working of the first free ascent of Mescalito

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Original Post - May 27, 2009 - 11:39pm PT
Check out Video of this climb here

http://nikon.net/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Tips/fx50m2eb/1/Aerial-Ballet.html#tab=2

first a public service announcement: take your poop down from el cap.




here are many ideas on the subject here
or you can just buy a Metolius Waste Case

ok, down to business:

It had been a couple years since i last belayed Tommy Caldwell on the first double free ascent of el cap in a day

to be honest, i still have not "climbed" with him, only belayed except for a brief, shining moment where i aided a pitch in the Grand Canyon

but i guess i can belay OK.... because i got the nod again to belay again on a new el cap free project: Mescalito!

for those who dont know el cap, the idea of free climbing mescalito is kinda out there. routes like the Nose and Salathe, while they are hard, and way harder than i will ever climb, follow large crack systems that you can see from el cap meadow. Mescalito, on the other hand follows large "flared seam" systems that finally relent to... large blank sections?? impossible!! or is it?

The nose and salathe are probably 90% 5.11 and easier. Mescalito/ Dawn wall likely be 80% 5.12 and harder. It will break down something like this (Tommy's guess)

12b
13a
13c
12b
12d
13c
14a/b
13c
13d
13d
12d
14
14a
14a
13c/d
13+
12b
11
11
11
11
12
12
12


(note, 60% of the pitches are on mescalito, other pitches are on Dawn Wall, Adrift or are new free variations)

I'll break the suspense: no tommy did not free the route on this trip.

So why am I (with permission from Tommy) spraying so much about a route that hasnt been done yet? Because tommy, who's freed all buy two hard routes on el cap, thinks this might be a ten year project... and he's hoping some new up and coming climber will get psyched and start the 10 year process now so he doesn't have to wait till he is 40 to free it... (crap, Tommy, we are not in our 30's, how did that happen?!?!)

anyway, back to the spray fest

the ascent started with a descent: rapping off the top of el cap... exposure!!!


here i am rapping into wino tower, a proud (but slanted) ledge half way up a blank wall... and the place where Warren Harding camped out on his epic first ascent of the Dawn Wall

shortly after we landed tommy warmed up on a 5.12b pitch to loosen up. NOTE: i call this pitch 5.11 in my book. i was wrong. (its the Wall Of Early Morning Light pitch off Wino Tower)

Bandaloop!!


True story: the morning we packed up in el cap meadow (remember, this is in april), with a more than minor chance of rain, tommy actually thought we did not need a rain fly up there. And after i raised the idea that we should probably have one, just in case, he had to drive back to his house to get one... which we are all glad he did!! mid way through the night it started to rain/snow. we jumped out of the ledge and set up the fly. by morning, we were clearly in a storm. which was kinda a big deal for me since I had never been in a storm on el cap before.



tommy under the ledge



corey and coop hanging out in the COLD

http://www.facebook.com/v/75436252902

With bad weather, I was off the hook for belay duties. But Tommy, being the animal he is, decided to work on the route self belayed with a mini traxion. Nothing like 5.14a friction in rain/snow.

Halfway through the day he let us know that he made a major breakthrough and found a way to get around the 5.14+ crux with some 5.13+. now the route only had 5 5.14 pitches… no problem!!

Here is a 1 minute video of Tommy talking about finding a way around the 5.14+ section. I am shooting from the portaledge in a mellow snow storm - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz6Q0cgv4b0

And here is another video where Tommy talks about the remaining hard pitches he has to figure out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX_f3brdWvs

And one last video in the portaledge where Tommy lists off the ratings of all the pitches - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1wj1-X80F4

I was pretty pumped to sit in the portaledge and answer email, watch youtube and read the forum on my iphone when tragedy struck!!! We realized our solar panel didn’t work withough direct sun…. noooooooo….



we were all pretty bummed.

Instead, I turned my attention to staring at the portaledge and outside the portaledge all day. I made these observations.

