Did the route last week. There are still some 1/4 inch rusted bolts protecting important runouts or bad dowels ladders. Some 3/8 ss bolts could go there. All the needed fixed gear was on. Nailed about 8 peckers (6 big, 1 med, 1 sm). Used none of the LAs and sawed angles, no knife blades or RURPs. Used no smaller cams then 00 nor lowe balls (sliders). Used hooks but only one of each was really needed. Used about 50 cam hook placements, probably all regular, maybe 1 fat (no fragile nor small). No lower out line (used haul line with far end hauler to lower bags), no tag line BUT we used the haul line to pAss some gear. Used 3x3, 1x3.5, 2x4, 1x5, 1x6, big bro 3 and 4 (big bros only for the Bismark). The big pro was good for us. Would not change this selection even if heavy. Heads were in good shape. Tie offs also (added only a 1mm Kevlar triple loop on a rurp and maybe a 5mm somewhere ). No real crux to me, most pitches were heads up, no falls neither.
When we climbed it we fixed 3 60m ropes straight down from the 4th anchor. there was extra rope but that was 3 years ago so I don't remember exactly how much extra. I haven't owned a 50m in a long time so I don't know if that would be enough. Hope that helps.
I'm planning on starting up el cap a week from today and wanted to see if I could get some input from other supertopo members. This may take a second to explain and since this is my first supertopo post I apologize ahead of time if this is an inappropriate place to post this kind of thing or if I ramble on a bit. About 6-7 years ago I spent 2 summers in Yosemite with the express purpose of climbing el cap and have done little wall climbing since. I did SF of the column, leaning tower, lurking fear, zodiac, Muir and the Nose. For each of these climbs I was with an inexperienced partner (some trad following but solid rope handling, cleaning) so I led all the pithces, set up belays/bivies, etc. Since then I have done some A2-3 aiding in north conway NH (Prow, Mordor Wall)as well as at Looking Glass in North Carolina (Glass Menagerie, Invisible Airwaves) and spent my spring break in Zion getting up Moonlight Buttress, Touchstone Wall, and Spaceshot. The first question is what would be the better route to rope solo on el cap. Mescalito, Shield, or Magic Mushroom. I keep reading about people spending 2+ weeks on mescalito and I only have about 12 days to work with. Shield looks incredible but I would not look forward to hauling on FreeBlast. So I'm trying to figure out which one of those routes would be the best choice for a soloist. I'd much prefer doing some spicy aid to getting strung out on some free climbing while soloing too. Also saw the previous post on this site saying Magic Mushroom is MUCH harder than the supertopo suggests. Comments? Thanks for your help!
My partner, Rick Picar, and I climbed Mescalito from 5/18/09 to 5/26/09. Awesome route! We ran into a couple of thunderstorms along the way that definitely slowed us down, but for the most part we had pretty good weather. Temperatures were perhaps a bit cool, but it beats the opposite for sure.
On the rack side, I think we could have done with less. The Zeros were fun to play with, but not entirely necessary. We probably could have gotten by without the #4.5 Camalot and #6 C4. Perhaps the Big Bros weren't required, but they made the Bizmark a cake walk. The tag line was also a real luxury for zipping big pieces and for the couple of long lower-outs, and I would take it again for that route. If we were wanting, then it was for more pieces at 1.0-1.25". And I would have gladly traded a set of regular Aliens out for a 3rd set of hybrids, if I had them.
We had to nail P10, our only hammering. Rick was bummed. It seems that someone must have cleaned that pitch recently, because there wasn't a single piece of fixed gear on it. Rick placed 6 pins total. (Perhaps Tommy Caldwell was working to free climb it?)
Were we the first on the route this year? I "cleaned" three manky copperheads and Rick pulled a couple also. We were surprised so many popped on us, but in each case, we were able to hook through instead of replacing the heads, which we thought was the cooler thing to do. I busted two tie-offs during lower-outs also, taking a couple of fun swings (so if you're going, bring some spare webbing.)
If you're interested in more detailed beta, contact me.
Sick route! I thought p10, p15, and p21 were the cruxes. My partner didn't need a 10 inch piece to aid the Bizmark, just a 6 inch Cam and a looong sling.
I replaced the broken rivit on p15 with another 1/4" button head. I'd still recomend bringing a bolt kit on this route as there are many timebomb lead bolts.
