Central Pillar of Frenzy, Middle Cathedral 5.9

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.7)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
14 Total Ratings
5 star: 71%  (10)
4 star: 29%  (4)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Mt Mike

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
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   Sep 28, 2011 - 11:17pm
This was the "Right of passage" climb for my son Ryan when he turned 13. He had small hands to work up the second pitch, and learned about "choking" in the middle of a pitch...Keep climbing, or you won't make your goals in life. 11 years later, on Oct. 26, 2003, Ryan passed away from the results of several head concussions wakeboarding that summer. Second Impact Syndrome, SIS, was the final verdict. One month before Ryan's final crash, T M Herbert, and Jim Bridwell did a "spoof documentary" for me up in Toulumne about the dangers of water sports and wakeboarding; the hitting of one's head, causing sever head trauma. Their final exhortation to Ryan; stop now and return to the big walls pain, but not death.
Little did they know they were prophesying Ryan Shreves final demise.
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The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
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   Sep 26, 2011 - 03:57pm
Sounds like nobody posting here's actually done the route!

You don't do three pitches on New Dimensions, and rap off, do ya?

You don't rap from Big Sandy or Sous le Toit and claim success, do ya?


Is that why everybody calls it Central Pillar - cuz they didn't do the of Frenzy part?


All kidding aside - the 6th, 7th, and 8th pitch are all worth doing, and some of the more challenging and airy climbing on the route. I did the 2nd ascent with Vern Clevenger, and had to lead the last runout 5.10 traverse in a rainstorm.

Arrrr!

I know it's not all squeaky clean from 30,000 ascents, but it ain't that dirty either.

Then you can rap the BW, like you're supposed to.


Kidz these days.....


btw - The Central Pillar of Frenzy is 5.10 if you do the whole route. Bridwell rated the first pitch 5.10a on the FA - don't know when it got downgraded. Probably was harder due to lichen and grass in the cracks.
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Sep 26, 2011 - 02:54pm
 
By far the best rock climbing compared to any route I have done to date. Awkward jamming, stemming, lie backs and smearing chimney moves to finish P1. P2 is sustained finger crack with a difficult but well protected transition to the main (L) crack. Cruxy, physical finger jams with intermittent good stances. P 3 has a 5.7- hand crack going up to the roof which is not a 5.7 roof IMO (agree with Karl). If Haystack at LL is a 5.8 roof than this one is at least a 5.8+ (but wtf do I know…). Followed by a wide fist crack/OW. If you have small hands it may be awkward. We brought 3 #3s and 3 #4s which is good. Feels very secure to be in it though, the crux is not to get stuck inside. P 4 is awesome double crack system with good pro all the way up. Cruxy section higher up with two great jams and only smearing for feet, but if you could jam not hard. P5 ended up cool too. Crack system going to a chimney, which doesn’t really require one to climb it as a chimney. Great holds. Than not difficult way over a roof looking thing into another crack above. Sustained hand crack climbing with another short cruxy section of finger crack with no feet above. What a route!!!!
There are some loose rocks on the belay ledge which could be sent down right on the heads of the people waiting in lines. I took a baseball sized one down to avoid someone kicking it down, which I almost did.
Does anyone ever continue past P5? It looks grim up above!
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namascar

Trad climber
Pasadena, CA
Apr 5, 2011 - 01:22am
 
You can skip the first pitch entirely by climbing the route in early April. We climbed it this weekend and there was a snow cone as high as the first belay. We did not miss that pitch.
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budmiller

Trad climber
California
Nov 16, 2010 - 05:04pm
 
Goddamned delightfull.
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photonez

Big Wall climber
San Jose, Armpit of the Bay!
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   Sep 28, 2010 - 09:57pm
I suppose I was just giving my feel of each pitch without too much detail. I tend to read a lot of beta that makes me feel like the route has to be climbed in very specific way or almost entirely spooks me out of climbing some routes. I suppose I went into the climb with a good feel of how I wanted to climb that day. Oh yeah... we rapped the Bircheff Williams route.
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Sep 28, 2010 - 03:41pm
Dunno about that Beta Photoenz

Done the route many dozen times. Here's my take in response.

