What Largo said...

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Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 23, 2005 - 01:47pm PT
Largo recently mentioned that he thought the Dihardral at Slab Happy Pinnacle was one of the best 5.10s in the Valley. Coming from a guy that has climbed a few of them, thatís some praise. I did a search through the old threads and found that he has been saying that here for years, but that nobody else has commented.

So is Largo the only one who remembers doing this obscure gem? Anybody been up there more recently, and what did you think? Worth the trudge up there?

And a related question. Reid implies that Never Say Dog is a good one. But I suppose it fair to assume that the bolts on the face pitch are the usual moldering mank?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 23, 2005 - 01:53pm PT
The Dihardral is a fine route but also a historical one, first free climbed by Frank Sachar in (I believe) 1965. So for a 40-year old free route, I believe folks will be pleasantly surprised. And it's not just one pitch. The Left Side (5.11b) is also worth doing, likewise the Center route, originally rated A5. It amazes me that no one seems ever to climb these routes.

JL
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2005 - 02:13pm PT
A lot of us seem to get in a rut and do the same climbs over and over or only branch out as far as what other people are climbing. To break out of this, I'm always looking for something I hadn't thought of before.

About the Center Route: It looks like it also has a bolted section. These are probably old as well?
WBraun

climber
Aug 23, 2005 - 02:40pm PT
Left side of slab happy one of my favorites. I've done all the routes on slab happy several times.

There's a Johnny Woodward route just to the right of the right side of Slab Happy that goes all the way to the top. It's a super great climb. One of the best routes I've done up there. Highly recomended!
mark miller

Social climber
Reno
Aug 23, 2005 - 11:23pm PT
I've wanted to head up to Slab happy area for over 10 years and all my patners laugh. How is the approach?
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2005 - 11:40am PT
WB,

The Reid book shows Woodward doing both Never Say Dog and The Big Juan. Which of the two were you thinking of?
WBraun

climber
Aug 24, 2005 - 11:55am PT
Damn, I didn't even know the name of the route or the rating when me and Shultz did it. But it's the route with some wicked hard face moves on the first pitch. The second pitch goes up some left leaning flake that Shultz liebacked and I straight in jammed.

I don't have a guide book.....
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Aug 24, 2005 - 12:27pm PT
Geeze Werner, no guidebook? Then how do you know where you are?

Big Juan, that's the one (Never Say Dog goes off the top of Slab Happy). I looked at that first pitch once, and yeah, looks like hard face. Good bolts though.

Does anybody have any beta for Never Say Dog? I'm wondering about the runs up there. You know, Woodward 'n all.

The route to the right of all this, Golden Years, is beautiful, but has some hard stuff too. Ivo says he broke the foothold on the crux pitch, so you either pull through on one bolt or send at .13 somethin'. Still, it's amazing rock.

Cheerio,
:- k

Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2005 - 01:04pm PT
Thanks Werner

That sounds like The Big Juan.


Well, when it gets cool this fall, I think I'll head up there. I don't mind longer approaches if there is worthy climbing to be had.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 24, 2005 - 03:11pm PT
I was up there at Slab Happy Pinnacle in March 2004. We tried the Dihardral and Slab Happy Center, and were denied on both. (Your mileage may vary; I'm not a very strong free climber). The first 3 bolts on Slab Happy Center are good. I actually replaced the 3rd one myself before bailing from it. It was a 1/4" x 1" Meyers original on his free variation (the original route goes to the right free and then eventually on aid - there are nice photos of this in the 1964 Roper guide). The bolts above the 3rd were 1/4" in 3/2004. The rappel anchors were replaced by ASCA/Tom McMillan. Here's my trip report:

http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/rep/043ylin2.txt

The other routes which people asked about (Never Say Dog, The Big Juan, Golden Years [Kelly's route]) are modern routes where you can expect 3/8" bolts. Never Say Dog in particular was established by Woodward on lead with a Bosch (when they were still legal), as I recall. If you are interested in the modern routes, you should check out Burden of Dreams as well! I have toproped the lower parts of it a few times while coming down from the Moratorium, but I don't have the skills to lead it.

