Circular Staircase TR

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 46 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Tripod? Swellguy? Halfwit? Smegma?

climber
Calyfucinphornya
Jun 10, 2008 - 10:28am PT
I'm the guy that ran into you at the base when you were just getting finished. You 2 looked pretty whipped. I did the SS the next (long)day, and found it (as many do) to be a hard route for the grade. I think this speaks more to my terrible chimney skills than anything else. Nice article. Do you think the CS could be a good scramble/solo or simul climb with a short rope and minimal gear fro those inclined? Would a fall result in death or is it "ledgey" enough to afford some degree of safety. It would be a grand day out, especially if one could move fast. I thought the descent, though long, was very beautiful terrain.
Regards
Aidan
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2008 - 12:44pm PT
Aidan, so good to hear that you got up the route... we will too.
As for soloing Circular Staircase, you probably could, but the way we went was pretty slick and the cracks vegetated, it wouldn't be fun, and it would be a long time before anyone found your remains. Lots of opportunity to take a big ride, but once you're in the gully its totally mellow.

Very nice to put associate an avatar with the real thing!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 28, 2008 - 06:36pm PT
I just added this climb to the route database:
http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yosecirc
CAMNOTCLIMB

Trad climber
novato ca
Oct 29, 2008 - 09:45am PT
big adventure.. and done in a day
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 29, 2008 - 10:10am PT
Eddie Hartouni is a proud "GluForPu"
















Glutton For Punishment!

I think if him as my canary in the coalmine. Separating the neat from the choss in the great unknown!

Peace

Karl
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 10, 2009 - 09:53pm PT
this really does look kinda cool. wonder if there is snow in the descent still?
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:53am PT
Bump for coolness.

FYI, some snow on SS descent as of yesterday, but no raps required.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
Jun 7, 2010 - 01:17pm PT
Thanks for pulling this up. I love this kind of adventure bushwhack.

Anyone ever explore the Staircase Falls trail above Curry? The oldtimers built a trail to Glacier Point up there but I believe they abandoned it by 1900 due to rockfall damage. My info is sketchy. I'd love to know more.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 7, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
Spider,

You're referring to the Ledge Trail. It starts (or at least started) at Cabin 69 in Curry, if that cabin is still there.

It was never terribly well-maintained, but it was an official trail until WW II.

I have hiked it twice. The lower part (from below to a little past the Glacier Point Terrace start) is gone in rockslides, and there's an exposed but very easy ledge to cross. After that, it's quite easy to follow, although there's plenty of brush, and seasonal snow/ice/water in the upper gully. It is a couple of orders of magnitude easier than the approach to the Sentinel Rock north face.

I thought it was a particularly lovely hike in the fall when the hardwoods turned a beautiful golden color, and there was still a trickle of water on the final gully.

It ends a few hundred yards from the end of the Four Mile Trail. There are signs at the top, and at the Glacier Point Terrace start, warning tourists against trying to follow the trail. To me, they add to its allure.

John
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jun 7, 2010 - 05:01pm PT
We use to carry our clunker bikes up the Ledge Trail and ride down from Glacier Point to the Valley on the road.

Way way pre mountain bike era, closer to the steam era!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Jun 7, 2010 - 05:07pm PT
There are many climbs in Yosemite Valley which I have termed "Roper Obscurities," for those climbs that appear in Roper's encyclopedic 1971 Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley and in no later guides. There are 158 such climbs spanning the time period from 1869 to 1970 (a year before the publication of the guide).

Very interesting post. Sitting in the Yosemite Cafe over Memorial Day with my partner/boyfriend (Ferretlegger on ST) I asked him why he always preferred and studied his old climbing guide book (Roper) instead of the new one with all the slick colored pics. He practically had tears in his eyes when he said "there are so many climbs in this Valley that aren't in the new guides and they are just going to become lost". Nice to know that others are of ther same mindset and not willing to let those wonderful climbs fade into obscurity.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 7, 2010 - 09:11pm PT
Recent rockfall has thoroughly sprayed the bottom half of the ledge trail with debris. Could be quite a mess and as dangerous a rockfall zone as the valley has these days.

