Southwest Face, Liberty Cap C2 5.8

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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spsmc

Mountain climber
Swall Meadows,CA
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   Jun 25, 2009 - 09:01pm
Climbed the route on 6/23-24/09 as a group of three. Drove over from Bishop on the morning of the 23rd and drove home,on the night of the 24th so a nice quickie.
Found all of the bolts have been replaced although there is no info on the ASCA site. We thought we would have the old mank, but all bolts are perfect and no worries. We took an emergency bolt kit just in case but there is not a single questionable bolt on the route. New rivets on pitch 5 and rivet hangers are handy here. If you are a little short a cheater stick might be handy on the bolt ladder. There are new bolted anchors at the start of the P5 traverse and part way through P8 which are not on the Supertopo topo. No need either for a bathook or talon. Used a Fishook 3 times on P1 and once on P8. One camhook useful on P8.
We fixed down from the top of P4 to P2 with a 60 meter and from P2 to P1 and ground with a 70 meter rope.
Good place to bivvy at the base about ten minutes off the trail and the commute to the start is about 20 minutes. The brushy ledge is pretty easy and no big deal and has gotten beaten down some. There was some recent rock fall, probably this winter, at the start of the ledge just past another bivvy site. Didn't hit the bivvy, but if anyone had been bivvied here when it came down then it might have required a change of underwear.
A fun climb with fantastic views and a totally different feel to other Valley walls. No people, except far below on the trail, and just the constant roar of Nevada Falls. The scenery is the biggest reason to do the climb.
Checkout a video of it at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OCCouVW2Ag
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Nanook

climber
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   Oct 26, 2007 - 12:40pm
Just climbed this great route 10/24-25/07.

It was Mike's first wall so we brought the haul bag, so some beta for haulers:

The approach out the fourth class ledge is extremely vegetated, so we just took our food and two ropes and then rapped from the base of the route to the ground via a bolted intermediate anchor. We then went over to the base of Vernal Falls(super low water) and filled our jugs and then hauled all our stuff up to the route. easy.

If you're hauling and only have two ropes you won't want to fix more than two pitches (one 60m rope) because the bags easily get hung up on some trees(we left a couple directionals for the lead line so we could jug the 5.9 instead of swinging right into space like the pig).

Pitch one start has definitely cleaned up to more like 5.10 or C2(offset nuts or aliens).

There is a cave near the start of the route that sleeps two crampedly but could be made more plush.

I replaced the blown out bat hook hole near the top of the pitch 5 bolt ladder with a 1/4" buttonhead. Do yourself a favor and have the taller climber in your team lead this pitch(good beta for any drilled pitch on a yo wall).

Pitch 6 belay took #1 & 2 camalots.

Enjoy!
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
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   Aug 23, 2007 - 09:52am
No hanger. And it's not really necessary. If you do the right hand variation and the second needs something to lower out from, you could thread a cord around a solid (1 ft diameter) finger of rock at the top of the crack. We retrieved a nut and a cordolette there. And depending how high the leader goes beyond the pendulum before leaving gear, the second may not need to lower from anything - it's slabby there, as you'll recall.
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Ubergoober

Trad climber
Los Altos, CA
Aug 22, 2007 - 10:33pm
 
What's the preferred way to do pitch 4? Go straight up the mossy corner or go right up the clean flake and pendo back over? Is there a hanger on the bolt if you go right? I've led the mossy corner but I've heard rumors that going out right and doing the pendo is "better".
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
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   Jun 12, 2007 - 08:10am
from Galen Rowell's AAJ article:
(http://www.americanalpineclub.org/AAJO/pdfs/1970/rowell_yosemite1970_9-13.pdf);

"By noon of the first day Warren was beginning to lead the overhang. He drilled shallow holes in which to place ground-down cliff hangers, which he christened “bat hooks.” He demonstrated their holding power by placing seven in a row on the overhang before placing a real bolt in a fully drilled hole. He then placed seven more bat hooks interspersed with pitons in a nebulous crack before placing another bolt. A final row including nine bat hooks finally put him on a ramp at the top of the overhang. For a normal party of climbers to bolt the overhang would have taken a couple of days. Warren had done it alone in six hours with his new technique. Only two expansion bolts were placed in the entire overhang."

Yikes! Thanks for the rivets, Erik! Closer to the original experience, but better rock conservation ... I'd be happy with a spike for the missing bolt.
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Nanook

climber
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   Jun 11, 2007 - 12:15pm
Congrats Doug. Liberty Cap is a great climb. What a view from that sweet ledge, and the summit!

To answer your question concerning rivets/bolts:

A rivet is truly any bolt without a hanger, though some would claim that rivets are minimalistic pieces of metal designed to barely hold a climber at the time of the first ascent.

The rivets on Liberty Cap are 3/8" stainless Rawl Spikes which, if you check out the specs on the Powers site, are very strong. That said, placing compression bolts in hand drilled holes is less than a perfect science and sometimes the bolts end up loose or the rock breaks out--some give and take.

As to whether the bolt ladder originally had bolts or rivets(hangerless bolts) the answer is for the most part neither. Liberty Cap was one of the first climbs where bat hooking was experiemented with and folks who climbed the route before the bolts where installed can attribute to the unreliability of bathook holes.

So things are much better than they used to be on LIberty Cap, from the standpoint of reducing rock destruction and preserving a classic line.

