Zenyatta Mondatta Photo TR -10/08


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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?

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!

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.

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.

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?


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!

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..

kschmitz@bresnan.net schmitz

Mountain climber
Jackson, Wyoming
May 19, 2015 - 02:13pm PT
Dale Bard, Ron Kauk and myself were the first to climb the first four pitches before Bridwells first ascent. We were stormed off and left fixed ropes. Before we knew it Bridwell and team ran up and took the first ascent away from us. That was the way it was back then. It bummed me out for a short time but that's the way it goes. On the first four pitches we placed few copper heads and bolts. I know that when Bridwell did the first ascent some bolts had to be placed on those pitches. Maybe things broke off or they couldn't find our hook placements but they did and continued to put up a fine route.

Ice climber
mogollon rim
May 19, 2015 - 02:47pm PT
those lines were way old when bridwell and team jugged up
I think mayfield had to go first.....yikes!

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
May 20, 2015 - 09:33am PT
Great Report!!!

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 20, 2015 - 11:02pm PT
I was at the bridge this June and IC Kang (the Korean leader of Team Extreme Riders) engaged me in a long discussion about the graffiti on ZM.

7 years after I posted this he was still concerned that I knew the reason behind the graffiti and that he had taken action to educate future wall climbers from Korea that this was not acceptable.

Apparently two leaders of TER were killed in a mountaineering accident on Thalay Sagar. They had plans to climb ZM the next season. Well some of their partners in mourning climbed the route and carved in this memorial.

IC kindly asked me to find this thread and explain for him, that he understands why it was considered disrespectful to El Capitan and the big wall climbing community, and to let people know that current Leave No Trave ethics are being taught in the Team Extreme Rider climbing school. But he asks that some sympathy and understanding is given to the climbers who carved these letters out of grief for their lost partners.

I have a lot of respect for IC Kang. We shared many laughs on the bridge this last season. He's a good man, and a friend.

Here is a post he made in a thread titled "Graffiti on El Cap" about the topic.

May 31, 2010 - 01:31am PT
First of all, I would like to apologize for that matter as a Korean climber.
As a person who loves mountains and nature, I am sure that I feel the same way if I find flaw on a valuable wall.
Those are Korean characters and the names of two Korean climbers, who accidently fell and died at “Thaley Sagar” in Pakistan in 1998.
They were the co-founders of “Extreme Rider”, a rock-climbing school in Korea established in 1997 and the pioneers in big wall climbing in Korea.
Now many succeeding rock climbers are working actively all around the world.

For your understanding, I introduce their climbing history shortly.

1994 El-Cap Triple Direct
El-Cap Excalibur
Half Dome Direct Northwest Face
1996 El-Cap Nose(in a Day)
El Cap Lost in America
El Cap Heart Sunkist
1997 El-Cap Aurora(descending by Paragliding)
El-Cap Zodiac(in a day)
Pakistan Trango Tower New Route KOREA FANTASY(Descending by Paragliding)
1998 Canada Bugaboo"Snow Patch Spire"
Pakistan Thaley Sagar---Falling from Snow Field of Summit

After the accident, a person who was their friend and had a plan to climb the El-Cap did it.
I am sure that it was neither taking down a foreign country, nor an arrogant behavior.
They had never done that before even though they had climbed Yosemite several times for 1994 through 1997.
I am not a representative and a spokesman of Korean climbers, but I will do my efforts to ensure that such an act will not happen again.

I sincerely apologize again and understand the situation.

A Korean Climber
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