Free Stone - Geek Towers

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Messages 1 - 51 of total 51 in this topic
Chad Umbel

Trad climber
Ohio
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 7, 2009 - 11:36pm PT
Anyone climbed this one? Heard it's a nice obscure classic. Thanx.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:04am PT
Not that obscure. The route got a bad name because one of the corners up high was pinned out al a Phonix to allow fingertips. But there's some outstanding climbing on this one and a fantastic location.

And check for "GEEK" chipped onto wall aside the anchor at the top.

JL
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:12am PT
I would love to do that route. On the list of cool bad ass lines to get up on!
WBraun

climber
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:44am PT
Did it many times.

Once 2 parties of 2. Me and Merry, and Conrad and Muggs.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:47am PT
Really cool route.
Bring a face gun.
Do it today!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:59am PT
I wanna know about the center route, which sounds more mortal. Particularly like to know about the Wyde Bit.

Peace

Karl
Salamanizer

Trad climber
Vacaville Ca,
Aug 8, 2009 - 02:03am PT
Looking up at it is about as far as I've ever got.

It's on top of my tick list and about time it moves to the sent file.

Who's with me?
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 8, 2009 - 03:47am PT
The face climbing stuff down low was first led by John Bachar during an early attempt. The off width up high fell to Dale B.
JL
T H

Boulder climber
the ground up
Aug 8, 2009 - 03:49am PT
Warbler is so chill (no link to the fotos ? *) . Purebred cali rock dog - thru and thru .
* haha
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Aug 8, 2009 - 10:02am PT
Probably pretty photogenic: would love to see those pictures Kevin.

Here's a thread where we shared a bunch of climbing writings:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=194810&tn=20

Below is an excerpt about Freestone from some noodlings I put together in that thread called Escape to the Granite Chalice.



Geek Towers, Freestone:

Dan and Sue are married now. I've always maintained he married well as she will lead him up the many routes on his wish list. It is true: little Sue is small at 5 ft. tall; but she talks about little matters and climbs like nobody's business. Three days away from the crack laced, arm bustin towers of the desert and my left forearm still holds a knot the size of an avocado pit. Sue and I scamper for an hour across gravelly ledges and up mossy, warped third class granite. We rope up next to the roar of Yosemite Falls and run vertically; trading leads, Sue and I ascend big, difficult crack split slabs. Sue punches it out with a near vertical shallow crack that has little protection and fewer holds. She shakes out an arm and declares, "This is bad ass!". I belay from below, observe and sing, "Wake up little Susie, wake up". We race through the sun up into the upper reaches of myth and shade of Free Stone. It is a long free climbed touted for arm wrenching finger, fist, and offwidth cracks. The route rears out the double overhung left side of Geek Towers.

Above me on overhanging, greasy, and insecure thin cracks, Sue stems and frets, This is hard man stuff ". She is simply correct and livin' it on lead. Higher along, I stuff a black Lycra knee into a brilliant peach colored fat crack. I pause and gander beneath me; our turquoise trail line hangs free from my waist and floats in the breeze. Tucked into a corner 50 ft. below is 5 ft. of plutonium girl. 500 ft. below her lie the chalk laden vertical slabs we fried up for breakfast. Dangling from fists engorged by the granite crack I look down upon the slabs. Our lower route resembles a gigantic Sanskrit tablet inscribed with the language of chalky fingertip travel. Stabbing in a wild turkey sized protection device, I jump into layback and bellow a war cry. My shout is met by a faint echo: an Indian screamed when he put the arrow in Custer's crotch.

My partner wears an aqua halter top and sports knee length Lycra. She has long pony tailed hair the color of oiled coal. With the polished aplomb of a Yosemite veteran, little Sue stacks both feet together and wiggles on up the orange fat crack above my hanging stance. The climb is named Freestone after freestone peaches; the tower is named "geek" after the chiseled inscription on its spiked summit. The sun of crashes down upon us and the fall's crash aside even harder. Six rappels later we are geeks and loving it.
WBraun

climber
Aug 8, 2009 - 10:59am PT
The summit "Geek" was in reference to "Loco Ono and the Geeky Nerfs".

