John Long The Royal Scam 1983

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 9, 2008 - 08:20pm PT
A fine adventure tale from the master from Mountain 91 May June 1983.



Studly

Trad climber
WA
Dec 9, 2008 - 09:09pm PT
Am I the first to think that the first pitch of Central Pillar rated 5.9 is a little bit of a sandbag also? After the passage of thousands of feet and hands, that sucker is polished slicker then snot and greasier then a McDonalds fry, especially on a hot August morning. The upper pitches seem casual by comparison. Never made it as far as the root crux. I don't think many people do due to the wonders of beta.
Jaybro

Social climber
wuz real!
Dec 9, 2008 - 09:25pm PT
Before I first read this article I don't think I knew there were upper pitches.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Where are YOU from?
Dec 9, 2008 - 10:06pm PT
Most folks don't do those..
Kind of Obscure, any more......5 & rap.
weird, huh?
nutjob

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Dec 10, 2008 - 06:19pm PT
Holy shmoly, last year I bought a couple of yates screamers to try that route and top out... I heard there was some "run-out hard 5.10" in the higher pitches. I'm glad the stars didn't align to make it happen.

So what's the deal now... hook-on-a-cheater-stick?

Has anyone climbed this to U-shaped bowl in the last decade?
navblk4

climber
Constitutional, states
Dec 10, 2008 - 07:39pm PT
The first 5 are well protected, the next 2 are not,
though you can Rap Kor Beck and there was a bolt about
15-20' to the left prior to the Kor Beck decent.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 10, 2008 - 08:14pm PT
You gotta climb a pitch or two higher - above the first five on Central Pillar - to get to the shizat face climbing (sorta run out) that zooms straight up. I think it's the 8th pitch that has the tree root shenanagan, at the end of a fantastic 5.10d tip lyback. Then a cool 5.10 one inch crack pitch above that and then into the U-Shaped Bowl. There's also a pretty grim direct start to Central Pillar that avoids the first corner pitch of the Chouinard/Prat (which also goes free up to the ledge atop the 5th on the Pillar). The second pitch of Chouinard/Pratt is a 100 foot fingertip 5.11 lyback that we cleaned out but the greenery has probably grown back since I never hear of folks doing this route. Too bad, because that 2nd pitch, when clean, was perhaps the best crack pitch on Middle.

JL
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 10, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Mr. Grossman. . .
I love the histories. . . but could you, for this old relic,
copy them in with a bit bigger print? Even with my glasses on
I have a hard time reading it. . . sorry, I'm just old and cranky today. . .
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2008 - 09:03pm PT
How much higher on the Chouinard- Pratt free did you get, John?

The lay of the land from Roper.



The Central Pillar of Frenzy.


Rich Thompson photo.


Low on the direct start.



Can't really scan to suit on my machine- Sorry
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 10, 2008 - 09:14pm PT
Pro looks a tad thin on that direct start, Steve . . .

We freed the Chouinard/Pratt up to the ledge on top of pitch 5 on Central Pillar.

JL
navblk4

climber
Constitutional, states
Dec 10, 2008 - 09:15pm PT
:-)
Looked to dicey for me past 7.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2008 - 09:52pm PT
Not much up there but a lot of holds, one nest of wires and a fixed short medium Arrow up high. I took a good whipper off of the crux onto the Arrow and then worked it out at solid 5.11 across to the normal first belay.

Good candidate for a pinbolt as that pin is crucial for the lead and too attractive for bootying.

How many people have even done this as a toprope problem?
scuffy b

climber
On the dock in the dark
Dec 11, 2008 - 08:54am PT
Thanks for the info on the Chouinard-Pratt, John.
I've always wondered about that.
What's there in any guidebook? An arrow pointing up, 5.11,
no indication whether the whole thing goes, no FFA, no date,
etc.
Best crack pitch on Middle, and the is the first I've seen
in print...
Go figure.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 11, 2008 - 09:11am PT
Unfortunately it sounds like the gardener did it! LOL
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 11, 2008 - 09:11am PT
Short history of Chouinard/Pratt: I went up and cleaned pitch 2 on aid. It's a 1/2 inch crack in a small corner that goes for maybe 80 feet (if I remeber right, since this was like 30 years ago), with glass smooth feet and tip cranking the whole way. I first led it with Eric E. who couldn't follow so we rapped off. I went back with Englishman Pete Minks, and we carried on to the ledge that it shares with Central Pillar (on top of pitch 5).

I think the upper part of Chouinar/Pratt would go free but it looked like some more cleaning up higher and I just never got round to it. It would make a great and doable project for someone, and would probably produce a super good route up to the U-Shaped Bowl. The pitch off the ledge (pitch 6) has a roof/undercling right off that would be the bid-ness, and the upper bits looked like classic hard Middle - thin cracks featuring mixed lybacking/jamming/face climbing.

Go for it. If you had a spare three days (for cleaning and climbing) and a handful of pins, this would be a great project, right up the most prominent part of the face.

JL
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 11, 2008 - 10:22am PT
Studly wrote:

“Am I the first to think that the first pitch of Central Pillar rated 5.9 is a little bit of a sandbag also?”

Although not 5.10, this pitch does present some fairly technical and continuous 5.9 finger locking. Peter Mayfield liked to guide it and he would tell clients that it was 5.9d.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 11, 2008 - 10:39am PT
Dimitri Barton and I, maybe 1985 or '86, climbed Central Pillar of Frenzy all the way to the U Shaped Bowl.

He sometimes had these ideas of doing routes in gimmick mode; like “Hey let’s do Mr. Natural using only quickies [a sliding nut design]”.

For Central Pillar, it was a “Five-Tennie” ascent. And this meant for me, the second generation version of that running shoe/climbing shoe hybrid, the blue ones, which I found rather clunky in comparison to the original gray models. Dimi may have been in Fire Flyers.

I distinctly recall wishing I’d chosen bona fide climbing shoes!

The shoes I had on my feet were brand-new and not the least bit broken in; so I felt completely disconnected from my footwork. (Not a good thing if you know what Middle crack protected face climbing is all about). Once we got above the first five pitches Dimitri did all the leading and he did a darn good job of it as well; dancing around on all manner of creative edging & smearing, quickly unlocking sequences and dispatching the tricky moves, often run out from his thin protection.

The trademark “root” was long gone and the upper 10d and 1 inch crack required cleaning on lead.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 11, 2008 - 06:31pm PT
Roots topo from the green two ring original Meyers guide.



Sounds like 5.11 in hybrids to me!

I always had the feeling that the full Pillar was one of those infamous 5.10+ routes that harbored lots of adventure and root findings!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Dec 12, 2008 - 12:24pm PT
http://www.summitpost.org/images/original/198358.jpg

Here's a shot that shows the long fingertip lyback on the second pitch of Chouinard/Pratt.

JL
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2008 - 10:43am PT
A little mood shot from across the way from a Pindisports ad in Mountain 33.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2009 - 07:44pm PT
Middle Rock Bump!
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Nov 15, 2009 - 07:31pm PT
So am I hearing this right, the Chouinard-Pratt has only been freed as far as the first 5 pitches?

Would be alot of work to clean that route up and free it, but certainly not impossible. I'm starting to get the sense that Middle, more than most/any other formation in the valley has alot of unfinished business on it.

Now why do you suppose that is???
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 14, 2010 - 09:25am PT
You have to be able to work it out on the sharp end since Middle doesn't have a lot of good continuous crack systems that are easy to aid up first. That desire and skill set isn't everbody's bag!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Jan 14, 2010 - 10:04am PT
Hi Steve,

Good point on having to lead the pitches. However, I would think that there is not a lot of room for new routes. On the NE Face and the NF Apron you can pretty much climb anywhere. Keeping new protection bolts off of existing routes would be problematic.

