Zenyatta Mondatta Photo TR -10/08

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Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 17, 2008 - 03:19pm PT
Yo, so although our ascent of ZM is nothing remarkable compared to a lot of reports on this site...it was significant achievement on a personal level for my partner Brian and I. For us it was a step up in difficulty over anything in our past experience, and felt like breaking through a gateway toward more serious routes on El Cap and beyond. I dedicate the climb and this TR to my lovely wife who, this year more then ever has supported and strived to understand my El Cap addiction. Thanks babe!

I'm not going to give you guys a pitch by pitch blowdown of the route. If you want that, go up there and get it yourself....it's all there. If you want specific beta, email me. All I'll say is bring extra hooks and duct tape if you want pro in some spots. I will describe the highlights of the climb for me, most of which didn't have anything to do with the climbing itself, but the experience as a whole. If you don't want to read my introspective intro, then just skip down to the pics, they tell it all.

So, my fascination with ZM started probably 15 years ago when I first considered climbing El Cap, and grew over the years as I stared at it from the base of the Zodiac. The name alone capured my intrigue and imagination, what does it mean? I still don't know...and where does the route go? Even after completing it I can still only pick out about 3 main features on the route...the rest is still mysterious. However when we were up there it all seemed to come together and the path was obvious. Bridwell's routes are amazing, this was my second after South Seas/PO, and on both climbs I just felt a sense of wildness and awe...constantly asking myself wtf was he thinking!?

About 10 years ago, after doing a couple of easy EC routes I asked my friend and wall mentor Ryan Shreve (RIP bro), to go up on ZM with me. The first thing he said was, "Dude...that's a death route, a loose horror show." The second thing he said was "Go do more trade routes first, then we'll get on A4." At the time that second comment really crushed my ego, being a young punk full of piss and vinegar, thinking anything on EC would be easy. Now I know why he gave me those wise words and I am glad I followed his advice. I felt all my combined trade route experience prepared me for this climb, and as a result I allways felt confident and in control, never scared, like I was climbing in the best style I could. It's obvious on the route that many previous climbers didn't prepare enough, as evidence by all the drilled bathooks next to features and heads smashed into nice natural placements. These guys were scared, lazy, incompetent, whatever...and imho didn't respect Bridwell, his route, the rock, or future ascensionists. But whatever, I digress...

It's hard to say which is my favorite El Cap climb, but this one was definately up there. It was without a doubt, from start to finish, the smoothest ascent I've had, everything flowed...from one place ment to the next, one task to another...it all came together perfectly. Two minor mistakes, 1st I forgot my foam pad in the truck,which I regretted during the storm, but Brian was kind enough to let me use his. Second, I forgot to top off my Flask. wtf was I thinking! Again Brian shared his rations...of course, he ran out of papers the second day, so we are even. We fixed one Beak on the route, which I regret, I tried for 30 minutes on that thing, till the tie off snapped and gave up. I think I would have needed my chisel to get it. Still usable and bomber though.

Backing up...
After a nice warm up climb on Zodiac with my bros Justin and Blake, my intention was to solo ZM. Still kind of reluctant to solo, I spoke with my friend Mike Ousley in the Meadow, and asked him if he wanted to climb something, and explained my plan to solo ZM. His wise words were, "Well Bone, are you soloing because you don't have a partner, or because you really want to solo?"

hmmm...good question, simply stated yet profound and fundamental. I decided the answer was a little of both. Yes, I didn't have a partner who I felt was ready for ZM. My usual solution when I don't have a partner is to take up a less experienced friend and show him the ropes. But on this climb I felt like I'd be pushed enough as it was without worring about a n00b. I had soloed El Cap before via Zod, and it was one of the richest experiences of my life, and also one of the loneliest. I recall swearing I'd always prefer to do the Cap with a partner from then on, because...well, it's just more fun being up there with your bros. Still, however soloing has some strange appeal and still draws me...

