Rap Lurking Fear from Thanksgiving Ledge?

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Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 2, 2009 - 02:43pm PT
I am thinking about soloing my first wall this fall. Either Lurking Fear or Aquarian are both on my list. In researching I have found that hauling from the top out to the East Ledges decent is a pain. Somewhere I have read that rapping Lurking Fear from Thanksgiving Ledge is a good option. Seems like Lurking Fear could have a bit of traffic on it in September? Anyone ever rapped it? Fill me in if you can.

Thanks,

Prod.
tinker b

Gym climber
my mom
Mar 2, 2009 - 02:55pm PT
i didn't rap the route, but my friends did in a snow storm. they said the crux was on pitch 7 (i think) where it traverses. they had to down aid it. because it is way around the corner it shouldn't be too hot in september, and you might beat the crowds of october...but one never knows in yosemite.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:01pm PT
ptpp is an advocate of rapping from TG. maybe search his name or 'Rapping with pigs'

my friend described LF as a slabby grade IV with a thousand feet of mountaineering on top. why cheat yourself of the most character building 1/3 of the route?

and what ever you decide, please don't rape lurking Fear, it's been through enough already.

cheers
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2009 - 03:05pm PT
Wade, My plan would be to leave the pig at Thanksgiving, toping out the heading back down and rapping from there. I was under the impression that the rap route from Thanksgiving ledge was LF?

Prod.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:23pm PT
Sounds like an ugly scene at the Prod family Thanksgiving to me..


r-a-p-p-i-n-g.
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
RR,

You've got some miles to you, what other routes would you recommend as a decent first solo? My wall experience is minimal, I have done 1 wall, Zodiac, with a mutual pal of ours, Dean H. I would be comfortable soloing up to that level of difficulty.

Prod.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:38pm PT
"I have read that raping Lurking Fear from Thanksgiving Ledge is a good option."

I was mostly ribbing you about 'raping' sorry. I'm a teacher.

Yeah lurking fear is the descent route. I think pete talks about the traversing section. i also heard that it can be rapped with a reasonable swing to avoid the down aiding.

seems like if you make it to TG- you'll be wall fit, lean and strong, you'll be in a work and systems rhythm and the bag will be light enough to jug with on your back -search Tucker Tech-or harness. or failing that, far end haul it-ptpp again.

This is all hearsay and MO. Never been on the route. you'll figure out what's right for you and send, i'm sure. Have Fun.
Shimanilami

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
The hauling on that route is horrid. I'd hate to do it all alone. Why not try something steeper?
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:46pm PT
You can link the traverse w/ the pitch before to avoid any down aiding. Watch your ends! Linking them on the way up will simplify your hauling.
BJ

climber
Mar 2, 2009 - 03:46pm PT
From two pitches above TG to the top is a real PITA. That said, I think rapping down Lurking Fear would be a worse PITA. Once you and all you gear is on top of all the climbing, it is just hiking to the east ledges. Stay to the south, and it isn't that bad.

Further more, the hauling in LF becomes difficult above the 13th pitch (Neds bivy), so you could stash all you gear there, and dash for the summit. It seems all rather complicated to just mindlessly carrying a bunch of stuff
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 2, 2009 - 04:21pm PT
i would not recommend it.

 there are a few big pendulums on the raps. its probably impossible to do the pendulums with your bags.

So in those cases:
- you would have to rap without the bag to the next anchor
- anchor the rope, and jug back up to your bags
- rap again with the bags
all that would take a lot of time and effort.

 more importantly, if there is anyone else on the route it will be a big cluster and bummer for them.

i have rapped lurking fear. i just had a light rack because i did the route in a day and I still think it would have been faster and better to do the east ledges.
Mike.

climber
Mar 2, 2009 - 04:27pm PT
Prod, You're totally ripe for Tangerine Trip.

Slogging up the shoulder of EC is a lot of work with a haul bag and a partner. That would just not be a fun route solo camping style compared to the airy experiences on the other side. You'll save yourself so much work and jack up the fun considerably by being there. FWIW.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 2, 2009 - 04:34pm PT
RE: something you mentioned elsewhere...I haven't done it, but it seems to me that the trip probably gets 1/4 of the traffic of LF. Like...There's usually someone on the trip when the weather is good, but there are usually multiple parties on LF. Parties on the Trip are probably less likely to be on their first wall too. Just my observations from the outside. Others who've done both might have better insight.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 2, 2009 - 11:37pm PT
I have rapped Lurking Fear three times with a partner and with pigs, and it's a lot of work. Emphatically concur with Chris Mac.