I'd also recomend bringing hole patching material for a party who wants to do some public service. I think I counted at least 5 pointless bathook holes that can be filled up there.
I would agree that 4 of each cam listed in supertopo is excessive. We brought three sets of Alien Hybrids and had no problem doing the route clean with a few spicy cam hook and hand placed angle moves. The party below us was nailing the sh#t out of most pitches...
SPANISH CLIMBER LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT MESCALITO. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO REACH BASE FROM BELAY 4 WITH ONE 80 M. (HAULBAG ROPE) AND ONE 60 M. ROPE? AND FROM BELAY 3?
IF WE CARRY A NUM.5 AND A NUM.6 CAMALOTS AND A BIG BRO NUM.4, CAN WE AID BISMARK PICH TOTALLY? HOW LONG IS BELAY FROM LAST CAMALOT (N.6)?
first of all it was an awesome climb! it took us 8 days, with almost 3 days off on the bismarck ledge, which would actually fit a whole army ;)
pitch 15 - definitely the hardest on the route. 15foot creative skyhooking traverse, there and back ;) C3/C3+
pitch 16 - where the copperhead was broken, there are 2 chipped hooks, not that bad
pitch 10 - very sustained C3, second hardest after p15.
all the other pitches, although the ratings don't always show it, feel a lot easier. the last one is definitely longer than 110feet!
First El Cap solo--great experience. One day fixing, then six days on the wall, clean/fixed. Take big bros to blue, gold-member is useless (glad I lugged that POS up there). I also think you could go with a lighter rack--four sets of cams is a bit excessive. Use your judgment based on how much gear you usually go through. Four sets seems based on no backcleaning at all (except maybe on the Bismarck). To help do it clean take a couple Lowe Balls, cam hooks, Splitter 2-Cams and sawed offs to hand place. As usual, aluminum HB offsets and offset Aliens are nice if you can get your hands on them. This climb also convinced me that Astro nuts rule! I found myself reaching for them instead of HB offsets when I had a choice.
To Mark and Markus, the Germans who provided appreciated company on the route: email me, I'd love to get the photos from you!
Just climbed this route last week. You can get around the missing rivet with some creative hooking out left to join the ramp feature. There is a hard to see bathook after a tenuous knob hook move in that direction. Also an enhanced hooking edge ripped off before the fixed heads on p16. This might not go without a cheater stick or new bathook or something similar now. I'm not sure, it ripped right after I clipped the head above!
What a great route!!! Did it last weekend during one of those brief spring storms. Quite exciting really......
Anyway, there's a broken rivet on pitch 15. It is sheared off pretty close to the rock and we passed it using our fly's pole as a 12 foot cheat stick. You clip a head that's about 10 feet away and placed above a small ramp that raises, running left to right. I didn't see any way around it, but it was dark out. You might be able to hook the old rivet, but I didn't try that option.
I did it with a 5 Camalot tipped out and free climbed (lb, not squeeze, I was too big to fit inside), it's feels solid 10 in the blazing sun (it was) but it's short. It would be an incredible pitch to free (5.12 iirc), a 1"-12" splitter, waaaaay long.
We did this route hammerless, and it was much easier and less awkward than the Muir (also done clean). Although a few hooks were pretty blown out, the are next to belays or bolts. The nastiest rivet ladders have been all cleaned up I hear.
Partner took a 100' swinger on the next to last pitch b/c I ran it out 60' on the 5.5 flakes so the rope wouldn't run over sharpness. But that was an error on their part, they didn't lower out correctly.
Gotta give it overall a C2+/C3, a skosh easier than NA (clean) and much easier than Muir...
Hey Ricardo - for the bismarck, I brought #5 & #6 Friends (1 ea), plus big bro's up to #4. I ended up crack-jugging the big cams until they tipped out, then using the bros. for the last move, I ended up standing on the #4 bro to reach the lip, then 'beached whaling' over the edge. (at night, solo - my SP caught on the edge, and I had a bitch of a time getting over. I couldn't get to sleep for like 3 hrs after, hahaha!)
If your overhanging squeeze/OW is decent, you can probably free the whole thing, but I was way too chicken (and weak!).
BTW, when you do it, is that giant loose flake on the second to last pitch still there? Sucker skated on me when I bumped into it last year.
Have fun, its a bitching route! (f*#king HOT this time of year)
If it wasn't for the totally sketch fixed heads in places (I took a 20fter on the first pitch when one blew), I would say leave the hammer at home.