"My first 5.9 multi-pitch lead! I got pitches 1, 3, and half of 5 (nasty cold + dehydration = cramping). Yep this route deserves all the stars. "

Good job, based on your beta, you'll be climbing harder in no time.

"Pitch 1: straight forward fingers, hands, and fists. Crux is right before the belay, protects well with a small nut down low and then a bigger one up high. "

Cough, cough. totally awkward and not-straightforward pitch for many people. No One technique works. You jam with your left while you might have to faceclimb with your right. lay back off flakes, stem, and every which way. Some folks suffer but then forget because of the next awesome pitches.

"Pitch 2: straight up fingers. A couple slick transfers from one crack to another. Shoes for smearing a finger crack would have been nice."

Tricky step across to main crack protected by a brassnut. Crux up higher involves either ring-jams (wider than fingers) or lieback or stem.

"Pitch 3: Easy climbing to a 5.7 roof. Seemed very physical for 5.7 but I wasn't doing it right. Then 40 or 50 ft of 5.8 OW. If you don't want to run it out, bring two #3 and two #3.5. But, it's fairly low angle fist and forearm. "

Don't care what anybody says. The roof ain't 5.7. Lots of people fall on it! Ability to hand jam is good. Feet on left hand face holds and chimney a bit with your back. Yup, the OW is easy and you can push a piece ahead of you to protect it.

"Pitch 4: Short and sweet. Fun stemming between two cracks. Several times looked up at my partner and said, "Damn! This is cool."

Yup, if you're good, just stick to the right hand crack for more challenge fun.

"Pitch 5: Mid-way through the pitch is the business section. Approx 50 ft of sustained, somewhat insecure 5.9 fingers. Nuts worked best in the jagged finger crack."

Pretty continuous for a ways but no big crux

"Rappel was simple. Larger hangers with smooth edges at all rap stations. Just thread the rope and go for it."

Best not to rappel the route when tons of parties are climbing it. You can rappel left to the anchors of a bolted face route that leads to bolts around a corner and then rappel to the top of the first pitch of Bircheff Williams. or Rappel the last pitch of central pillar, then 60 meter ropes barely make it to an anchor below a roof on the face west of the BW corner, then 60 meters to the ground.

Peace

karl
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photonez

Big Wall climber
San Jose, Armpit of the Bay!
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   Sep 28, 2010 - 03:05pm
My first 5.9 multi-pitch lead! I got pitches 1, 3, and half of 5 (nasty cold + dehydration = cramping). Yep this route deserves all the stars.

Pitch 1: straight forward fingers, hands, and fists. Crux is right before the belay, protects well with a small nut down low and then a bigger one up high.

Pitch 2: straight up fingers. A couple slick transfers from one crack to another. Shoes for smearing a finger crack would have been nice.

Pitch 3: Easy climbing to a 5.7 roof. Seemed very physical for 5.7 but I wasn't doing it right. Then 40 or 50 ft of 5.8 OW. If you don't want to run it out, bring two #3 and two #3.5. But, it's fairly low angle fist and forearm.

Pitch 4: Short and sweet. Fun stemming between two cracks. Several times looked up at my partner and said, "Damn! This is cool."

Pitch 5: Mid-way through the pitch is the business section. Approx 50 ft of sustained, somewhat insecure 5.9 fingers. Nuts worked best in the jagged finger crack.

Rappel was simple. Larger hangers with smooth edges at all rap stations. Just thread the rope and go for it.
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Mason

Trad climber
Yay Area
Sep 16, 2010 - 01:25pm
 
I'm looking for the next step in climbs to follow the ones I've lead already:

 Nurdle
 Bishop's
 Nutcracker
 Super Slide
 Grant's Cracker
 Jam Crack
 Munginella
 Anti-Ego
 After Six

I figure Central Pillar might be a good one. I hear it's tough, though.
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 16, 2010 - 01:20pm
 
I doubt it mason, no one does this obscure route anymore.
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Mason

Trad climber
Yay Area
Sep 16, 2010 - 01:17pm
 
Any recent beta on this climb? Anyone done it this year?
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TKW