Anyway, the week before up on Zodiac we watched a couple of solid climbers over on T-Trip, handling business, getting sh#t done, and having fun in the process...I was impressed. It was Eric and Brian and we had met them at the base. We met again on the East Ledges and had a great time laughing and telling stories about our climb. When I got back to the Valley and was getting my solo mojo on, I ran into Brian again right before he was fixing on Mescalito. We pretty much instantly clicked and had a great time chatting it up. For whatever reason after getting two ropes up on Mesc, things fell through for him and his partner...and he gave me that look, I could instantly read in his eyes, "Can I come on ZM with you dude?" He didn't have to ask, I beat him to it..."Well, why don't you just come with me?" I said. So plans flip flopped and there I was about to get on the most chalanging climb of my life with a guy I had never climbed before! F*#k it! I had a good feeling about Brian and he didn't dissapoint, the efficiency I witnessed on T-Trip carried right over. We swapped leads and shared the cruxes and all the work equally. The thing that sold me on climbing with Brian so quickly was his attitude, always smiling and positive from start to finish. His moto, "It goes, just pick the right hook!"

We were gettin ON IT! The first day started out as one of the best I can recall, when I got a call from a bro back home telling me Phish just got back together! Heck yeah! And now I'm jumping on El Cap, life couldn't be better! Dreams are coming true! The day ended in the best fashion as well, pounding beers with Ammon and Sean O'Niel at the base of T-Trip as they prepared for their push of T-Trip. We partied hard and fed off Ammons overwhelming energy and positive vibe. How could we not 'send after such a send off! I was feeling a little regretful in the morning trying to shake off the hangover. Ammon's solution, pound another beer!

Ok, I'll shut up, now for some pics! Thanks goes out to our friend Tom Evans who sacrificed his own climbing time to wait for the perfect light and shoot our climb. YOU ARE DA MAN!
The full selection can be seen here, there are alot:
http://picasaweb.google.com/mlambert60/ZenyattaMondattaOct08#

THAR SHE BLOWS!!! Where she goes, nobody knows...


Fixing p1. Nico's at the base cheering me on.


Basking in the glory of EL Cap.


Ammon marching up the Trip. looking a little haggered.


Hauling p1 together. "I'm gunna puke, damn you Ammon, ARRRRGGGHH!"


Brian in a comfy belay.
[img]http://lh6.ggpht.com/mlambert60/SPjG_hsL7rI/AAAAAAAAEcc/Bhv3clG5RwE/s800/IMG_0310.JPG

Brian gettin er done on p4.

Toms View, notice I've got the ledge tucked out of the dropzone, another runout off the belay.


Me leading p5 A3r, whatever...this was the mental crux for me...turned out to be a walk in the drilled hook park...still taped a hook down for good measure.


Storms coming in and Brian takes us to the shelter of the Lighting Bolt Roofs. "I know it's comin, don't worry mom, we'll be fine." "Are you sure you have enough warm clothes?" "Yeah Ma..."


Tom checks in on us.


Enjoying our dry view of the storm.


The sun teases us, but we know it's a sucker hole.


Not much else to do but smoke our various smokables, we decide to save the beer.


Perfect end to a beautiful day of swirling clouds.


After a day of rest it's nice to be movin'! p7


Tom's View


Climbing through the Lighning Bolts next morning. Wild roof, my favorite pitch, probably my favorite single moment of the entire climb.


Tom's View, he loves my shirt, btw!


Brian gets more then his share of run-out hooking on loose features. p8


Brian approaches the 9 O'clock roof. p10


And does some of the craziest acrobatic cam hook moves I've ever seen, red tag line shows the angle...not windy.


Pigs lowered out. Not sure why I like Pig pictures so much.


p11, A2 Cool! Into C1+ awkward shitty, which I bash my knee on in the dark (our 1 pitch after sunset).


p12 One supposed A4 crux, was more like C2 thanks to Pete's bomber fixed heads.


Linking crazy features. Not sure which pitch...


Brian pushes the rope up p13 looking for the way.


Somebody needs to leave their mark, what does it mean? Whatever it means I think it's BS. Grafitti.


Approaching Pete's junkshow, pulling through it happens to be the crux of the route, but the wine and beer we dug out of his bag elieviates any hard feelings.
[img]http://lh6.ggpht.com/mlambert60/SPjKz0Vi6rI/AAAAAAAAEow/89q-YRQGIqU/s800/IMG_0411.JPG[img]

Cruxin!


Tom's view


p14


Brian starts p15, almost home!


Flyin' the colors one last time.


Parting shot. Top out before dark! Had to pound one of Pete's beers at the belay in celebration.


