Yosemite Rim to Rim to Rim + Rim & Booty (TR)


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 16, 2007 - 06:18pm PT
Credit: HalHammer

It all started back in 2006 when my buddy Cliff and I got psyched on linking big climbs back to back.

This summer was time to bite off more than we could chew..
(this was the end of this August)

So I called Cliff (who worked in Wawona) and we decided on an epic 3 day adventure. We'd climb from the floor to the valley rim each day for 3 days.

I packed up my gear from the Tuolumne Sar Site on Friday and drove to Porcupine flat wtih 3 ropes and a double rack of cams including a #5 and 6, and a 4 big bro. It was a nice 70lb load to hike 10 miles down the falls trail that afternoon. This might be the crux I thought heading downhill, as my knees have not always loved me in the past. Luckily I got to the Yosemite Point by about 3PM. Where I fixed 2 ropes down to the notch and cached 2 liters of water. I decided to rap down and make sure our ropes were in the Lost Arrow Notch for the escape and tied the end to a large boulder before jugging out.

Onward I headed down the trail to camp 4. I was super psyched to see Cliff running up the hill to meet me and carry most of the weight the last mile or so of those endless stairs. We cached some of our gear with friends in camp, then loaded up and hiked up the death slabs to the base of half dome, arriving at about 10 pm at the base.

We just brought sleeping bags and pads and cached them at the base of the route. On we went up Halfdome. Cliff was climbing like a mad man as we short fixed and pushed up the face. At the top of pitch 6 I looked at my watch and we were on the wall only 1 hour so far! I took over and and we simul climbed from there, through the pendulum, then I fixed the rope at the end of the swing and started short fixing. Things were good, we were at pitch 12 in what seemed like no time.

Here we had a mini clusterfrig that cost probably a half hour as Cliff didn't tie back up knots in the rope and it was hanging down far catching a flake back at the start of the pitch. One of my french free placed cams was fairly tight too so Cliff just dropped the rope, came on up and started organizing the rack to take over on shortfix again, while I rapped to the base of the pitch got the tangle and the cam he was whining about (good ole move the lobes with your fingers trick). Cliff blasted on from here to the base of the zig zags. Where I started aiding again. Things went well until cliff was following the pitch after Thank God ledge and dislocated his right shoulder while batmanning the rope. He was able to get it back in violently after about 15 minutes, but was screaming like a dying madman the whole time. We slowed down drastically from there to the top taking several hours to get him up the last 4 pitches. Topout watch- 8:58 time just under 9 hours which I felt good about giving the near epic so far!

I wasn't sure cliff would be able to continue the next couple days, but we continued on. BTW hiking down the cables with no hiking shoes is a bit of pain we would switch between being barefoot or wearing climbing shoes when one would start to really hurt. Maybe carry flip flops or something light in your pack?

Back down to Camp 4 by 7PM, ate at Degnans and crashed in camp.
We woke again at 4 the next morning and Cliff decided he could at least move his shoulder, and that if I would lead the cruxes we would continue on with the Lost Arrow Chimney. We brought almost a double set of cams from the yellow alien up to #3's plus the 4,5, and 6, and a 4 big bro. A fairly hefty rack for any climb.
We soloed up Sunnyside Bench where I found a fixed #2 camalot in the crack and quickly removed it with my nut tool.

Cliff toughed it out and started leading from the base. This guy only ate instant powdered oatmeal packets all day taking them like a shot the whole time?!

The first few pitches of the Arrow Chimney were pretty easy, although Cliff pulled off a B Ball size rock falling 3 feet from my face off of pitch 2. I dodged it luckily as it was bouncing. The Safetyvalve pitch proved challenging but protected with a 4 big bro. If that bolt were replaced it would be super bomber. As cliff lead pitch 5 he said he saw something shiny back in the crack. I agreed to investigate (hmm I already bootied a cam that morning..) In I go squeeze chimney style to this little crevace. Woh man 2 cams! Wait a sec no theres more I found 4 cams in this hole, no over on the other side 3 more! WTF 7 cams!? ( They were it looked like 3 different racks, this hole had everything from back packs to ball caps to busted digital cameras in it years old, some of the cams were C4s, metolius range finders, and aliens, mostly in good shape, although a couple had probably been there a few years.

So I strapped on our 3rd rack and continued climbing.. ;)

I believe it was pitch 8 where the climbing got really nasty, I was looking at about a 5.10c move on rotten overhanging pin scars protected by 2 original quarter inch bolts placed as a old 2 bolt anchor that were hanging out of the rock about a half inch and bent already. Maybe they'd hold body weight? Then no pro down below except the 4 big bro a ways down, then a sharp flake to land on. That move isn't terribly hard, but it is committing and powerful and the holds are soo rotten, again with good bolts replaced this crux would be bomber.