Trad climber
Currently Nomadic
Apr 13, 2009 - 12:42pm
 
Just Climbed CPoF this weekend (Apr 12 '09) - discovered a small (although not small to me!) error in the Yosemite free climbs Supertopo book. On the rappel route for central pillar of frenzy, the third rappel down bircheff-williams is shown as 110 feet, but it is definitely more like 140 feet. I say this because I did the route this weekend with a 70m rope and 30m pull cord. I thought, at 110 feet I could rap on just the 70m rope and not use the pullcord for that pitch. after getting about 30m down, i finally saw the bolts and realized I wouldn't make it, then having to make a kleimheist and jug back up the rope and re-rig the rappel. not a problem for people doing the route with 2 50m ropes, but anyone trying to avoid the second rope using my strategy would have a problem.

Also, just FYI for anyone doing CPoF in the near future, the pile of snow at the bottom goes about 60 or 70' up the first pitch. we set an anchor at the top of the snow pile, right in the middle of the chimney crux (which was running with water - rest of the climb was dry). you can see pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/tyler.williams/YosemiteApril09CentralPillarAndAidPractice?feat=email#

In terms of the pitches - every single one was stellar. In terms of yosemite 5.9, none of the pitches were terribly stout. Personally, I thought the 5.7 roof was the hardest part of the climb!

Cheers!
TW
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Dec 12, 2008 - 01:48am
 
Here is the story of the first ascent

http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=741183
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nyssens

Trad climber
Belgium
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   Sep 4, 2008 - 03:27pm
Great route !!
All the 5 pitches are fantastic. 4th pitch, the easiest in my opnion, is the most beautiful, no pain, just stem. The 2nd is the hardest, my feet suffered, just when changing the cracks.
We started the route at 2pm in the shadow by 103F. Nobody there. It was great !!

Eric
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TBizzle

climber
CA
Mar 10, 2008 - 03:06am
 
A friend and I tried this route today with no success. A lot of snow falls from the cliffs near the route forming a huge pile at the base. The pile of snow and ice completely covered the first pitch. Approaching the route was extremely dangerous without crampons and an ice axe.

After some tense but laughable attempts on the approach, we gave up. We later learned that this area is prone to snow, ice, and rock fall in early spring, as indicated by the huge snow pile at the route's base. I would expect similar conditions for future springtime attempts.
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Duke-

Trad climber
SF, aka: Dirkastan
Dec 13, 2006 - 11:03pm
 
I swaped leads with Dave G. on this one a few years back. I remember it being one of the better routes in the valley and you just can't beat seeing the Cap'n right behind you!
-D
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atchafalaya

Boulder climber
Jun 26, 2006 - 04:36pm
 
rockfall on this route on June 17, 2006. Didnt see where exactly it came from while sprinting into the trees. Lots of baseball sized rocks coming down. Noone on route above as we had just rapped, and it was late. Have fun...
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sprout

Trad climber
clovis, ca
Jun 26, 2006 - 03:38pm
 
There been any further rock fall around this area?

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Iztok

climber
Cupertino, CA
Sep 22, 2004 - 12:22am
 
After the rock fall around the Central Pillar of Frenzy the wall was closed. Has it officially been opened again? I see that folks have been climbing it.
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malabarista

Trad climber
Cupertino, CA
Sep 4, 2004 - 02:48pm
 
This route is awesome. Every pitch is enjoyable and the wide stuff is not too sustained. Those saying pitch 2 is "strenuous with no rests" I disagree with. There are tons of rests on pitch 2, and I did not find any more strenous than any other pitch on the route. Great time of year to climb this as it is in the shade all afternoon.
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MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
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   Jul 26, 2004 - 10:40am
Our error. Thanks for this correction, Karl. (I thought those anchors looked rather large.)
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jul 22, 2004 - 01:15am
The top station has big bolt hangers that are designed for folks to thread their rappel ropes directly though. This new grey webbing with no rings should be removed by the next party so folks don't misunderstand the situation and add to the cluster.

peace

karl
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MikeL

Social climber
Seattle, WA
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   Jul 19, 2004 - 12:46pm
July 17, 2004