A mini review of The Black Diamond Cliff Cabana Ledge



 is very comfy and has lots of cool pockets to stash stuff –
 its really really heavy
 it took me a long time to set up. Granted it was the first time I had done so. But I really like how much more simple the A5 ledges were to set up.
 The rain fly is AWESOME!!!! This is a big improvement from the A5 rainfly I was used to because:

 it ventilates extremely well because it has a big “awning” at the top of the door that is molded to stick out and let air in. This is crucial. Nothing worse than keeping out all the rain only to get wet because of your own sweat… eeeoowww


 plastic panels so you can look out
 nice increase of space with the tent pole that pushes out the outer wall

 one negative to the rain fly and ledge set up is there are big gaps in the portaledge bed so that loose item tend to fall through (like coffee mugs). Its then really hard to fish the items back out from the bottom of the rainfly.

That aside I was very impressed with the rainfly and give it the grade of an A. The portaledge gets an A for comfort but a C for weight and easy of set up. So overall I think I would give it a B. I am not sure how it compares to the other portaledges out there. My ultimate ledge right now would be an A5 ledge with a black diamond fly. But I hear the metolius fly is pretty sweet, too.

While on the topic of gear reviews, we had this awesome petzl hammer on the trip. I had never seen it before but its now my new favorite. I don’t even know where you can buy it.

Also, I did a gear test on the new Moses Cam Hooks :
that you can read about here

Ok, back to climbing, the next day the sun came out after some sweet clearing storm clouds



Here is 37 seconds of video of the clearning storm clouds - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZqVP-8RBxg

And Tommy emerging from the portaledge after the storm - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffWPrvgvif8



Tommy warmed up on some of the easier climbing on the route: 5.13c

For those of you following along in your supertopo big walls book – this is pitch 15 of wall of early morning light

That blank seam is the 5.14+ pitch that tommy no longer has to climb. But just for fun, the next day he did work on it. This next photo, and all the good ones that follow, are from Corey Rich and I stole them from the Big Up Productions Web Site

B sure to check out the new Dosage V trailer:





Tommy on the 5.14+ pitch 15 that he can now avoid with the pitch below




unfortunately for tommy, a lot of the hard climbing on wall of early morning light is protected with the original Harding aluminum dowels.. yikes!!

luckily for tommy, we had the new Moses Keyhole Hangers which are awesome. You can read a great thread and see how these are made here



ROUND 3


luckily, the sun came out and our solar panel was back in action and I could once again follow “As The Taco Turns” and web sites - by the way, if you are going to spend a lot of time at belays on el cap, I really recommend an iphone and a solar panel
[img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3555/3572680462_fa8d0dabe9.jpg?v=0[img]


Ok, enough with the 5.13+ warm up, lets get to some REAL climbing

Below is one of the route cruxes that Tommy has not figured out yet: the features end and he has to make an eight foot horizontal dyno! it looks impossible. and it might be. but that didnt stop tommy from making about 20 tries (and 20 falls). He was hitting the almost every time, but its just such a big move that the swing through of the legs will be really hard to control.







There are a couple dyno's like that. But for the most part the reason the route is so hard is not the BIG moves but the little ones. You have to hold onto microscopic edges and stand on... well stand on things that dont even resemble footholds. Tommy said this has been the key to unlocking so many hard el cap routes "It took me 4 years until I finally learned how to stand on "edges" I never thought were possible to stand on."

Tommy continued "That is the reason so many 5.14+ or even 5.15 climbers get shut down on El Cap. It takes years to learn the technical hand and footwork you need on el cap."

its hard to tell in photos like below, but he's standing and holding onto just about nothing on a vertical wall -

Here are what some of the handholds look like



photos by Corey Rich and Aurora Photos




The next day we moved down to a pitch on Adrift (near pitch 8 of Mescalito). Here there was another 6 foot horizontal dyno that Tommy was able to do (after a few nice falls). He was out of view so I didnt really know when he would fall. Every few minutes there would just be a big yank on the rope. I think i was more scared than he was.

