"Up rope I'm not moving!" First ascent of Basketcase


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 5, 2009 - 02:25am PT
we should just go up and see, scuffy
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Apr 5, 2009 - 11:24am PT
Scuffy and Ed,

There are no approach pitches whatsoever if you come from the Tioga Rd/Porcupine Flat spot. I donít know about coming from below. JB/Klemens and my party came from above.

It is a hike downward, actually very pleasant until you are alongside the dome descending the vegetation in the shallow gully, no rock climbing in there. This latter part of the approach is a semi-bitch but doesnít last too long and it really helps that you are using gravity to thread through the flattened scrub---it all points downwards from the snowpacks. Also, this approach is fairly obvious as you go along and doesnít have some horrid trick to it.

Another virtue to the route is how it builds from a nice short 5.8 first pitch to 5.9 to 5.10 to 5.11b slowly in the seven leads, #5 being the crux, all while the rock is incredibly good. Some routes are tough right off the ground and thereby seem more stout than they actually might be. And the protection is always good; the kind of fall you would take is always a rather safe one---no horrifying natural features such as guillotine flakes or broken ground. I characterize this route as a very happy kind of harder route, not scary. The crux is very hard but it is also only a short section of less than 10 feet on top of much easier offwidthing that is slowly tapering down. I would characterize the Twilight Zone, for example as very serious and fearsome and this climb as beautiful, encouraging and subtle.

If you actually were unable to do the crux, you can aid a few feet like Donini and Herbert did; it is not mandatory free climbing. I say this because you would not want to hike back up and out from the base to the road----that would be some hours of very unpleasant whacking fighting the scrub that as I say, points downwards vigorously.

Anchors were all natural; when I did the 2nd free on it; there were no bolts and none were needed.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Apr 5, 2009 - 01:52pm PT
Neat stuff.

Social climber
wuz real!
Apr 5, 2009 - 02:58pm PT
Ed, Scuff, I believe my new scramblersô would be ideal for this approach, even the waterfall.

Social climber
A cova Dos Nenos
Apr 6, 2009 - 09:28am PT
I see Basketcase getting alot of traffic this season.

Trad climber
One Step Beyond!
Apr 8, 2009 - 11:37am PT
Such a great story!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 2, 2009 - 10:13pm PT
Great Story Bump!
Ray Olson

Trad climber
Imperial Beach, California
Nov 2, 2009 - 11:05pm PT

Social climber
Nov 2, 2009 - 11:14pm PT
hey there donini... say, what a great share....

say, i just had to zero in on this... things just aint always what they seem from the far-off lure of a great view, huh:

TM apologized for his mistake as I was suggesting he get new binoculars and that he get his eyes tested.

but--somehow, it's always still worth it... ;)

Trad climber
Yay Area
Nov 3, 2009 - 02:25am PT
Jim -

Great story. Very fun to read. This and your story about the axe behind the back straight into the tree.

Very fun indeed.


Waist deep in 'gators and still grinnin'...
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:54pm PT
"Up rope...I'm not moving..." Too funny, Jim.

What a great story...and it makes me feel so much better for using that simple line any time I find my self in an off-width. Many thanks!


Trad climber
The Lost Highway
Nov 29, 2009 - 10:20pm PT
bump. great tale!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 5, 2010 - 10:53pm PT
Classic Bump!

olympia, wa
Jan 6, 2010 - 12:29am PT
Thanks for the stories, kinda feel like i missed out on something.
At least I found st, I can armchair the experiences.

Social climber
Jan 6, 2010 - 01:05am PT
hey there wow... somehow i missed it: chappy was here posting back in april.. oh my... :)

say, just stepped in to say:

sure hope you do post more often! donini... :)
wonderful story... i read it again... :)

enjoyed seeing my brother's post, too...

Trad climber
Jan 6, 2010 - 11:14am PT
Credit: Zander

So I've been assuming the approach from above is around at line 1 but then looking at the pic I started thinking maybe line 2. Anybody? I remember Werner says coming from the bottom is faster.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 6, 2010 - 11:21am PT
Zander, it is line #2.

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2010 - 03:28pm PT
donini post with more than two sentences bump

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 17, 2010 - 04:16pm PT

Yeah, Jim. . .

How about Torre Egger???????

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Mar 18, 2010 - 10:28am PT
bump....for a great on topic post
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