With the smoke in the Valley in the morning from the fire on Glacier Point, we started climbing at 6:15 and were well down before the sun got too hot at the base. (The route was in the shade by 2:00, anyway, I think.) We left new gray rap slings (sorry, had no rap ring with us) on the 5th station.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
May 17, 2004 - 01:24pm
 
WARNING - WEAR A HELMET ON THIS ROUTE

On May 15 2004 there was a major rock fall originating in the u-shaped bowl above central pillar of frenzy. rock hit climbers on the route but fortunately there were only minor injuries.

see more info here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?m=37769&f=0&b=0

the rock is closed to climbing at the moment. once it reopens you should DEFINITELY WEAR A HELMET on all route. helmets definitely saved the lives of many the climbers in the rock fall path.
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mattd

climber
Edmonton, Canada
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   Apr 12, 2004 - 09:02pm
April 11, 2004

There's still several metres of snow at the base of the pillar. its easy to walk up-- the step across the gap from the snow onto the rock is a little crux-y, sadly it eliminates the first 20 feet of pitch 1.

2nd last rappel on the B-W has two brand new rap bolts, one of which is loose- it's drilled such that the rope going to the other bolt pulls straight out on the hanger... could use a little touch up work.

Great route, lots of fun... I didn't find that jug above the roof though.
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Jim

climber
Mammoth Lakes
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   Jun 5, 2003 - 01:49am
Snow is now completely away from the face at the base. Watch for some spongy dirt off the deck in a spot that is tempting for your foot: your sole will be soaked and it'll be tough to continue up. Also, bring a rope bag or a waterproof tarp to the base, as there is a puddle that ropes seem magnetically attracted to.

Great route. A previous poster was not kidding about the lack of rests on pitch 2. Strenuous for the grade. Pitch 3 above the roof was fists for me, not OW.

It was not clear to us how to get down in 3 raps. Definitely use the slings under the roof to the east of the top of pitch 2 as your last rap: 190' to ground, no chance for ropes to get caught (I rescued the rope of another party on my way up who rapped from the belay station at the top of p2: not only did their rope get stuck, but it was very annoying for me to have to climb through it on my way up. Be considerate).
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Jun 3, 2003 - 04:22pm
 
Chris McNamara
SuperTopo staff member



Roger Breedlove wrote an awesome article on the history of Middle Cathedral that first appeared in the 1976 edition of Mountain Magazine. You can download the article at the following link

http://www.supertopo.com/images/temp/MiddleCathHistory.pdf

WARNING: this PDF file is 3.3MB large and will take a long time to download on a dial up connection

PS: here are some comments from Roger on photos:
On page 25, I cannot remember who is leading on the first pitch of the Bircheff/Willaims route. It might be Kevin Worrall on the first free ascent (with the rope swing). On 26, Rik Reider is jamming and I am belaying on the Central Pillar. On 27 and 29, George Meyers is climbing on the first ascent of Freewheeling. On page 30, the last, it is the first pitch of Freewheeling. I cannot tell if it is George or me. I know that we all lead the pitch on different days and different tries. Ken Wilson was struck by the run outs on Middle and used this long and narrow picture with the rope showing to illustrated it.


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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 24, 2003 - 12:37pm
 