After working out those moves, we moved back to the ground. He didn't send all the cruxes, but overall, Tommy was psyched. He thought it would be a 10 year project before this trip and now its possibly only a 2 year project.

i think there are only 2-3 sections that he needs to figure out. one of them is that sick dyno (photos above)

however, once he figures out the moves, that is just the first step. the real challenge will becoming fit enough so that he can do all the pitches in one go. There is as much 5.14 on this route as the rest of the Yosemite Valley crags (i think there are five 5.14 pitches on this route and 3-4 5.14 cragging routes in the valley). And keep in mind that 5.14 on granite is not the same as 5.14 on limestone. There are very few 5.14 limestone climbers that can show up and quickly send technical valley 5.13... let alone 5.14.

Then there are the 8 or so 5.13 pitches. Overall, it will easily be the hardest big wall free climb in the world.


Tommy's Rack for the climb:

1 set of Black Diamond Stoppers
1 set of Black Diamond Micro Nuts
2 sets of Black Diamond Camalots #0.3-5
60m x 10.5 mm Blue Water Lead Rope
1 60m x 8mm Static Rope
10 Black Diamond Oz Quickdraws
40 Black Diamond Oz Carabiners
12 Shoulder Length Slings
Black Diamond Ozone Harness
Black Diamond ATC-XP Belay Device
La Sportiva TC Pro Climbing Shoes
Black Diamond Padded Gear Sling
10 Keyhole Hangers
10 Wire Rivet Hangers
Petzl Mini Traxion
2 Spectra Daisy Chains
Synthetic Sleeping Bag
[url="http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Haul-Bag-Reviews/Black-Diamond-Zion-Haul-Bag"]Black Diamond Zion Haul Bag
Black Diamond Cliff Cabana
Metolius Waste Case
Shell Jacket
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
La Sportiva Men's Exum Pro Boot

check out more photos at Nikon.com http://nikon.net/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Tips/fx50m2eb/1/Aerial-Ballet.html#tab=1
Bob Jones

Trad climber
san luis obispo
May 27, 2009 - 11:58pm PT
So I suppose you are still alive.
officerugg

Social climber
maine
May 28, 2009 - 02:39am PT
F*#k Yah!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 28, 2009 - 05:14am PT
Cool TR report Chris.

Does this mean that we will get 10 years of updates?

With a quick calculation and a few adjustments for age and ability, I might top out just as I hit 90.

Funny aside to ST campers. Chris answers an e-mail from me with the following opening line:

"Hi roger

Thanks for the note. I am on el cap right now belaying tommy Caldwell as he tried to free mescalito."

There is something otherworldly about both Tommy starting a 10 year project and getting an e-mail from someone belaying on El Cap. On the other hand, in the Twitter age, waiting 10 years to respond to e-mails probably won't work.
Prod

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
May 28, 2009 - 05:41am PT
This was your first storm on El Cap? Am I wrong to say Wow?

Prod.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
May 28, 2009 - 06:44am PT
Amazing stuff...looking forward to more!
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
May 28, 2009 - 06:50am PT
WOW!
eKat

Trad climber
MyVeryOwnSelf
May 28, 2009 - 07:03am PT
WHOA.

CrankOnQueenie!

Waiting with bated breath for the rest.

ox

eKat
Lambone

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
May 28, 2009 - 07:19am PT
Chris, you had never been in a storm on El Cap before? WTF? How is that possible?

Good luck Tommy!
Colt

climber
Midpines
May 28, 2009 - 09:52am PT
Totally sick! Thanks for the report. I can't imagine freeing that seam on P7-10. It is so thin plus its dirty and seeps...not to mention the good gear is not to frequent.

Great stuff.
rockermike

Mountain climber
May 28, 2009 - 10:52am PT
Hope those Austrians don't drop in for a surprise visit and bag the thing.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
May 28, 2009 - 11:05am PT
I too like to "loosen up" on .12b 2,000 feet off the deck.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
May 28, 2009 - 11:44am PT

Thanks for sharing that - I'm tuned in for the continuation.
Slakkey

Trad climber
From a Quiet Place by the Lake
May 28, 2009 - 11:58am PT
HighDesertDJ, LOL

Looking forward to more progress on this project way cool.

