Smoky Pillar?


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 8, 2008 - 11:11pm PT
In the Yellow Guide a notable 5.10b OW climb, Smoky Pillar (FA Jim Bridwell, George Meyers, Vern Clevenger and Larry Bruce, 1973) appears on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail. It is also in the 1987 blue guide, but not in my 1994 Chockstone Press guide... fact these climbs on Charlie Brown Apron are also missing:
5.10a FA Marshall Ravenscroft and Tim Kemple, 1982
Dumbo Go Home
5.9 FA John Middendorf and Tucker Tech, 1983
Chain Reaction
5.10c FA Rik Rieder, Mark Chapman, Ed Barry and Rab Carrington 1972
The Peanut
5.10b FA Tom Higgins and Howard Chapman, 1967
No Teats
5.10a FA Susan Lilly and Tucker Tech 1986

The latest guide has at the bottom of page 141:

Note: In an effort to abide by with the Park Service concerns over environmental impacts and hikers' safety, numerous climbs adjacent to Upper Yosemite Falls and its trail system have been omitted from this guide.

What's the story?

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 8, 2008 - 11:13pm PT
Ed, check and

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Mar 8, 2008 - 11:13pm PT
You are in trouble now!


You will know the story soon enough.

Werner, go easy on him.

Thanks for a climbing thread though.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2008 - 12:54pm PT
Thanks Mighty for the references, good ones!

Smoky Pillar seems to be obscure...
...ok, keep an eye on future posts of the NPS "Monday Report" for the arrest of a team of a wild bunch of old dad climbers climbing "out of bounds"

The Yellow Book list must be ticked!
The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 9, 2008 - 01:05pm PT

You might like Plumbline on Elephant Rock.

Obscure, wide crux, short approach, wild location.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2008 - 01:23pm PT
on the list Warbler!

the Yellow Guide is the source of much of my madness... here are the Offwidths (3 1/2" to 8"):

The Cleft
Peter Pan
Apron Jam

Banana Dreams
Cookie, Left
This and That
Nothing Special
Reed's Pinnacle, Left
Bong's Away
Hourglass, Right
Gollum, Left
Orange Juice Avenue
Secret Storm
Doggie Do
Geek Towers, Center
Geek Towers, Right
Pink Dreams
Worst Error, Right
Crack of Dispair
Crack of Doom

The Slack, Left
Smoky Pillar
Book of Job
Pulpit Pooper
Jam Session

The Shaft
Wild Turkey
Edge of Night
Mental Block
Barefoot Servants

Twilight Zone
Steppin' Out
Plumb Line


The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 9, 2008 - 01:50pm PT
You forgot Wild Turkey on the Audubon Buttress.

The epitome of obscure offwidths. Kinda hard though (5.11).

How about Scab Laborer on the Devil's Dancefloor? Very well hidden, half hour approach from Tamarack Flat, straight in, straight up, dead vertical, 5 to 8 inches.

Mar 9, 2008 - 01:54pm PT
Or Fist-a-bule

Or Extra credit

Or never had a second ascent in almost 20 years "Local motion"
The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 9, 2008 - 01:59pm PT

No Cromagnon Capers?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2008 - 02:59pm PT
Wild Turkeys is there, maybe not the rating you expected though!

This is the list in Meyer's yellow guide, 1982, so anything after that date won't have made the list..
The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 9, 2008 - 04:23pm PT
I guess I thought it was harder because Dale said he had a hard time with it.

Only one way to find out.

It's a nice hike in the Springtime, Ed.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 10, 2008 - 03:01am PT
Took this picture on March 30th 2008... anyone with knowledge of the area believe I've drawn the routes in correctly?

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 10, 2008 - 03:23am PT
Peanut looks about right. I vaguely recall it may not go quite as high as shown. I definitely recall that there isn't a lot of protection, and that there are lots of micro-jogs in the route - typical slab climb.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 10, 2008 - 11:38am PT
I love that picture! Just wear granite camou and keep your voices down, be careful not to knock anything off....

Plumbline is very cool too, only been on the beginning pitch.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Apr 22, 2013 - 05:37am PT
bumpity bump

The Peanut, great climb, Seaside too

Oakland, CA
Aug 31, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Climbs that hit the valley rim, like Diversions appears to, have an undeniable allure.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 31, 2013 - 01:32am PT

From bolt replacement last summer, I know where the bolts are on the 4 routes on the right in Ed's overlay:
Jumbo Go Away (correct name), Chain Reaction, The Peanut, No Teats.
Joe and I climbed a corner right/above of No Teats and then tensioned left and climbed a corner above/left of No Teats to access the top of Chain Reaction. There was a fixed pin belay in this last corner, well above No Teats.
Can't say I really know the routes, though, since I didn't free climb them.
The above overlay hopefully includes the area where your route in progress goes.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 31, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Rule one for this spot is "Climb Fast" and two would be "Tread Softly," in order to prevent rocks falling on "Innocent Bystanders."

Tourons should be more careful where they hike! How dare they keep Ed from his appointed wide rounds!


Oakland, CA
Sep 10, 2013 - 12:44am PT
Clint, did you get a chance to suss out whether there's gear placements between those bolts on any of the lines? Those appear to be some serious runs if not.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 10, 2013 - 01:25am PT

Yes, there are some occasional cracks for placing gear on many of these pitches. For example, the upper part of Chain Reaction is in a corner system. My overlay only shows the fixed gear.
This is one advantage of topos vs. overlays - topos can easily indicate a crack.
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