Electric Ladyland PhotoTR


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Erik Sloan

Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 17, 2007 - 05:57pm PT
My first photo tr so a little light on the photos but I'm still learnin so bear with me.

Theron finally got enough days off work to get to the top of a wall so we picked something easy that neither of us had done. One of those turned out to be true.

The first couple pitches in the book look like wandering grass so we opted for the first pitch of Ten Days After. I had been looking forward to leading this pitch (5.9) but still got worked. Hanging with the bros at the base of the Prow starting up their first grade VI--priceless.

Now we were on the slabby ledge and ready to get into the business. It was unseasonably cold that day(rained hard the day before) and the first twenty feet of the overhanging A4 crack was running with green slime--don't I look psyched!
Placing from my third steps, shame. That's a pee bottle, btw.
The second pitch is generally rotten, crytalized flakestone with plenty of fixed mank/dead heads on top. I ran out of beaks and lowered down, replaced the only bolt on the pitch, and then lowered more and cleaned all my thin gear below(Man, those med and lg bd beaks are nectar!). I was wishing we were just fixing so I wouldn't be worried about finishing by dark but we got er done and were enjoying the vegetarian dinner under bright stars soon enough.

The next day was glorious and the wildly steep cracks summed us upward. Theron stepped up to the plate for his first nailing lead on the A3 third pitch. Proud!(all you fellas out there that think yer men this guy made his own hammer, portaledge, wedding rings, russian aiders, ect. ).

The only blight was that he missed the belay and climbed up into the corner on Ten Days After(which I didn't know was different from the EL corner pitches) so we got off route for a couple pitches of glorious C1+.

The route is so steep that from the six pitch belay you can still see the first moves on the second pitch. The sun came out more summer like so we set up the ledge at 3pm and enjoyed an early dinner and the late light on Half Dome.
(added this shot from last year's Column climb--this year there's no snow or wet streak:)

The next morning it was my turn to head up into the 5.8 squeeze--which thankfully(for my freeclimbing ability) sported an alien crack in the back. Stellar rock and steep!

Theron got the A3 next pitch which was less steep and a lot mellower than his first lead.

Then I took us to the very temporary ledge, which is more of a belay seat sized stance. This pitch is only 90' but steep and rotten--more A3 than A2. Cool view looking back down those inverted corners.

Then the angle mellowed and our pace picked up as we were anxious to spend a night on the Eagle's Nest ledge after three days of hanging it out.
(An out of sequence shot here but the next lead was long and T spent it chillin in the corner while I wrestled with the A4 slab above).

We made the ledge right at dark which was cool. Amazing spot with these steep splitter cracks swirled orange cream on the wall next to you and the crack leading up the overhanging arch above. Bummer is it slopes too much to sleep on.
(picture taken the next morning from below the ledge)

Theron had conveniently taken a couple pitches off so he got the sweet ride out the roof.

My view wasn't too bad either.

Then we were on the summit just taking it all in: the valley stretching to the el cap meadow in front of us and up towards Tuolomne behind. The summit of the Column is a first rate bivy!
We got up early to beat the heat down the gully
We got down with plenty of time to hit the bridge/meadow for some r & r. Electric Ladyland is no trade route these days but it has some yosemite classic pitches thrown in with plenty of classic yosemite climbing. If Ten Days After is a good warm up for Zodiac Electric Ladyland is a good warmup for Zenyatta. Fun stuff!

I love my new Canon powershot sd800--so small I carry in my front pocket on lead.

Warning: Below is specific beta from climbing Electric Ladyland.
(warning for those beta-averse folks)