Chris, I must be an ok belay slave too as I seem to do a lot of that for others these days.


Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - May 29, 2009 - 06:07pm PT
i just posted another installment to this Trip Report
bubble boy

Big Wall climber
T100
May 29, 2009 - 06:13pm PT
sickter.
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 29, 2009 - 06:23pm PT
Wow, great pix. Thanks for posting.

I found this bit remarkable:

"So why am I (with permission from Tommy) spraying so much about a route that hasnt been done yet? Because tommy, who's freed all buy two hard routes on el cap, thinks this might be a ten year project... and he's hoping some new up and coming climber will get psyched and start the 10 year process now so he doesn't have to wait till he is 40 to free it..."

I'm not sure which amazes me more: the pix, or the fact that Tommy would have to troll for other folks to pitch in on the project.

I guess we'll have to wait for more Europeans to come over for extended visits.

t*r

Trad climber
building my own fairy tale
May 29, 2009 - 06:35pm PT
even tho the belaying sounds boring, the climb sounds fun. or historic, or something.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada, CA
May 29, 2009 - 06:41pm PT
Thanks for the update!
Erik
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
May 29, 2009 - 06:46pm PT
Quite inspiring! Tommy is so damn hard-core & bad-ass! I sincerely hope he sends soon!

Thanks for the trip report!
Slakkey

Trad climber
From a Quiet Place by the Lake
May 29, 2009 - 06:54pm PT
I already have the I Phone. I sort of like the solar panel thing. Heavy porta ledge a a bit of a bitch to set up will pass on that.
yo

climber
I drink your milkshake!
May 29, 2009 - 07:00pm PT
This seems just so out there.

I get people freeing the Salathe. I get people freeing the NA.

I don't get this.
P.Kingsbury

Trad climber
the jeep
May 30, 2009 - 12:52pm PT


the monkey agrees, very cool!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 30, 2009 - 03:06pm PT
That shiet is cool!
altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
May 30, 2009 - 03:31pm PT
Epic for sure! Tommy is gnarly!
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
May 31, 2009 - 05:53pm PT
as long as my login is still active, i can't let stuff like this drop to page 3.

thanks for making the taco worth reading, Cmac
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
May 31, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
"It took me 4 years until I finally learned how to stand on "edges" I never thought were possible to stand on."

Secretly, folks, I felt the same way when I was learning to climb. Then I read the next bit:

Tommy continued "That is the reason so many 5.14+ or even 5.15 climbers get shut down on El Cap. It takes years to learn the technical hand and footwork you need on el cap."

Hey Chris, does Tommy have to change his shoes often to stand on those "edges"?
rwedgee

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
May 31, 2009 - 07:10pm PT
Wow! Pretty amazing. What's the new hole count??
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
North of the Owyhees
May 31, 2009 - 07:12pm PT
Yeah.... drillin' all over Hell ain't cool.
Ask the Hubers.......Bold leads with A3 pro(that sucked).....
Not Fatty bolts. Changes the equation a bit, I'm thinkin'...
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 31, 2009 - 09:46pm PT
Rad, rad, and rad.

I just can't believe this stuff is possible. How many sections has Tommy not figured out the moves on? Is it a matter of putting it all together or do many unlocked sections remain?

Peace

Karl
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 31, 2009 - 09:59pm PT
climbers are so insanely creative

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2009 - 09:04am PT
I just uploaded 5 videos and put them in the trip report

or you can see them all here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisMcNamara8#all

warning, there is no climbing in the videos just clearing storm clouds and tommy discussing the route and his likelyhood of sending it
WallMan

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Jun 1, 2009 - 11:26am PT
Chris - your gear list shows no cams smaller than a 0.5 camalot. That cannot be, can it?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2009 - 11:35am PT
oops... i will fix that

oh and karl, to answer your question, i think there are only 2-3 sections that he needs to figure out. one of them is that sick dyno.

however, once he figures out the moves, that is just the first step. the real challenge will becoming fit enough so that he can do all the pitches in one go. There is more 5.14 on this route than i think all the rest of the Valley crags (i think there are five 5.14 pitches on this route and only four 5.14 cragging routes in the valley)
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jun 1, 2009 - 11:47am PT
Does he need/want to be able to do it on one go or could he just climb Mescalito in 10 days like the rest of us chumps! (or is that one go?) Skinner was up on the Salathe for almost a month straight wasn't he?

Pretty Cool!

Peace

Karl
Brian

climber
Cali
Jun 1, 2009 - 12:04pm PT
brilliant
Shimanilami

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 9, 2009 - 12:32pm PT
So I guess Tommy's the reason the "C3F" pitches (according to your book, Chris!) didn't have any fixed pieces when I climbed it a couple of weeks ago? He's freeing what I'm nailing? It's hard to fathom.
Michelle

Trad climber
Damn Humid-as-f*#k Georgia
Jun 9, 2009 - 01:48pm PT
hahaha "I guess I belay OK."




Moof

Big Wall climber
A cube at my soul sucking job in Oregon
Jun 11, 2009 - 11:08am PT
I ran across that hammer for sale, called the Bongo Hammer:
http://www.karstsports.com/pebopihap27.html

Google it and even more places show up, so it's in the wild.
hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Jun 14, 2009 - 02:00pm PT
bump cause i never saw this. bad ass.
ec

climber
ca
Jun 14, 2009 - 03:09pm PT
I remember Eddie Mo taking a 60 foot zipper on pitch 15...an original Harding rivet had sheared...and an original Harding rivet HELD the fall! Thin sh*t to free!

 ec
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 14, 2009 - 07:47am PT
Nikon just put a bunch of photos up on its site about this climb

http://nikon.net/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Tips/fx50m2eb/1/Aerial-Ballet.html#tab=1

my career as a professional belayer is really starting to take off!
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Aug 14, 2009 - 07:57am PT
Really nice! Thanks for the heads up!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 14, 2009 - 07:58am PT
A ten year project, hmmmm....I guess that leaves me out.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
Aug 14, 2009 - 08:02am PT
Completely amazing to me.
Impaler

Trad climber
Munich
Aug 14, 2009 - 09:48am PT
Holy schit! Amazing!
GDavis

Trad climber
Aug 14, 2009 - 10:01am PT
Chris McNamera, belayer to the stars!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 14, 2009 - 11:48am PT
It looks kinda steep and smooth up there in places!


(photo by Corey Rich)
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Aug 14, 2009 - 12:50pm PT
I would pay Tommy to let me go up there with him just to belay and watch!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Aug 14, 2009 - 03:02pm PT
I was going to hot-link one of those Nikon photos, but decided to just point:

http://nikon.net/Images/en_US/Learn-And-Explore/2009/Capture-Your-Moment/Climbing-El-Capitan/Media/el-capitan-main-006.jpg

This is a RAD picture of C-Mac!!!!
cultureshock

Trad climber
Wall Climber Wannabe
Aug 14, 2009 - 03:09pm PT
Also very cool that Kevin Jorgeson is going to work with Tommy on the route in the fall.

http://kjorgeson.blogspot.com/2009/08/progression-sneak-peak.html
altieboo

Boulder climber
Livermore, Ca
Aug 14, 2009 - 03:49pm PT
The video that Nikon has on their site of Mescalito is perhaps the coolest video that I have ever seen.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 15, 2009 - 09:14pm PT
i didnt even notice there was video at first... cool!