That isn't the anchor I am talking about. Maybe I wasn't clear.
From the 2nd belay anchors on C.P., if you go straight left about 50 feet, there is a rap anchor. It is just below the bulge (that is part of the 3rd pitch roof). You can see it from the 2nd belay of C.P. It is up on the Pillar proper, it is not part of B.W. I don't believe that there are bolts leading up to it or beyond it. It looks like it was put up just for rapping. You can rap from the 3rd belay on C.P. to this anchor, and then do a double rope rap to the ground (this I have done). It keeps the rope from going into the roof crack. This anchor is shown both in Reids and in the Supertopo and you can see it from the ground.
My question is whether you can rap to this anchor from the higher sport anchor. It looked like it just might reach. The supertopo shows rapping from the 5P of C.P. over to the sport anchor in a 140 foot rap. The next rap that supertopo shows (I'm using the Ultra Classic diagram, I'm not sure if the Valley Free climb topo has changed) is rapping into the B.W. Instead, I think you could rap from the sport anchor to this other anchor (still on top of the pillar) that I've been talking about. A previous post says:
"there is a two or three pitch sport route between C.P.F and B.W.that is little used, three double rope rappels to the ground from top of fifth pitch C.P.F." I'm not sure that this is actually a sport route (because I don't remember seeing any lead bolts), but I assume this is the three, double rope rap in the above comment. I wish I had just tried it, but I didn't feel like ascending the rope with slings if it didn't reach. Anyone else?
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   May 24, 2003 - 12:36am
Not sure what you're talking about. With two 60 meter ropes, you definately cannot reach the ground from the anchors below pitch three of BW. (where the sport route takes off around the corner onto the face)

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August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 23, 2003 - 01:34pm
 
Just repeated this route.
The first pitch is mostly dry, still wet at the exit, lieback/stem move. You can yard through on gear (like me) or just stem it like my partner did.
Still alot of snow at the base. The step across wasn't too bad, but if the snow retreats some more from the face, it could get interesting.
Supertopo really calls for too much big gear on the third pitch, unless you feel the need to put in a piece every body length. The crack is irregular. Good #3 camalot placements can be found except for maybe the very top. The irregular crack makes large hexes easy (if you want to save some weight). I placed 2 #3 camalots, a #9 rockcentric, and #3.5 camlot and I thought it was plenty (next time I'll skip the #3.5). A #4 camalot would probably be hard to get in. You can't get anything smaller than a #3 camalot above the roof, so place #2s and smaller below the roof and save the #3s until after.
The crack is low angle above the roof and there are good foot jams and wide hands (no need for fist or arm bars). Much easier than Moby Dick or Little John Left.
Rapped from the top of the P5 to the sport anchors between B.W. and C.P. There is another, lower, anchor between B.W. and C.P. that I thought I could rap to (but I didn't try--instead I followed Supertopo and opted for the B.W.--B.W. had a lot of wasps on it). A previous post, above, said that you can make it to this anchor and get down in just 3 raps. This would be better than going over to B.W. Not sure why Supertopo doesn't recommend this approach. This anchor is on the left face, above the B.W. corner just below the roof of the third pitch. If rapping from the top of P3, rap to this anchor to avoid having the roof eat your rope.
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Nor Cal

Intermediate climber
Where the wind blows strange
Oct 13, 2002 - 11:51am
 
Rapped the route according to the Supertopo, got us out of the way of climbing parties on the route. Follow the Supertopo and watch closely for the second set form the top, the anchor is around a corner on a flat white ledge. All anchors are Metiolus rap hangars some are painted.
No snags no hassles.
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average climber

Intermediate climber
Where the wind blows strange
Oct 3, 2002 - 12:21am
 
Gear: standard yo rack with 2 3.5's and 1 #4 camelot.
Combine pitches 3 & 4 with a 60m rope. You can't hear or see your second from the belay at the top of 3 anyway.
Don't let the offwidth frighten you once you pass the 5.7 roof.
There's no way you'll pop out of it (the offwidth I mean). It's fun as hell, nothing like the offwidth on Moby Dick.
I don't know why it's considered offwidth. I used fists without any problems.
The route can be done with a 50m but the last pitch is a stretch.
Pitch by Pitch Beta:
Pitch 1: awkward 5.9
Pitch 2: 5.7 section followed by short section 5.9 to longer 5.8 hands. Strenuous, no rests!
Pitch 3: tricky roof, long 5.8 offwidth (not really offwidth for some)!
Pitch 4: 5.7 to fun 5.8 section. Note:5.8 part is the last part of the pitch.
Pitch 6: 50m rope stretcher. Good medium nuts once you start to exit the chimney. Rest of the pitch is fun, but kind of off-balance
in places. Eats nuts!
rap to climbers left to avoid getting ropes stuck. First rapel ends slightly above and 20ft left of the end of pitch 3.
Second repel ends on the dihedral. It's kind of around the corner to the left. The third rapel drops off the dihedral,
ending at rap anchors 10ft left of the dihedral on a 6inch ledge. Do not use the trees located in the dihedral. All rap stations are bomber with the
exception of the last one. One of the bolts is loose. These are the last rap anchors.
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George

