TR 2009-10-18 Coonyard Pinnacle (Frquent Flier Miles)


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Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2009 - 08:33pm PT
Photo Update:

We solo'd up the three pitches of Right Side of Monday Morning Slab. Our guidebook said it was 5.1, but I thought that was a little stiff. Last night I saw Supertopo calls it 5.4. Here's a pic looking down from right after the crux:

It was a beautiful fall morning:

I linked the first two pitches of Coonyard, taking way too much time:

I earned my merit badge on the first big fall in the last half of my combined pitch:

I made sure to keep Davidji on a short leash as he joined me:

The ravens were circling, waiting for carrion:

And here's David trying his best to satisfy them:

Well, he put up a fight and tried to get some pro in where he could:

Note how close those anchors seem! Don't believe it sucker.

This was the highest piece of pro he got before floating into a sea of granite... pretty bomber:

Well, we were dry on pictures for a bit, what with being busy yelling F-V-C-K, F-V-C-K, F-V-C-K, F--V--C--K and all.

But here's a picture of where I was regrouping after my attempt (the higher yellow rope is hanging on the nutted rivet):

No more pics of the business after that. But on the way rapping down, a parting shot of North and South Domes:

And a pano on my second photo-stitching experiment:

So for our trip, Humans 0 Ravens 6:

Social climber
Oct 20, 2009 - 09:47pm PT
Ropes were mine, rack Nutjob's, except for my BD micros, purple Metolius TCU, and a few tied slings.

At the rusty rivet or busted bolt, I spent some time time trying to find a nut I could use: the wires had to slide, and it had to be small enough so the wires would sit close to the rock.

The pro I had below that was the purple TCU, and a BD micro (which we ended up leaving). I was really grateful for my small contribution to the rack.

Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Oct 20, 2009 - 09:58pm PT
Yes! excellent stuff here. thanks and keep up the good work.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Oct 21, 2009 - 10:46am PT
Adventure leading!

Thanks for the stories.

Mountain climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Oct 21, 2009 - 12:37pm PT
Guido & his mates placed just 2 bolts on the 1st ascent, both on pitch 1 above Monday Morning Slab. Paul Kunascz placed the bolt on pitch 5 in the mid-60s, after taking a fall that broke his leg. He did lead the pitch after putting in the bolt.

As Guido says, those bolts were enough back in day before we had sticky rubber.

Social climber
Oct 21, 2009 - 02:49pm PT
Guido, stout FA! I'm curious if y'all went up, and lowered over like the yellow line on Ed's photo (hard!), or traversed directly like the red line (bold!).

Social climber
West Linn OR
Oct 21, 2009 - 07:28pm PT
We went up the Clint's yellow line and over on the first ascent. It wasn't because we were avoiding anything, I was making fun of first ascents with pendulums so I had to have one. Well, it was a tension traverse, really. I feel kind of bad people getting hurt on this route as it was supposed to be a great spot for an off day after being up in the world of the vertical and hard cracks and the like. On the first ascent I placed two bolts, both on the first pitch because it was so slippery and Guido was a little guy who kept saying "Holy sh!t Amborn" as I would slide and down trying to get going. The first bolt was placed by putting an angle iron piton in sideways for aid in a small slot that also serves as a handhold. I tensioned right to the flake and worked my way up it until close to the bush at which time I felt I needed protection before I grabbed a dead branch and so put in a knife blade piton under the flake. This did not assuage my feelings for needing protection so I stuck in a second bolt. Both bolts were poorly placed as I have always been somewhat impatient with these sorts of things.

No one ever fell with me on several times on the route except Foott when we were coming back in the dark and he took a rolling tumble with "oh god" and maybe an "Oh sh!t" or two. I have photos of Dave Kraft, one of the original Vulgarians from Da Gunks on Coonyard. I'll post up one day with them. He was bemused by the lack of holds.

In any case, it's great to see people having fun on the route. I sure did, and Guido has asked if I would come to Da Valley for a 50th anniversary climb. I think I'm in good enough shape for it, but...