three different ways to see the video

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=115918102902&saved

http://nikon.net/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Tips/fx50m2eb/1/Aerial-Ballet.html#tab=2

http://nikon.net/Images/en_US/Learn-And-Explore/2009/Capture-Your-Moment/Climbing-El-Capitan/Media/Nikon_El_Cap_Final_640x360.flv
Brian

climber
Cali
Aug 15, 2009 - 09:22pm PT
That is a great fecking video! I hope he makes more progress in the autumn.
Gobee

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Aug 16, 2009 - 04:15am PT
Yahouza Tommy, that's one heckof a Flying Dynosore move!
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Aug 16, 2009 - 08:48am PT
i am all about free routes on el cap.
however...

i do think that the amount of bolts added to the aid/free pitches needs to be minimal.
otherwise all the aid routes will be much less committing.

while Coz and i were on the Muir and it's variations, we did not add ANY bolts to existing Muir wall pitches.

food for thought, go Tommy!
ks
Silver

Big Wall climber
Reno
Aug 19, 2009 - 03:02pm PT
WOW Holy Schlitz! TC is the man. Mac you have never been in a storm on the Craptain?? What the hell is wrong with you. Fair weather climbers they are all the same. LOL. Maybe TC should warm up for those hard pitches with some 4th class hauling before he hits the vertical. That will warm you up big time. In fact i am willing to belay on those 4th class hauls if he would like. I find them to be both exhausting and a really fun back breaking warm up, might even get some peck pump. Hell the talus field below offers some great challenging hauling. Never under estimate the power of a 4th class haul!.

Best of luck on this and I am sure by 2011 we will be reading about the Mescalito Free. Put the Austrians on the no fly list!!!!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2009 - 08:48pm PT
here is the latest from the wall

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/athletes/bd-athletes-kevin-jorgeson-and-tommy-caldwell-attempt-a-new-free-route-on-el-capitandispatch-4
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 18, 2009 - 09:14pm PT
Well, that's all fine and dandy. But who knows what's really going on up there?

So how many bolts have been added? To what pitches and in what location please?

And are these bolts now next to the existing aid cracks, now effectively chicken bolts?

I do knott know the answers to these questions, which is why I ask. Jerry Miller and Tom Evans - can you please share what you have witnessed through your giant lenses regarding bolt addition? You've been up there Chris Mac - what's the scoop?

I really hope Tommy hasn't bolted the snot out of El Cap like Todd Skinner did on Dihedral Wall, but has instead attacked the free climbing in the spirit of Sean and Nico on The Secret Passage or Alex and Thomas Huber on their various free projects. Those guys climbed sick, hard, runout routes without adding any new bolts next to the aid lines [although they sometimes added bolts where they climbed on brand new terrain] and I have personally witnessed those guys taking huge whippers.

Adding bolts to an existing route just to make it easier and safer to free climb is LAME, and should not be tolerated under any circumstance, especially in the Centre of the Universe on one of its most popular faces.

Peter Zabrok
Ontario, Canada
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 21, 2009 - 03:01pm PT
Pete,

Maybe the ideal solution for an El Cap route (like Dihedral Wall) which would see very few free attempts, but quite a few aid ascents would be for the free folks to use removable bolts like the Fixe Triplex.
That way, they remove them after they are done (unless other folks are lined up to try freeing it).
Future free climbers can bring their own box of Triplex bolts to put back in the holes, while they are working the pitches on TR.
And the aid climbers are not tempted to clip the bolts from the free version, because they are no longer in place.
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
Nov 21, 2009 - 03:22pm PT
"Future free climbers can bring their own box of Triplex bolts to put back in the holes, while they are working the pitches on TR.
And the aid climbers are not tempted to clip the bolts from the free version, because they are no longer in place."

That is a great idea! Especially for a route like this. Unlkely this route would see a second ascent in our lifetime (asuming he completes it) Someone who is one of the strongest climbers in the world is not going to spend months / years working a route for the second ascent when there are a limitless supply of 5.14+ / 5.15 waiting for a first ascent for someone with that kind of talent.
No sense in wrecking a great aid route with "chicken bolts" that would only serve as a memorial to a great free climbing effort. Anyone that would consider investing the time in repeating a line like this could certainly take the time to re install the bolts.

Hopefully that is an idea that will catch on before too many aid routes are lessened.

And good luck Tommy, certainly one of the most impressive (rehearsed) free climbing efforts of all time!
luggi

Trad climber
from the backseat of Jake& Elwood Blues car
Nov 21, 2009 - 05:52pm PT

Tommy... you my friend have the "Hootzpa" shalom and pound that son of a bitch climb to the ground....
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Nov 25, 2009 - 04:39am PT
That sounds like a brilliant idea! Can these bolts be easily removed?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 25, 2009 - 10:43am PT
Yes, the Fixe Triplex can be easily removed - you just put a wrench on the hex nut, which loosens the cone from the sleeve. The key is to have a straight hole, but that is fairly easy to do on granite.
The Fixe Triplex is also a high quality and strong bolt, so there are not really any drawbacks for the free climber.

http://www.fixeusa.com/triplex_3-piece_removable_bolt.htm

Actually, now that I check it, I see the picture of the 3/8" (10mm), but they are only listing the 12mm for sale. I'm not sure what's up with that.... (That's a disadvantage for hand drilling).

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 25, 2009 - 12:53pm PT
I don't think Tommy has a bad record of bolting up existing lines so best be careful of putting judgmental verbiage on this thread until you have some facts.

Since, PTPP has admitting he has no idea what, if anything, has changed on the route, perhaps a diatribe on how others should climb is best put on a separate thread.

Peace

Karl
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
Nov 25, 2009 - 01:02pm PT
This route will eventually be onsighted as a warmup for harder routes so I think any bolts need to be in situ.

Style is constantly being improved upon the same way this route is being freed after being aided.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Nov 25, 2009 - 06:38pm PT
karl wrote:

I don't think Tommy has a bad record of bolting up existing lines so best be careful of putting judgmental verbiage on this thread until you have some facts.

Since, PTPP has admitting he has no idea what, if anything, has changed on the route, perhaps a diatribe on how others should climb is best put on a separate thread.




after PtHP wrote:

Well, that's all fine and dandy. But who knows what's really going on up there?

So how many bolts have been added? To what pitches and in what location please?

And are these bolts now next to the existing aid cracks, now effectively chicken bolts?

I do knott know the answers to these questions, which is why I ask. Jerry Miller and Tom Evans - can you please share what you have witnessed through your giant lenses regarding bolt addition? You've been up there Chris Mac - what's the scoop?

I really hope Tommy hasn't bolted the snot out of El Cap like Todd Skinner did on Dihedral Wall, but has instead attacked the free climbing in the spirit of Sean and Nico on The Secret Passage or Alex and Thomas Huber on their various free projects. Those guys climbed sick, hard, runout routes without adding any new bolts next to the aid lines [although they sometimes added bolts where they climbed on brand new terrain] and I have personally witnessed those guys taking huge whippers.

Adding bolts to an existing route just to make it easier and safer to free climb is LAME, and should not be tolerated under any circumstance, especially in the Centre of the Universe on one of its most popular faces.




and in another ST thread ptHP also wrote:

You guys are getting all bent out of shape about one or two bolts on the Nose?

What about the DOZENS of bolts Tommy Caldwell is allegedly placing all over Mescalito and WOEML?

Is this true, or knott? Who's out there with the binocs and telescopes who can tell us, please? I asked Tom and Gerry directly in another post, and neither has answered my question!

How many bolts has Tommy placed, and where are they located?










i'd have to say those are some outright accusational posts right there!
i don't believe that TCs reputation is deserving of such accusations, especially of the kind you are making, ripe with inuendo but absent of any factual basis.

one things for sure though- sometimes a well earned a reputation is all a person has!

...and at least the high school freshmen gaping up from the meadow are safe when tommy is around, can you say that for yourself, pedro?