Jim Pettigrew named these 3 goofball hippies, "Loco Ono and the geeky Nerfs", that were hanging out in Camp 4 BITD.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Aug 8, 2009 - 11:17am PT
I remember when these routes went, the right one first of course as it was easier although I guess way less interesting. Then the center route. The snooping around had begun; it was all about the left side you see.

The left side was no surprise, it was clearly quite hard and real thin at the crux. As Largo says, a pinning out of that crux on the left side took place much to the horror of Kauk, maybe no so much of Dale. I remember Ron telling me about that moment the next day. And it went thereafter; they raved about the route too and it has become a great classic in an insane location.

The "Geek" engraving was done by Klemens (in July 1971) on the first ascent of the pinnnace via that rt side route. He was so thrilled to have hammered it in. He loved being kind of a bete noir you see, maybe impish looking back at it. It was supposed to be a sort of graffitti and iconoclastic towards the older generation and the heffalump seriousness that often took control still in the Valley. The guy was such a gas.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Aug 8, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
I climbed it twice, swinging leads each time, 'cuz I wanted to lead every pitch. I think I did it with Werner first, or was it Cosgrove?, then with Chuck Wheeler(?) the second time. Maybe I even climbed it three times. WIsh I kept better journals back then.

Classic. Brilliant route. Freestone, Beggar's Buttress, and of course Astroman are some of the finest steep and long 5.11 routes in the Valley.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 11, 2010 - 12:13pm PT
bump
David Wilson

climber
CA
Dec 25, 2012 - 12:39pm PT
Christmas bump. Come on Kevin, let's see those pics !
E

Social climber
Tujunga CA.
Dec 25, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
did this one with shipley in about 92 i guess.
I led the face down low which i remeber had to be done before the sun hit it. Walt did the offwidth which is a 4incher ( 10c )
Upon reaching the ground walt handed me a small piece of funny paper and said " this is your reward..take it immediatly"
Stayed up all nite laughing our asses off.....................
Sure miss that guy
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Dec 25, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
Awesome route! I climbed it with Augie Klien back in 76. I've always said that success on Astroman doesn't guarantee success on Freestone.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 25, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
TARBUSTER--Awesome words, worthy of the climb.

This is one thread which is worth something, even w/o forty-year-old pictures. Who wants to see stuff like that? They're probably garbage anyway, over-exposed, double-exposed, out of focus.

Hey, the four-year-old is the best excuse ever invented, next to the three-year-old, Warbler. I don't believe you needed the other excuses. But when you get time....
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Dec 25, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
This was the last of the long free routes I did in the Valley - 1981, with Rob Rohn. I remember it was the day after I had attempted to solo NE Buttress of Higher but ended up down-climbing 9 pitches after being unwilling to do 3 feet of insecure face-climbing. My girlfriend was coming to visit me in Yosemite for the first time, and I remember thinking what a drag it would be if, you know, I died soloing before she got there.

Rob what at his best that day. We had complementary skills and each led the pitches that best fit our skill set. It's a climb that you can sit in the lodge lounge and watch with binoculars.
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 26, 2012 - 03:18am PT
Sometime in the mid eighties I hiked up to the base with Tarbuster and bivied with plans to climb it next day.
We froze our asses off all night and ran away from falling ice next morning.
Returned in the fall of 95 with the late John Rosholt and had an epic good day.
The 11a face climbing start was a bitch in the early cold with the climb looming above.
I remember sewing up a supposedly poorly protected 10b then watching The Gambler lose his cool doing a runout move off a loose flake getting into the main corner.
He ended up with the pin scarred stemmer and I got the offwidth which was supposed to be his lead.
I have a lasting memory of surprising myself through the crux, climbing for miles above looking for a legendary ledge and arriving at a 12" wide perfect stance, out of rope with a red and gold Camalot leftover for the anchor. Perfect!
We posed for photos with the Geek inscription and made it down without getting our ropes stuck.