5 ea beak-sm,md & lg
1 ea LA #1-4
1ea sawed and 1 ea regular baby angles
2-3 ea sawed angles 3/4-1 1/4
20 heads--mostly #2 & #3 and a chisel
5 rivet hangers
2 ea micro nuts (size 4-6 HB brassies)
1 ea nuts
3 ea cams to #1 camalot
2 ea #2-5 camalot(no 4.5s)
the only pitch where you need lots of cams is the pitch below Eagle Nest ledge. 2 ea does require you to backclean or freeclimb a fair bit.
Bolt Kit: all belays except Pitch 5 have two 3/8 bolts. Modern bolts with hangers to replace lead bolts if any break--they're pretty krusty rusty and we only replaced about half(this is june 2007 so the bolts are 32 years old and for reference a similar rusty 1/4" with a hanger just sheered on solo dave under body weight on Virginia, a route put up in '92!). Almost all the bolts on the route have hangers.
The hardest part of pitch 3 was the first section off the ledge.
130' which seems long because it's overhanging.
Pitch 4 100'
Pitch 7 requires no pins/hammer. 100'
Pitch 8 is A2 or A2+. 120'
Pitch 9 is A3rotten. 90'
Pitch 10 is more sideways at the beginning of the pitch than is shown. 90 or 100'.
Pitch 11 is C1 or C2, no pins or hammer(looks like maybe some flakes fell out of the crack so the last section is now c1 instead of A3+). There is no tension or penji on the pitch anymore. You just go straight up the crack from the belay and C1 cracks appear on the sidewall at regular intervals that give you good pro as most of the crack is 4-7". 100-110'.
Pitch 12 is a little longer than shown on the topo. Belay at the three traversing bolts or in the corner before. 140.
Pitch 13 starts with C2rotten or 5.9 AO in the corner and then the short 5.7 corner then you reach a big sandy ledge system. It's best to traverse back right to a tree right above the belay to haul. 50' pitch, 20' haul.
From the tree at the top of 13 you can fourth class 180' up a ramp right(same ramp as for Astroman)((best route)) or you can angle up and left on crumbly, ledgy, difficult to protect 5.rotten--you'll join the Prow's last pitch scramble at the end if you wander far enough left.


Social climber
St. Looney
Jun 17, 2007 - 06:16pm PT
Awesome photos and story. You guys are soooo lucky to be out there.

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Jun 17, 2007 - 06:20pm PT
Nice pics!...thanks for the TR!
J. Werlin

Jun 17, 2007 - 06:48pm PT
Excelent TR!!! Well done. Beautiful photos.

Mountain climber
Jun 17, 2007 - 06:59pm PT
Very cool. Thanks. Great shots. Almost makes me want to do another wall. Almost!
Standing Strong

Trad climber
hip and sassy pants off dance off
Jun 17, 2007 - 07:01pm PT
that's fun! thank you for sharing

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jun 17, 2007 - 07:18pm PT
Great TR. Thanks for taking the time to take the pics and write it up. It looks like you had a fun outing!

Crestline CA
Jun 17, 2007 - 09:54pm PT
Super SWEET ERIK... great report... can fat men do that stuff too?
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Jun 18, 2007 - 12:23am PT
Wow, great pics and TR, it brings back a lot of memories!

Trad climber
Hell A
Jun 18, 2007 - 12:34am PT
thanks for the tr and pics.

Tony Yeary, what do you mean almost. aren't we doin the Nose next year?
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Jun 18, 2007 - 02:54am PT
Here are a couple more:

I don't look as worked over as I feel.

Steep! Belay six and we over the approach trail.

I built this thing! How does it fold up again?!

Chillin' on the ledge. I mean chillin' cause it was cold! Like my skunk hat?

White REALLY doesn't stay clean on a climb.

Erik getting eaten by the rock. Hard to say who was winning at this point. Erik prevailed and crawled back out of the jaws to climb another day.

Standing Strong

Trad climber
look around look around, tell me what you've found
Jun 18, 2007 - 02:57am PT
u doodz hella rad good job!
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Jun 18, 2007 - 03:02am PT
Above Temporary Ledge and the pitch leading up to it if I remember it right. Erik's leads. I had done my first A3 the day before so no way I was hopppin on A4. A3 was enough over the top for me. I think I overdrove everything I hit.

Definitely better chilly than hot! The summit bivy was spectacular. The weather warmed up to give us a nice summer breeze. It was complimented by the views of Half Dome, Illouette Falls, Upper Yose Falls, east side of The Captain, top of The Sentinal, and North Dome. Watkins was peeking around the corner too. Wow, it was amazing!

T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Jun 18, 2007 - 03:13am PT

Not so homemade. I am a Machinist with access to a full machine shop.


Jun 18, 2007 - 10:36am PT
nice shots, great tr

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Jun 18, 2007 - 10:41am PT
Nice stuff Erik! Thanks for sharing.

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 18, 2007 - 12:29pm PT
cool, nice TR! I wanna do this route someday...maybe as a warm up for ZM!

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jun 18, 2007 - 12:33pm PT
The look on your face as you start up the slime so says "Eeeewwww!"

Nice pictures!

Jun 18, 2007 - 08:16pm PT
Really nice pics . Enjoyed them. Thanx
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jun 18, 2007 - 08:19pm PT
Thanks for the great pics. It all looks vaguely familiar.
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