So there it was, a great climb with a great new friend. The thing that made this climb so special for me was the people I ran into and shared it with along the way. Brian and all the monkeys seemed to be there and full of encouragement. Old friends in the Meadow and at the bridge KFC, Bobo, Nico, Ammon, Ivo, Blaze, Mike, Nanook, Rich, Kate, yeah....even you Pete. You all made my trip. Can't wait till next time.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 17, 2008 - 04:05pm PT
Nice!

> The name alone capured my intrigue and imagination, what does it mean? I still don't know...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenyatt%C3%A0_Mondatta

suggests:

Zenyattà Mondatta has been translated as Sanskrit for "Top of the World".
GraemeK

Big Wall climber
Ontario
Oct 17, 2008 - 04:21pm PT
Hi Lambone,

Sitting in my office with computers all around breaking. Fed up. Had enough! This was truly inspirational and came at the right time! I hope one day I can be as good a climber as you (and the other folks here)!

Cheers, GraemeK
Gene

climber
Oct 17, 2008 - 04:38pm PT
Matt,

Superb! Looking forward to Chapter 2.

The photo across the face with the portaledge in the distance is wonderful. Great job.

Regards,

Gene
GoMZ

Trad climber
Eastern Sierra
Oct 17, 2008 - 04:55pm PT

Sweet TR!!!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 17, 2008 - 04:56pm PT
Nice job. That looks pretty sick!
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Stoney Point
Oct 17, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
Had a japanese friend decoder the text.

It reads "Americans have large penis, we have very small penis"
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2008 - 05:48pm PT
haha, nice, but I think it's Korean.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Oct 17, 2008 - 05:53pm PT
It's def Korean.


Thanks for the pics and TR dude! The ZM is a solid wall so I dunno why you're trying to play it down. Good for you guys for getting after it!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 17, 2008 - 05:58pm PT
A nice report! I particularly liked the juxtaposition of "close by" photos with the "distance" ones from Tom. Kind of underlines how there are different perspectives on what we do.
BriGuy

Trad climber
SL,UT
Oct 17, 2008 - 05:59pm PT
Nicely done Matt!!

I'm glad we got to share the experience----looks bitchin with Tom's photos as well.


......still curious about the hidden message engraving.

Brian
snakefoot

climber
cali
Oct 17, 2008 - 06:02pm PT
brilliant line, great tr, thanks for the photos..did that thing in 91' with some friends, the pics bring back memories of how outrageous it is up there...strong work.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Oct 17, 2008 - 06:20pm PT
Matt,

Nice T.R.!! Great pics & thanks for the commentary. Great route & position, the last bottom to top new route I believe, a great score for Bridwell & party!

Thanks for sharing.

Levy
Maysho

climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 17, 2008 - 06:33pm PT
As one of the FA "party" I say, big congrats! great job, nice TR! Glad after 27 years the route still delivers. I got the first on the Lightning Bolt roofs, so really enjoyed those pics. I got to do a 20th anniversary ascent with my son, I guess I will have to start planning for a 30th anniversary trip up there soon. Maybe that "awkward C1" double edge sword flake would go free!

Peter
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2008 - 06:35pm PT
Peter, thanks! I allways think a lot about the 1st ascent team when I am on a route and try to imagine how much different their experience was.

We were in awe of you and your son's 20th anniversary clean ascent when we were up there. We were not good/ballsy enough, but you definately inspired us to tread lightly with the hammer.

Screw that awkward C1 pitch, you can have it, that thing drew blood!
Mike.

climber
Oct 17, 2008 - 07:48pm PT
Bump for a fine job on the World's Best Crag. Nice going, bro.

XLNT report!
Blakeb

Big Wall climber
Ditch
Oct 17, 2008 - 08:06pm PT
Congrats again to the both of ya!! Nice send, and excellent trip report. Hope to share a rope again with you soon!
Blake
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Oct 17, 2008 - 09:15pm PT
lambone, great job on zm, i thin the graffiti is korean as i made as ascent right after them and the rock dust was still there. i think they made it with rock drill. i popped 5 heads on the route, assuming i was a little heavier than them, but really bad form to desecrate the rock that way. ciao, shipoooi
hungry man

Trad climber
around
Oct 17, 2008 - 10:00pm PT
Thanks for the awesome trip report!
Kristoffer

Big Wall climber
San Diego, California
Oct 17, 2008 - 10:06pm PT
gread job and impeccable style dude.
ChampionSleeper

Trad climber
Phoenix, AZ
Oct 17, 2008 - 10:28pm PT
Nice job guys. Some sick looking walling going on there!
Conragts, Brian!
-Paul
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 17, 2008 - 10:40pm PT
Great TR.Congrats

"Zenyattà Mondatta has been translated as Sanskrit for "Top of the World"."