I've been looking at topos and trip reports to get a good idea of what the required rack is, but i can't figure out what the requried rack to aid the entire Bismark would be.. some topo's have it at 7" pieces.. and others have it at 10" pieces..
What is the large gear rack neccesary to aid the bismark pitch? --
I have one question, In 2002 ASCA as per the website have replaced 90 Belay Bolts but yet people are talking about bolts on belays being crap. Can anyone confirm the state of the bolts on the belays for this climb. Thanks in Advance
bigwallinging, no offense bro...but you shouldn't really talk smack about Mescalito. It is a highly coveted route. Considering that it was your first and only Captain route so far, you might be better off letting more experinced climbers judge the quality and ratings, IMHO.
Topped out 9/6/04 after 12 days on the wall, solo.
- Anchors at the top of P24 where crap. I placed 2 bomber SS
5 pieces to replace the 3 buttonheads (2 half out of the rock).
- The tree on top of P26 has gotten pretty beat up over the
years from people hauling off it, so I placed a single bomber
SS bolt next to it (to save wear and tear)
- There are some very loose blocks/flakes on P25 (how long until that pitch falls off anyways?). They probably should be trundled, but not my thing.
Awesome route, very sustained. *ALL* belays now have at least one bomber bolt
Things people more motivated may want to do on later ascent:
- there are a number of bat hook holes that need patching (most totally pointless - not even cheater, just stupid), and old 1/4 inch bolts that need to be chopped (esp at the belays).
- there is also a decent looking 8.8mm petzl self drill placed high on the ledge at the P23 anchors that should probably be replaced with something more trustworthy, since it is such an important piece. (only decent bolt to haul off)
- there are some REALLY manky fixed heads that should be cleaned before they become dead heads (clean placements next to most of them anyways), and tons of dead heads that should be removed if possible.
- replacing the manky bolt you penji off on P20 might be a good idea (rusty 1/4 stud with a leeper hanger).
Ha, no I was just talking smack. I'd be interested to know how many bolts were orginal though. Do you know? Isn't he tall? These bolts are kinda close if he is. Anyone know the F.A. hole count? I just found that pitch to be a total disapointment with those bolts. But of course the route is miles away from there ascent!!!
This climb is pretty good but the ratings are kinda whack. Almost all the heads on this climb are 3's and 4's, lots of #5's it looked like too. I don't think I saw a #1 on the whole climb. That said the whole climb is in the realm of C1F, otherwise A1. You could belay mid-pitch on just heads if you wanted. But I would'nt reccomend that. The sketchiest placements on this climb was the old bolts, which would still hold falls probably.
Reason for 3 stars, millions of pin scars, heads in alien placements and bolts in stupid areas. The Seagull is totally whacked! There are big heads next to the bolt ladder, I think Sutton took that whipper and was a loser and bolted it instead of falling again. That said the position of the climb is awesome and I would do it again. Someone should remove all the extra 1/4"er's and patch the holes at the numerous belays.
Update Rack to:
5/8" angle for handplacing
some heads include a #3 or 4 circle head
We climbed this route in late May 2004. Here is our beta per our topo.
-It is correct that false belay between 3-4 is removed
-Note that the words "bad hauling" would apply to pitch 5, 13, 18 (Bismark-no duh!). 13 was the worst hauling on the route and maybe this is only when climb 13 on its own without linking with 12.
-It IS NOT correct that there are only 4 bolts now on pitch 7. I didn't count them, but they are very numerous and I would just go with the topo as currently published by Chris.
-Pitch 8 pro is up to 3 inches
-For short people (5.4 inches and under) send your partner up on Pitch 8,15 and FOR SURE up the last pitch for the good of the team. Pitch 8 was not THAT BAD for a shorty, but anchor is a pain (way off to right), Pitch 15 is not THAT BAD, but the last pitch (26 on Chris' topo) is REALLY REACHY for short people and while I did it, it took a brutally long time and some serious straining and we are NOT TALKING top stepping as that was a baby maneuver compared to how I got my short self up that bolt ladder). I would have given anything to have been on top an hour sooner, which would have happened if tall guy led that pitch instead of me.
-The hook moves at the beginning of Pitch 11 (the "pre-molar" I call it) are pretty blown out.
