southern yosemite

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Strider

Trad climber
one of god's mountain temples....
Feb 4, 2009 - 07:31pm PT
scuffy, the deleted thread is now an artifact and you can not post to it. Only way to see it now is to click the link, read it there and then post here, in your new thread.

-n
scuffy b

climber
just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2009 - 07:54pm PT
OK, Thanks.

I'm just thinking, What A Resource that other thread is/was.
By the time I ever get around to going to those places, I won't
remember the existence of the thread.
A bigger loss for other people than for me, realistically.

Better luck next time, Crazy Horse. So-called thread drift must
be respected (and expected).
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Feb 4, 2009 - 07:55pm PT
hey there guys... say, i just stepped in to see what i could learn about southern yosemite.... '


oooooooooooopss...

sorry, say, perhaps this will grow again, and there will be some pics.... hope all will be well, guys...


sometimes, once the brush-fire clears, a wonderful new crop of trees can grow....

also---out of curiousity, technically, which part of yosemite is considered "southern" and for you climbers, which routes does this area contain, (yet, i need to know, by rock area, such as el cap, three brothers? glacier, etc, or i will not know what you all are talking about----then, you CAN name the routes, after i am placed, better...

thanks guys...

*not being dumb on perpose here, but where is the boundries for noth, and east... and even west, mark (chappy) lived in yosemite west, and i rememeber, we drove out on a long stretch of nicely walled road?? and through a tunned, ? if i remember right???
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 4, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
DMT --

Try the one around the corner on E Line, behind Galen's gallery
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
somewhere without avatars.........
Feb 4, 2009 - 08:14pm PT
I agree with Doug - I like the place behind Galen's too.

Fact is though, unless it's really bad, I think if you've been out climbing hard all day and pull up to a Mexican joint that serves decent food and margs, it's probably the best place you've been to in a long time! Kinda the like the McDonald's I had on the way to the airport in Cairo, while I was starving, after eating weeks of Egyptian food...
kev

climber
CA
Feb 4, 2009 - 08:18pm PT
Hey Crazy Horse,

Sorry if I seemed a little unfriendly. I usually skim the drift and since I wasn't part of it I took offense.

Also Matt seems like a good guy and not chipper. I've meet him up there once or twice I think.

kev
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 5, 2009 - 02:49am PT
A bit late to the party here, but just for the record, Like Matt, I LOVE Soyo as well. Kind of obsessed with understanding more of it's mystery/history, but little time to do so. Cool to hear a few folks here were climbing there in the 70s.

Roger B. - please do continue to track down those photos. Been years since I last prodded you. :) I think I know the roadside overhanging thing you mention.

JEleazarian - where's the one bolt you placed on Squaw?

Spencer did the best he could with what little info was available. Updated guidebooks are sort of in the works, but if you poke around and talk to the right folks, plenty new info is available already. Word of mouth is fun and trad, no? And lest anyone be mistaken that this vast area is overrun with sport routes, I beg to differ. Much of Shuteye Ridge maybe, but that's only a half to a third of the rock out there.

MisterE

Trad climber
One Place or Another
Feb 5, 2009 - 02:54am PT
Never hear about the

"Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides" much here,

I lost a girl to one of them - there's a story there...
Strider

Trad climber
one of god's mountain temples....
Feb 5, 2009 - 03:21am PT
So lets hear about the Southern Yosemite Mountain guides! Guiding in SoYo must be interesting...


-n
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 5, 2009 - 09:59am PT
I'll say a little about Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, since I've been guiding with them for years.

They're a thriving guide service started by some dirtbags who lived together at Bass Lake almost 20 years ago.

SYMG teaches rock climbing at Fresno Dome and beyond. And guides big mountains in South America. And -- you may not believe the audacity -- guides fly fishing where they snare their wily prey without a beard net.

But the bigger part of their business is backpacking, which ranges throughout the Sierra. They do trips into the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings. They even guide the entire John Muir Trail.

They do well by being really good to their clients, which regularly earns them magazine hype like "best outfitter on the planet."

