The Grand Wazoo, Middle Cathedral

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 42 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 5, 2009 - 06:42pm PT
Same wet day...



Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
Thanks for the bump. One of the cool things about that part of Middle (provided you're not being killed by rockfall) is that when you're looking up the rock is dark grey and not super interesting but when you look back down it's almost bright orange, like you're wondering who slipped you the blotter. We thought about calling it Orange Sunshine but the Zappa theme carried the day.

PB
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
Jul 10, 2009 - 08:57pm PT
So that's what that route is, I was wondering how long it had been there.

I've climbed the last couple pitches. I climbed the Bircheff/Williams to the third pitch and somehow missed the traverse left and ended up climbing a sparsely protected thin corner which dead ends under a small roof. Ended up peaking around the corner and spotted the bolts. There looked to be plenty of them so we traversed right and followed the line up a couple pitches where it seemed to dead end.

It was freakin hard.
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
Jul 29, 2009 - 10:09pm PT
Hey Clint,

I went back to get the beta on this route for you but seeing as how we started up Bircheff/Williams at the crack of 3:30, we didn't quite make it. Besides, it was way past beer 30 so we tucked tail and ran after the second pitch.

Anyway, the first pitch has 9 bolts. The first two jog slightly right and the third makes an abrupt traverse left (crux) past some thin sheit to the arete then strait up moderate .8/9 W/ the occasional .10 move thrown in. Crux felt .12a and the pitch was about 130ft

Second pitch has 10 bolts, first two go up and slightly right while again the third is a short traverse left (crux), some thin moves to the arete then more or less strait up until you reach the anchors. The anchors are to the left around the arete under a small roof. Would be easy to miss if you weren't paying attention. Crux felt .11c/d but slightly more technical. The pitch was about 175ft.

I can't remember any bolt counts or where exactly the cruxes were on the upper pitches as I did them a while ago and was not counting. I remember it being more of the same though. Guess I'll have to go up there and climb it again.

All the cruxes are tightly bolted while the rest of the bolts had 12 to 15ft runs (some more some less) space between them. The route felt safe and well bolted and sits on some immaculate red and white polished granite scoops. A safe and enjoyable 5 star route for sure.

All that being said, in my opinion the real technical crux of the route is the first pitch of the Bircheff/Williams, .11b My Ass!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 30, 2009 - 12:51am PT
Thanks for the beta!
Here's a corresponding updated topo of the first 2 pitches:

Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
Jul 30, 2009 - 02:00am PT
That looks about right accept move the anchors on the second pitch (pitch 4) left under the roof shown in the origional topo.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 30, 2009 - 02:37am PT
Thanks - I think I got it right now!
Chief

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 28, 2010 - 12:04am PT
Hey Salamanizer, Clint,

Just checked up on this old thread.
Did anyone brave the rockfall and climb the whole thing last year?

PB
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
Mar 7, 2010 - 12:19am PT
Hey Chief, I never made it back up there.

But knowing me, I can never leave a project unfinished. Gotta do the whole thing in one run or it doesn't count ya know.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 6, 2012 - 05:36am PT
Thought I'd bump this old thread again.
Does this thing see any traffic?
Hard to believe it's been seventeen years almost to the day.
gf

climber
Oct 6, 2012 - 05:48am PT
Nice one Chief-almost makes a fellow want to put down the mtn bike and pick up the shoes.
-thanks for the bump -the info, not crystal, for all you fellow breaking bad fans who might be wondering.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 9, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
Perry,

Here's an overlay guess on the belay locations, using the best photo I have at present.
If you have any corrections from memory of 17 years back, please describe or mark up.
I actually need to take a better photo which shows the Bircheff-Williams corner instead of hiding it.
Grand Wazoo, upper pitches - overlay guess
Grand Wazoo, upper pitches - overlay guess
Credit: Clint Cummins
Click on these to enlarge!
Grand Wazoo, lower pitches - overlay guess
Grand Wazoo, lower pitches - overlay guess
Credit: Clint Cummins
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Oct 22, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Checked out the first pitch (3rd from the ground) this past weekend on the way down from central pillar. Very cool climbing with a tricky crux (baffled me). Do you stay on the right side of the arete and slap up it with the left hand or do you move around the left side of the arete and lay back up the edge? The rest of the climbing on that pitch was doable and slighly run out but safe. Such cool stone with nice crimps and scoops just where you need them.

Didn't have time to look at any of the other pitches.

Chad lemme know if you ever want a partner to go back up that thing. Way hard but inspiring climbing.

 Luke
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2013 - 02:24am PT
Clint,

It's been a while since I checked this thread.
I can't really tell if the overlays are accurate as the belays were on small stances hard to see in the photos.

Luke,

Re pitch one (off the top of BW pitch two), stay on the right side of the arete and bear down.
Probably the hardest individual moves on the whole route.

PB
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 10, 2013 - 10:25am PT
That has to be some great climbing on fantastic rock. And it sounds well protected. I thought routes on Middle weren't done much because of the runout myths.

Hard to understand...

Right there smack dab in the Middle of one of the best climbing areas on Earth, a 10 minute nearly level approach, aid monkees lined up and crawling all over El Cap right across the Valley, and nobody's getting on The Wazoo?

I thought lots of climbers these days could climb that hard.

This route should be getting done daily, sounds like.

And the direct start would go for sure.
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Jun 10, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Yeah I went up a week or two later (from my last posting) to check out more of the climbing.

Good to know that the right side goes. Those holds are super thin!

The rock is incredible and the climbing is reasonably protected. Sure there are run-outs but it felt safe enough once I figured out where to go.

Knowing where to go was often as difficult as the climbing. Sometimes the line of holds you are following blanks out. The bolts only give you a vague idea of how best to proceed. It is a nice advenutre. Looks pretty cool rapping back down with chalk dotting all of the holds.

I only tried the first two pitches and would love to go back again to work on it more. Doubt very many people try it. Vertical and semi-runout face climbing is not that popular these days among the masses, especially at the 5.12 level.

I would say these the pitches feel pretty hard compared to most modern sport climbing areas, but that is to be expected.

-Luke
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Luke,

The first couple pitches had some of the longest run outs albeit on 5.9/5.10a climbing.
One thing you can count on is that the pitches get progressively longer, the climbing more difficult and sustained, but, the bolts closer together.
The last pitch (we dubbed it The Flatiron) stretched out our 55meter rope, involved what we thought was 12a face and had something like seventeen bolts for protection.

PB
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 10, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Is that flatiron pitch really as flat and ultraclean as it looks?

Without ever being up on it, I know it's sustained and perfect rock - that's a sweet section of MCR and way up there to boot.

Nice!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jun 10, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
So, this is like, harder than After Six then?

WOOOO HOOOO BISHES!!! GET SOME!!
(Channeling Jeremy)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 10, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Steve, your rainy day close up picture is backwards, reversed, whatever.

Either that or I've become dyslexic.


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