Social climber
Oct 21, 2009 - 08:44pm PT
Thanks BBA. Impressive stuff!

The only non-original protection bolt we used was this one up on the yellow line (same as in nutjob's photo above):

We did see the added bolt on the traverse though.

Nutjob cleaned up the route a little by removing a fixed bashie between the 2 P1 bolts--by falling on the upper bolt.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Oct 21, 2009 - 09:06pm PT
Here is the link to the First Ascent Posting from last year.

I think Haan is going to have to perform some more magic and give me a hand with these photos!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Apr 13, 2015 - 12:58pm PT

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 13, 2015 - 01:13pm PT
On the first ascent I placed two bolts, both on the first pitch because it was so slippery and Guido was a little guy who kept saying "Holy sh!t Amborn" as I would slide and down trying to get going.

Ten years after your FA, BBA and Guido, I was taking those same slides trying to mantle up to your first bolt. It took a few tries.

Incidentally, the third member of the first ascent party, Rich Calderwood, taught me aid climbing at Little Table Mountain near Fresno. On that trip, I got to hold my first leader fall when Rich's aid sling broke.


Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 13, 2015 - 02:07pm PT
gangster falling onto that sh#t headless bolt.

Trad climber
Anna, Il
Apr 14, 2015 - 08:01am PT
I had the great fortune to climb Coonyards, in the early 70's, with the venerable Art Higbee. Art and I were concerned about being too hot and decided to climb in only shorts and shoes. Mine were PA's, I don't remember what Art was wearing. We only brought one rope and were counting on the team behind us to have enough rope for the rap down.
It's been many years so the details are a little distant. I remember spending some of the time using my overturned palms for friction.
Neither of us took a fall and I'm grateful as the prospect of tumbling could have easily killed us. If we fell and didn't tumble, the road rash!
We made it to the pinnacle and were waiting for the party that followed us to make it up so we could rap off.
Well, they had a heck of a time getting to us. I don't know how many times the leader took a fall but it was at least 3. Meanwhile, the sun had gone behind the rock and Art and I were Freezing!
Great tension as we watched the leader almost get it and whoosh, another slide. To make it worse, the guy was wearing Robbins boots.
Eventually, they made it and we all rapped off.
Hats off to Art. I only learned a few weeks ago that he has passed. A great climber.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 14, 2015 - 11:21am PT
thx for the story Poloman

Trad climber
Bay Area
Apr 14, 2015 - 11:23am PT
I think everyone who's climbed Coonyard has a good story.

I had hooked up with an ex-Marine guy in C4 who turned out to be a really scary belayer on P4. A fine time for me to find out. He'd tied the rope into the anchor, but not himself to the anchor.
So I very definitely DID NOT FALL on P5. He was even pretty unsafe on the raps down. What DO they teach these guys in the military?
AAAACCCKKK as Calvin would say.

Speaking of PA's, I had recently graduated to EBs.

A really wonderful Old Skool climb. Full Value. Very much a Head Trip. Spectacular views. And you're very likely to have it all for yourselves.
Gotta go back.
Thank you Guido and BBA!

Additional beta on NutJob's 2009 Trip Report.
These days the right side of Monday Morning Slab and everything to the right is considered at high risk for major rockfall.
Harry Daley route or Monday Morning Slab left side might be a better start.

Oakland, CA
Apr 14, 2015 - 01:00pm PT

I remember you telling me about this one Scott, but hadn't seen the report. That nut on the headless bolt. Yikes! And it was a purple TCU beneath that? Heady.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 14, 2015 - 01:17pm PT
These days the right side of Monday Morning Slab and everything to the right is considered at high risk for major rockfall.
I've done Point Beyond / Angel's Approach and even Mr. Natural several times in recent years.
My personal assessment is that rockfall risk is somewhat high in the Punch Bowl.
(and also left of The Calf).
Other folks rule out the entire Apron....
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