You can check them out at www.symg.com

Good people.
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Feb 5, 2009 - 10:42am PT
chippers' are barneys( I couldn't resist) the " other " mexican place in bishop- las palmas- good salsa bar, are we still allowed to talk about chippers' and salsa on this thread?
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Feb 5, 2009 - 10:57am PT
amigos- mexi place on main drag- not bad for "cow" town like bishop here my quick and easy recipe for carnitas- crock pot,pork shoulder, onion, garlic, one MEXICAN beer, water, throw it in and come back in 4 hrs or so -muy bien!!
east side underground

Trad climber
Hilton crk,ca
Feb 5, 2009 - 11:05am PT
actually, you could use one of those " hoppy" micro-brews gives a rich flavor to the CARNITAS- I love CARNITAS!!!!!!!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 5, 2009 - 11:35am PT
Hey Neebee,

So obsessed with salsa here we kinda blew past your question. Sorry, cuz it's a good one and there isn't a simple answer.

The heart of Southern Yosemite is a big plateau that sits off to the east as you're driving through Oakhurst going from Fresno into Yosemite.

If you look really closely from that grade on hwy 41 as it descends into Oakhurst, you'll see a few granite outcrops off to the east. Kind of underwhelming because they're far away, and anyway not recommended since you might drive right over a dropoff. What you see from the hiway is the tip of an iceberg.

The most obvious boundary of Southern Yosemite is the gorge of the San Joaquin River to the south and east. Though everyone allows a blip of land on the other side of the river because it happens to include Balloon Dome, the Half Dome of the area only bigger and a lot more mysterious. At least one Balloon Dome climb ropes up with the San Joaquin licking at your heels and goes some 3000 feet to the summit.

On the north the plateau rises to a ridge of peaks that form the southern boundary of a local park you may have heard of, Yosemite.

So here we have an area bigger than Tuolumne and with every bit as much climbable rock, crisscrossed by dirt roads and the odd bit of pavement, with one tiny store and a 20-year-old guidebook that is so far out of print you'll never find one.

I started to summarize the climbing history for you, until it began to feel eerily familiar and I realized I had written a bit of it out to go with a Climbing Magazine article on Shuteye. Since this new thread needs some photos, try these:

http://www.shawnreeder.com/index2.php?ver=v1

You'll recognize shots of the Ditch and Hetch Hetchy and Buttermilk, but the whole middle of this great slide show is all Shuteye Ridge, the New Wave heart of Southern Yosemite.

Here's the piece that includes highlights of the climbing history:


Hinterlands Expeditions

By Doug Robinson

Royal Robbins first turned me on to the Hinterlands. In the early 70s when he had taken to soloing in tennis shoes, Royal veered south from Yosemite. Between the park boundary and the deep gash of the San Joaquin River lay two hundred square miles, or probably more, of rolling forest sequestering the occasional granite dome. Like the South Platte country in Colorado, with dirt roads meandering through. Twenty-five domes cropped up in just the first few years. But Robbins wasn’t the first to get there. Not quite.

A few of the faces stretched up over a thousand feet, especially on Fuller Buttes and Balloon Dome. Fred Beckey – who else? – had started sniffing around the western Sierra’s 400-mile “dome belt” in 1970. How did that guy do it? Here he was, a thousand miles from his home range the Cascades, running down the western Sierra bagging the first ascents of whole regions. In 1970 he opened up the Needles, not a bad coup, then pioneered Charlotte Dome for good measure. That put the heat on for Sierra locals. The next spring – April in fact, long before snow usually melts enough to make the dirt roads passable – Galen Rowell grabbed the first major Hinterlands route, the Eagle Dihedral on East Fuller Butte. Galen was motivated, working hard to escape being forever branded as “a former second of Fred Beckey and Warren Harding.” But on the virgin face of Fuller Butte, Galen hit a blank spot right beneath an overhang that forced his aid climbing to get creative. He began throwing a nut on a rope up past the overhang. Over and over he tossed it up out of sight. When it stuck, he went up the cord and – chuckling at the bewilderment of the next party – called it A3+.

You can sense the grapevine at work, the buzz in Camp 4, in what happened next. Barely two months later Fred arrived in the Hinterlands, and in typical fashion climbed a natural line on the area’s biggest formation, remote and beautiful Balloon Dome across the river. He also copped a route on East Fuller Butte, the first route on Shuteye Ridge, and ran up the longest line on Wamello Dome, before moving on. He never looked back at the slew of quite lovely but more modest domes.

The rest of the Hinterlands was untouched until Royal came along, with his Rockcraft climbing school in tow, beginning in the summer of 1973. Every week a fresh gypsy caravan of cars would line up, with Royal’s classic VW bus leading us up a maze of logging roads. I’d bring up the rear in an even older bus, an itinerant guide in huarache sandals, shuffling a circuit between Bishop, Ventura and the Valley.