Highly unlikely (and that's generous) For one thing, there is no "Z" in Sanskrit.

Peace

Karl
FeelioBabar

climber
Sneaking up behind you...
Oct 17, 2008 - 11:19pm PT
KICK ASS!!!!
T Moses

Trad climber
Paso Robles
Oct 18, 2008 - 02:05am PT
Cut and paste from Google search:
http://www.stingus.net/forum/threads.php?id=911_0_13_0_C

"Zenyatta Mondatta was originally going to be called Trimondo Blondomina, meaning "three blond guys (dominating the world)," but the band did not want another title referring to "blond" so it was shot down. They reached a consensus with Zenyatta Mondatta. Zenyatta Mondatta is supposedly a composite of several things. "Zen" comes from the eastern religion. "Yatta" is rumored to have ties to Kenyatta (the leader of the Mau Mau's of Congo-Zaire-Kenya). "Mond" comes from "Monde" - the French word for world. The whole thing was then articulated in such a way to sound like "Reggatta." Another possibility is that the title came from "Zenith" and "Monde," which means "Top of the World." A third theory: In Japanese, Zenyatta Mondatta has a somewhat rude meaning: "gave money, gave a massage."

P.S. Great TR!
Pierre

Big Wall climber
Sweden
Oct 18, 2008 - 08:31am PT
Nice TR - Good work!

I did the route four or five years ago - I don't recall any of that graffiti - where is it at?
BriGuy

Trad climber
SL,UT
Oct 18, 2008 - 09:00am PT
Pierre,

The script was in the middle of the short bolt ladder on P13.

Brian
Prod

Big Wall climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Oct 18, 2008 - 10:13am PT
Very nice TR.

Prod.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 18, 2008 - 10:50am PT
Kristoffer - how're your kidneys? Did you ever get back on SG? It looked from above like you were going to - what happened? Ran outa time?

Great writing and fun quotes:

"All I'll say is bring extra hooks and duct tape if you want pro in some spots."

"It goes, just pick the right hook!"




T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Oct 18, 2008 - 11:14am PT
Great pictures and report Matt. You show alot of passion for the Captain. Nice send!


hollyclimber

Big Wall climber
Yosemite, CA
Oct 18, 2008 - 11:49am PT
Matt-

Far and away, this IS one of the more impressive photo TRs of the year...right up there and great shots. Thanks for your TR. It really brings me into the El Cap mojo zone.

I am glad everything came together for you. Partners, the climbing, the vibe. Beautiful.

I really liked what you wrote. It captured so many of my own feelings about climbing El Cap routes at my limit, soloing, and the experience of chasing life on the Captain.

Holly
sbecker

Sport climber
Meff-ferr, Oregon
Oct 18, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
Stellar TR! Congrats on the send!
I've looked at these pics a bunch now. Super inspirational to local wannabes like me. Thanks.
David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
Oct 19, 2008 - 01:59pm PT
Great TR, probably sets a new standard for writing and pix. Can't beat the close-ups and perspective shots. Nice collaboration.

(IMHO: This is the best use of ST, not the flame wars or political BS that is not climbing-relevant. The Archive feature of ST will make this available to other brave souls who are contemplating ZM.)
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 19, 2008 - 02:22pm PT
Nice TR,
Great pics. I really enjoyed your intro.
Thanks,
Zander
Hoots

climber
Tacoma, Toyota
Oct 19, 2008 - 10:10pm PT
Nice send guys. And great insight into the climb.
Kristoffer

Big Wall climber
San Diego, California
Oct 20, 2008 - 02:59am PT
Hey Pete, I don’t want to hijack this thread with my BS but yeah my back and kidneys feel fine now… I never ended up sending anything on that trip so I feel in some ways I just wasted my time up there but in other ways I felt like I learned the lesson that you can’t win every battle and what comes around goes around… there will be plenty of time for suffering later.

Zephyr
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 20, 2008 - 08:45am PT
Great report and awesome climbing,
guys. WOW!
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Oct 20, 2008 - 11:51am PT
Way to take the plunge there Lambone...you lived! you sent!