Turned out that was the best trip to the Valley ever.

With The Gambler;
Rostrum
Astroman
Blind Faith
Freestone
Powerpoint

With Coz;
Chounaird/Herbert
El Cap West Face
Started The Wazoo

With Sutton;
PO
Central Pillar to KB
FA of The Grand Wazoo

On sighted the Cringe to finish the trip.
Blew my elbow in Josh (Satanic Mechanic off the couch) a year later and bye bye hard free climbing, forever.
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Dec 26, 2012 - 04:51am PT
I scanned this from a Climbing calendar. Awesome location.


Ken
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Dec 26, 2012 - 08:28am PT
Good story, Chief. Damn impressive Yosemite season. Didn't know you knew Tarbuster (had him over just the other night). Bummer about the hard-climbing-ending injury. Didn't know about that one either.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Dec 26, 2012 - 10:46am PT
Chief, The elbow was a game changer? Have you tried everything suggested / possible to improve it and what are the symptoms? Point of interest for me right now with my own elbow issue.

Freestone looks all time !
Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Dec 26, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
Game changer for sure.
Went to New Zealand and Oz after Josh and on the rock at Arapiles eight weeks out from injury.
Took it real easy and finished with Kachoong and Orestes.
Dumb! Elbow was toast.

Pretty much quit climbing for a couple years, could barely run the counterweights at work.
Elbow doesn't bother me at all now, but I don't climb as much and avoid yarding on crimpers.

Climbing all those routes with John was most memorable and Freestone was a highpoint.
Byran

climber
Yosemite Valley, CA
Dec 26, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Anyone know what the rap anchors look like these days? I've been wanting to do the Center route for a couple years but have always had it in the back of my mind that the rap anchors are all going to be gnarly 1/4"ers out on a face with no way to back them up. You rappel the Right Side correct?
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 29, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
My girlfriend was coming to visit me in Yosemite for the first time, and I remember thinking what a drag it would be if, you know, I died soloing before she got there.


That really is an all-time quote because it could have been written by maybe half of us knuckleheads and would still be just as true.

JL
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Mar 29, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
Freestone is a great route. Peter Croft had recommended it to me long ago & I climbed it in July of 1987 with Dan Hershman. I led the odd pitches which gave me the thin/facey/runout pitches which were kind of heads up. We didn't have any modern gear like offset cams which might be nice but we did have a 5.5" cam & a big-azz tube chock which I used in the wide pitch up high. The wide pitch was just some short fist crack to a short flare that you could lieback for about 20' until you could throw your leg in & rest. The chipped word "geek" at top was odd & unnecessary though.

For anybody considering this route, do it. It is one of the best free routes in Yosemite.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 29, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
One of the best routes of this length I've ever done. At least on the level of Astroman.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Apr 26, 2014 - 12:56am PT
Rosholt was a great guy . . . somehow he hooked up with me and my high school buds at the Cookie in '78 or '79. We ended up on Waverly to Butterballs . . . I flailed on my lead of WW and Mr. John gave me nothing but encouragement. I was fortunate to watch in awe as he hiked the BB business. He introduced us to the "blotter is my spotter" mantra.

Free Stone indeed!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Apr 26, 2014 - 01:39am PT
Killer stuff!


Great posts above Perry, very proud season in the valley! I had no idea that it was a blown elbow that forced u to ease off although im sure you are still a crusher when required. I'm gonna learn from your story & go do some push-ups.


What a beautiful line, glad that Warblers photo showed up.


Is this thing often done these days??
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Apr 26, 2014 - 11:56am PT
K Dub's photo is sick!!!!
WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Is this thing often done these days??

