Euro on The Shield - solo Photo TR 10/08


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Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 22, 2008 - 06:59pm PT
Here is my TR. That was my third solo route on El Cap, but this is my first TR, so I am more experienced climber than TR-writer...
This is not typical pitch by pitch report, but if you need more details, just e-mail me. Two years ago, when I decided to climb solo on El Cap, I wanted to do some routes in different parts of the wall. After Zodiac and South Seas/PO the time came for The Shield...

Traveling is a part of climbing. It remind me one of Tom Waits song...
"We sail tonight for Singapore,
take your blankets from the floor
Wash your mouth out by the door,
the whole town's made of iron ore
Every witness turns to steam,
they all become Italian dreams
Fill your pockets up with earth,
get yourself a dollar's worth
Away boys, away boys, heave away"

SFO - the first night in America

One man, one tent, one dream...
That night I was first in the line...

"And I bought a long sleeved shirt
With horses on the front
And some gum and a lighter and a knife
And a new deck of cards (with girls on the back)
And I sat down and wrote a letter to my wife
And I said baby, I'm so far away from home
And I miss my baby so
I can't make it by myself
I love you so
Shore leave...

The dream...

The reality...
Tom’s El Cap Report - Shield: I did see Marek Raganowicz (aka Regan) rapping to his bags on the start of the Half Dollar pitch. He has hauled his bags up the Free Blast!! No fun there!!

More reality...
Tom’s El Cap Report - Shield: My man Marek, not one of the cone-heads, was seen this afternoon established on Grey Ledges. He is in the wet zone there but he is one tough Polish dude who described a storm on SSPO as being “good weather” where he comes from!! It would have been nice if he could have gotten under the Shield Roof.

Californian party - Mark and John, want to pass me on the Roof pitch (C3). Bring some brass nuts for clean aiding...

Mark jugs the roof...

P.09 - long and beautiful pitch above The Shield Roof (C3/C1). Take all your toys...

After the lead I had to clean...

No hurry!!! Before, some funny swings and short play with a shadow...

I don't want to climb, I want to take a bivy here...

Get a groove on The Groove...For me it was C4.

Cleaning The Groove. Probably in the same time, Yuji and Hans climbed The Nose...

My Californian friends on the Headwall...

See you...

The Triple Cracks. First time on this route, I had to use my friend hammer. I am sorry - rock. Polish beaks and BD big beaks worked very well...

Where is Tom?

He is always in the right place and in the right time...
Shield: My man Marek was at the end of the triple cracks and rumor has it that he took a pretty big plunge off the pitch late in the evening yesterday. He looked confident today and took some time to take his own picture and several down the route too.
Fortunately it was only rumor...

My last look at The Triple Crack...

Supercrack. Party of three - me, I and myself...


Just a look at the Headwall...

...and a short break...For the next pitches take a few of your favorite hooks.

Tom's Report - Yo.. Well it started out nice but by noon the clouds had come in driven by a strong SW wind. The Cap got cold and all the contestants went into the puffy jacket and colorful windbreaker mode... nice for the shots!! But the cliff is pretty empty at the moment. Today's report is brought to you by the turnout in front of the SW face where I sat today and shot a few parties on the Salathe and worked on the mess in the van... nice place that is BTW devoid of Tourons. I was loving it!!
Today's Report ......
Shield: My man Marek (aka Regan) made Chicken Head Ledge late in the afternoon. The lad looked to be going well and it had to be cold up there on that route.

P.15 - Be careful - rotten rock (rock and roll)!!!

Belay 16
This is my birthday - the last night on the wall. I sang some of Tom Waits songs...
"I don't wanna have to shout it out
I don't wanna be filled with doubt
I don't wanna be a good boy scout
I don't wanna have to learn to count
I don't wanna have the biggest amount
I don't wanna grow up"
" And I woke up this morning with the cold water
Slept all night in a Cedar grove
I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter than ridin the rail
I look 47 but I'm 24"

But next morning I started to sing:
"I'm going straight to the top
Oh yea up where the air is
Fresh and clean
I'm going straight up to the top
If you know me, you know what I mean
I can't let sorrow
I'm going straight up to the top
Up where the air is fresh and clean
I know that I will never stop, oh no
Until I know I'm wild and free
Just like a champagne bubble
Pop pop pop"

On the top...

As usual I had a few problems on the wall: lack of water, lack of food, a cold(-7C), strong wind and too heavy pigs, but I always remembered one of the last dialog from Pulp Fiction:
JULES (to Yolanda):
So, we cool Yolanda? We ain't gonna do anything stupid, are we?
YOLANDA (crying).
Nobody's gonna do anything stupid. We gonna be like Zorro. What' Zorro like? No answer.
JULES: C'mon Yolanda, what's Zorro like?
YOLANDA (through tears, unsure): He's cool?
JULES: Correct-amundo! And that's what we're gonna be, WE'RE GONNA BE COOL!!!

Tom's El Cap Report - Yo.. Whoa, what a beautiful day here in the Ditch. The temperature was perfect as whitnessed by the teams on the wall wearing light shirts most of the day. There is room on any route you want to climb. The normally full ones are very empty at the moment. Today's report is brought to you by Marek, aka Regan, who made it down from the Shield just in time to have breakfast in the Cafe and leave for home two hours later! He says his big mistake was not listening to advice form us locals not to haul his kit up the Free Blast! So he paid the price by losing 3 days on that god forsaken slab. You know, I get a headache from being right all the time and I sure wish people would just listen for a change.
Back at the SFO.
I like America, because there are good people , big walls and free coffee...

Again in an ordinary life, but...

Special thanks for:
Tom, Scott, Ted + Guys (Mountain Shop), Mash and Chantele, Darryl and Phil, Mark and John, Unknow soloist who share a water with me, two Polish climbers and Guy on a parking who prepare some food and drink...but

Absolutly Super Special Thanks for:
Kevin (Washington DC) and Pou (Barcelona). When I went down carring my pigs (70 kg)over 12 hours they just picked up my bags and gave me a ride to the Camp 4. Thanks to them, I catched my fly home...Many thanks guys!!!

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:04pm PT
Thanks, Regan! That's a fantastic report, and I hope you post some more.

Oct 22, 2008 - 07:08pm PT
bitchin TR!!! A+++++

congrats on the climb!!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:08pm PT
Wow, great job! Hard to get good pictures when you're soloing, but you did really well.

Oct 22, 2008 - 07:14pm PT
Truly inspiring...your images brought back lots of memories...Charlie Porter would be proud!

Where I once was,I think?
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:23pm PT

What a groove T.R. !

Thanks for posting up!

What's next on your tick list?


Oct 22, 2008 - 07:27pm PT
That belongs in the Supertopo Hall of Fame thread. Congrats, and thank you.

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:33pm PT
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:41pm PT
Shield is a sweet route. Great photos!

Social climber
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:42pm PT

An old room-mate of mine did many solo walls when I was living with him( 2 routes on the Column, Zodiac and 1 route on the leaning Tower).

At first I thought he was insane.
But I since have gained an immense amount of respect for him, his physical and mental strength, and stick-to-itiveness.

I give you the same respect

I drink your milkshake!
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:44pm PT
That was great.

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:48pm PT
Awesome TR! I can't wait to see your next!

Tacoma, Toyota
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:52pm PT
YEAAH! Sick one dude. Really liked the unique perspective, plus any TR with multiple Tom Waits songs is a winner in my book.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:55pm PT
Yes it was so great!

Oct 22, 2008 - 07:58pm PT
Most cool, bitchen TR of the year!


Santa Fe, NM
Oct 22, 2008 - 07:58pm PT
Two thumbs up for this trip report!!! Thanks for the contribution.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2008 - 08:11pm PT
nice pix--
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Oct 22, 2008 - 08:24pm PT
One of the best TR's ever. Way to go!!

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2008 - 08:29pm PT
Thanks for sharing. Good job-well done!!
craig mo

Trad climber
L.A. Ca.
Oct 22, 2008 - 08:38pm PT
thanks for the ride very cool

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Oct 22, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
Really cool TR, bro.

Lotta really nice photos...

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:11pm PT
Really cool, dude. Kick ass job!!!!
lars johansen

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:11pm PT
Some of the most beautiful pictures of the Shield I have seen. Top notch TR.



Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:22pm PT
Bravo TR! Hope you can post another one soon.

Sport climber
Austin, Texas
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:25pm PT
What wonderful pictures! Great write up!5.15 TR

Oct 22, 2008 - 09:25pm PT
Regan, excellent story .......

One man, one tent, one dream...
That night I was first in the line...

Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:43pm PT
Regan/Marek....Super Great TR ! Wonderful creativety with A Woody Allen like take when W.A. was at his finest. Nice new spin to this viewer on your pics, comments, and penned in portions.

Say, are you the Marek that won the Acopa shoes for guessing the crag in Italia ?

Great Night to Ya, Lynne

Trad climber
Lost Wages
Oct 22, 2008 - 09:52pm PT
Great TR ,thank you for posting

Oct 22, 2008 - 10:08pm PT
Best TR ever I salute your polishness and will drink a fine Polish beer in your honor!You are right it is not the destination but the journey.Some of the best photos ever.Please invite me to climb frozen grass in the Tatras!

Oct 22, 2008 - 10:16pm PT
F*#k yeah! Great TR. Awesome photos. BTW, your second shot (camp 4 booth) is beautifully exposed under tricky lighting. If you recall, how did you set up that shot?

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 22, 2008 - 10:30pm PT
The reporting and pictures are stellar - nice send and thanks for posting it up!
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Oct 22, 2008 - 10:55pm PT
Hey Marek,

Awesome F*&^%$#ing TR. Kick ass job on the route.
I met you spring '07 just before you sent SS to PO and I started up Mescalito.


Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:11pm PT
Dang! Nice! I need to do that route.

Oct 22, 2008 - 11:16pm PT
Super job, Regan. Cool TR, nice pix...good job on the climb...way to go big!

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:34pm PT
Beautiful, spirited and evocative. nice job on the route!


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:38pm PT
Hey Euro,

Awesome TR, Awesome job on the route! Well done.

You weren't solo on the camera action!

I loved that route 23 years ago, and it looks just as beautiful as it was then. Thanks for the flashbacks.

Crestline CA
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:43pm PT
It was a great pleasure for me to be a part of your climbing these past 3 solo ascents. You are a true inspiration Bro!!!
Loved the report too!!!! You are a funny guy with a very creative style of writing... maybe you could do the ECR for me!!!
Regards Tom
Mary J. Pickford

South Park
Oct 23, 2008 - 12:03am PT
Best TR ever on this site. Proud.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2008 - 12:40am PT
Thanks Fox,
I can not belive in such great response...Truly inspiration always comes from you, so thank you.
Of course, I remember and I keep in my mind all of you...Ottawa Doug (you played "Dark Side of the Moon", when I climbed SS/PO.BTW congrats for Tribal R.) and Werner B ( you gave me a ride on SS/PO, when I carried a water)and..., and...

I just try to organise myself in the normal life after the trip, so be patient please...I will try to write another Euro's story if you like the first. Also,step by step I will put more things my website (

Thank you again for all your comments.


Not there
Oct 23, 2008 - 12:43am PT

Oct 23, 2008 - 01:14am PT
Being the first one in line at the Camp 4 Kiosk is not proud. Stealing coffee is not proud either. Climbing the Shield solo is. Nice job.

Oct 23, 2008 - 09:15am PT
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 23, 2008 - 10:56am PT
Bump from one Polack to another.

Peter Zaborowski

Big Wall climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Oct 23, 2008 - 10:56am PT
Love it.


Oct 23, 2008 - 11:13am PT
Marek, no hammer? Good for you fella! Very Sweet!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 23, 2008 - 12:20pm PT
wow. amazing trip report. especially, love the annotated photos. those are hilarious. free coffee is the best.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 23, 2008 - 12:25pm PT
Brings back memories of climbing it in '91. Thanks for sharing.