Sometimes Royal took us to familiar crags, sometimes to new ones. There seemed to be a lot of rock out there, but few clear vistas in the rolling forest. Royal would set his apprentices to work teaching, say, clean climbing, then slip off to scout the larger faces in those Tretorn tennis shoes. Next day, he would point us toward fine, natural lines on medium-sized granite domes, up to six pitches. Then camping rough on pine needles or in pocket meadows a night or two before moving on. Wine in campfire smoke. We definitely sampled the eastern side of Shuteye Ridge.

After two or three summers, Royal closed down Rockcraft. I returned to Bishop and the Palisades. And it wasn’t until I moved to the coast late in the eighties that I remembered the Hinterlands and went back for a look.

Wamello Dome was an early favorite, so I stopped there first. It sported great position, with a broad face six hundred feet high, looking south into the sun and commanding a sweeping view. It’s reminiscent of Manure Pile Buttress in Yosemite. Five times as wide, though, with inviting climbing everywhere you look. I recognized the South Buttress, which I had guided onsight for Royal. Now two bolts marked a direct start, and a guidebook listed a FA ten years after we had bagged it. Still, there was almost no one around. We lingered.

One day I was coming along the base of Wamello (called Fresno Dome on the map) when a familiar voice called down, “Do you know what we’re on?” It was Royal, leading a group of Boy Scouts. The Scouts saved his life as a teenager, he figures, by turning him on to climbing. So he keeps up a steady effort to return the favor. Or, more like pass it forward.

“I was hoping you could show me,” was all I could reply. First glance, I assumed Royal was on his own route, Mule Train. But then I’ve never been sure where it went, really. The guidebook is long out of print and, well, there is a lot of rock up there.

Sitting up on Wamello’s summit watching the sun sink toward almond orchards and cotton gins, our view to the south is dominated by Shuteye Ridge. Hints of its bold outcrops taunt us. Mike Arechiga comes back form there with his eyes spinning. Topos go up on Mike’s website. No one seems to notice. Years go by. Sean Jones brings a new wave from the Valley to Shuteye. In Tuolumne, Royal and I catch a sizzling glimpse of these photos on Shawn Reeder’s computer. Clearly, Shuteye Ridge is new wave Hinterlands. We make a date to go out there in October. But a big snowstorm intervenes. Now I hunker down on the coast with rain on the roof thinking once again, maybe next season…

Why publicize this secret backwater? Expose a private reserve of fine granite? I’ve watched other hidden domelands slam onto the cover of this magazine. Calaveras Dome comes to mind. Locals whimpered and cried doom. In the end outside climbers nosed around for six months, got poison oak and left. That was about it. Still, many favor hoarding. So, a bit nervously, I told Royal that I was going to write this. His response was swift and sure and open: “The more the merrier!”
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Feb 5, 2009 - 11:50am PT
Nice, Doug! Thanks for sharing!

I've heard a rumor that the guide is back in print? Anyone else hear this? Other than for directions on how to get to places, I've always thought the guide was kinda bunk. And seriously, what's with the sketches in that book?!
kev

climber
CA
Feb 5, 2009 - 11:56am PT
Hey Nefarius,

Nice to meet you friday night.

Yeah I heard it was reprinted with NO corrections or additions.

kev
Gene

climber
Feb 5, 2009 - 12:08pm PT
And seriously, what's with the sketches in that book?!

No kidding!
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Feb 5, 2009 - 12:11pm PT
Hey Kev! Nice meeting you too! I'll keep my eyes peeled, Kev. Mine disappeared a number of years back.

Gene - the clothed cats always kinda freaked me out, Dunno why. Kinda like clowns; scary. Around these parts, Spencer is known more for inflating grades and grid bolting than he is for those pics or that guidebook though.
scuffy b

climber
just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 5, 2009 - 12:47pm PT
Dingus sez:

I really detest corn tortillas, I'd never last in Mexico.

I wish I'd known that before I forced all those Mole tacos on
fresh-made corn tortillas onto you, back at Dingus Camp...

I'm So Sorry!!!!!!!
spyork

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Feb 5, 2009 - 12:57pm PT
I for one welcome the information about Southern Yosemite.

Being somewhat lazy, and coming down from the north on one of my free days or weekends, I naturally gravitate toward the closer location for the shorter drive. The lack of a high clearance vehicle will keep me from certain places as well.

But OTOH, it sounds like a fun place for the spring or fall, depnding on the snowpack.
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