The approach is not too scary, with one possible 4th class section which we soloed and a little exposed scrambling above that. Probably the main trick is finding the right time to go up there, when it's not too hot (overcast would help) and when Horsetail Falls is not running too strongly (the spray drops down there occasionally).

Have fun!

P.S. It would be nice if there was a way to change the title of the thread - this one in particular should be something like "Slab Happy Pinnacle".
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2005 - 03:51pm PT
Thanks, Clint, for the trip report and the account of the bolts. Yeah, I sould have put "Slab Happy" in the title. Don't know if I can do anything about it now, though.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Aug 24, 2005 - 07:00pm PT
we were sacher groupies, and made a point of doing every route he fa'd or ffa'd. we did dihardral in '84 or '85, and i still remember how robbin's write-up on the route was running through my head on the approach "...blind reaches around corners....blind reaches around corners...." like a broken record in my brain. gotta agree, sensational route with enormous history and one of the most satisfying 5.10 outings i've done in the valley.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 24, 2005 - 10:22pm PT
Another couple stellar routes with enormous early history include the Slack, Left Side, and Hourglass, Right Side. I doubt they see a dozen ascents a decade.

JL
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Aug 24, 2005 - 10:27pm PT
Ok,
let's go!
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2005 - 11:34am PT
Yes, the Ribbon Creek area is another spot I'm thinking of going to this fall. Looks like there are several climbs there that would be good to check out. I'll have a look at the Hourglass--got to keep up on those wide cracks.

Don't know much about it, but from the topo at least, it looks like Ribbon Candy is one to do.

You think the Slack rarely gets climbed? It is certainly easier to get there than to the Hourglass.
deuce4

Big Wall climber
the Southwest
Aug 25, 2005 - 12:43pm PT
Did that hourglass route with Werner once. Gnarly. I think we did the left side with the undercling.
WBraun

climber
Aug 25, 2005 - 12:49pm PT
Yep, John, the left side, good one ...eh!
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 25, 2005 - 01:54pm PT
"You think the Slack rarely gets climbed? It is certainly easier to get there than to the Hourglass."

That's the LEFT SIDE of the Slack, and yes, I think it's rarely if ever climbed. That's somewhat surprizing considering that in the old days you couldn't protect it but now, with big cams, you shuld be fine.

JL
Fingerlocks

Trad climber
where the climbin's good
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2005 - 05:59pm PT
Yep, I knew you were talking the left side. But with all the people walking up and down there, surely a few climb it.

Anyway, I'll let you know as soon as I've done it.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Aug 25, 2005 - 09:34pm PT
Doesn't the Slack Left have all those crazy trees blocking the
way?

Say Largo, what is the history of this one, I don't believe I've heard it.

:- k

PS. I think Ribbon Candy is one with a significant trouser warmer, no?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 26, 2005 - 01:12pm PT
The way I head it (not positive about all of this but it's somewhat accurate) is that Sachar or Pratt first led it free and that one or the other of them couldn't follow it. Then whoever couldn't foolow it led it and Robbins followed--or tried to, but couldn't. Then Robbins led it and Bridwell followed, or tried to, but couldn't. Then Bridwell led it and so forth and so on. That all took place in the late 60s. In the early 70s it was a must-do. Now it's all but forgotten, along with the RIGHT SIDE (NOT the Left Side) of The Hourglass.

JL
Rhodo-Router

Trad climber
Otto, NC
Aug 26, 2005 - 02:09pm PT
http://www.terragalleria.com/mountain/info/yosemite/hourglass.html


cool recollections from Peter Haan (excerpt below):

When at the age of 23, I then made the first free ascent of the left side of the Hourglass later that Fall, this little-known but gorgeous aid climb quietly became the first or second unrehearsed 5.11 free climb in Yosemite and American history. Done 32 years ago, this dangerous ascent was climbing that has rarely been seen in America but was nonetheless very expressive of those times. Hopefully this highly detailed and emotional recollection will capture the spirit of that strange, bold era and some of the private, termitic moments that occurred to many of us after the Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing had subsided, during those nebulous few years leading into what Bridwell titled in his article from that dawning period, "The Brave New World" of current modern climbing.