You and hard work are no stranger. I was pretty maxed after doing it with a partner. Well done.
henry wallrat

Big Wall climber
Munich, Germany
Oct 23, 2008 - 01:44pm PT
great T.R., thanks !
impressive solo and pictures and good commentary too

made a little deep zoom picture show with material posted here.
look at and enjoy ...

p.s. move mouse for positioning and mouse-wheel for zoom in/out


Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2008 - 03:25pm PT
I have a few answers:
1. I did not win Acopa shoes, but many thanks for mentioning W. A. name.
2. Always, I invite everybody to the Tatras. We have there our Camp 4, which we call Tabor - awesome place. All Polish climbers were born in the Tatras.
3. The kiosk shot - 1/2.5/F3.4/ISO200/-0.7EV
4. I do not use a tripod enough, but also I have my secret tricks when I take photos...
5. Tom? As I wrote, sometimes I asked myself "Where is Tom?", because you are like a team member for most of parties on the Big Stone.
6. Nobody steal the coffee!!! When you buy a first coffee, than you can fill your cup for free - this is official Cafeteria policy (offer). After some time, I realised that always my second coffee taste much better than the first. Because I am Euro, I always buy the first one, but locals do not waste a time and they just start a day from the second coffee. They are smart!!!!When I dreamt about a free coffee, that was the dream about the second one.

Thanks for all response, congrats and warm comments

Social climber
Jtree, now in Alaska
Oct 23, 2008 - 03:29pm PT
Thanks for the awesome report, good job!

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Oct 23, 2008 - 05:39pm PT
Bravo Polksa!

Social climber
wuz real!
Oct 23, 2008 - 06:45pm PT
Damn Euros are everywhere, these days!

Thanks for the cool illustrated, narative!

Oct 23, 2008 - 06:50pm PT
Truly excellent pics and VIBE. Nice, nice work.

Trad climber
Oct 23, 2008 - 09:47pm PT
Excellent TR _ Climbing related bump
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Oct 23, 2008 - 09:57pm PT

I love how you point out that you buy the first coffee and the next one is free, but some others merely choose to start with the second coffee. Funny, no? :)

Hope to see you sometime again in the valley.
Congrats again.



Trad climber
new york, NY
Oct 23, 2008 - 10:20pm PT
Awesome TR.
but, I hate to burst your bubble, its Fonzi, not Zorro.

(to Yolanda)
So, we cool Yolanda? We ain't
gonna do anything stupid, are we?

Don't you hurt him.

Nobody's gonna hurt anybody. We're
gonna be like three Fonzies. And
what' Fonzie like?

No answer,

C'mon Yolanda, what's Fonzie like?

(through tears, unsure)
He's cool?

Correct-amundo! And that's what
we're gonna be, we're gonna be
(to Pumpkin)
Now Ringo, I'm gonna count to three
and I want you to let go your gun
and lay your palms flat on the
table. But when you do it, do it
cool. Ready?


Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Oct 23, 2008 - 11:02pm PT
Hell yeah, nice TR

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 24, 2008 - 05:00am PT
Good point Abe and you are right. Do not hate anything and anybody, just ask and I will explain. This TR is also about a people from different cultures. As Timmy O'Neill said on the Yo Show - we are different but one (climbing) nation...
In my country nobody knows who is Fonzie, so in a cinema translation, this dialog was about Zorro...
I think Zorro is coool too, it isn't it?
By the way, who was Fonzie?
Enjoy your second coffee and I hope you agree, that when we are in a sh#t, we should be always cool - maybe you like Fonzie and me like Zorro , but always COOL!!!
Now Ringo, I'm gonna count to three...

Thanks for good reading

Trad climber
new york, NY
Oct 24, 2008 - 07:40am PT
Fonzie was a character on the TV show "Happy Days." His real name was Arthur Fonzarelli. He is considered a paramount of coolness, I suppose.

For all the details,

PS, you do know who Ringo is, right?

Again, excellent TR.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Oct 24, 2008 - 08:13am PT
Awesome report!
Congratulations on a superb trip!

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 24, 2008 - 08:20am PT
I know two big Ringo names:
Ringo Kid
Ringo Star

Let me think...
It was Ringo Kid (John Wayne)?
or maybe some another...

Trad climber
St. Charles, MO
Oct 24, 2008 - 08:56am PT
Way to wax the TR. Proud ascent and report. I forwarded the link to a Polish friend who was in the Valley at about the same time. Thanks for the trip!