(I'm not trying to talk Ed into going there, just sayin'

the ledge trail was a cool adventure a number of years ago, who knows what it's like now? (or maybe you could just skip the approach ledge with it's rockfall debris and go straight up LeConte gully, the official name for the upper half of the ledge trail.

Peace

karl
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Jun 7, 2010 - 09:29pm PT
Thanks Ed!

"Keep them doggie's rollin, rawhide!!"
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
Karl,

The "official" Le Conte gully is to the north of Grizzly Peak (Roper Red Guide, p. 129; Roper Green Guide, pp. 182-183), not on Glacier Point, despite the latter's location above the Le Conte Memorial Lodge. If I remember rightly, the Lodge was originally at Happy Isles, but that had to be before the 1960's, since I did my first aid lead on Le Conte Boulder's bolts then.


The Sierra Point trail, which was the normal way to get to Le Conte Gully, used to begin at the old watering trough a few hundred yards past the late, great, Happy Isles Bridge, but the bottom of that trail has also suffered from rockslides over the years, and is largely steep and loose.

I haven't ventured up the Ledge Trail since the big rockfall on the west side of the Apron, but rockfall was always an issue on the lower part of the hike. Before that rockfall, it was probably easier to approach via Monday Morning Slab and working west rather than going up the line of the old trail, because the latter was washed (slid?) out within a few hundred vertical feet of its start, and the result was a classic, dirty, loose, slide gully.

John

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 7, 2010 - 10:59pm PT
Yeah John, I think you're right.

So basically there are two sketchy LeConte gullies in the valley. The unofficial one, from Glacier point, is more famous cause some folks ski it in good conditions

I did the "sierra point" Leconte gully (continuing up instead of cutting right to sierra point) once as an approach to soloing snake dike. It was way scarier than soloing snake dike but I probably didn't try to go the easiest way. Still, it would have been a great snake dike approach if it weren't so dicey. Mabye cutting over to sierra point and climbing the ridge would have been more solid

I should probably try to do something stupid soon to stay in shape cause my climbing calendar for June is kinda sparse.

Peace

Karl
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 7, 2010 - 11:57pm PT
I should probably try to do something stupid soon to stay in shape cause my climbing calendar for June is kinda sparse.



Me too, Karl, although June's sparseness isn't much I can (or want to) do anything about. My younger daughter graduates for UC Davis this Saturday, and I need to stay in Fresno the Father's Day weekend to assist my older daughter in various ways none of which, sad to say, have anything to do with the mountains. After that, though, watch out!

John
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:16am PT
That's the ledge system that diagonals up and right under Firefall wall?

Scoped it out last weekend, cool looking romp.


Way sporty climbing under that huge scare that gave birth to the rockfall I watched while eating pizza on the deck.

Edit: Thanks for the TR ED!

Always a treat to get the lowdown on the forgotten!

Mucci
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
Jun 8, 2010 - 07:25am PT
JE & Karl, Thanks for the updates. I'm allergic to rockfall, thus have avoided The Apron for the last 20 years. Still, I might try that Ledge Trail if the time is right.

I found the Sierra Point trail a couple years ago. The start is pretty well hidden these days but it seems to get regular use.

Finding and easy way up that east end of the valley to Half Dome has been interesting to me for a long time. It looks like a fun problem.

Indian Canyon behind the village looks like a good slog too. I've heard early Sierra Clubbers used to do that one all the time.

Just love a good bushwhack.
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 08:14am PT
Nice TR makes me wistful for Yosemite climbing. Tried to free the Flue years ago, but rain kept us from freeing a couple of moves at the very end. Sentinel is such a cool stone.
E
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Jun 8, 2010 - 08:39am PT
Thank you for the great adventure write-up and Google-link.
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