FOBIAD Trip Report 10/25/08


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 26, 2008 - 06:15pm PT
FOBIAD Trip Report 10/25/08
Five Open Books In A Day

I came up with the idea of the FOBIAD years ago when I was looking for a training climb that was long but with little commitment. Somewhere along the line as a joke I started calling it FOBIAD as twist on NIAD, the Nose In A Day. I never did do it but the idea caught Ed’s fancy and he kept reminding me that we had to give it a go. The total length of the climbs is somewhere around 1800 feet. Ed had thought it over carefully and his plan was to simulclimb Munginella first before anybody else showed up at the crag. Then do Commitment and after that take whatever was open, just play it by ear. We took Ed’s 80 meter rope to be able to link pitches. We took what is for me a small rack. BD stoppers #4 to #12, the four smallest TCUs, 1 each Camelots from #.3 (the small blue one) to #3, with an extra .75, 1 and #2, and a #4 forged Friend. For The Hanging Teeth we added #4 and #4.5 Camelots. If you pitch the climbs as shown in Supertopo this rack is OK. For the long pitches we attempted it was sometimes a little small.
Here is the man himself in the pre-dawn.

Ed started up Munginella at 6:40 with his headlamp on but before he disappeared from my sight he’d turned it off.
Here’s a shot of Half Dome you don’t see every day.

I’d never done this Munginella before and, frankly, still feel like I haven’t. Looking at the pictures today they barely look familiar. It went by pretty quickly. Ed has a lot of experience and had climbed this many times so he was able to run it out.
Typical photo.

Last section

We did the walk off and got back down to the base in an hour and five minutes. The plan was working.
Lost Arrow was looking pretty perky by then.

Ed combined the first two pitches of Commitment and I took the last.
Here’s a pic of Ed on the P1 hand crack.

The crux of this climb for me is the first ten feet which is in the shadow of the pic.
Here’s a pic looking up P2.

I told myself not to get complacent just because I’d lead the 5.9 P3 roof pretty well the one time I'd done it. Maybe because of this concentration it went smoothly again. We got back down to the base in about 2 hours. Again all was going well.
The Surprise
The idea now was for me to link the first two pitches. I started out well but about half way up P1 I took my first leader fall in years. I had by now gotten used to the friction of the rock. When I hit an eight foot lieback where the texture changed and the rock was polished I just was way too casual. One moment I was climbing and the next I was running down the face. How I got onto my feet to run I don’t know. I was a little worried this would put a damper on our day so I jumped right back on it and kept cranking. It was an especially stupid fall. It took some time to get a belay built in under the P3 crack and I could feel the time passing as Ed followed over. It had started to get hot.
Here’s a picture of Ed leading P3.

This sustained 5.8 pitch is one of the couple of hardest pitches on any of the Open Books, much harder than the Commitment crux in my opinion. I’d lead it before but was really paying attention following this time.
I lead P4. The thing is I am a 5.9 climber but I keep throwing myself at 5.10, and a lot of the time I get up it, like last week on Enigma, but this pitch thrashed me. I was starting to get tired and hot and had no technique to fall back on. I did manage to get to the top. Ed cruised this pitch. Even though he was just as tired and hot as I was. I was psyched. He was picking up the load for both of us.
Here’s Ed making 10a look casual.

This climb took us three hours and it was now past 12:30. We were hot and tired. We decided to take a long lunch in the shade to recuperate.
Here’s Ed doing some major recuperating.

By now there were climbers on Munginella, The Surprise and the Caverns. I was starting to doze off when I thought, “What if some noobs get in front of us on The Hanging Teeth?” You know, the kind that take leader falls on slippery 5.6 liebacks! Soon we were roped up and climbing again.
Here’s a pic looking down from low on the climb.

In theory I was going to link the first two pitches but by the time I tangled with the awkward chimney, and got about half way through pitch two, I was out of gear. There is a good place for a belay there.
When Ed came up a local soloist came by to see what in the heck we were doing.

Ed showed his experience and confidence by launching into 20 plus feet of lieback and undercling without putting in any gear.

This climb is one section of liebacking after another. You are not going to finesse this puppy. The top thirty feet is totally different in character from the rest of the Open Books. Steep cool climbing on wild flakes, the hanging teeth themselves.