The 9th pitch is like the narrows on the Steck, but more sustained and incredibly vertical squeeze chimney/OW for 160 feet, would suck without the big cams. We placed the #6 on six different pitches on the route btw. Looking up at the harding hole we opted out of doing a squeeze chimney you have to take you clothes off for with our "tripple" rack and did the 5.9 face option. Not a bad route, but man it sticks it to yah higher up. All the cruxes protected with only the 4 big bro for the most part. 3 bolts replaced and this route would be safe. Someone should replace these old bolts..hmm also the 2 on the Steck Salathe on the pitch below the narrows... and these old dad climbs wouldn't be bad???

Glad to jug the fixed lines up (leading another hard ow pitch would have been proud though hard at that point) then back down to the valley. Cliff was bumming with his shoulder at this point, so I called my GF Ann to meet us in camp and continue on the last day up Royal Arches to North Dome's South Face and back to the meadows. She brought us Jamba juice smoothies from Fresno that night :) Ann doesn't like chimneys so it was going to be a big thing for her too. I was so sore that next morning I didn't want to get up and go all the way back up all that vertical again, so..we slept in till 6 am and got on with it..Ouchie!

It went good, although North Dome was a bit challenging for Ann especially up higher. I wondered if she was giving birth, losing her virginity, or perhaps having twins as she got up the upper chimneys, but she kept going. Exhausted we topped out a 9pm. I wanted to whine like a girl leading the last 50 feet or so of runout 5.7 after all that rock, have to finish with a final heady move exhausted in the dark yeehaw! Out of water again, started hiking back to the car. I could barely put my legs in front of each other, like I'd had 10 beers or so it was pretty funny. Ann was trooping it out though. I was soo glad to see the car. I had preprogrammed in the CD player with Celine Dion opening line "Your here!!! There's nothing to fear!!!" Haha lol we laughed pretty hard and downed the 2 liters of H20 left in the car. Getting back to camp and not passing out driving was looking to be final push!

We just crashed hard at camp that night, getting up at like noon, then eating for 2 hours, then crashing, I could barely move that day to open car doors or walk to the bathroom! I got Ann to at least give me a back rub- ooh that hurt so good.

It all did, what a blast :)

Day 1:

23 Pitches, 2000 Vertical Feet
23 Pitches, 2000 Vertical Feet

Daily Tally: 2000 feet, 23 pitches

Day 2:

Sunny Side Bench 3 Pitches, 400 Vertical Feet
Sunny Side Bench 3 Pitches, 400 Vertical Feet
Lost Arrow Chimney: 10 Pitches, 1400 Vertical Feet
Lost Arrow Chimney: 10 Pitches, 1400 Vertical Feet

Daily Tally 1800 feet, 13 pitches

Day 3:

Royal Arches: 16 Pitches, 1400 Vertical Feet
Royal Arches: 16 Pitches, 1400 Vertical Feet

S Face North Dome: 8 pitches, 700 Vertical Feet
S Face North Dome: 8 pitches, 700 Vertical Feet

Daily Tally 2100 feet, 24 pitches

Final Score: 5900 Vertical Sore Feet, 60 pitches! (final pitch 5.7 R slab @ 9PM, no water, passing out while smearing, marginal rubber or skin left on bottom of feet, one tough good spirited girlfriend cheering onward! Geyser walking long hike back to car :-)

Day 4: In a coma by the river passed out as hell-not responsive to pain stimuli!

Continued 2008 in Cliff+Ryan- Nose, Salathe, Blondes, Monkeys,& Pain (lots!)TR : http://www.supertopo.com/tripreport/tripreport.php?articleid=96
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 16, 2007 - 07:36pm PT
Nice work! Amazing that Cliff could keep going after the dislocate. Killer booty score as well.

Thanks for the rebolting suggestions, too. I thought Bruce Bindner replaced bolts on the Steck-Salathe', but I haven't been up there recently enough to check it out.

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Nov 16, 2007 - 10:06pm PT

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Nov 17, 2007 - 01:10am PT
Great TR.

Plus, you've redefined "to rim" to include the summits of both Half and North Domes. Nice. I think most people would have figured the Royal Arches itself went to the rim. And that Half Dome was completely beyond the range of "to the rim".

Jerry Dodrill

Bodega, CA
Nov 17, 2007 - 02:29am PT
Nice going, HalHammer.

You still at PUC?

Trad climber
Nov 17, 2007 - 12:29pm PT
Hey HalHammer,
Thanks for the great TR! Sometimes having fun can be a lot of work.

