Reed's Direct?


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Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Nov 2, 2009 - 10:02pm PT
Never been on it. Is it easy...?

Looks easy. Hahaahaaaaa. I'll do it, one of these days. I just never get over there enough....

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Nov 2, 2009 - 10:09pm PT
Been on it, well... not Direct.. but the left variation.... Looking up at that think... I thought "yeah, that looks doable..".... after a couple of days with Kevin over the Facelift weekend... I've reconsidered.. It's still doable, just not by me!

But if there was a great group of great folks want to head up there (with the exception this weekend).. I'd be game to take a crack! (no pun intended)
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Nov 2, 2009 - 10:23pm PT
Exactly, Stevie Grossman. Left Side in, third pitch. Namely that pitch that SOO many leave out. If you put your right side in, you will have a harder time, will not be able to use the crack on the wall on the right and your decision will seem lame eventually as you work up the feature.

Actually, in a kind of Come To Jesus Moment here, I never was that incredibly fond of the Triple Direct on Reeds. I did it many times of course and with a variety of characters and it is true that it is kind of a very unique "playground" kind of route. Maybe last time 1975.

I found the second pitch verged on tediousness. I know, IT IS A SPLITTER AND TAKES NUTS LIKE CRAZY and you can tunnel behind it, but it leans to the right for over a hundred feet, is a longish bunch of crazy simple perfection. But for me, I got bored with the lean, the kind of foggy-assed easy but very physical "nut-your-hand-and-pull" monkeybar climbing. It is surprising that there are NO holds on the main wall on the right. In fact now it is scraped all the way down to the white stone, visible from 10 miles away. I found the first pitch and the last pitch more interesting and I guess, more difficult, tricky and engaging.

It was first done in pieces. But finally in Fall of 1966, RR and Gordie Webster and Terry Burnell got it put together. Really picturesque, semi-steep and has a bitchy first pitch that noobies fall off of regularly, it is a three star plus route certainly. But for me it just was not that engaging.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 2, 2009 - 10:38pm PT
Steve I can't remember how I did it but I'll bet that most of today's climbers wouldn't call the third pitch 5.9 even if they had helium balloons attached to their cordellete/belay glove assemblage.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Nov 2, 2009 - 11:26pm PT
Done the second pitch dozens of times and even soloed the first pitch a time or two but only led the last pitch once. Enough is enough.

You can do the "Deer" route and tunnel up under and behing pitch 2. You might even scare the crap out of a climber on the outside by reaching through and grabbing their hand while they are climbing the Direct.

Tried to do the last pitch of the regular route tunnel through but couldn't get my fat ass though.. It was too tight!


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Nov 3, 2009 - 12:11am PT
Are you sure that's not the Weasel Route, Karl?!?

Some folks just can't enough of that 3-D stuff!

Bob Gaines photo.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:07am PT
Last time I did the Triple Direct on Reed's was mid seventies.

That opening photo reminds me how much easier the crux is with that straight in thin crack to Gaston and protect in.

I agree with Peter on that second pitch - I never thought it was that great - the wide section at the end's a little awkward and out of character with the rest of the pitch, and all those pods are just too damn easy to jam in.

The first pitch is nice - short but sweet.

I remember some guy fell on the second pitch way up there, and his knot untied, or harness failed, but for some reason he was dragging a trail line which stacked up in the little bay tree at the bottom of the pitch as he plummeted past it, and snagged well enough in the branches to stop him a few feet off the deck. Crazy. He was basically unscathed as I remember.

I think the Left Side of Reed's is a more classic route, but not so high profile.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:25am PT
Some guy named Peter Mayfield (maysho), maybe.
The Warbler

the edge of America
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:30am PT

I vaguely remember that mishap also, but the one I mention above was even more phenomenal.

Werner probably remembers, or Chappy.

