Circular Staircase TR


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Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Jun 8, 2010 - 10:14am PT
Another bit of obscura in this area is the lower west face of Sentinel. As far as I know, no one does this any more. I think that Chouinard and Frost did include it on the first ascent. We certainly didn't when we did the WF. I did subsequently get curious and did it. Not very good, quite rotten, maybe a touch of 5.8.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 8, 2010 - 11:54am PT
So very cool. Thanks always for sharing and the momentary, vicarious transport from my desk.

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jun 8, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
Cirque du Sentinel

First Modern Ascent: Ed and Gary, June, 2008
Right ON!
John Morton

Jun 8, 2010 - 08:03pm PT
In some ways those bushwhacks are the very essence of Yosemite Valley. My first partners and I became climbers by blundering our way up several of those listed in the blue (Voge) guide, which had one chapter on the Valley (it's here:;.

No matter how scuzzy they seem now, these were fabulous adventures. The topic just caused me to remember something I haven't thought of for decades: while climbing the W Face of Lower Brother, Bill Peppin and I stopped upon hearing a thunderous roar. A flotilla of several 2-rotor helicopters appeared and flew up the Valley, slightly below us in altitude. We learned later this was President Kennedy and party.

This thread has the first mention I've seen of a repeat of The Bannister, left of the Circular Staircase. This was a project cooked up by Dick Long, a cheerful and zany character I met at the Sierra RCS sessions at the Berkeley boulders. Much later I realized he was a ringer, having the FA of El Cap E Butt, early attempts on Half Dome etc. He was returning to climbing after a hiatus to have kids. I had the privilege of joining him, Danny Tavistock and another guy to do the Bannister. Dick also took us along to pay a visit to Wayne Merry in his ranger quarters in El Portal.

Long of course went on to do early ascents of El Cap, and the still unrepeated Hummingbird Ridge on Logan. And as an orthopedic surgeon, the incredible restoration of Al Steck's ankles, shattered in a fall in Africa.


Dec 16, 2010 - 12:34am PT
I remember one 4th of July night, riding in the bed of a pick-up, looking at the approach ramps - a big bonfire very high on the slope.

Dec 16, 2010 - 07:50am PT

Thanks for posting. As I've said before T.R.'s rule rants suck.


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