(remember that time, sitting there with at least two valley regulars and posters on this forum, when you straight out asked that high school girl if she would roll her shorts down further so you could get a better view? that was quite a classy moment in your rich el cap meadow history, weren't it tho' pete? still i am sure all that other crap was just pulled outta thin air, made up to defile your reputation isn't that how it was?)
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
Mar 12, 2010 - 06:27am PT
Seems that Black Diamond has put together a print and pdf brochure featuring some rad photos of the boys getting after it. You can order or download it here. Granted, it's basically a sales rag, but a pretty cool one at that. Enjoy.
Broooks

Trad climber
Burlington, VT
Sep 22, 2010 - 07:50am PT
In Tommy and Kevin's new Climbing Mag interview about the route, they ...
In Tommy and Kevin's new Climbing Mag interview about the route, they mention how beautiful the water drops were coming off the top of Dawn Wall. Here's a photo I took from Zodiac of them in their portaledge on the evening of April 25, 2010.
Credit: Brooks Elder
See pg 32 of the Climbing Mag interview for their comments...
http://www.climbing.com/photo/image/mescalito-interview.pdf
Another look at Tommy and Kevin's portaledges on Mescalito from Zodiac...
Another look at Tommy and Kevin's portaledges on Mescalito from Zodiac with the backlit water drops.
Credit: Brooks Elder
Working the route earlier in the day.
Working the route earlier in the day.
Credit: Brooks Elder
BBWolf

climber
Sep 22, 2010 - 08:43am PT
I climbed mescalito a couple weeks ago. I did not see any new bolts added to the route. There were a few large beaks/hawks in place with orange paint on them that we left thinking they may be protection for TC. I have to admit I wasn't looking for "evidence" just enjoying the killer climb.

I will add there was chalk high on the molar traverse to which i thought holy sh*t TC is bad ass.
426

climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Sep 22, 2010 - 09:20am PT
new issue of climbing pretty much sums it up; they are replacing bolts 1 to 1...shows a pic of KJ climbing sketch/hard above fixed heads and discusses that a bit...not that anyone reads Climbing....

they are however, putting bolts in where there is "no (established) route"...you know, places like people don't/can't go....



http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/slide.lasso?keyid=37320&user_id=1&portfolio=4887,4888,4886&num=1




http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?keyid=37320#
kudos, men...


what was that old skinner quote? something like aid climbing ain't climbing...

You might not ever watch JRIB, but the key word...allegedly...ERRRRR!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jim_Rome_Show#Regular_bits
squatch

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
Sep 22, 2010 - 05:55pm PT
Can't wait to see these guys up there again.

Me and a buddy did Mescalito in July for our first El Cap wall and it is a freaking sweet route. There was not a lot of obvious fixed gear that looked like it could be used for free climbing, just a few beaks. I only spotted one bolt that i assume TC put in, it's near the end of the molar traverse (pitch 12 i think) and about 30 feet off route so you would have to climb what looks like 5.12 minimum to use it.

they are definitely climbing bold up there and leaving the route as clean as they can. one of the mid-lower pitches (9 i think) had three beaks in about 110 feet and no other fixed gear. that's some pretty big whipper potential.


seeing chalk up in some of those blank spots was pretty mindblowing.
Vestas

climber
Dec 6, 2010 - 10:24pm PT
If someone is wondering: The shown Petzl hammer is the BONGO Ref. P27, weight 680 grams, length 33 cm and is still manufactured by Petzl, see the Petzl catalog.
groundup

Trad climber
hard sayin' not knowin'
Dec 7, 2010 - 01:38am PT
A partner and I did the first clean ascent of Mescalito in May 1997. I think free climbing that line or any variation on the wall is a milestone in climber thinking. The mental focus it would take to complete this project is astounding.

wayne burleson

climber
Amherst, MA
Dec 7, 2010 - 06:00am PT
I was just reading the original post and noted that the last 8
pitches are only 5.11 and 5.12
That seems like it would make a pretty cool route to rap in and do?
Are they on new ground? Run-out? Do you need these removable
bolts?
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