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:31am PT
I agree with Peter Haan, the 2nd pitch is not that great, aesthetically speaking. It is a very weird crack and not at all elegant in itself.
A friend was climbing this route once, placing nuts when to his shock a disembodied hand appeared from inside the crack and tossed his nuts out!!!
Yeah, that tunnel-behind gag was great for major yuks.
Oh yeah, I've never done this route, ever, in almost 30 years...because I haven't groveled up that can't claim an ascent. LOL
On a side note, has anyone done the LEFT side of Reeds? Now THATS a line...that chimney looks pretty damn scary, if you ask me. Its only Yosemite 5.8 for the first pitch but looks to be a back and foot solo type of thing...
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Nov 3, 2009 - 01:59am PT
I climbed all three pitches in the fall of
1967 with my friend Chuck Pratt. He asked me to
lead the third pitch, which I did with right side
in (facing left). I always liked being able to pull
sideways against the main wall, but perhaps it is
easier with left side in. I've done it several times
again, and each time I seemed to want to go right side
in. That day with Pratt was beautiful, a perfect
blue sky, just the right temperature. This was
the day Chuck made his famous statement, as he followed the
third pitch. At the hardest section a couple
body lengths below me, he said with a smile, "It
lends itself to technique."

Not too many days earlier, Chuck and I also did
the Left Side, with Mort Hempel.
Pratt led the crux and of course turned it into
a work of art.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Nov 3, 2009 - 02:09am PT
Forgot - I've done the route three or four times, and quite like it. The second pitch is unusual for the Valley, in that for the most part it's a quite irregular-sided but vertical crack. Not your basic parallel sided unit. And as it's one the cover of the Stonemasters book - with a climber or two - that speaks for itself. I've only done the third pitch once that I can remember.

The 'clean streak' effect is undoubtedly there. You can see the white strip of the second pitch from quite a way, just as you can see Nutcracker, and a few other things. It would take a pretty sharp-eyed tourist to see, and distinguish, the strips from all other the colourful features on the rock in the Valley, though.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 3, 2009 - 02:22am PT
Not the full thing...

early 90s me thinks...

apparently I was fooling around too much posing....

cuz I fell...

Hardly Visible

Social climber
Llatikcuf WA
Nov 3, 2009 - 02:44am PT
I've done the first two a number of times and the complete version a few times but to do the upper pitch for me anyway requires carrying a 6 inch cam that you donít need anywhere else. I know thatís pretty weak rationale but there it is. I also like linking pitch 1 and 2 and am finding it amazing that there are some out there that donít like pitch 2.

Credit: Hardly Visible

Back in 2005 when I was still a real man me and a kid named Cleaver did Chingado, Left Side of Reedís, Reedí Direct, Bongs Away Left and Center and that arch thingy that starts on Bongs Away Left in a day kind of the classic 10- and under wide tour up at Reedís.

Oakie you need to get on the Left Side itís got more pro then you might think and itís pretty high adventure for a two pitch route.

Here's a couple of not so great pictures from it:

Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

Soda Springs, CA
Nov 3, 2009 - 02:59am PT
Thanks for the correction Kevin, for the record, I did not fall on any pitch, but off of the belay flake on top of the first pitch.

Embarrassed to say, I have never done the third! So many times up the first two, and many times guiding to the top by tunneling through to the last part of the left side.

Have to correct that.


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2009 - 05:38am PT

New Hampshire
Nov 3, 2009 - 10:03am PT
That 3rd off-width pitch was a total grovel, and as an East coast face climber I may have actually cried near the top. I know I hyperventilated. Photo by Jim_E

scuffy b

Whuttiz that Monstrosicos Inferno?
Nov 3, 2009 - 11:31am PT
Both times I've done the last pitch, 1975 and a couple days ago, I did
it left side in and thought it was no harder than the 2nd pitch, at worst.
Actually, this time, I thought the 2nd pitch was harder.

I also thought, both times, that if you did it the "right" way it would
probably be 5.10. But why turn a 5.9 into a 5.10?

No gear bigger than a 6 1/2 Stopper, endwise, is needed. Where you would
use a big cam, if you did it right side in, there is a thin crack right
in your face, left side in.

Trad climber
San Leandro, Ca
Nov 3, 2009 - 11:53am PT
Thanks for the photos and bit'o'beta on that awesome looking left side, Hardly Visible!
I was looking at it last weekend. I don't think my partner wanted anything to do with even following that OW 2nd pitch but honestly I wasn't all that dissappointed she felt that way because I was scared of that gaping chimney which was black and evil-looking in the fading late afternoon light. I never said I was hard...LOL
Yeah, sometimes I just need a kick in the
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Nov 3, 2009 - 12:24pm PT
When I did the third pitch with Pratt, I seem to remember I had
no large piton for that final off-width thing and how much
easier psychologically it would be with a big friend or something....
I understand now people climb the Twilight Zone with a big cam or
Friend they simply slide up with me all the way?
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