His article is well worth your time.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 27, 2005 - 01:55am PT
Here's something to look at:

Alexey

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Oct 27, 2009 - 08:32pm PT
Bump as good place to go. Anybody climbed Slap Happy Pinnacle routes since the tread started in 2005?
How long the approach? Any good clues how to find Slap Happy Pinnacle?
martygarrison

Trad climber
The Great North these days......
Oct 27, 2009 - 08:40pm PT
did the dihardral in the mid to late 70's. Can't comment too much as I dont remember alot other than we thought it was a great route. The old Sachar router were always ones to search out.
WBraun

climber
Oct 27, 2009 - 08:45pm PT
Alexey

How long does it takes to get to Slab Happy Pinnacle?

Just keep hiking until you get there.

Then you'll know ......
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Oct 27, 2009 - 08:46pm PT
I'm only posting here so I can remember it for my next valley trip (if I'm climbing good that is)
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 27, 2009 - 09:31pm PT

I'd like to point out that the name is Sacherer not Sachar.

It's interesting but I've noticed quite a few posts on ST where Bachar and Sachar became interchangeable in the descriptions.

Another thing I've noticed is that everyone now says Sacherer Cracker when in fact Frank Sacherer himself, always called it the Sacherer Crackerer. I'm not sure when this change occurred?
Greg Barnes

climber
Oct 27, 2009 - 09:45pm PT
Cool Jan, we should turn it back to Sacherer Crackerer - that's cool! That's exactly the sort of thing that gets lost over time in guidebooks.

Rob and Joe dragged me up Dihardral last October, but we ran out of light, so all we replaced was the first anchor on the (free version of the) Center Route. The upper pro bolts on that first pitch really need work (bottom have been replaced - Clint replaced I think), if you blew it on the non-trivial moves to the anchor and snapped the old thin rusty SMC hangers on the top two bolts, you'd deck. Just to clarify since it's not shown in the Reid topo, the aid version traversed right only 20' off the deck to reach the bottom of the very thin looking seam, while the free Center route traverses right a pitch up.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Oct 27, 2009 - 10:06pm PT
Greg-

I just checked Roper's first red guide from 1964 and it's not in there, so it must be from the next edition, that I don't have - the green one?

Ed Hartouni lists it as

Sacherer Cracker 5.10a FA 1964 Frank Sacherer, Mike Sherrick

Probably climbed just when the red guide went to press?
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2011 - 09:22pm PT
Navblk,
The rt side of the hourglass goes 5.8; 5.9; 5.10b and is maybe R at most for that last pitch which is an overhanging offwidth beginning at something like 5-6" and ending 120 feet later at several feet wide--- the real business though is only about 20-30 feet depending on body size. The bolt out of the tree on that third pitch was a piece of crap and probably still needs replacing in an entirely new hole. It is what you start off with on the crux lead. Nowadays, a big cam or two would make this pitch quite a bit more sensible; before it was pretty gutsy with no hardware available.

The left side is: first pitch: 5.11a R now with new protection (down from a very definite XX of yore); then 5.8; and finally, 5.9. The 1/4" compression bolt at the big undercling (crux 1st pitch) has to be replaced---it is nearly fifty years old and was installed during the aid first ascent of Kamps; and the anchor bolt at the top of that pitch is now forty and should be redone too. It also is the same type of bolt. The impressive summit had one good 3/8" anchor but is nearly fifty years old too and should be doubled etc. I think the original method was slinging a chockstone plus the bolt; the sling had to be really really long.