-There are actually 2 pendos on the Molar Travere (Pitch 12).
-The dowels on 15 are not so bad :) -I crossed out the word bad on my topo. Almost zero gear on this pitch.
-Pitch 17 seems C1. My partner and I couldn't find any fixed gear that was making it feel C1 when it is supposed to be C3F. You have to make free moves at the end of the pitch.
-The Bismark - Pitch 19. Pro is best at .5 and .75 (topo says many .75 -4 "). I would say many .5 and .75. This is the one time on the route we wished we had more of these size. We had four in the approximate .5 range and up to this point I wished I only had 2.
-At beg of 20, 5" piece can be used. Much free climbing at the end of 20.
-On pitch 21, I thought the lower section was A1 instead of A2 (that's pretty subjective I guess, but I got in 3 bomber pins). I also crossed out the C3F/A3. I didn't find any one section above the bolt that was hard.
-Pitch 22 I would chanege the 1-3" to 1-6". The belay does take gear, but it is a .5 & a .75, not 1-2". I changed the C2F on this pitch to C1.
-Pitch 23 is .4 -4", not .75 -3"
-Pitch 24 is awkward, but only C1.
Guess that's it. If anyone wants any more info, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I agree about linking those pitches. I usually link those. However, it requires that you do a LOT of backcleaning so that there is not too much rope drag to do the last free moves on 13. The reason Erik recommended removing that note from the topo is that a lot of people were getting stuck 20' before the belay because there was too much rope drag. He watched a person completely epic because he couldn't reach the belay and then it started to hail. So, the bottom line is that people who are comfortable backcleaning can link them but most people probably should not.
Mill Valley, CA
Nov 8, 2002 - 06:21pm
Eric Sloan suggests that one should avoid linking pitch 12 and 13 because it creates ropedrag. I say itīs really great to link those two pitches. If using long slings and clipping minimal pro there is no ropedrag to talk about and the pitch makes for easy hauling aswell. RUN 12 and 13 together! Itīs long, probably 190 feet, and good fun.
CORRECTIONS TO TOPO IN <A HREF='http://www.supertopo.com/bigwalls/yosemite/bigwalls.html'>YOSEMITE BIG WALLS: SUPERTOPO</a>
These updates to the topo come from Erik Sloan who did us all a HUGE service by replacing many of the anchors and lead bolts on this climb. All anchors are bomber but some bad lead bolts still exist.
P2: pitch length is actually 130'
P3: false belay mid pitch is gone and pitch length is actually 130'
P5: fyi, the route that goes up the obvious corner above the 5th belay is Adrift
P6: pitch is actually 100' and starts with 5.6 tension or C2 hooks
P7: replace "C1 grass" with "C2 grass" and put a bolt next "C". Also, only show 4 bolts in the ladder
P8: should be 120" and C3 is lower, almost right off belay. The cam size range should be .5-3"
P9: remove one of the lead bolts
P11: make C2 section longer and write "sustained"
P12: is C2 below C1 section
P13: show adrift coming in under C2
P14: remove note about linking pitches 12 and 13. It is a bad idea (terrible rope drag)
More Retreat Beta: If retreating after Molar Traverse, rap down to the west on the Adrift anchors (two new bolts at each belay). If retreating from the Seagull, it is not clear whether it is easier to reverse the Seagull or rap straight down and trying to swing in to find anchors.
The following anchor conditions are provided by <A HREF='http://www.safeclimbing.org/'> The American Safe Climbing Assn.</a> Please support the ASCA. so that they can continue to replace dangerous anchor bolts on classic climbs throughout the United States. Find out how to help at <A HREF='http://www.safeclimbing.org/help.html'>www.safeclimbing.org</a>
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Mescalito - over 80 bolts bolts replaced by ASCA on11/97, 7/98, 10/02
All belays except 24 are solid with two or three 3/8"bolts. Pitches 1-12 and the last pitch have solid lead bolts. All other pitches have sketchy lead bolts (either aluminum dowels or crappy 1/4" bolts.)
I just got a note from Jim Beyer about some changes to the Mescalito topo:
"I changed pitch 9 on Mescalito by chopping all six of the old Harding aluminum dowels. The placements were easy enough to make with small heads, a 3" cam, a large hook, and a birkdbeak. I left the old bolt (Which is the only one currently on the pitch)."
Mescalito is route number 15.
Photo: Galen Rowell
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