Ed pointed out the light was perfect on Half Dome to see the Direct Northwest Face Route.

We made it around in about 2 1/2 hours so we were still on pace to finish without headlamps.
On The Caverns once again I was supposed to link the first two pitches but after a pitch and a half I stopped at this perfect hand crack when I had no gear for it.

Ed came up and he was beat. He took off to try to make the top. You can see him putting in a piece in the back of the overhang in the previous picture. He burned up a lot of gear getting to the belay of P2 so he brought me up. So I was physically beat too but, maybe because we were so close to making it, mentally I had gotten a second wind. Now I took off for the top. The pitch is a little scrappy but way cool when you step across “The Caverns”. I managed to milk the rack through the last few placements.
Here’s a picture of Ed coming up the pitch in the evening light.

There are a few 5.6 moves on the fourth class top out but we were now definitely done.
We made it back to our packs at the bottom before we had to put on the headlamps.
Another good day in the Valley was over.
See y’all on the rock.


Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Oct 26, 2008 - 06:47pm PT
Really great TR, Thanks!

Think I might give the FOBIAD a go!


Social climber
wuz real!
Oct 26, 2008 - 07:50pm PT
you guys rock!

Trad climber
Oct 26, 2008 - 07:55pm PT
Good Stuff! Thanks for dragging along a camera and sharing.

Mung was about the first lead I had and I wandered all over the place. It was fun.
Thanks again,

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Oct 26, 2008 - 08:11pm PT
Nice TR! Thats a lot of climbing in a day!

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 26, 2008 - 08:20pm PT
Nice report. I've done two of them in a day, but not five.

This could be the start of something, an FOBIAD trend.
Four Open Books In A Day.
Fourteen Open Books In A Day.
Free Open Buttresses In A Day.
Fierce Offwidth Bastards In Assorted Deviations.

Ed: Did you do Lost Arrow Direct, or was it rained out?

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 26, 2008 - 08:28pm PT
Nice run, Gentlemen!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 26, 2008 - 08:52pm PT
Sometime this week my pictures will be ready and I'll post up.

Here it is:

The circles indicates the places that we belayed. I have one of JimE's 80m 9.2mm Fusion Nanos, a great rope, too bad you can't get it in electric pink.

The ground rules... you gotta walk off the top around to the next climb (no rapping). My guess is that it could be soloed, but I wouldn't do it on some of those climbs. We were moving for about 11 hours on this.

SuperTopo has 17 pitches, total.

Our order:
Munginella 5.6, 5.6, 5.6
Commitment 5.8, 5.7, 5.9
The Surprise 5.6, 5.8, 5.10a, 5.7
The Hanging Teeth 5.7, 5.8, 5.8
The Caverens 5.8, 5.8, 5.7, 5.7

We probably could have done it a bit quicker, but it is still a long outing. I didn't anticipate this, but, The Surprise is the crux of the FOBIAD.

As of this weekend, a few of the Yellow Jackets were checking out the soil on the down-climbing side of the first pitch traverse, they didn't bother us too much, and we didn't bother them, apparently. If you upped the ante and did the Werner's Ant Tree start (5.10c) you'd avoid the drama...

We got a very early start. I was belaying Zander on The Surprise p1 when the first person of the morning wandered by asking "what climb are you on?" They were looking for Munginella and I so directed them. That was around 10 am...

...we ran into someone familiar on our descent from The Surprise, around the base of Munginella and they groused that "the whole cliff is occupied, unless you want to do The Caverens" which is where we were headed... that was occupied by two parties, we did The Hanging Teeth first which was a better order... it would have been a lot more difficult to do The Hanging Teeth last.

Be good at right facing corner lay-backing!

Also please beware, the number of people, and their level of experience means that you are exposed to a great deal of rock fall from the top of the climbs.

I really did enjoy doing this, thanks for Zander's imagination!
And I do think it is good training for long routes. If you fail on this one, you have a definite data-point on your conditioning. Also, if you fail, you just don't get on the next climb...


Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 26, 2008 - 09:00pm PT
That's pretty cool!