Very rarely ....
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 26, 2014 - 12:39pm PT
Should have done it when I was younger....would be a bit of a stretch now.
peter croft

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 12:49pm PT
Nobody seems to be mentioning the most important part. You have to do it in the spring! At the base we had to strip and wring out our clothes on account of the spray and on the route I could feel the vibes of the waterfall through the stone - no lie! It was like an explosion that kept on giving. Seemed to me that if the wind shifted and the falls budged a bit in our direction we'd be atomized. Anyway, go there in the fall and it's just another very good rock climb but venture up there in spring flood and you feel the real power and glory of Yosemite.
MattB

Trad climber
Tucson
Apr 26, 2014 - 01:31pm PT
definitely the falls are the best part... The incessent bombs and comets are
amazing. Hypnotic. And tantalizingly close when the water ran out half way up...

Walleye has a shot, almost certain me and friends from 02. Can you send me a copy,please?

Seemed like the "crux" 11c offwidth was one of the more inconsequential bits...
Otherwise amazingly varied face and cracks, equally mental and physical.

In 02 we were so happy for the recent fixe ring at each rappel...thanks ASCA!!!!!!

Also, anyone climb it without touching the pin scars? Definitely do-able

Pat O' flashing all pitches, below (if I recall, i'll ask)
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Apr 26, 2014 - 04:13pm PT
Holy moly this has turned into quite the thread. Great shots Walleye, always love your photos man!
WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 07:16pm PT
Summit of Geek Towers

NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 26, 2014 - 07:20pm PT
I got nuthin' for Freestone, but here's a trip report from getting halfway up Geek Tower - Center during the winter a few years back. It's a great location and great route. If it wasn't for a late start, short winter days, and being in a mood to avoid epics and headlamps, we should have got up just fine:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/2010-02-Geek-Tower-Center-Route-partial/t11470n.html

Of course, this is in a totally easier league than Freestone.


WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 07:20pm PT
WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 07:37pm PT
Yes nutjob, the center route is excellent also.

NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 26, 2014 - 08:01pm PT
^^^ Werner, that is one of the coolest climbing action shots I've seen (the lady on Freestone)
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 26, 2014 - 08:09pm PT
A different time I was up there and we bailed over to Serenity Crack because of falling ice sheets:

I've never been up there without snow, but in the snow the approach can be a sketch-fest:

But it's such an amazing place, even if it's just a hike up it's worth it:
WBraun

climber
Apr 26, 2014 - 09:57pm PT
Kate Rutherford
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Apr 27, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
Right on Werner & NutAgain!


Anyone got a topo??
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 13, 2015 - 09:12am PT
Freestone flat out kicks ass!
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
Apr 13, 2015 - 09:58am PT
A brilliant route for sure.
ericz

climber
Ogden, UT
Jul 29, 2015 - 10:45am PT
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Mar 29, 2016 - 07:39am PT
FREESTONE BUMP!

Tarbuster threads inspired this one...and a few friends just climbed it a week ago. Liked it a lot. Maybe I will get my ass out there this year too, if lucky.
shylock

Social climber
mb
Mar 30, 2016 - 09:56pm PT
Here's some modern photos. Hey, the thing had traces of chalk on it in a few spots! Gosh, it's even on mountainproject now.. http://www.mountainproject.com/v/freestone-geek-towers-left/111733999


Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Mar 30, 2016 - 10:16pm PT
Awesome perspectives . . . break 'em out.
shylock

Social climber
mb
Mar 31, 2016 - 09:13am PT
I think it's more appropriate to put Crucifix in the trilogy instead of the Rostrum. Even though they both got the 11c rating, Freestone and the Rostrum couldn't be more different.

The climbing on Freestone is good for sure, bottom half is the silent line style grooves out on a clean wall. Fun and unique stuff. Top half is the burly corner system. Honestly though, the climbing has got to be better on the Rostrum, and Astroman too.

But... for one, there's the adventure factor.. Astroman barely makes the cut in this regard. Rostrum is cragging. Crucifix is in there. And Freestone is OUT there. 1 bolt on the whole thing? With a solid amount of face climbing too

And, of course, as has been said, location location location... FS takes the cake.
Messages 1 - 51 of total 51 in this topic
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