Fantasia (Lover's Leap)

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Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2008 - 05:58pm PT
I always wanted to get on that thing, but never quite got around to it, especially after my
notorious 40+ footer on Snake Dike (believe it or knott - the shame, the horror).

I would love to hear first-hand accounts of those of you who have risen to the challenge.

The little stuff I have heard ranges from "piece of cake" to "about shít my pants".

Do tell...

jewedlaw

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 05:59pm PT
Wait wait I want to hear about this 40 footer. I'm probably going to do Snake Hike this summer (ugh hot).
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Apr 22, 2008 - 06:00pm PT
1976 , EB's, Mark stumpf led the whole thing, he'd done it once before. Scared the beejeezus out of me. But the moves didn't seem hard and the setting and climbing were stellar!
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2008 - 06:09pm PT
Here's the tale of perhaps the only person to ever fall on Snake Dike...

Give it a few seconds for the thread to load and Brian's post to pop up, and then begin reading from there...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=30218&msg=30275#msg30275

Make sure you see Brian's post in that thread made at Feb 20, 2004, 10:23am.

My version of the event is a few posts further down...
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 06:17pm PT
I too have wanted to climb Fantasia for several years now. However, still don't have the stones.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2008 - 06:55pm PT
Perhaps we should do it together, alternating leads.

You first...
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 07:27pm PT
Hmm, that leaves you with p2, which is supposedly the best protected!
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 08:15pm PT
Fall 1980, hadn't been climbing much in a few years due to grad school out of state. Swung leads, I got ptiches #1 an #3. The climbing isn't all that hard, but there isn't much protection. I think I had one friend and one bolt on pitch #1 and maybe just a FP and a couple of friends on pitch #3. As Ken Wilson so aptly said, "the climb is more bold than hard."

A truly great route because you have to use your mind as well as your arms and legs.

Bruce
mrtropy

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Apr 22, 2008 - 08:24pm PT
I climbed it the late 80s leading the second pitch, easy but runout lots of variations but did not feel too bad. Led the second half of the first pitch a couple of summers back . I put a shiiity sling on one of the three knobs that Robbins writes about, more psychological than real. We took a crapy variation on the third pitch because we were wimps. Climbed in my thirties, forties, and plan to climb it this summer in my fifties. Knott that bad and I'm only a low .10 climber. Have fun but don't fall.
Cheers,
tdk

climber
puhoynix
Apr 22, 2008 - 08:31pm PT
It's been 10 years, and I was pretty solid at the time, but I don't recall any place on the entire climb where I was shakin' and quakin', never a move that I felt was do or disaster. And 10a trad was (and still is) my upper limit, so it was a fairly bold undertaking for a geezer like me. It's runout to be sure, but there's enough pro where you really need it. It's truly the gem of the East Wall regulars - Haystack, East Crack, Bear's Reach, The Line, all seem kind of dull and repetitious by comparison. So get there early on some beautiful quiet morning, get in a Royal Robbins frame of mind (visualizing style and grace, not power), and get ready for a Fantasiastic experience.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Apr 22, 2008 - 09:48pm PT
Paging Mr. Hartouni! Please post a transcript of Robbins' classic write-up from "Advanced Rockcraft." For now, here's a teaser:




"Great Souther Sierra Hinterlands Expedition, 1973"




Kevin Jorgenson making it look easy, as usual. Jerry Dodrill image.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Apr 22, 2008 - 10:31pm PT
Fantasia is a 5.9 sandbag!!! That said we could have been off route on p3 beside the fact I'm old and NOT bold.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Apr 22, 2008 - 10:43pm PT
Lead it in 1987 (I was 17). Really got my attention. I lost my way a couple times. Began to lose perspective of the route. I was psyched to swap leads and re-group. My partner was an Army guy who moved here from Alaska. It was my first - and last- time climbing with him. He gets to the belay after forever... Looks at me shakes his head "Forget it. You're finishing it". Ticked me off at the time, but I'm glad I had to lead the rest of it....now.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 23, 2008 - 12:02am PT
Did Fantasia with Greg Vernon and a guy named Bob in June, 1985...which is now 23 years ago....I am a total chickensh#t, and I led the whole climb;.....at the bottom when it's more difficult, there is pro...up higher, when it is really run out, it is very easy on huge positive holds. I remember being way scared of the climb until I got on it....it's a paper tiger. It IS very run out and there are times when you look down and can't see any placed pro....just the rope hanging below you;....best not fall then....I don't think anyone has taken any big falls off this climb;...but I could be wrong. It's a cool climb too, as are most of the climbs at the Leap.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 12:10am PT
My second day ever trad climbing, I was super psyched. I had just led Bear's Reach--I had arrived.

walking down the descent, a couple feet off the ground, I started chatting with a Brazilian dude. There were some guys on Fantasia.

"I tried to climb Fantasia last year" he tells me. "I fell 70 feet. I was hurt very badly."

Gulp!

Last year I was climbing with a really strong guy, started chatting about Fantasia. He climbed it in the early 90s, with a guy who got off route on P2, took a big arching factor 2 onto the anchor, sawing across a dike, halfway through the rope.

I think I need to stop asking people about this rock climb.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 12:25am PT
Did it 9/16/00 with my friend Will (now in SLC) and another friend. I remember gearing up at the base and teams walking by asking "Are you gonna do Fantasia?" One of those guys said, "I used to be able to do it, but now I'm old and scared." Geeze, nearly soiled my armor... he was a lot younger than us.

Will led the first pitch which has that stellar diagonaling crack feature in Jerry's picture above. I remember him taking a lot of time to make the moves off the right side of that thing and up to the anchor. I had the second pitch, which I remember had scant protection possibility. Basically I went for it on a really sketchy nut. Sort of overhanging... The last pitch went down really smooth. When I think back on it, it really wasn't such a big deal.

Marty, believe it or not I no longer have a copy of RR's "Rockcraft" so I can't transcribe the bit here... However, there is the "First Ascent" feature in Alpinist 17 that Robins wrote about this route, along with a pretty "topo".
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 23, 2008 - 12:26am PT
some beta here

http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=loeafant

route finding on 3rd pitch is hard!

some photos here including the crux on the first pitch and close ups of the knob tie offs

http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/gallery.html?r=loeafant&n=1
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:22am PT
Done it 3 times beautiful, actually only 2.75 the first time I finished up on scimitar.Dehydrated and well cooked. Fantasia is a state of mind not unlike RR's account of it's first ascent in advanced rockcraft the only really hard move is P3 the move over the flake thing but you actually have gear ( a yellow TCU). There is alot of climbing above interesting (or thin gear) but if you weigh your possibilities and look around there isn't really a move above 5.8, just alot of quality route finding and a historical route, good fun, just don't go with the intention of hang dawging your way up the thing, Do a few laps on labor of love first.....didn't S Miller do that route free solo in the 70's trying to sell us those green guide books?
THE FIRST PITCH WITH THE 3 KNOBS IS EXACTLY LIKE RR'S DESCRIPTION, Learn to tie off a sling with one hand.....and your teeth. The second pitch is obvious and step .7ish with typical leap gear ( or lack there of) then the P3 wanders but the worn rock makes it easier know then 30 years ago and the finish after all that is whatever if there aren't any Rattlers waiting at the top. I'd do it again tomorrow, Lets go.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:28am PT
Maybe someone should add some bolts?
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:35am PT
There's a bolt right after the knobs but you got to do 1/2 the mantle to clip it even with an ape index. The rest of the route should Knott be dumbed down,( chopping may begin) but the first belay could use some love. Easy to moderate climbing but falling is knott a good idea for either leader or follower. If your gonna fall climb something else. East cracks or even scimitar with it's run out rating is a lot less serious then Fantasia, Scimitar's R/x is 5.5 and the awesome 5.9 crux through the roof can be sewn up. That route needs more love anyways......
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:42am PT
Scimitar sees lots of action these days.
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:46am PT
Everything at the leap does that's why we try to avoid from april to dec......
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:53am PT
No way man. You stay off the East wall and corrugation and you never wait.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Apr 23, 2008 - 02:50am PT
I'll grab advanced rockcraft for scanning, next time I'm at the ranch...or do I have it here?
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Apr 23, 2008 - 02:54am PT
sit down for this one...

me an the silent partner have a go at this route:

up the initial slab we go. i get two pieces in, small stuff under the roof. then psyche up for the go left.

head on out, holdin on too tight. commit up a few dykes, then worry about my pump. try to rest. not to be. begin reversing my moves. one thing about the silent partner that i learned right then... one very important thing: it does not take back the slack it gives you. so as i reverse, my fall potential hovers silently. im good though. a little fear to boot.

im ready to retreat. but not quite. i want this thing pretty bad. so this time i focus on just breathing, and don't concentrate on the risk. i breeze through the moves fluidly and find myself above that daunting roof. exhillaration is one of the reasons i go here. and its a good dose now. upwards to the grey knobs. pretty run out. sling the best one and work this section out. first belay and im stoked but pretty mentally spent from the lead. i continue on methodically. down the pitch. second it on jumars.

then wander up the second pitch. very minimal gear and the silent partner keeps locking up due to the rope weight. im fighting it, but not swearing yet. i make the second belay after a lot of fuddling with the belay system. now im mentally shaky and decide to retreat. a team on the adjacent route, fear no evil drops my rope to me and i might be back some other time.

a wonderful place to find yourself though. the route is comprised of very fun moves. an excellent position. mentally exercising. just wait for the right day and it'll will treat you well.

thanks for the opportunity to bellow.
Degaine

climber
Apr 23, 2008 - 03:10am PT
The only bolts I remember on the first pitch of Fantasia are the anchor bolts at the top of the pitch (summer '04).

Climb is pretty mellow, just the run outs to deal with. At 5'4" I found reaching for the knobs on the first pitch a spicy stretch given I was runout at least 20 feet from my last piece, but taller climbers I know say they reached those knobs easily with their feet on a dike below.

Only climbed it once, led all the pitches and for the life of me could not find where to exit on the third pitch. I hit the block under the roof roof 2/3 of the way up and traversed back and forth between the upper part of Scimitar and Haystack twice but did not see any obvious passage, so I stopped f'ing aroudnd and ended up diagonaling up to the top of Haystack.

Have fun!
ec

climber
ca
Apr 23, 2008 - 06:54am PT
I remember shortly after moving to NCal, that on about the second or third trip to the Leap I decided that I had to do this route. Since there was no pro for a distance, I just took-off without a belay (my partner was still fuddling around) and planned to get a piece in at the arch and get a belay...Just short of the arch, I had a foot hold break. Yikes! The rest of the route seemed pretty casual after that.
 ec
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Apr 23, 2008 - 12:04pm PT
It has been a long time since I did it, but it wasn't as scary as I was expecting. Although I defintely remember thinking that it would have been a horror show before micro cams.
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2008 - 12:39pm PT
Here's a good one that was related to me a few years ago:

Late in the afternoon a guy returns to camp with just shoes and chalk bag.

"So, what did you do?" -asked one of the slackers.

"Fantasia", he replied.

"Holy shít - you soloed Fantasia??" Most everyone appeared to be in shock.

Then, as it slowly sunk in that you definitely wouldn't want to fall climbing it roped,
it became apparent that it was really knott that much of a stretch to free solo it...
Sir Run-it-out

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 01:57pm PT

Here's a link to a TR on Fantasia and Scimitar.
del cross

climber
Bay Area
Apr 23, 2008 - 02:52pm PT
We went to do this route a few years ago partly because we'd heard it was "the best line at the Leap" but also as a warmup for a runout route in the Sierra we'd planned to do later. We came away thinking it wasn't really so bad. I led p1 and p3 and felt like there was enough gear, but from my vantage point p2 looked like it had bigger fall potential.

We didn't do the Sierra route that year so the following spring we were back looking for a runout to warmup on. We chose Quicksilver on the Middle Cathedral Apron, same rating as Fantasia. That route scared me. But the climbing was also a lot better than Fantasia.
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Apr 23, 2008 - 02:55pm PT
Ed,
Somehow I've come to think that if it's written, Ed'll have it. We ought to meet up and go do it this summer.

Chris,
Nice sock! What's the story?
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Apr 23, 2008 - 03:18pm PT
I remember leading that route about 15 years ago and thinking it was not so bad. I think that the sticky rubber makes it a lot easier and climbing in Tuolumne alot made the runout seem less scary or something. A nice route.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 03:58pm PT
Great route.

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP17/ascent-robbins


bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Apr 23, 2008 - 04:03pm PT
Awesome pic, Jerry. You can even see the slung knob in the pic.
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Apr 23, 2008 - 04:06pm PT
Fantasia is one of my favorite routes, anywhere. In general the hard parts are well-protected and the runout parts aren't too hard. I highly recommend that you guys climb it!

I have a slight disagreement with the ST topo on the 3rd pitch, though. I've always gone the way it indicates as .10b (based on my first time up there, pre-ST, when my partner did an excellent job of leading and routefinding on that pitch). There's a balancey (sp?) mantle move onto a very large dike, but it doesn't feel more than 5.9 to me. And you can protect with multiple pieces in a horizontal crack just below the dike.

