caldwell/sjong free magic mushroom

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klk

Trad climber
cali
Topic Author's Original Post - May 19, 2008 - 06:32pm PT
that's what they're saying at alpinist:
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web08s/newswire-free-caldwell-magic-mushroom

surprised this stuff doesn't get out onto the st corner of the tubes first.

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
May 19, 2008 - 06:43pm PT
Another astonishing feat. It will be interesting to hear the full story of their adventure, and things like what minor variations and additions were needed. The topo shows two pendulums (one double), which must have been a challenge.

Possibly the story was 'sold' to Alpinist. Who knows? I just want to know how they managed to sneak by Ansel Evans. :-)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 19, 2008 - 07:48pm PT
I always thought that route would go, at least after Corazon and all that stuff over there went down. The double pendulum pitch is all knobby - it's right below Chickenhead Ledge.

That's a fantastic free line if it's true!

Congratulations to the boyz if they pulled it!
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
May 19, 2008 - 07:51pm PT
Proud send!! Well done guys!

Holy crap, all free from the ground in a push?!?
scooter

climber
fist clamp
May 19, 2008 - 07:55pm PT
M.Hiker-

If you are a skilled climber and ask Mr.Evans to keep what you are doing quiet he obliges. A Class act that Tom.

P
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 19, 2008 - 08:32pm PT
Amazing! Can't wait to read more about it and see some photos!
GDavis

Trad climber
SoCal
May 19, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Well done!
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
May 19, 2008 - 08:54pm PT
Nice
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 19, 2008 - 09:24pm PT
I wonder if they freed the start - with the pendulum around the arete of the Muir corners above Moby Dick?
Brian

climber
Cali
May 19, 2008 - 09:29pm PT
Way to go.

(and bump for a climbing thread)

Brian
James

climber
Santa Cruz
May 19, 2008 - 10:12pm PT
Kevin,
I saw them working on that bit. I imagine so.
Sanjan

Boulder climber
a prissy pit
May 20, 2008 - 12:35am PT
nice , but i suspect the "A3" scars provide alot of purchase by now .
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
May 20, 2008 - 12:47am PT
" nice , but i suspect the "A3" scars provide alot of purchase by now ."

You're right it's prolly light.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2008 - 06:19am PT
Not sure, but the route shouldn't be too scarred up - I did the second ascent with Richard Harrison around '74, but I don't think it's real popular - especially the start to Mammoth.

At least it wasn't done much in the 70s and 80s.
captain chaos

climber
May 20, 2008 - 07:39am PT
The flared overhanging corners on the headwall must have been a bit wild... it was awkward just aiding the thing, I can't imagine what trying to free something like would be like. Regardless if they pulled it off, congratulations... pretty impressive and bad ass.
James

climber
Santa Cruz
May 20, 2008 - 08:27am PT
The route was tried a few years ago, 4?, by Adam Stack, who equipped a lot of the rig but never managed to free it in its entirety.
lamadera

Trad climber
New Mexico
May 20, 2008 - 08:49am PT
There were very few pin scars when I did it a few years ago. Not very popular, but a great route. Long sections of very thin (tied off LAs) cracks. Beautiful rock, amazing position, incredible accomplishment to free it.
socalbolter

Sport climber
Silverado, CA
May 20, 2008 - 09:33am PT
Congrats to those guys.

Glad to see that big wall free climbing is still pushing forward. It seems to be a good blend of their crack, sport and wall skills. I have no doubt that there will be some truly amazing routes freed on El Cap if this focus continues.
cultureshock

Big Wall climber
Wall Climber Wannabe
May 20, 2008 - 03:53pm PT
A bit more info from Alpinist:

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web08s/newswire-caldwell-magic-mushroom-details

All free from the ground swinging leads.

"Though the 5.14a crux of the Dihedral Wall (VI 5.8 A3, Baldwin-Cooper-Denny, 1962), which Caldwell freed at 5.14a in 2005, is perhaps more difficult than any single move on Magic Mushroom, Magic Mushroom is far more sustained, with eleven 5.13 or 5.14 pitches and nine 5.12 to 5.12+ pitches."

Edited: While the article says they did it in a push I expect they bived.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
May 20, 2008 - 03:55pm PT
It's just mind blowing to see these routes get freed.

And in increasingly better style.
James

climber
Santa Cruz
May 20, 2008 - 04:00pm PT
In a push?...does that mean they didn't bivy on the wall
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
May 21, 2008 - 08:03am PT
Growing Up vs. the Mushroom: sorta opposite ends of the spectrum, eh?
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 21, 2008 - 09:32am PT
Amazing! I can't even imagine what it's like to be that good of a rock climber.
burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
May 21, 2008 - 09:35am PT
Wow! This is starting to seem commonplace. What's next?

burp
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
May 21, 2008 - 10:04am PT
"In a push?...does that mean they didn't bivy on the wall"

I was wondering the same thing.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 21, 2008 - 10:06am PT
I think 'push' as used in that article means they never came down. It said it took them 5 days, I don't see how it's possible to climb at that level for 5 days straight with no bivi. Sounds like some mixed up terminology (if indeed 'push' means a continuous no bivi ascent.)

Another thing the article said I thought was a little odd was that they both led every pitch and swung leads. Just sounded funny.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
May 21, 2008 - 10:12am PT
"Growing Up vs. the Mushroom: sorta opposite ends of the spectrum, eh?"

"After working the route for five weeks, Caldwell and Sjong began their free ascent on May 12 at 5 a.m."

Maybe not so much.
cultureshock

Big Wall climber
Wall Climber Wannabe
May 21, 2008 - 10:16am PT
I agree. I think the Alpinist uses single push to say that they stayed on the wall and climbed all the pitches without coming down. As opposed to the older style of redpointing the wall in chunks with time on the ground between attempts.