It is inconceivable to me how anyone could rappel the route if it were wet or snowy - there are three penjis on it, once of which is really hard. You can't do the penjis with a pig. You can't even do it with a hunk of rope dangling off of you - you have to bag the rope, and wear the bag. We also did some tricks where I went down first on a single rope without pigs, did the penji, put the rope through a crab in the anchor and got on it with my Grigri to weight it, then my partner lowered the pigs down, clipped to the tensioned-diagonalled rope with a quickdraw on top of the pig. Clever, eh?

It is not an easy task to rap Lurking Fear - you have to be pretty skilled in a number of areas. It takes a long time, too. If your pig is not crazy-big [like my big wall camping pigs] you would do far better going over the top and down the East Ledges.

But you don't want to solo a route on the SW Face because of the difficulty in hauling - go do something on the steep-overhanging SE Face and you will be a much happier climber.

You've just stated your intention to go solo El Cap on an internet forum, in full view of all your peers. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing, too. So go make it good, and keep us posted, eh?
elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Mar 2, 2009 - 11:45pm PT
"I'll be watching you, every move you make, every claim you stake..."
ECP's

ps listen to PTPP and the others... something else might be better for you...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 3, 2009 - 12:18am PT
> "I'll be watching you, every move you make, every claim you stake..."

"... every cake you bake ... " :-)
elcap-pics

climber
Crestline CA
Mar 3, 2009 - 10:29am PT
"every vow you break"...
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2009 - 10:44am PT
I am starting to think Tangering Trip or Mescalito? I appriciate the input, and I sure hope you're watching Elcap pics, watching and clicking. Just last night I was checking out your pics of me on Zodiac. Thank you once again.

Prod.
Mike.

climber
Mar 3, 2009 - 10:52am PT
Now yer talking, brother.


poop_tube wanted to climb EC and weasel out over on the short side. He understood in the end that size is the essence of the Big Stone, and he ditched his Zodiac plan for Mesca. I'd say he got full value out of that. He walked up and sent with no fixing (and no grade 6 experience!) The big part is the absolute sh#t, but the Trip, etc are great outings none the less.
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
Mar 3, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
Yah,

Pick something steeper, so you don't get screwed on the hauling. I been up Zodiac, but not the Trip. It seems that the Trip might be your best option.

I have been up Lurking Fear and the hauling on the upper part of the route after pitch 12 is not pretty. As a soloist you'll want the bags in the air.

Cheers,

Doug
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 3, 2009 - 01:10pm PT
Prod.-

Listen to the previous chimers-in, they all have eons more wall time than me. Thinking about route choice for soloing I would consider

-steep is good
-mandatory free is [often] bad
-traversing adds value but shouldn't be a huge deal, on the way up at least!
-length is up to you

My solo experience is limited to one wall. It took for fukking ever and I learned a lot. I wanted to be alone, and not "soloing" with parties on either side of me, so that's where I went where I went. Somewhere in the Taco archives is a long discussion or two about the meta-issues of wall soloing, which are at least as important, if not more so, than the technical stuff. I would dig that up.

If that's really what you want to do (and it will have to be), jump in with both feet and don't look back. You won't forget it.

Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 3, 2009 - 01:14pm PT
Prod,
listen to Mike, for get Lurking Fear and get on the Trip. Mescalito is cool and fun to do clean but it will probably take almost twice as long as T-Trip.

But honestly maybe solo something smaller like Leaning Tower or WC first.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 3, 2009 - 01:19pm PT
Sheeit. Warm-ups are for weenies;-)













J/K. Do whatcha like.
But Mescalito..that thing is looooong. He's probably right. You're gonna have to want a real Ahab-style experience to send that one.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 3, 2009 - 01:20pm PT
Yeah whatever, I was really glad I soloed the Prow before Zod.
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2009 - 01:45pm PT
Great advice so far. Leaning toward the Trip as I also believe in baptism by fire.

Matt,

I will have the summer to play/ practice solo technique here on 80' crags. but I appriciate your input.

Prod.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 3, 2009 - 02:46pm PT
word. some people have the gene for compulsive immersion therapy, some don't. Not sure I would wish the 'learn everything the hard way' tic on anyone but that's yr. call.

FWIW I decided after a couple seasons of rope-soloing around on 80' cliffs that there was nothing I didn't know how to do, at least nothing real significant, as far as leading and aiding and all that, so what was stopping me? The rest you learn or make up on the way. There came, of course, numerous opportunities in finding out how much I didn't know once I committed to the big stone, but few of them were technical.

I think D.'s experience on the Dihedral might tell you something about biting off big mouthfuls for the first go-round.
Mike.

climber
Mar 3, 2009 - 03:00pm PT
Heh, NP. Break it into two 40-foot pitches so ya get a hanging belay in.
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 3, 2009 - 03:07pm PT
RR,

I'm well aware that I'll be in, and get in, over my head physically, mentally, and technically here and there, but I'm ok with that. Which D had an experience on Dihedral? I'd like to read that. Do you have a TR of your solo?

Good advice Mike and easily done.

Prod.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Mar 3, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
Dean went to do it; too long/hot, bailed. Consolation trip up WFLT.
No write-up of which I'm aware.

None on mine either, sorry. Some stories on a thread re: big wall hissy fits.


hollyclimber

Big Wall climber
Yosemite, CA
Mar 3, 2009 - 04:56pm PT
I soloed this. The haul was super easy. Not a pain. Also fine when not soloing.

I have rapped this too. I don't think its worth it. Great skill to learn, how to rap El Cap. Not sure I am glad I learned it, as I later put it to use for the first time last year. I recommend shlepping your stuff to the top. Its bad when you don't know the way/the first time. In reality, it is NTB. I have done that shlep 7 times I think? (Lf, Lf, W Butt, Dihedral, Aquarian, NNL, Octopussy). Risk of ropes getting stuck = high. Risk of blowing it = existant. These risks when hiking approach zero. And, it doesn't reduce the hiking to zero and the shlep down from LF base is not so fun. Done that 3 times. Not recommended.

Prod- Solo what you feel like soloing. Thats the best plan. What does anyone else here know about what you want to solo.

I was inspired to solo the Dihedral Wall. Still, that was the hardest wall of my life because I was alone. (BTW, great solo route and my bags did not get stuck).

Holly
Gene

climber
Mar 3, 2009 - 04:57pm PT
Prod,

Whatever you do, have a blast. That's the purpose, right?

Good luck,
Gene
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 3, 2009 - 09:14pm PT
Prod,

Well props to ya for bighting off the big stone first!

Just remember, it's not nescesarily the basics (leading/cleaning/etc) of soling that make doing El Cap hard for your first wall solo.

It's the logistics of being on a wall for 7+ days alone. Lots of food and water to haul on your own, and no one to share any of the burden with.

I can gaurantee that you will move slower then you ever have, and slower then you'd expect soloing El Cap. Conervatively, 2 pitches quickly turns into a full day of work. And 3 pitches in a day is a lot of ground to cover...

Also, staging for the wall (carrying loads, fixing, etc) if you don't have help also takes about twice as long. And you'll need to do the descent likely 2-3 times on the East Ledges. So be sure to figure that into your time schedule.

Good luck bro, you can do it!

Mike.

climber
Mar 3, 2009 - 10:00pm PT
And if it is not already clear at this point...




































































You're gonna die.


: ]






So you might as well go big. And not on the slabs of the proudest big wall in America.
Michael D

Big Wall climber
Napoli, Italy
Mar 3, 2009 - 10:30pm PT
Since you said you just wanted to solo a wall..maybe, any wall?
Leaning Tower is fun, and is easy to haul. Solo'd both WFLT and WDD, no problems, straight forward. WDD might be my all time fav, as nobody else was on the line and you could relax and climb at your own pace. Have fun!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 3, 2009 - 11:41pm PT
If you are determined, and a good rock climber who practises, you can probably make it up El Cap solo your first time. Ricardo did.

If you want to play it safe, go solo WFLT first. Your chances of success are far higher.

But if you go to solo El Cap, do knott under any circumstances sell yourself short regarding time - allow yourself a minimum of two weeks start to finish. Bring extra food and water to guarantee success. Know how to haul above in all circumstances. Have your Far End Hauler ready for the last pitch[es].

Shut up and climb.
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
Mar 4, 2009 - 12:23am PT
Just so happens that I have soled both Aquarian and Lurking Fear..the first 12 years ago, the last 2 years ago. Both were incredible experiences. When I did Lurking Fear, I also considered rapping Lurking Fear. Now that I've been up there, I realize that would be a huge mistake. Main reason I say so is that it would absolutely hose anybody on the route...which is almost for sure. I think the topout is super cool, two pitches of climbing off Thanksgiving and then you can shuttle loads to the top. Takes about half a day or longer, but it's really neat up there. My haul bag never got stuck on the Aquarian, did have a huge issue from pitch 12 to 13 (I think) on Lurking Fear. It's the pitch off the OK sloping ledge that is actually quite horrible...the next bivi is much better. The last pitch to Thanksgiving is pretty bad hauling too, but doable. Probably not a good route to solo for the first time due to popularity, I got lucky and pretty much owned the thing...two day parties passed me real quick. Cheers!
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 4, 2009 - 06:56pm PT
Get on the Trip and make it past pitch 4 on day one, gauranteed you wont bail.

fwi
BooYah

Social climber
Ruby Range
Mar 4, 2009 - 07:40pm PT
Go for full value. Go big! BooYah!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Mar 4, 2009 - 08:30pm PT
Prod wrote: "In researching I have found that hauling from the top out to the East Ledges decent is a pain. Somewhere I have read that rapping Lurking Fear from Thanksgiving Ledge is a good option."

