Lost Arrow Chimney Trip Report 9/19/09


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 97 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 22, 2009 - 01:53am PT
Lost Arrow Chimney Trip Report 9/19/09

This is a climb I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I went up to take a look at it in 2006.
And I’ve collected beta over the years.

I’ve had some injuries over the last few years but this year I’ve been climbing well and more or less healthy so I started aiming for a Lost Arrow Chimney attempt. Chad was looking for someone to go up with him so he could replace the rotten protection bolt at the crux. I told him I was game and the trip was on.
Here is a link to Chad's fine Trip Report of his first climb of this route.

I cut the gear loops off one of my older harnesses to facilitate the expected thin chimneys. This worked out well. I also bought some climbing pants that had no belt loops in the back. We took a 9.6 60 meter rope and a 8.1 60 meter rope. We took a, for me, very small rack. One set of DMM peanuts, which I don’t think we used at all. On set of BD stoppers #4 to #13.We used these all the time. The big one was very useful. 0, 1 and 2 C3s. One each .4 to .75 C4s. Two each #1 and #2 C4s. This was my contribution- I said we should double up these two. We took a #6 C4 and a #4 Bigbro. We used the #6 a lot. We didn’t use the #4 bigbro. This rack was a little small. A #3 C4 would have been nice but not mandatory. Doubles of the other small cams would have been handy especially when building belays. We had twelve shoulder length slings.
We met at the entrance station on 120 at 4:30 am. We didn’t get racked at the base of the climb until about 8 am.
Here is a pic on the approach.

The route goes up the left side chimney of Lost Arrow Spire.

I took the first two pitches, when the rope came tight Chad simulclimbed about 70 feet. The 5.9 on P2 is very reasonable. I was totally out of gear and the anchor was one old button head and what looked like a rusty #5 Chouinard stopper. I got one other stopper in and just kind of braced myself on the ledge. When Chad came up we put in a good yellow C3 to augment the belay. This belay can go all gear when the bolt rots.
Here’s a pic looking down the first two pitches.

Chad was able to link P3 and P4.
Here’s a pic of P3

The 5.9 move around the roof turned out to be tricky for me.

Here’s a pic looking up P4.

The two lower chockstones turned out to be harder for me than the “safety valve”. The “safety valve” protects with the #6 so these bolts can rot in place too. The “safety valve” is more of a short OW than a squeeze. You can keep your head out of it. One of the hangers had no nut so Chad took it off. Here’s a pic of this relic.

I lead P5. First there is some cool stemming with good pro. Then you do the OW for a while and I made the mistake of leaving the #6 behind in that section. As I got higher I got some good pro and then started running it out again on 5.9 OW. Eventually I said the hell with this and climbed and lowered back down to get the #6. The other side of the chimney at that point may have been easier to climb but when I looked over there I could see no pro at all.

Heres’ a pic of P6.

You can see it starts with this 10a or so flake, very slippery, I almost whipped following, to the strange but not too hard climb out to the right. There seems to be two options at that point. Reid shows you go right for a while and climb back left 20 or 30 feet higher. some have had trouble with this in TRs so Chad went right back left into the chimney after maybe 10 feet or so. This is a hard strange move but I did it clean so it is probably no harder than 10a. This is a great pitch.

The next pitch is supposed to be one of the easier pitches and if continuous 120 foot 5.7/8 chimneys are your thing, it is. I enjoyed it and there was just enough pro. Here’s a pic.

Here’s a pic looking out at absolutely dry Yosemite Falls.

P8 is the technical crux pitch. It’s a pretty cool pitch actually. Chad pulled and patched the two manky bolts and put in one new 3/8” so the crux moves have bomber pro now. Here is a pic of Chad drilling.

And if you are getting tired by now I found the bolt makes a convienient foothold at the crux.

Here is a pic of the bullet pack being hauled. It is free hanging, which gives an idea of the steepness here.

Chad fired off the real crux squeeze in good style. By now I was beat. I managed to worm my way up the first 10a flare section before completely running out of gas. Fortunately I had a couple of Tibloc ascenders and ascended to the belay.

Here’s a pic of Chad on the last pitch in the fading light.

We managed to get two out of the eight rappels done before the light went out. With Clint and MAD BOLTER's rappel chart we easily found the rest of the raps by headlamp. By the time we got back to the car it was around 10:30. Another good day in the valley on a classic route was done. Chad, thanks for going up there with me!
Climb on!