I know the two bolts you are talking about on SS. Both times I followed that pitch the leader gave up on trying to get a stopper over them. I bet if they were replaced they would rightly be chopped.

Thanks for the gear beta on Lost Arrow chimney. About the bolts. Could they be replaced by someone climbing at their limit? Is there some kind of stance or the like?

Thanks again.
pimp daddy wayne

The Bat Caves
Nov 17, 2007 - 12:43pm PT
Bootay, SWEET SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

right here, right now
Nov 17, 2007 - 01:05pm PT
Good stuff!
I like the "gear hole" score on the Arrow Chimney.
Good planning too, right through to the Celine Dion finish.
Yah gotta visualize completion, babe.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 17, 2007 - 01:12pm PT
A very nice adventure!

"I wanted to whine like a girl"

"Ann was trooping it out though."

From the same paragraph, too.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 17, 2007 - 02:51pm PT

> I know the two bolts you are talking about on SS. Both times I followed that pitch the leader gave up on trying to get a stopper over them. I bet if they were replaced they would rightly be chopped.

Why do you feel would they be "rightly" chopped? They are original and I remember clipping them in 1987. Allen Steck recommended that they be refurbished in 1994:


Bruce Bindner went back and did a bunch of replacement in 1996, although his topo does not show any bolts on p12:


Zander or Hal, did you observe the bolts on that pitch below the Narrows after 1996?

> Thanks for the gear beta on Lost Arrow chimney. About the bolts. Could they be replaced by someone climbing at their limit? Is there some kind of stance or the like?

Just clip 'em, lead past, and have the follower replace them on tension. (Requires leader who is not at their limit or at least who at least can get up the pitch).

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2007 - 03:05pm PT
Thank Guys!

Bolting questions ok, I'll take a shot:

The bolts in question on Lost arrow could probably be replaced on lead, it'd be a little tricky but doable if someone was motivated. Stances for the most part besides the Saftey Valve pitch. If they were just drilling new ones there, then patching the old holes.. Seems like it would be tricky to yank the old ones out on lead? Maybe better for the second guy to do it.

There are way more than 3 bolts on the route that are all very old, but we thought that there were 3 key ones that would be very nice to have up there- The safety valve pitch bolt, the bolts at the crux P8 (just put one good bolt in), and also the belay at the top of pitch 8 has old bolts near it- replace the bottom one (an ancient bolt ladder runs for a lot of that pitch like the SW face of Conness) currently the only alright anchor we found there is the largest size cams.

The handgerless old bolts on the Steck on the pitch below the narrows were there in 2005 yep, those are the same 2 I was refering to.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 18, 2007 - 03:11pm PT
The Lost Arrow Chimney has great historical status. It seems just the kind of route where there should be discussion and consensus building before existing bolts are replaced. It will evidently take some organization and effort, too. But, as with the Steck-Salathe, better talk talk first.

I haven't done the route, but as at least some of the bolts may be 60 years old, or not much less, and it gets a lot of water and freeze-thaw, it seems likely they need replacing. It could be that the exact locations and numbers can be varied - I don't think anyone does the route as an aid climb any more.

If the bolts are removed/replaced, I suspect they and/or their hangers would find a welcome home in the Yosemite Climbing Museum.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2007 - 03:18pm PT
I'm not at PUC anymore, actually I'm out visiting friends around Chattanooga, TN for a couple weeks. I'm moving to Flagstaff, AZ in Jan.

Yeah the gear booty hole was pretty much a sweet find )

And yes, Cliff is one tough guy!

Trad climber
Nov 19, 2007 - 11:15am PT
Thanks for the info. If anybody does have info on which bolts are the original bolts it would be cool.
I assumed that the two bolts on the pitch below the narrows would be chopped if replaced with good bolts and hangers because these two bolts are at the technical crux of the route so if the consensus were that it was OK to replace them they would have been. If you could just chimney up and clip a bolt it would really "dumb down" the pitch. To be clear I have followed this pitch two times but I've lain in bed at night imagining trying to get the stopper on the first bolt because next time it will be my lead.
See ya,
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
Nov 19, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
What a kick-ass TR! Thanks!
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
May 29, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
Added route photos for retro TR fun. Looking back for where I put some of that old climbing Mojo! Getting psyched up to head to Yosemite tomorrow!

Trad climber
under the sea
May 29, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Sweet blast from el past.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
May 29, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
awesome and burly set up link ups man!!!! ping me next time you get some sick idea like this and cant find a victim/partner to go after it with... I think we may suffer from the same sickness!! LOL

Oakland, CA
May 30, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
I bump for killer TRs!

May 31, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Yes, thanks, missed this one
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