The Bin, Arch Rock (TR)


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scuffy b

just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 20, 2009 - 03:31pm PT
I’ve been wanting to do this climb for a few years now, alerted by a couple posts from Bruce Morris,
who first climbed it with Greg Murphy way back in the Late Post-Neolithic. He surmised
that it may not have had a second ascent. That is probably off the mark, but not by much.

It looks good from the entrance station area, if you have good enough binoculars.
It’s billed as 5.10D with the crux area labeled 5” and a lower section of 5.10B hands.
I thought it would be a good kickoff to my season, so I drove to Arch Rock on Saturday
afternoon, thinking I would scout the approach, maybe even figure the approach to Extra
Credit, then meet up with Ed H. and Gary C. to climb the rig on Sunday.

The approach is not so bad, maybe a bit more than twice the main Arch Rock climbs, a little
brush, some routefinding. I got stymied by one bit of poison oak trying to skirt a little rock
band just below the climb, then did a little climbing that would not be good with a pack (at
that point I knew the best way, but didn’t want to detour over to it) and found myself at the
base of this beautiful crack.

Now, I had been particular about equipping myself for this reconnaissence. I had climbing shoes and a chalkbag.
As I explained to Ron K. who was lounging at the base of Anticipation,
If I were unequipped I would undoubtedly find some climb that looked like a great prospect for
a solo. Having the shoes would disabuse me of this notion.

Well, I decided there was just enough space at the base for me to change shoes, and soon
enough I was doing the hard but solid thin hands sections heading for this pretty flare below
the obvious 5” crack above. The flare had hand/fist jams in the back, so I climbed up until
I could get my knee into it and then climbed back to the ground, 15-20 feet. I knew I was in
for a treat.

Down at the road I ran into Alexey, who was on his way home to Santa Clara with his wife,
having climbed at the Cookie with no other parties at the crag. We decided that he could
stay an extra day and climb with me and possibly Ed and Gary.

This happened that didn’t , etc, and Alexey and I made it to the climb without mishap or
company. I started up, having my foot slip where it didn’t the night before, then having a
foot jam blow out as I was fiddling with cupped hands in the back of the start of the flare
(wtf is going on here?), then I managed to insert myself left side into the flare, which was
obviously better right side in. Especially since I had racked up that way. Actually, the climbing
was fine either direction, save for the rack issue.

The rock is beautiful, did I mention that? It’s in a strip with nearly no lichen, and a golden-
to-red veneer.
At the top of this flare is a little alcove with a rest (and a good spot to turn around) and a
good look at the real reason for being up here. The crack above this is about 6”, narrowing
to 5”, then arching slightly left. There is a small offset, enough to dictate a right-side in
approach. A couple steep moves, until your feet get out of the alcove, then just great old
fashioned ratcheting up, with a superb edge for the left hand and oh-so-solid heel/toes.

And then…and then…

Right about when your hands and face get to where the left edge goes bad, you notice that
there’s a section that’s too small for the knee. Can’t figure it, get tired, take tension.
So I accept my demerit, hang, go back up a few feet, try to work my foot in really high off
an awkward hand/fist stack, blow out of the stack and sail headfirst.
So, I get lowered to the alcove and take a rest. The rope is pretty chewed from running over
the left edge of the crack in my fall, but it seems to be sheath damage only.
So, back up the beautiful OW section to the crux, where I think I hung again, then I crank
really high off a stack and get my leg past the constriction.

And then…and then…

My knee is really stuck. Really.
“My knee is really stuck.”
Talk about an inconvenience.

I tried everything. You don’t have to bother with too many questions, like whether I tried
straightening my leg, or bending my leg, or taking it out exactly the way it went in, because
I’m pretty confident I tried that. Numerous times. It didn’t take long before Alexey suggested
I put in another piece, which, fortunateley, I had, and so I rigged a sling to a good height
And stood on that. Forever. Eventually, after paying proper penance, I guess, my knee came
out and I got to finish.

A bit above the hard climbing is a scary hummock move which included a bush handhold,
then an easy short squeeze to the top.
Slings on a tree. I added two slings and a carabiner (for a total of two) and was lowered off.
Alexey absolutely hiked the thing.

90 ft “rap”
Stellar quality.
Protection to 6”
Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:45pm PT
You are THE MAN!!

Mar 20, 2009 - 03:47pm PT
Sounds killer. I remember DRC getting his knee stuck in generator once.


Trad climber
the jeep
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
Awesome Scuffs!!!!!!

always sucks to get a knee stuck.........

This is why I come to the Taco!!!!!

thanks for posting up!!!!!!!!!111


sounds like an awesome climb

Social climber
A prison of my own creation
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:59pm PT

Headfirst whipper! Egads!

Thanks for telling the tale. Helluva good job on that one.


Trad climber
Werner save my sorry ass!
Mar 20, 2009 - 04:05pm PT
Nice one, hearing about getting a knee stuck always makes start sweating thinking about when it happened to me last year. Good on you to get it out without too much pain ( I hope)

scuffy b

just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2009 - 04:19pm PT

I can't wear shorts in polite company for a while.
I no longer have a full-length rope.
It's going to be weeks before I can go back and do this
classic again.

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Mar 20, 2009 - 04:22pm PT
5" crack? Blargh!!!! Sounds like a fun time - hope the knee heels quickly!
scuffy b

just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2009 - 06:17pm PT
My psychotherapist and I got a lot of laughs out of this one.
It was the most enjoyable failure I've ever had climbing.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 20, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
scuffy b: "My psychotherapist..." Do tell more. Some believe that psychotherapists and OW climbers go together like peas and carrots.

Sounds like a stout early season climb - any photos?

Mar 20, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
Hey there Scuffmaster. Thanks for writing up that TR. You are a wordsmith, and my knee hurts now.

San Fran Cisco
Mar 20, 2009 - 06:42pm PT
Nice TR. Sounds like a full-value pitch. Video?

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 20, 2009 - 07:03pm PT
when Steve said "my knee is stuck" I did not truly believe it serious because of his calm voice. I was thinking he just have trouble at crux. Than after few minutes of his struggling in the same place ( he was ~35 ft up)- I realize that worse possible happen..
Difficult to say about time , but I think it took 25-30 min ( can be more) for him to suddenly release it . I was amazed how calm he was all this time.
The photo of The Bin is here
scuffy b

just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2009 - 07:07pm PT
Thanks for the kind words.
sorry, but we had no camera.
I've only seen one picture of it
which I believe came from somewhere in

that picture shows the climber near the top of the flare. It's
nice climbing with heel/toes and hand or fist jams way in the
back. Not grunty. What looks like a roof above doesn't really
seem like one from up close. The off width climbing is above
the climber.

Another EDIT
I see the picture is from Bruce Morris and that it is called
a second view of the Bin, so there must be another one on
the site.

Mar 20, 2009 - 07:25pm PT
Ok that thing is beautiful - must go flail on it! Thanks for the pic.

Social climber
wuz real!
Mar 20, 2009 - 07:56pm PT
Nice, Scuff!

здраствытии, Aleksey, if that is appropo, excuse my cyrillic spelling!


Trad climber
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Sounds like quite a way to start the season!


thanks scuffy!

Russ Walling

Social climber
Upper Fupa, North Dakota
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
scuffy = wide king
scuffy b

just below the San Andreas
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 20, 2009 - 08:12pm PT
Yeah, that's why I hung on the rig and fell and ended up using

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:15pm PT
Здраствуй Jaybro
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