What Largo said...


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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.


Trad climber
Otto, NC
Aug 26, 2005 - 02:09pm PT

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:


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?

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.

Oct 27, 2009 - 08:45pm PT

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

Just keep hiking until you get there.

Then you'll know ......

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)

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

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.

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

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
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.

Social climber
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
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:


Social climber
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.

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

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

Social climber
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


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

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


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

This is a fantastic thread!

Apr 4, 2016 - 12:49pm PT
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