Intermediate climber
Where the wind blows strange
Jun 3, 2002 - 08:02pm
 
Sunday, June 2nd. Started pitch one at 7:00am with the typical wet right facing corner/chimney at 5.9. The base is reasonably dry. The 1st pitch is excellent although a little gooey at times. All the rap stations are in good shape. The remainder of the climb was reasonably dry after light rains Friday evening. Central Pillar of Frenzy has some loose rock, so use care not to dislodge it with parties below.
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Steffens

Intermediate climber
Where the wind blows strange
May 14, 2002 - 11:16am
 
A great climb...just did it this past Friday. Found it to be an interesting approach to the base of the climb, having
to scramble through a little snow cave that was resting on
the bottom of the route. We only did the first three
pitches as it was getting dark and there was a slower party
ahead of us. The crazy part was while I was on rappel,
a wasp flew into my shirt...While I thought I knocked it out
and started down the line...it began to sting me, 5 times.
So I wrapped the rope around my leg to lock off, and then
began to flail about. Needless to say, my partner was
a little confused. Makes for a good story after the fact.
SO...Watch out for the wasp nest on the rappel!
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OldTradGuy

Ice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
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   May 14, 2002 - 10:00am
I climbed CPF a few times in the 80's, and it was crowded back then. Can't imagine how it is now? The comments above are consistend with my memories (what is left). We got our new rope stuck on pitch 3 on one of our ascents and had to come back the next day. It was quite an adventure sawing the rope in half on a sharp edge (didn't even think to bring a knife, thought we could get it out). Glad to hear people are still enjoying the route 20 years later. And . . . I have experienced the intense heat up there during the summer! Have fun guys and try not to fight too much.
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Matt

Intermediate climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 10, 2002 - 12:55am
 
" "
i am indeed full of bullshit much of the time, but not in this case. lambone is right though- we cragged around @ reeds that day in the AM before it went into the sun, & then we ran up CPF in the afternoon- & yes- it was late june.


& some of us are able to rap w/out throwing the rope, if that's a big concern (not that i don't usually throw it).

& w/ all these phones of yours at the belays, would they be w/ the "warning- rock fall" signs? (thought so!)
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k.rose

Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 6, 2002 - 03:49pm
 
there is a two or three pitch sport route between C.P.F and B.W.that is little used, three double rope rappels to the ground from top of fifth pitch C.P.F.
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Lambone

Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 2, 2002 - 09:54pm
 
The CP is realy nice in the summer, once it goes in the shade. The afternoon is great, less people going up, no sun, a breeze, and the glow on the Captain...don't forget the headlamp like I did.

I'd agree with rapping the BW, it doesn't get much traffic, and CP can turn into a big clusterf&*^% with lots of parties on it.

If you rap the CP be carefull about skipping belays, and watch the pull on the roof pitch. That "fist" crack ate my rope...getting out in the dark with no lamp sucked...ahhh what fond memories!
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 2, 2002 - 04:22pm
 
bullsh#t, matt. Have you climbed this in the summer?
CPF is an oven in the summer. Despite being north facing, it catches early and direct sun. Great fun if you enjoy sweating and smearing on polish at the same time.
Nothing wrong with considering rapping Bircheff-Williams, as long as no one is on it. But to publicly tell people that it is the rap route is wrong in my opinion.
I'm sure when you are sketching the 11 crux and someone drops a rope on you're head, you'll readily forgive them when they say Supertopos told me to do it.
Maybe the answer is to put in telephones on each belay of B-W and a sign at the top of CPF that says "please call each of the following numbers before rapping."
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Matt

Intermediate climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 2, 2002 - 03:41pm
 
gravity is stupid?


no, stupid is not considering rapping an adjacent route THAT HAS FAR LESS TRAFFIC just because that's not the route you climbed up in the 1st place...