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
Oct 26, 2008 - 09:27pm PT
NICE! Sorry I missed seeing you guys -
Bruce Perschbacher

Carbonale,Ill. 62901.
Oct 26, 2008 - 09:55pm PT
Hey Tom,
Great work, looks like big fun all around. Thanks again.

Social climber
wuz real!
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:02pm PT
Oh man, nice work!

The Steck Salathe goes in fewer pitches, and less stubborness.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

From: From: From: From:
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:10pm PT
Another idea would be to approach them as a left-to-right or right-to-left traverse . . . "down leading" the second and fourth routes of the five .
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:13pm PT
Good job guys. Hope to get a blow by blow account Wednesday!!

Trad climber
My Inner Nut
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:15pm PT
I gotta say, that's a really great link-up idea, Zander!

This push has some chops!


Oakland: what's not to love?
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:26pm PT

Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Oct 26, 2008 - 10:54pm PT
Loved the pics. Great report and neat idea to get in a ton of mileage without too much commitment. Great idea guys.\

Next up, NW face of Half Dome in a day! :)

Send it,


Trad climber
El Portal, CA
Oct 26, 2008 - 11:20pm PT
Looks like a blast! Nice pictures.

Social climber
Oct 27, 2008 - 12:10am PT
Nice job lads. I know that had been on Ed's agenda for a while, looks like a fun day.

East Coast US
Oct 27, 2008 - 08:18am PT
Way cool! I haven't climbed in the open books for almost 20 years. That is a great section of rock.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 27, 2008 - 09:58am PT
Fabulous climbing and report! Way to send!

Big Wall climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Oct 27, 2008 - 10:02am PT
Nice job guys.


A long way from where I started
Oct 27, 2008 - 10:14am PT
Sounds like a really grand day out.

Thanks for the TR

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Oct 27, 2008 - 11:33am PT
Nice job, that's a lot of climbing in a day.

FOBIAD, great idea and nice execution!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 27, 2008 - 11:47am PT
Cool! Brings back so many good memories.
Bump for a great climbing thread.

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Oct 27, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Glad to see y'all out there doin' it for the rest of us :)

Oct 27, 2008 - 12:06pm PT
now THAT looks like a fun day!

Trad climber
Oct 27, 2008 - 01:24pm PT
Nice work! That is a long day with all the walking back to the base. Hard on the body for sure. What about Salanagenella (sp)??? Ha ha ha... A Proud day, great job!

Oct 27, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
What Ed said on Karl B's post:

"Back to the top for this one."

Nice work, guys. Thanks for sharing--

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2008 - 08:52pm PT
Come on Dirka!
I was hoping nobody would notice we didn't finish on Selaginella!

Mountain climber
Oct 27, 2008 - 08:57pm PT
well, done, great pics


Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Oct 27, 2008 - 11:57pm PT
Bump for climbimg threads and
against political threads.

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Oct 28, 2008 - 01:21am PT
What a great day out- thanks for the report and the inspiration.

Trad climber
novato ca
Oct 28, 2008 - 10:11am PT
great job
handsome B

Gym climber
Oct 28, 2008 - 11:38am PT
that's a whole lotta nice climbing

Thanks for the TR!

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Oct 28, 2008 - 12:44pm PT
You should get sponsorship from a gaiter mfr. for that one...
J. Werlin

Oct 28, 2008 - 01:51pm PT
Well done gentlemen!

Social climber
El Portal
Oct 28, 2008 - 02:31pm PT
Very Cool!

Rock fall potential there very high.
It's the one place i've almost been killed twice.
Huge t.v. sized boulder flew by my head, and a rock the size of a bowling ball almost took myself and a client out years ago.

Won't be going back...glad you were successful and safe!


Oct 28, 2008 - 02:41pm PT
Nice work guys !
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 28, 2008 - 02:42pm PT
Zander told me about your aversion to the place Jobee, definitely a worry. Even sitting underneath The Surprise in the evening dusk there was stuff raining down from the last climbers of the day. I was looking for a place to sit and spied a fresh rock scar on a nice flat rock... not there!

Getting the three done right away, Munginella, Commitment and The Surprise greatly reduces exposure to rocks kicked down by other climbers. But still a risk, no doubt. And even on Hanging Teeth one of the parties on The Caverens provided a constant stream of pebbles, rocks and heavy vegetation, without calling a warning (so I guess they were not aware that they were knocking this stuff off).