It was an ego boost to see the .10b rating but I sure didn't consider myself a .10b leader the first time I led it. Once, after seeing the ST topo, I explored the '5.9' variation to the right but it looked a lot scarier and dirtier so I retreated back to the more familiar '.10b' variation. Otherwise the topo seems pretty spot on.

A blue-black alien protects the first part of the 3rd pitch nicely (after the piton but before the roof).
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2008 - 04:34pm PT
Blue/black Alien - good grief!

BTW, did you mean a hybrid blue/black, or blue OR black Alien?

Either way, let's knott fall and say we did!
Trad

Trad climber
Northern California
Apr 23, 2008 - 08:10pm PT
I meant hybrid blue/black. It's my favorite piece of psychological pro!
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol, CA
Apr 23, 2008 - 08:53pm PT
That sling fell off. It was still a long way to his next piece, so it would have been, what, a 60 or 80 footer straight to the belay? and then that much and more below it... But he was focused on climbing and we didn't tell him about it until later. Yikes. Make sure your tie-off is good.
del cross

climber
Bay Area
Apr 23, 2008 - 09:31pm PT
We didn't have a blue/black hybrid, but I put in four pieces in the area Trad is talking about: two small nuts and two small cams. I don't remember, but I'll bet those two cams were a blue alien and the TCU equivalent of a black one.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 23, 2008 - 09:54pm PT
Howdy all,
How hard are the runout sections compared to Hobbit Book in Tuolumne? Or do they compare at all? I enjoyed Hobbit Book.
Zander
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Apr 23, 2008 - 11:11pm PT
The last time I did it there was a 1/4" bolt knear the knobs and the belay for pitch one was a slotted vertical pin. As has been said all the runouts are easy and the few cruxes can be pro'd even without offsets. If your climbing smart it's a great route. If knott go do something else Knapsack, red's delight is awesome but Mac forgot to mention that in the book.
slobmonster

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 23, 2008 - 11:37pm PT
Gosh, those fellows in Sir Runitout's TR sure are handsome.
Footloose

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
Sep 1, 2008 - 11:28pm PT
The Super Topo (c2004 book) shows a pin off the belay (11oclock position about 10 feet up) to the start of the third pitch. That pin is no longer there.

Petch (a couple of months ago) indicated it had been there 7-8 years.

Given the terrain in that area... my opinion is that it should be replaced.

On 23 April 08 Trad wrote: "I have a slight disagreement with the ST topo on the 3rd pitch, though. I've always gone the way it indicates as .10b (based on my first time up there, pre-ST, when my partner did an excellent job of leading and routefinding on that pitch). There's a balancey (sp?) mantle move onto a very large dike, but it doesn't feel more than 5.9 to me. And you can protect with multiple pieces in a horizontal crack just below the dike.

It was an ego boost to see the .10b rating but I sure didn't consider myself a .10b leader the first time I led it. Once, after seeing the ST topo, I explored the '5.9' variation to the right but it looked a lot scarier and dirtier so I retreated back to the more familiar '.10b' variation. Otherwise the topo seems pretty spot on."

This is my opinion too. I think it's "spot-on."
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 3, 2008 - 01:10am PT
Great route! Headed straight for it back in 1977. I loved the three knobs section and recall one bolt at the belay and one fixed pin higher up. Unless the route is getting greasy I can't really imagine any 5.10 climbing. Just lots of cerebral 5.9. LOL
Petch

Gym climber
Lover's Leap
Sep 3, 2008 - 06:36pm PT
The reason I don't think that pin should be replace is that it's not bomber pro. It probably fell out when someone took a fall or clipping it. I rather know falling is not an option than trust a small pin.
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 14, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Three-breasted woman bump!

Branscomb

Trad climber
Lander, WY
Sep 14, 2012 - 12:07pm PT
I did it 3 times in the mid-80s. The first time Don Garrett took me up it. Before that Paul Crawford had taken Don up it. I think that was sort of the normal approach in those days; find someone who had been up it before to take you up and then you buy the beers. I led the entire thing twice after that, and at the time I felt real solid on it. Nowadays, I don't know.

It's a great route. I haven't seen anyone on it for a while. The first pitch is the meat. The three gray knobs are thought provoking. I guess it's not really that hard overall, it's the led-out aspect that is intimidating. Really have to be on your game just to maintain freak-out control, though the three gray knobs will make a believer outta you. I think 5.9 is a reasonable rating, just to approach it with a serious focus.

It's a great piece of climbing, to me one of the best routes at the Leap.
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