ps- the reid book calls this a geat spring/fall climb-
i say climb it in the summer when it's too hot to climb on the other side of the valley- you'll find CPF empty & pleasant.
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
May 1, 2002 - 06:44pm
 
Don't fool yourself. There is almost always rockfall on Middle, with or without climbers above.
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Granitewalker

Intermediate climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 29, 2002 - 10:44am
 
Maybe that's why people usually do just the first 5 pitches, to avoid all the loose stuff above.
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red rover

Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 28, 2002 - 05:18pm
 
Think twice if there are climbers on the upper pitches (beyond the fifth): my partner and I came very close to being killed by a large flake dislodged by a party on the 6th or 7th pitch last fall. The flake narrowly missed a party on the 4th pitch and continued down the righthand corner of the pillar. My partner and I were showered with small stones at the first pitch station as a large number of melon sized rocks cascaded down the first pitch corner. The party that had dislodged the flake later said that there were more loose flakes precariously balanced on the pitch.
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 27, 2002 - 07:29pm
 
Noticed some large rocks on top of the snow at the bottom of CPoF. This leads me to believe that there has been some active rock fall in the area.
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Rob

Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 05:41pm
 
No that does not make it right, it is what is suggested! Sheesh
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 04:32pm
 
Just because Supertopo says so, does that make it right.
What are you supposed to do if you want to climb B-W?
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Rob

Intermediate climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 03:45pm
 
Check the supertopo, they suggest to rap the B/W route.
I did not make this up. The reason they say to rap the other route is so you don't rap past climbers on CPoF. Check you Supertopo! What more can I say?
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 03:35pm
 
Last time I checked Bircheff-Williams was a climbing route not a rap route. If there is a party on CPF and you start up anyway, you will have to deal with the fact that they have the right to rap through.
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ollie

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 02:23pm
 
Great route, I climbed it in '99 and pleaced my first friend and nuts in this route.
Because we had no granite-experience at all we used much grips on the slabs left and right of the crack !
Last year we tried Bircheff-Williams, this is so hard,
we spend much time so we had to come down in the dark. the 4 pitch is too dirty to climb.
Have fun,
Ollie.
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Novice climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Apr 16, 2002 - 11:24am
 
Supertopo Ultra Classic Pack recommends that you rap Birchoff-Williams route, this avoids the ropes getting stuck and keep you off of the route while you are rapping.
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Tom

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Feb 18, 2002 - 06:00am
 
When you rap this route, watch out for the pitch that has the roof. When you pull your ropes, the crack will want to eat them. I've avoided this by moving as far right as possible on the small ledge below the roof pitch and timing the last pull on the rope to give it enough momentum to fall right of the crack.

If you do get your rope stuck in the roof crack, it's a pretty short climb back up to it, so you MIGHT have enough rope pulled down by then to relead it and then downclimb back past the roof.
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tom

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Feb 9, 2002 - 10:17pm
 
The roof at the top of the 2nd or 3rd pitch has a sleeper jug. Look for it. WHAT A GREAT CLIMB!
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Mike McMahon

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Mar 24, 2001 - 12:02am
 
I climbed the pillar in the mid eighties when I was working in the Bay area. I would drive to the valley for weekends and meet up with climber friends from home or tag up with anyone looking for a partner.( I got skunked only once in two years) The pillar was a definite highlight.Problem was, the three of us started later in the day and by the time we had rapelled three pitches it was pitch black. I had never seen a place get so dark so fast as in the valley. So we got to the ground ok, but that was just the beginning of the adventure. It took us about an hour to belly crawl through the talus to get to the road below! Several bloody scrapes and a couple of cracked ribs later we were home. All in all, a great day!
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heinz meier

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Mar 23, 2001 - 04:12pm
 
the climb is absolutely great even for a climber from the alps that does not love crack climbing very much.
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Snifter

Advanced climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Feb 20, 2001 - 08:00pm
 
The first pitch is a grunt but after that, if your technique is solid, it's a walk-up. A day in the park (and whatta park!)
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Middle Cathedral - Central Pillar of Frenzy 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Central Pillar is considered one of the best climbs on Middle Cathedral.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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