There was a bad accident there actually reported here 6 years ago
and in the style of SuperTopo discussions we have long grown accustomed to.


Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 28, 2008 - 06:29pm PT
Congratulations, gentleman! I have fond memeories of doing the ThrOBIAD w/ Ed a couple of years ago, and I'm glad you made the whole enchilada come together!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 28, 2008 - 08:03pm PT
Melissa, that trial run was crucial in forming a strategy, thanks to your radical reduction in rack size on our outing I was able to convince Zander to travel much lighter than we otherwise would have.... one difference, we brought more slings on this one!


jamais, jamais pays
Oct 28, 2008 - 09:02pm PT
Nice Job!


Social climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 28, 2008 - 10:42pm PT
Nice work fellas...Front Page Bump!!!!


Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Oct 29, 2008 - 01:30am PT
Glad this found it's way back to the front page. Congrats guys, sounds like one hell of a day!

Trad climber
Spokane, WA
Oct 29, 2008 - 10:50am PT

Great trip report. I love these common-man, personal challenges and I've done a few of them in my time. You can take something pretty mundane (like any one of the FOB's) and put some spice back into the game by putting new parameters on it. Nicely done!

Eric Barrett
Spokane, WA

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Oct 29, 2008 - 10:58am PT
Wow, that's a lot of climbing.

Congrats on the FOBIAD!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Oct 29, 2008 - 12:24pm PT
Nice job of finding a great adventure. This is what climbing is about.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 30, 2008 - 01:17am PT
here are some images that I took...

Z getting his camera out at the base of Munginella

"two can play that game!" he sez...

On Commitment above the belay

While it seems that I ran it out, it must have been infectious...

Descending after book 2 going for 3!

At the top of p1 on The Surprise, about to make the traverse on p2

my camera went on the fritz here... I rewound it and reset it (batteries out then in) and got it working again for the start of The Hanging Teeth

The light was failing and the Caverens start was obscured by trees, etc... here is Zander coming up to my belay ledge. A nice big one with a tree and a place to take my shoes off... I was beat at this point.

Zander took off and ran his pitch to the top. Here he is at the end of long day


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2008 - 10:02am PT
Nice pics Ed,
Nutjob, I wore that shirt for you. I found it in the bottom of the drawer. Must be 15 or 20 years old.
One thing I've noticed abut running it out, often it is scarier for the belayer. The lead climber gets to make the decisions about weather he/she is safe and in control while the belayer can only watch.
Climb on!

Oct 30, 2008 - 12:37pm PT
Sweet shots !

Social climber
wuz real!
Oct 30, 2008 - 01:14pm PT
I was gonna comment on the BMUG shirt.

nice shots

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Oct 30, 2008 - 03:44pm PT
That's a really good idea.. Might try that on solo some day if the legs and the head will hold together!

Nice TR.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Nov 2, 2008 - 03:39pm PT
Cool, nice pix and TR, but, while I have done all those climbs, never in one day. Also, I am so jealous and envious.

Keep it up lads.

right here, right now
Nov 2, 2008 - 04:25pm PT
I like the ingenuity of these linkups!

Trad climber
Nov 2, 2008 - 11:49pm PT
That's friggin awesome! Nice work

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Nov 18, 2008 - 12:41am PT
You guys got Val (cleo) and I psyched to try some of that stuff. We hit the 5 open books this last weekend. Only got two, but that was plenty for me.

Yano, that roof on Commitment is pretty spicy when you miss the huge hold.

Here's a pretty girl at the top of Munginella at the end of a great day in the Valley:
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 18, 2008 - 01:19am PT
good fun all around!
Chris Oakes

Nov 19, 2008 - 01:02pm PT
Great job Zander. FOBIAD is now a reality.
goatboy smellz

Nov 19, 2008 - 10:08pm PT
Go Zander Go!

Oakland: what's not to love?
Nov 20, 2008 - 01:34am PT

Ed H and Zander - this writeup was just as good the second time through.

What's the next linkup you're scheming toward?