This feeling of satisfaction will glow for some time. Then, you will pull out the ol' guidebook again, or look at a photo...hoboy. then what?
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2008 - 02:10pm PT
Yo, thanks everybody!

Rhodo, the only answer...get back up there! I'm back in the Valley plotting on round 3 with the Captain and two friends. No bivis this time, cant wait. Ooooohhhhh!

radical, Captain...suck? Are you kiding me? Suck it up. Yeah it's hard, but you gotta keep it fun no matter how bad the epic. If it's sucking you might as well go do Royal Arches with the n00bs.
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Oct 20, 2008 - 02:23pm PT
Ditto for what Hollyclimber said. I loved what you wrote. If we were having beers, I'd be saying all the same stuff. Proud send and an awesome report with outstanding pics. ('aint it great to have Tom Evans shooting your trip!)

Thanks a ton,

Doug
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 20, 2008 - 02:49pm PT
Well done guys!
Bump for climbing thread.
hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Nov 13, 2008 - 05:27pm PT
bump for bad ass pictures
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 24, 2011 - 01:32pm PT
Great TR, Lambone. Nice shots.

I talked to Peter about the bat hook holes and he said they drilled none on the FA. Are people drilling them because features have fallen off or simply because they were inept?
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Mar 24, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
Hey Mark,

Drilled hooks and bathooks are two different things. Bathooks refer to a blank section with a hole drilled straight in, ie. instead of a rivet.

Drilled hooks that Lambone refers to are hooking spots that were perhaps sloping and had a small divet added. On first ascents bitd, a couple of taps on a drill were considered fair game to make an unusable spot usable.

Though this was debated back then as well, and there are climbers who remain vehemently opposed (Steve Grossman is one). I was fricken 18 years old, and for the most part took advice from Bridwell when it came to FA nailing style.

To some this is considered controversial, and one problem is that a well crafted effort on the FA, often gets hacked up as more enhancement gets done by subsequent ascents.

So, NO, we did no bat-hook moves up there. YES, we enhanced some slopers, and yes there are probably a bunch of added hook divets. Such is the fate of modern aid walls.

Flame away all you armchair El Cap heroes!

Peter
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Mar 24, 2011 - 02:18pm PT
Thanks, Peter. I want to go up there this spring and try do it in it's cleanest most original form. Also, given that a copperhead is the first tool of the inept, I'll be leading with a butterknife and taking out any head I can climb past by other means.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2011 - 10:20pm PT
Thanks Mark, had fun making this TR. ZM held a huge ominous stigma in my mind for years so I remember being pretty elated when we ticked it in decent wall style. Fond memories of my spontaneous impromptu partnership with BriGuy and hope to climb with him again someday. Solid Waller that Bri...Guy.

I remember a combination of enhanced hook placements and straight bathooks, for instance the whole hooking section above the p5 anchor...Had my palms all sweaty but turned out to be the easiest hooks I've placed on El Cap. Also we came across many drilled bathooks next to (or to avoid) existing features. Too many to remember and count. Some may have been from missing features. But I remember being disgusted numerous times on good gear otherwise. I often saw them while cleaning where BriGuy climbed right past them.

Bring patching material...

I think ZM has gotten "cleaned up" fairly regularly over the years and it's prolly overdue.

Nevertheless besides a lot of fixed gear and enhancements, I think it is a pretty cool route. Runouts above small heads and hooking on loose flakes keeps it pretty exciting. Though I led the odd pitches and never remember being unusually scared.
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Mar 24, 2011 - 10:53pm PT
Bummer, that sounds like a lot more holes than I remember on the 20th anniversary ascent. Wow, this year is the 30th anniversary! Maybe I should get up there again...A lot of traffic, and some heavy handedness has transpired in 10 years.

Again Lambone, great job! and great TR.

What is on your El Cap dance card this year?

Peter
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2011 - 10:58pm PT
Takin an old friend up the Nose for his first wall this spring. Hopefully something a little more technical in the fall. I have had two baby girls since this ZM climb so things are a bit different now...

Thanks for the nice words!
D.Eubanks

climber
Mar 25, 2011 - 02:36am PT
Lambone, good work, nice TR, excellent photo's. This TR shows alot about the climb. Nice consistently steep clean climbing with that Lightning Bolt pitch in the middle of it all. We did it in 84 and it was a big eye opener to real genuine A4.

Congrates again..

Dana
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