Sorry for the confusion, my previous post has been edited.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
May 21, 2008 - 11:19am PT
alpinist actually called it "a 5 day push", which clearly means they bivied.


so here's my question, do these guys freeclimb 5.14 AND haul?
'cause that's burly if they do-

(and for the 2 of them to take 5 days, i'm guessing yes)







or do they have sherpas and a photo crew?
cause then i'd wonder if they are eating sushi up there too!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 21, 2008 - 03:06pm PT
very noyce!

That must have been TC on the bridge yesterday afternoon afterall.

He looked like he had just been craggin it, not sending a free ascent up the massive monolithic stone the day before.

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
May 21, 2008 - 04:26pm PT
If it is indeed the case, I think that The Fet has a valid point.



However, I could never free climb at such a level, whatever the case, in a thousand, no make that a million, years.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
May 21, 2008 - 04:30pm PT
OK good to get some clarification on the style of the FA. Not as godly as I thought, but still amazing.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
May 21, 2008 - 04:41pm PT
Well, concerning the time, they both had to lead each pitch. I'm guessing they cleaned on jumars but who really knows. Then rap and repeat.

If someone wanted to truly swing leads they could really cut down on the time.
cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2008 - 05:07pm PT
They did swing leads. From the Alpinist details: "Climbing ground up in a push, they each freed every pitch, swinging leads."
Greg Barnes

climber
May 23, 2008 - 06:48pm PT
bump
Double D

climber
May 23, 2008 - 07:01pm PT
WOW! I don't even dream in that realm. Nice job!
Ammon

Big Wall climber
El Cap
May 24, 2008 - 01:35am PT

Very nice! Congrats boys.

Does anyone know how fast they did it, or if they did it in a day? It MUST have been faster than me, Ivo & Keven's epic adventure.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 24, 2008 - 01:46am PT
5 days, Ammon. When the article said "in a push", what they really meant was that they did not fix lines from the base.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 26, 2008 - 08:23am PT
Here is quite a bit more detail:

http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/caldwell_and_sjong_free_el_capitans_magic_mushroom/
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 26, 2008 - 09:01pm PT
That’s pretty amazing stuff – definitely ahead of our time.


“The route was tried a few years ago, 4?, by Adam Stack, who equipped a lot of the rig but never managed to free it in its entirety.”

James, can you please explain exactly what you mean by “equipped”?
James

climber
Santa Cruz
May 27, 2008 - 12:30am PT
Bryan,
Stack figured out where the free line goes-there's a number of deviations from the aid line and I assume he cleaned the route and added bolts if they were necessary. I'm not exactly sure if there were bolts added to the free line you'd have to ask him or Tommy/Justen.
Tahoe climber

Trad climber
a dark-green forester out west
May 27, 2008 - 09:46am PT
Amazing accomplishment.
Lots of inspiration there, for sure.
Amazing athletes, and nice, down to earth, quiet, unassuming guys.
These are the kinds of people I respect the very most.

-TC (Tahoe Climber, not Tommy Caldwell!)
James

climber
Santa Cruz
May 27, 2008 - 09:56am PT
Matt Samet wrote a solid description of their free ascent at Climbing.com
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 27, 2008 - 03:23pm PT
Thanks, James. I was just curious if bolts had been added to the original aid line. It seems that the addition of bolts in order to free a wall route is becoming more acceptable these days. Hope to see you in the Meadows this summer.
NinjaChimp

climber
someplace in-between
May 27, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
I'm going to assume James is referring to the free variations that deviate from the original aid lines. Some of these variations have new bolts on them.

From the Alpinist web page, "The free version, which adheres only 60 or 70% to the original route, takes a line more logical to free climbers."

-Justin
Minerals

Social climber
The Deli
May 27, 2008 - 07:49pm PT
So maybe all of the new bolts were placed on the free variations? If so, then I guess we don’t need to lump this one in with Arcturus and the list of others. Cool deal. Thanks Justin.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 27, 2008 - 10:24pm PT
Amazing. In the early 80s it seemed hardly conceivable that one or two El Cap routes might be freed and it turns out to be more than a dozen so far.

congrats and wow

Karl
Dogtown Climber

Trad climber
The Idyllwild City dump
Jun 9, 2008 - 09:18pm PT
And the hits just keep-a come-in.Nice work lads!!
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jun 9, 2008 - 10:37pm PT
My 2-cents on the second penji pitch:

When I was up there a year or so ago, the last horizontal ladder bolt, for the penji to the pillar/flake, was a rotten 1/4"er, but the second to last one was a brand-new, shiny 3/8"er. Since I was going to have to do the swing, I thought, WTF? Why put the good bolt THERE??? Should I repair the bad one, so the fairly hard penji is safe? What is going on here?

I swung (crazily, by the way) off the rotten bolt, figuring that if it broke, the shiny new one would keep me safe.

It might be that the shiny good bolt is where the free moves lead up and onto Chickenhead Ledge.

I can't say what the entire route is like, because we diverted and did the nice Albatross crack. But, the sections of the original route we did were not pounded out, except for the pitches above Chickenhead which are now part of the Shield. For the most part, the other cracks were all there, au natural.

My guess is that they avoided the pounded out/fixed roof crack, three pitches above Chickenhead, by scaling the nearly featureless, but sorta low angle (sic) face below, going up and left.
caughtinside

Social climber
Davis, CA
Jun 10, 2008 - 03:24pm PT
Wow. Just saw that Tommy went back and led the entire route in 20 hours! Amazing stuff.

The story is on the alpinist site.
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