Zander, seeing these pictures I realized that I met you in El Agave, Scott and I were coming back from Temple Crag and you, I think, had been at a wedding?

Anyways, great TR and I look forward to reading the next one.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2008 - 10:43am PT
Hi le_bruce,
We did meet that day. Glad you liked the write up. Some day I'm sure Nutjob will get us all together for an epic!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 20, 2008 - 10:55am PT
I'm afraid the next linkup may not be as popular as the FOBIAD. This winter I'm trying to organize that rowdy bunch that are identified by the acronym: BAWC, to rediscover the HOTC: Hardman Offwidth Training Circuit; of which only Chingando is designated on the list...

...stay tuned.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Apr 22, 2009 - 11:16pm PT
This is a badass idea and TR.

I'll bump it cause I'm gonna be hitten Munginella Saturday. I've never done it and I'm going with a new leader who's ambitious. He climbs pretty hard 10ish routes and I've seen him lead sport...purdy solid. "Just don't fall and you won't have to worry about bad placements" I tell him.

TR to follow

Trad climber
Sep 29, 2010 - 03:19pm PT

Trad climber
san diego
Sep 29, 2010 - 09:02pm PT
Climbed all of the open books back in the day, but not all in a day of course. There is some beautiful rock up there, along with the views.

I believe it was Munginella where those three unfortunate souls met their end. I remember the exact location as if it was yesterday. We climbed it in '73 and the belay we used incorporated the same manzanita bush/tree that they had tied off as their only anchor. I believe we backed it up with a piece of pro in the crack.

The crux was right off the belay/manzanita bush, a few difficult lie back moves(the last pitch). Their leader fell, pulling out their anchor(the manzanita bush)and the three of them fell to their death(all were in their early 20's). I was in camp that evening('76/77)and it was a very sad one to say the least. We had all met the young lads from the mid-west. They had just finished the Regular Route on Half Dome the day before, and had just that one day left before the long drive back home. They were elated about their success on HD, and were already making plans for next years trip up the Captain.

In the last conversation they had before leaving camp they stated, "We decided that we had a little time to kill, so were gonna do one of the Open Books..." before packing and hitting the road.

Be careful, and be wise my friends...

BTW, EH is a bad ass!

Big Wall climber
san jose, ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
Bump for a cool day and report
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Nov 26, 2012 - 05:52pm PT
Awesome TR, Thanks for bumping.

Oct 27, 2014 - 06:30pm PT
What a great idea Ed And Z. How did I miss this inspiring TR the first go round. Bunch of great routes, together, WOOT~! Inspiring pics too. Hey Phil-B, your photo disappeared! You said: "Here's a pretty girl at the top of Munginella" No pic? Can you repost?

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 27, 2014 - 11:22pm PT
I believe it was Munginella where those three unfortunate souls met their end. I remember the exact location as if it was yesterday. We climbed it in '73 and the belay we used incorporated the same manzanita bush/tree that they had tied off as their only anchor. I believe we backed it up with a piece of pro in the crack.

The crux was right off the belay/manzanita bush, a few difficult lie back moves(the last pitch). Their leader fell, pulling out their anchor(the manzanita bush)and the three of them fell to their death(all were in their early 20's). I was in camp that evening('76/77)and it was a very sad one to say the least.
I looked this up in the book Death in Yosemite, p.306.
May 25, 1975
John Fox Schwab, age 20, Stamford, CT
Ronald Baum, age 21, Hillsdale, NJ
It said Schwab was leading the 5.7 crux of Selaginella, a lieback right above the belay (this matches the topo).
He had 2 nuts and a biner on something for pro.
Baum was anchored to 2 nuts plus the manzanita.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Oct 28, 2014 - 03:19am PT
damn wow
I remember hearing about that
I went to the F. O. Books
early '79, checkin it out
they were 'local' climbers,to me.
From towns that I was from,

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Oct 28, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
This reminds me that I haven't don Munginella in a looooong time! next Summer or Spring? Maybe....
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
Oct 28, 2014 - 07:43pm PT
After reading this TR, I was determined to climb all seven of the ST routes at FOB. I'm happy to report that only The Surprise, and Werner's Ant Tree var is left and it only took me 2 seasons! Thanks for the beta everyone!
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