Cozmic Bandito-Gang Bang- South Face, Mt. Watkins

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Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Nov 9, 2009 - 11:23pm PT
Some people may think the Watkins approach is too long, but where else can you get to a wilderness grade VI only a few hours from home and bivy on a ledge with no lights in sight (if you live in Camp 4). After not reaching the top in two tries, I had to go back again. This time it was with Jim Madsen, the strongest wall climber of our generation. To say he was obsessed with climbing would be an understatement. On a nice warm September day we packed our gear and headed up Tenaya Canyon with two gallons of water for our planned two days on the wall. Jim's determination became apparent before we even reached the top of the approach. As I was struggling up the 5.8 pitch below the wall one of our gallon jugs came loose from a strap on my pack, and I turned to watch it sailing through the air. Before it even exploded on the rocks below, Madsen was screaming, "We're not going down because of that". Oh well I guess we'll get thirsty. Jim was always in a hurry. He'd finish a lead, and too impatient to set up a pulley, haul the bag hand over hand, then wait chomping at the bit while I cleaned and led a pitch so he could get moving again. As we got higher it got warmer and by the time we got to our bivouac at Sheraton Watkins we had already drunk half of the remaining jug. The next day dawned clear and we continued on, getting thirstier and thirstier pitch by pitch. I led the pitch up to the ledge where Eric and I had bivied last spring. As I pulled onto the ledge I saw two quarts of water that we had left behind and I had forgotten. It felt like a celebration as we gulped it down. All those green floaters in it were no deterrent. We figured we'd be off the wall before it made us sick. To my pleasure we passed our old high point. It got airier and we got lighter and higher, finally the wonderful last pitch and a bee line to Snow Creek. We lay on our stomachs, faces in the water, gulping and gulping. Then we'd roll over on our backs and breathe for a while. Then back over, face in the creek to do it a again and again. We staggered on with bellies full of water and minds delightfully empty after the release from the wall, which helped on the long walk back to camp 4.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2010 - 05:58pm PT
Great post again Dick.

Gobee, awesome shots!
Where the hell is Barbella? Do you still see him?
Man, that guy was so cool and mellow compared to how bad ass he was!
WBraun

climber
Jan 2, 2010 - 06:07pm PT
Where the hell is Barbella? Do you still see him?

He's in Fresno.

I saw him in Office Depot buying something.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 2, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
Bump for one of my favorite threads.

What a story, Dick!!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2010 - 07:10pm PT
Werner,
You saw him in Home Depot?!?
Gawd, we all have to go there once in awhile don't we?
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
Jan 11, 2010 - 11:29am PT
Brave Little Toaster bump.
Pate

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2010 - 09:06pm PT
I second that emotion. Hope he's on the mend.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 24, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
One of my favorite posts ever from Skully....
Yup, Buggs has a following.
ALL the chix dig the BLT.


Ho maaan, I love this shizz!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 24, 2010 - 10:33pm PT

Another bump for Buggs!!!!
BooYah

Social climber
Ely, Nv
Apr 25, 2010 - 12:53am PT
And one of the finest Walls in the Land.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Shameless thread bump for Mike M.


Get some bishes!!!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 2, 2011 - 07:20pm PT

And this was a great TR!!!!
Go Banditos!!!!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 2, 2011 - 07:36pm PT
In the first photo of the first post, what is the nice looking dome to the right (east) of Watkins?
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2011 - 07:48pm PT
Anders, I don't know. But surely one of these Yosemite freaks around here knows......

I just climb the schit, I don't know the names of all of 'em!!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Nov 2, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Yasoo dome.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2011 - 09:49pm PT
Anything on it??
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jan 15, 2012 - 01:28am PT
There are a few routes on YaSoo... I'll try and dig up the info and post.

My silly question (and I am sure the answer is "no" for more than one reason)...
Has this route ever been soloed?
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Jan 15, 2012 - 02:19am PT
Yo Anders...

YaSoo Dome

South Face, 5.9, six pitches.
FA:Jim Baldwin, Kit Carr. June 1963 (III 5.7, A2)
More or less climbs the left side of the obvious feature in the center of the face. Looks like the only 5.9 is on the last pitch.

The Chief, V, 5.11b, A1
FA:Al Swanson, Authur James Foley III, Brian Warshow. August 1992
15 pitches. Four pitches of 5.11 and another three of 5.10. They gave it a three-star rating.

Topos are in 1994 Reid guide.

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 15, 2012 - 09:21am PT
Pretty sure deucey soloed it in a day in the mid 80's
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2012 - 11:47am PT
What about that east/southeast-ish aspect of Watkins?

That thing is freekin' HUGE!

Must have a route on it.
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