Tacoma, Toyota
Nov 6, 2008 - 01:37am PT
BUMP for the best climbing pics all year!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 6, 2008 - 02:24am PT
this pic in particular is a really good solo shot...

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 6, 2008 - 05:56am PT
Ditto what Hoots said - best photos of the Shield I've ever seen!

Great report, too. I especially liked that you provided the details on how far you were able to climb clean, and where you had to first use a hammer. That gives others a standard to compare with.

East Coast US
Nov 6, 2008 - 09:47am PT
Super report!

Crestline CA
Nov 6, 2008 - 11:47am PT
I've read this report several times and it gets better each time... thanks for a really fun and informative report... see you again sometime....
Regards Tom

Nov 6, 2008 - 12:02pm PT
Wielki wysiłek.
Baw się dobrze.

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Nov 6, 2008 - 01:31pm PT
Very cool. Great pics and minimalist text. Just the way I like it!
handsome B

Gym climber
Nov 6, 2008 - 01:41pm PT
Yowza! Nice climbing and great TR!


Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Nov 6, 2008 - 02:47pm PT
HILarious! Keep 'em coming.

Minneapolis, MN
Nov 6, 2008 - 03:14pm PT
Great photos! Thanks for posting!

Nov 6, 2008 - 03:20pm PT
great pictures

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Nov 6, 2008 - 07:56pm PT
Wow, cool vision, adventures, pictures, and writeup. Very nice.
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Nov 7, 2008 - 03:05pm PT
Like Tom said, I have also read this report a few times. It does get better each time. That pic looking up the groove was my favorite as well.


Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Feb 25, 2009 - 11:01am PT
Still one of the funnier trip reports i have read in a while...

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 28, 2009 - 03:07pm PT
Prolly some of the best pics I seen of the route too!

Nice job, Regan!

Austin, TX
Oct 28, 2009 - 03:18pm PT
I'm awaiting the epic TR from the Trip!

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Oct 28, 2009 - 03:28pm PT
Great TR... Love the pics...

very spacial!!!

See you in space!!!

Oct 28, 2009 - 03:37pm PT
One of the best threads ever! Good job
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 28, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
Right then, Regan - you are squandering your skills soloing Trade Routes like everyone else. Tangerine Trip was well below your ability level. So next spring, how about stepping it up a notch - solo something a little longer and harder than anything you've done so far?

If you're interested in some ideas [and maybe a bit of beta] send me an email, and we'll figure out something.


Austin, TX
Oct 28, 2009 - 04:40pm PT
Oh damn, I missed that link. Thanks eKat!
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Oct 28, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
Amazing TR. I loved it! It's the rare gems like this that keeps me coming back to this site.


Big Wall climber
Oct 28, 2009 - 06:43pm PT

How much of the triple cracks and groove is fixed?

How many offset cams did you use?


Trad climber
Oct 28, 2009 - 07:06pm PT
Me Likey!

jamais, jamais pays
Mar 9, 2010 - 03:01pm PT
Some Dream, Some Do

Missed this one 1ST time around

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 9, 2010 - 04:22pm PT
This one is all-time. Great effort my friend.


Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 9, 2010 - 04:27pm PT
and thank you for "Largo's Planet" (polish translation).
"Rats" is my favorite chapter...

Trad climber
Bay Area
Mar 9, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
Brilliant sense of humour and marvelous under stated writing.
You've made me want to climb two routes I'd only considered briefly
Way to go!
Flashy P

Sparks, NV
Mar 9, 2010 - 05:29pm PT
Regan- you're on the list of SuperTopo Superheroes!

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Mar 9, 2010 - 06:02pm PT
way cool thanks and good job.

Trad climber
san diego
Mar 9, 2010 - 07:37pm PT

Still one of the greatest places on earth to visit.

Muchas gracias compadre!

Mostly the next place
Mar 11, 2010 - 12:24am PT
bumpitybump back to the first page for this gem, too!
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Sep 8, 2010 - 06:25pm PT
Gotta be one of my favorite TR's, ever.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
Feb 16, 2011 - 11:56am PT
Hall of Fame TR for sure.
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Jun 28, 2012 - 12:15am PT
Bad ass in Baffin bump!

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