Rappelling off is done by descending the center face and swinging over to the rt side kind of dramatically to the hanging tree and from there to the ground. Great care must be taken to not let your ropes enter the second pitch crack as it will eat your ropes. With longer ropes of today you might be able to rappel all the way to the nice ledge at the top of the first pitch instead where you would then have to establish an anchor with gear or establish a new bolt anchor.

The approach is close to two hours long most of it under the shade of trees. Water is only nearby in Spring and is the El Cap creek that dries up quickly. Ribbon falls usually has water till early July and its creek lower down may have some good pools a while longer. The climbers trail up there is well cairned; once arriving close to the amazing Portal you traverse rt to the Hourglass on steep peerages and dirt---this part is the harder part but is shorter. Alternatively you can veer rt earlier and deal with the terrain in a fall line from the Hourglass. In that case you may go past a gigantic boulder forming an active bear cave.

When up there, keep in mind that Ribbon Falls is the highest single drop waterfall in North America at around 1650 feet.

Also and very little known, Eric Kohl did a pretty hard aid route up the center of the Hourglass and on up to Sherwood Forest. He called it Indecision Time VI 5.7 A4 and he did this in 1993? and by solo.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
May 22, 2011 - 11:27am PT
"Without knowing it, our efforts had their context, really, in the Beat movement and the angst of our enormous social and political struggles of the time; and in those days very very few people, and mostly just men, were climbing. Hardly any serious climbers had interest in material things or fame. Many of us lived in our crummy old cars, campers, and tents year around. It did not matter what we had, but only what we were doing with our time here on earth and as far from authority and a laughably banally corrupt modern civilization as possible, with Yosemite promising to be our spiritual center towards which to kneel. There it was, practically a heaven on Earth, originally a long-kept secret of the Indians until the mid-nineteenth century. In the previous decades, these same beliefs, freshly thrashed by the experience of the two World Wars, had been the origin of the Beat movement, spawning a really poignant phase of American art, music and literature."

Classic Peter!!!I really enjoyed your description of the climb, your struggles and ultimately how you came to peace with yourself. Thanks for sharing those moments of personal growth
Dan
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 22, 2011 - 11:37am PT
Thanks Hobo! Look for a final version of the Hourglass story in the next Alpinist. Number 35. This last version is more compact and better structured and yet still has---I think--- the full impact of the version that has been in "the wild" for years.

And as mentioned just above by thaHood, here is an image of the beautiful right side during a light snow storm in March of 2000:

hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
May 22, 2011 - 11:46am PT
Peter you story made me reflect on some of the risky things I did in my youth, and how I came into climbing with a chip on my shoulder, and some sort of need to prove myself to the world. That I had a place somewhere in it- after coming out of high school feeling pretty insignificant I saw climbing as an avenue toward some sort of respect.
Eventually I built a foundation for myself through school, climbing and friends and I was able to lose that edge.
It is funny how we grow up and find our own paths- I think for me the challenge was not so much finding the path but in telling myself that it was OK for me to go down it.
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Dec 17, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
Slab Happy bump. Perfect weather up there this time of year. Almost hot!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 17, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
Who is Fingerlocks, and where did he go?
shylock

Social climber
mb
Apr 4, 2016 - 11:52am PT
Went up and did Never Say Dog recently. Route was excellent. Just makes me want to go back for others up there. Amazing orange face pitch is sick for sure. Runouts are pretty big but nothing otherworldly for valley face climbs. Definitely a worthy route. I put info on mountainproject

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/never-say-dog/111733841



As has been said, Left Side route is also awesome. I think of it kinda like a 5.11 Book of Job. Crazy chimneys and roofs.

Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Apr 4, 2016 - 12:27pm PT
FINGERLOCKS?

LONG APPROACH?

HORSE TAIL FALLS spray? Sunny day will keep it dry?


This is a fantastic thread!
overwatch

climber
Arizona
Apr 4, 2016 - 12:49pm PT
Sick!
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