caldwell/sjong free magic mushroom


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Santa Cruz
May 27, 2008 - 03:30am PT
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 - 12:46pm 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!)

Santa Cruz
May 27, 2008 - 12:56pm PT
Matt Samet wrote a solid description of their free ascent at

Social climber
The Deli
May 27, 2008 - 06:23pm 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.

someplace in-between
May 27, 2008 - 10:32pm 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."


Social climber
The Deli
May 27, 2008 - 10:49pm PT
So maybe all of the new bolts were placed on the free variations? If so, then I guess we donít need to lump this one in with Arcturus and the list of others. Cool deal. Thanks Justin.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 28, 2008 - 01:24am 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

Dogtown Climber

Trad climber
The Idyllwild City dump
Jun 10, 2008 - 12:18am PT
And the hits just keep-a come-in.Nice work lads!!

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jun 10, 2008 - 01:37am 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.

Social climber
Davis, CA
Jun 10, 2008 - 06:24pm 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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