do not carry anything more than a rope ,rack, and the shirt on your back."

My reference to bags and gear were less specific to SS and more about heading up to points on the wall left of it.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2007 - 09:38pm PT
What did you climb over there? CH? I've always eyed that wall Left of Sentinal. I recall that there are some old lines on it, but don't know what. Saw drawn lines over a photo in one of the old books a long time ago. Anyone know?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 7, 2007 - 09:52pm PT
Jerry, I didn't climb anything, I just ran up to the base of SS to check out the approach on my last day thinking I'd get back there sometime soon and just head up a ways left of CH. Figured we'd just eyeball something over that way and see how it went. That was in back in 2000 and for a variety of reasons I haven't been able to get back down. Maybe this fall...
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 7, 2007 - 11:01pm PT
I posted up a few pics here a while back. Third one down is a shot of that ramp you go up to get to the base of the route.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=336712&msg=343607#msg343607
Messages 1 - 20 of total 27 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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