Anyone who would suggest that you rap down an El Cap big wall (even slabby big wall like LF), as opposed to walking over to the East Ledges and descend that way, is assigning you a needlessly dangerous and involved task. Hauling up anything low angle is a PITA, but made far easier by keeping things light so said pig is nothing more than a sausage.

The other thing is this fairly modern idea of reversing stuff - for convenience sake - before the climb has actually been completed. Pretty soon folks might be climbing "The Nose," but bailing at the Boot because they don't want to deal with the Gray Bands.

You do the whole Mo Foo, good and bad, and get the whole experience. This business of trying to eliminate the thorny bits on a big climb is absurd. Big climbs are all PITA on some level. Accept this, or change sports.

BTW, for a first solo wall, how about The Prow (bit of groveling at the top, but fairly straight up and down) or the Zodiac??

JL
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 4, 2009 - 09:22pm PT
Lambone,

That is the plan. Fix to 4 then blast. Looks like I have a pal who will swap pitches to 4 and help shlep loads, then solo from there.

JL.

First wall was Zodiac, 2nd wall this Sept looks like it will be Tangerine Trip. I agree take the good with the bad.

Cheers,

Prod.
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Mar 5, 2009 - 02:22am PT
Prod, start early fixing to p4, it is a longer day then you'd think.

And, this is REALLY important...if you can't make it to 4, do not fix to the top of p2 unless you use a rope protector. My buddies core shot their rope bad jugging up to the top of p2. Was like halfway cut through, there is a bad edge just below the anchors.

You need to go to either p3 or 4, not 2. p3 is a pretty short easy pitch.

And fwiw, I would not fix the first 4 with a partner. Do it yourself man. Most likely they will try to talk their way onto the climb, or you'll end up wanting them with you. Face it alone from the ground!

dave 32768

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 5, 2009 - 12:12pm PT
Hi all,

I'm in the midst of planning a trip to the valley with a friend in a couple of weeks. If (and it's a big if) we get a decent weather window, we're planning on getting on a wall. After reading a bunch of threads here on winter walls, Lurking Fear is at the top of our list. We've been planning on leaving the pig on Thanksgiving ledge, topping out, and rapping the route, but we're definitely reconsidering after reading this thread.

So here's the question- would you still recommend the east ledges over rapping for a winter (or late march in our case) ascent? I've heard some horror stories about east ledges being a wet, icy, snowy nightmare. I'm thinking that we'll check out the conditions when we get there and plan on it being a lengthy PITA either way.

thanks!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 5, 2009 - 12:27pm PT
I descended the East Ledges last winter after a push of Zodiac - there was about a foot of snow on the slabs. It was far more do-able and far less scary than I had imagined. You should be fine in a few weeks.

Rappelling Lurking Fear could be good this time of year when the route is deserted - it's just no good to meet someone coming up as you're heading down.
Mike.

climber
Mar 5, 2009 - 12:44pm PT


No issues, but it can freeze up quickly at sundown. Instead of crossing back and forth across the wide, open drainage as usual down near the Wild Dikes, stay nearer the edge and 3rd class on dry rock. Not too dicey with a haul bag (EC for me to say, Gabe humped it). This was in early Feb a few years ago--one of CA's top 5 snowfall seasons.
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno
Mar 5, 2009 - 01:00pm PT
Good to know, Pete. I was wondering and secretly fearing descending the East Ledges with all the recent snow, if we went up last week.

I've done a few walls in winter conditions, but only one in Yos. Did Leaning Tower in a push a couple of Decembers ago. The descent was interesting, but also not as bad as I thought. Definitely thought provoking though, as there was stuff coming down and things were wet and loose.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 5, 2009 - 01:55pm PT
I have decended the east ledges a bunch in snow. Never THAT much of an issue. Although i have always had light loads. And be ready to punch through the snow a few times. If you have past knee injuries that could be bad. Here is a shot of Lincoln Else punching through the snow near the top of mescalito after a january nose ascent





But if doing lurking fear in a few weeks, keep in mind the last 1/3 to half the route will be wet, and the descent will be wet. I kinda just like to climb in dry rock dry conditions. so this time of year i would stick to the east side of el cap.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 5, 2009 - 02:18pm PT
Concur with Chris about SE Face. East Ledges is OK when there is actually snow - deep snow that you punch through as described above. It might be a different story if there was only a light covering, or worse - iced up.
Mike.

climber
Mar 5, 2009 - 03:40pm PT
Seated glissade with a haul bag on back worked well on the steeper parts.
dave 32768

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 6, 2009 - 01:20pm PT
Thanks for the beta and photos! That's really helpful.

Definitely considering the SE face as well- Tangerine Trip has been our second choice all along. I'll be sure to post a TR when we get back.
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