Rich, Roger and I made a mistake up there and failed to replace a bolt that was evidently necessary. I've been amazed to see this fact pointed out many times on forums and this beta page without anyone taking the 5-10 minutes(a Powers 1/4" buttonhead would work fine) it would take during their ascent to put a rivet in where one is missing.

best,
erik
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Doug Hemken

climber
Madison, WI
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   Jun 11, 2007 - 09:52am
The initial moves on P1 protect well with #2 & #3 Ball-nutz, making that pitch more like C1+ 5.9.

The P5 "bolt ladder" is more rivets than bolts. I was able to reach *most* of the rivets with no trouble. But there is no fixed pin in the middle of the pitch, and I blew two different hooks out of crumbly rock. Looks like a cam hook would destroy the pockets. I eventually chained a couple of wires together, doubled my etriers to stand higher, and reached past the hook move. The missing bolt, higher, was more of a problem. But a triple wire chain, high steps, and a little luck got us past that, too.

P7 we used a tension traverse.

Was this route always rivets? or did someone just decide it needed to be less secure?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 3, 2007 - 08:30am
 

this beta is submitted by Chris Werner "cgw"


"We climbed this route last Saturday in <9 hours.

There are still a couple of fixed lines visible to the left of the route. Any claimers?

Useful beta would be:

Pitch 4: We climbed the right facing corner to the right of the belay and had to penji back left about 50 feet up off a hangerless bolt. A closer look at the mossy crack above the belay revealed angle scars.

Pitch 5: There is a new bolted rap station at the start of the bolt ladder. Nearly every second or third bolt on this pitch has no hanger. I am 5'10"+ and was able to barely reach the bolts without hooking. There is a fixed z-ton in the middle, where ST says C2+. Before the last two bolts, there is a blown out hole that I hooked and went airborne.Top stepping, I lassoed the next bolt with a Mammut dyneema sling after 20+ tries, but it slipped off. A "cheater stick" made of 6 HB Aluminum Offsets and a double length sling worked.

Pitch 7: As the Brits suggest, chimney, cip the fixed pin, mantel, then tension off the fixed head down the ramp to the left and around the corner.

Pitch 8: Constriction at top of chimney = gnarly rope drag as you head out right to the arching crack. Use double length runners in the chimney? Save .4"-.5" cams for the mossy crack higher up. Cam hooks work too."
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Sharkey

Trad climber
Sheffield, UK
Apr 25, 2006 - 06:45am
 
We did this on 20th/21st April. There was a river gushing out of the base of the route and quite a lot of munge/damp/moss en route. My partner was more enthusiastic and did most of the leading. Being Brits we are newish to aid/jumaring and went light and suffered a night out near the top.

My thoughts:

-Start is easier than 5.11 even when wet and best to combine pitch 1 & 2 and fix them like West Face
-Pitch 3 more like 5.8/5.9
-Pitch 4 - we took the grassy corner line but I wondered whether we should have gone up the clean flake to the right which looked like it would make great free climbing
-Pitch 5 - also wondered whether a free variant could be found carrying on up the corner and then right under the overhangs
-Pitch 6 - you locals should clean this pitch up as it looks as if it would be a classic 5.11 free pitch.
-Pitch 8 - we took the optional stance by the tree. A good way to do the pitch is to climb the chimney behind the tree to the top - place a large cam and tension up left to clip the peg. Pull on this and make a free mantel move above and clip the bashie or whatever it is. Tension off this leftwards down the ramp to gain the corner.
-Pitch 10 - also in need of Spring cleaning !

PS A couple of insitu ropes on the left side of the face were a bit unsightly.
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Jerry Dodrill

climber
Sebastopol
Oct 17, 2005 - 11:06am
 
If you plan to sleep at the base get a wilderness permit. Avoid the fine, guilt trip, and embarassment of getting busted without one. Plan on a visit by the posse of ring-tail cats.
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jeff benowitz

climber
Oct 17, 2005 - 10:32am
 
Did the route in a day back in aug. I only have one viable leg(major shattering two years ago) and it was my partner's(jed b.)first time in aiders. It's a short route and a mellow day climb with nothing scary or of note, but with nice views. do it in a day and forget the hauling nightmare. bring a cam hook or two...
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 14, 2005 - 07:21am
 
my response

1. yeah, its a little confusing. basically the first move is the crux of the route... however, it wouldn't be right to rate the whole route C3 over one move. overall, the route is 5.8 C2

2. nope, no hooking except 5

3. this time of year is ok. mornings will be COLD. afternoons will be perfect.

this is a good route if you mostly french free. there are only a few pitches of consistent aid if you can free climb 5.10

bring cam hooks
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Oct 14, 2005 - 07:18am
 
Here is a question from the forum


A friend and I are thinking about doing this at the end of the month if the weather holds. I have few questions regarding the topo in the new edition.

1. The route is given "V 5.8 C2" and yet there are several pitches with individual ratings to the contrary. Such as, Pitch 1 (5.11R or C3 or A1), Pitch 6 (C3 or A2 or 5.10R). Any idea what the real situation is?

2. Outside of pitch 5 is there much hooking?

3. Anyone done this around this time of year? suggestions?

I've done very little aiding, just a bit of french-freeing here and there. I plan on freeing most of my leads, but my partner who has bit more experience will likely take the C2 stuff. I would like to do it hammerless. Does this sound reasonable for a weekend outing?


My appologies for not posting somthing inane...er...more important.

Justin
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Liberty Cap - Southwest Face C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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