That said, there is a gap between the Sacherer Fredericks and the East Buttress. Are there any possibilities there? Clint Cummins photos.



Regarding cleaning the C-P, there should be well publicized first ascent so that everyone who wants to do it can the first season--it will be full of dirt by the next one.
Pate

Trad climber
Feb 7, 2010 - 12:07pm PT
adventure bump
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 7, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
Roger wrote: " Regarding cleaning the Chouinard-Pratt, there should be well publicized first ascent so that everyone who wants to do it can the first season--it will be full of dirt by the next one."

I don't think so. A good cleaning and you'd be good to go. I do agree that Middle has vast potential for now climbs, and the Chouinard Pratt would be one of the first I'd do if I was up there climbing all the time. The first five pitches are classic with a .11c crux if I remember correctly, and the upper pitches would go at mid 5.12 I reckon. There's a pretty good ledge at the top of the fifth to set up a camp with grub and water and you'd just work cleaning the uppper four or five leads for a couple days and you'd have it dicked - a toally classic new 5.12 on crazy good orange granite. I could beat my own ass for not doing it BITD.

JL
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 7, 2010 - 02:32pm PT
Hi John,

My comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. However, when I climbed the Powell-Reed one spring I was amazed at the amount of fresh dirt that had collected on all of the holds. I had never seen any dirt on Stoners' or Paradise Lost or the DNB. The Powell-Reed crack system, the Chouinard-Pratt, and the gully next to the Kor-Beck drain the entire face.

That said, the C-P all free would be a fine route.

Did you ever look at anything between the Sacherer-Fredericks and the East Buttress?
Tomcat

Trad climber
Chatham N.H.
Feb 7, 2010 - 03:14pm PT
I've only done the first five too,but ALWAYS loved the story even more.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 7, 2010 - 03:45pm PT
Hi Roger,

Yeah, the problem with the Chouinared Pratt is that the upper wall drains right down that crack. It might never clean up completely.

That whole section between the Sacherer Fredricks and the East Butress has a lot of potential but someone has to really study the thing, I belive, because there looks like there's so many ways you could go.

You can basically climb anywhere on Middle, as Roger said, so there must be dozens of new routes right there in the open. I think over by the Flakes there must be a ton of new ones to do.

Will Tyre did a veriation to the East Butt. that was only 5.9ish but quite good if I remember correctly. "Hard Man's Variation" or something like that. Coming from So Cal., we were all over the East Butt. because it was supposed to have hard face climbing.

Anyone ever do the Powell Reed. I remember doing the 2nd on Paradice Lost with Tyre and looking arcross and wondering where the Powell Reed actually went.

JL
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 7, 2010 - 08:19pm PT
I climbed the Powell Reed, probably in 1973. I cannot remmeber who I was with. I have a few butt shot pictures. At the time I though that Stoners and Paradise Lost were better routes, but that is only because of the dirt that we found on the holds.

The route is simple: start below the crack system that starts 400 feet up. Climb straight up the original aid route, as freed by Kamps or Higgins (5.10), or move up and left to the other set of small corners, the alternative aid way (both aid routes are shown in Roper’s red guide) and the way Sacherer climbed it free (5.9). That is the way that I went. The climbing was good. All the routes on that face are good.



Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 3, 2011 - 01:20pm PT
See the glory of, of the Royal Scam!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 21, 2012 - 09:25am PT
Largo Bump...
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Nov 15, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Confederate flag healthcare bump.
Leggs

Sport climber
Tucson, AZ
Nov 15, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
Confederate flag healthcare bump.

Seriously.


BUMP!
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Nov 15, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
One of my favorites!
10b4me

Ice climber
Bishop/Flagstaff
Nov 15, 2013 - 03:21pm PT
One of Johns' top five tales.
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