(Edit- Chad added his TR of our climb on post 53.)
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Sep 22, 2009 - 01:59am PT
yah! another adventure with zander. Excellent!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Sep 22, 2009 - 01:59am PT
well done you guys!

Sep 22, 2009 - 02:03am PT
way 2 go doodz
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 02:05am PT
good on you guys!
and congratulations Zander, I know this is one you really wanted!!

Berkeley, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 05:23am PT
Without taking anything from the fairer sex, thou art manhood incarnate.


You kind of made it sound casual though?

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 05:34am PT
Way to go out and get after it.
And photos, too! (Chad got such good ones in his previous TR, but you added to those).

I asked my friend Bob Palais once how hard he thought it was, relative to the Steck-Salathe'. Bob said he thought it was about 3 times harder. What do you think?

Great job on replacing those 2 bad bolts with one good one, Chad!
And nice work on looking at the other bolts and judging if they needed replacement.

I think the LA Chimney must be the *real* classic, and the tip sort of a joke. Heck, it's an awesome line, and the first Valley big wall, ahead of its time. But the LA Chimney is only accessible by the true Valley hardmen/hardwomen, and the tip is within bumblie range, so the tip made it into the Roper/Steck book....

Thanks for sharing!

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Sep 22, 2009 - 07:23am PT
Zander getting it done! Again!



Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 22, 2009 - 08:18am PT
Oh yeah!

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Sep 22, 2009 - 08:51am PT
Very nice. I'm glad this route still gets done.

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:09am PT
Zander, thanks for trip report and congratulations with your wanted long time rout to be made.
What rack you would take next time to be comfortable on all pitches ?
I probably missed in report- why you replaced two old bolts by only one new- no need for second -possible gear placement or other reasons?

how easy was to find rappel route - any topos you had (links)?


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2009 - 11:02am PT
Hey Clint,
Before we started the climb Chad was wondering about which was really harder the Steck Salathe or Lost Arrow Chimney. He and his partner Mike did them in about the same amount of time. I’ll be interested to see what he thinks now after a second trip. In my opinion Lost Arrow Chimney is definitely harder. I would say LAC is about 1 1/2 times as hard. The first three pitches you can stay on your feet with just an occasional roof. After that it is pretty much continuous climbing. It is hard at the end. On the Steck Salathe two out of the last three pitches are mild. On the other hand if you are not comfortable on chimneys, squeezes and OWs in the 5.8 to 5.9 range you are toast. Then it is infinitely harder.

The two bolts Chad replaced were 2 inches apart. I’ve seen you climb Alexey, you will do well on this climb. Clint posted a little chart of the rappels. It is on one of the Lost Arrow Spire rappel threads. The chart starts 50 feet below the first Spire belay so basically you add one 50 foot rappel to the chart.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:07am PT
Great Chad and Zander! Nice to see the "ole route" 38 years later. And finally someone replaces those pathetic bolts. A fall there is not out of the question as it is friable, granular rock there. With the replacement done, a few more real climbing parties will do the climb. Thanks.


Crestline CA
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:16am PT
Sweet!! Nice pics and a great climb. Thanks for posting up!!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:20am PT
Nice!! Did it BITD and loved it. Wouldn't it be a great one for transition from sport to trad- not!
scuffy b

Sinatra to Singapore
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:24am PT
Ah, Beautiful.

Congratulations, anf thanks for the report and the bolt replacement.
Eric Beck

Sport climber
Bishop, California
Sep 22, 2009 - 11:27am PT
"The day you do the Lost Arrow Chimney in a day is the day you do more work than on any other day of your live" -Sacherer

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Sep 22, 2009 - 12:53pm PT
Wow, nice work, guys.
Clearly, two adventurous hardmen!
Extremely inspiring. Thanks!
Doug Hemken

Madison, WI
Sep 22, 2009 - 02:38pm PT
Another great TR. I always look forward to your TRs!

Trad climber
From a Quiet Place by the Lake
Sep 22, 2009 - 02:56pm PT
Inspiring as I have been going through the injury thing and am really trying to get all that behind me. takes time though. Great TR, great climb, well done guys.
Messages 1 - 20 of total 97 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews