Venusian Blind, Temple Crag 5.7

 
Search
Go

High Sierra, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
Sort 36 beta reports by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
What is route "beta"?
Submit Beta on this Route
Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.8)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
11 Total Ratings
5 star: 18%  (2)
4 star: 55%  (6)
3 star: 18%  (2)
2 star: 9%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 6, 2013 - 12:45pm
Last year we brought 1 pair of strap on crampons and were glad to have them (one person goes up than throws the crampons to the other, or lowers them on a loop of rope). Used a rock instead of an axe. Climbing on route itself is chossy and not great. Heard Moon Goddess is better at similar grade.
If you are able to do Sun Ribbon or Dark Star go for those instead. They are much cleaner.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
alina

Trad climber
CA
Jun 6, 2013 - 11:52am
 
I second that question. Crampons needed as of early June?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 6, 2012 - 08:09am
Does anyone know if you need crampons for approaching it in the morning at the moment?

Thanks
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 21, 2011 - 08:17pm
 
DR wrote,
Unfortunately, the alternative is to stray right, onto or -- worse -- under, the face of a rock glacier that is one of the loosest spots in the entire Sierra. Sometimes it sloughs major tonnage daily.

Now how would you know that, DR? Not by looking cross-eyed at it, I'm sure. ;)
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 21, 2011 - 08:10pm
Trip report that also includes Moon Goddess Arete.

Temple Crag Two'fer & the Labor Day Partay - MGA + VBA & friends on MGA & SRA
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 27, 2010 - 11:51am
About the descent beta:

After rapping into Contact Pass, the first long snowfield is obvious, even fun (unless frozen, dark, and all you have for self-arrest is a sharp rock. All too often the case...)

Then cross a flattish snowfield.

The next part is CRUCIAL: Take the steep snow gully left, directly under Temple Crag. A bit daunting for steepness, and likely frozen as it goes into the shade early. JUST DO IT. Unfortunately, the alternative is to stray right, onto or -- worse -- under, the face of a rock glacier that is one of the loosest spots in the entire Sierra. Sometimes it sloughs major tonnage daily. Looking cross-eyed can send down rocks. It's worth your life to stay off it and out from under it.

Soon enough you can cruise out away from the Crag onto much flatter and easier terrain, where your only enemy is the grinding exhaustion of a big day on a noble peak.


EDIT: Oh yeah, about the climbing beta. Long alpine ridges don't lend themselves very well to classic topo representations. Too much horizontal terrain, for one thing.

Get the approach right. But then that's pretty easy. The snowfield and exit onto big leftward ledge are quite obvious. When you come around the corner into view, you'll know VB is the ridge on the left. Once you get on it, my favorite alpine beta applies: It's a ridge, stupid. Just follow your nose. You'll find it.

Beyond that, it's useless to argue about whether there are rap anchors at the end of "Pitch 10." Who the h*ll knows if your pitches are like my pitches? Ledges and anchors are everywhere, and rope drag will stop you long before the "correct" belay, anyway.

Have fun. Follow your nose. It's all there.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Gabe

climber
Jul 27, 2010 - 01:56am
 
Loose and fun! Look-out for life loss, It's easy to find if'n yer not take'n care '
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
SantaCruzRon

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 26, 2010 - 03:44pm
Saturday, July 24, 2010.
Disneyland attendees = 45,000+
Venusian Blind attendees = 2
Best grade IV 5.7 I've done.
Descent beta:
After rapping off and descending the first gully from Contact Pass, stay high and pass the boulder field on your left before dropping down left. Stay out in the middle of the valley, well away from the cliff face for easy ground and swift return to lakes.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
okie

Trad climber
Jul 12, 2010 - 09:23am
 
Went up there several years back. Had that marvelous Croft book along. The book made no sense whatsoever. We forged ahead, impressed with this Croft character's obvious committment to keeping the spirit of adventure high with brevity of textual detail...
Back at Third Lake where we could see the whole line again we realized we had been on the wrong arete the entire day! Ha Ha! Moon Goddess is a little looser than I like but a good route nonetheless.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
SantaCruzRon

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 11, 2010 - 10:53pm
Climbed route on July 8, 2010. Some clouds but no thunder. The snow field approach was steep and icy enough that all but the most confident will need cramp-ons. We only had one pair so I trailed a rope and put the cramp-ons back into their bag, clipped the bag to the rope and shook it like hell. My partner 200' below was easily able to retrieve the cramp-ons and come up on belay as well. Saved money and weight!

Expect to rap TWICE. The first rap is short to an obvious ledge, and the second is a full 100' to the ground. There is a very tattered white rope hanging from the second anchor but no one should consider using it as the mantel is completely gone in one section. I thought the rap anchors looked shabby--crispy webbing, tiny crappy rap rings, no bolts, geez. I donated lockers, 'biners and new slings. I wonder how long the booty will last!
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Aug 13, 2009 - 07:03am
Okay, the Supertopo route tope is generally very good. HOWEVER, there are a few glaring errors in the narrative description and on the topo. First off, the book says:

"The routefinding difficulties come on Pitch 5. Move left across a small gully onto the right side of an emerging sharp arete. Here there are two options . . . . While both ways are slightly runout, the left option has better climbing and more solid rock."

Okay, number one, this describes Pitch 7, NOT Pitch 5 - compare the description to the actual topo. Second, the left variation is not runout - there is plenty of gear (perhaps this was written before the advent of small cams?). And I wouldn't really call it "bold" as the topo does, because it's not runout, but it is very exposed and thrilling.

Second, and most importantly, the book says:

"The last four pitches are challenging to protect, especially from the second's perspective so if you're with someone less experienced you should opt for the rappel below Pitch 10."

THERE IS NO RAPPEL BELOW PITCH 10. Let me say it again - there is no rappel below Pitch 10. If you rappel into the void from below Pitch 10, you're in for a world of hurt. The gully does not begin until PITCH 12 - the topo is labelled wrong. Above the "side view," the topo shows a SECOND Pitch 10, and a second Pitch 11. This is wrong - these are not alternate views of the prior pitches 10 & 11 -- they should be labelled Pitches 12 & 13 (and thus the last pitches should be 14 & 15). That's right, you MUST drag your inexperienced second across the "no pro on traverse" Pitch 11 depicted on the topo. However, it's not true that there's no pro. If you climb down onto the right side and traverse low, you will find pro, but it's still very sketchy and VERY exposed. But it must be done if you intend to get to the rappel.

Once across the traverse, the "5.6 friction" and "crack on slab" pitch, mis-labbeled as a second Pitch 10 on the topo - it's actually Pitch 12 - lies before you. You can see the pin identified in the topo just ahead of you. Head left once past the pin and onto the "crack on slab", and around the corner. There you will see the rap tat ahead of and above you, and the 60-foot rap into the gully below you. The gully begins at this very spot - and raps off the route to the LEFT. Rap any lower on the route, and you're in the void.

That's about it. The only other things I would add is that, when finding the first pitch after the 3rd class, belay about 20 feet right of those right-facing corners. There's a good crack for an anchor just to the right of a large flat block leaning on a dirty, narrow ledge, with a pointed, triangular rock just to the right of it. Above the pointed rock is a good crack. Belaying here keeps you out of the line of fire of the "loose" crossover section in the right-facing corners (it's not that loose, really). Finally, the pitch above has significant loose blocks on the first 100 feet. Take care not to knock any on your partner. And, most importantly, the "right crack" that you're looking for is actually AROUND TO THE RIGHT, on the arete face. It's very good and on solid rock. Do NOT head straight up into the off-width looking, blocky crack - it's very loose and terrifying, according to another party who went that way. Make sure to head right, around the corner, to the good crack.

Overall, very nice route. Get an EARLY start though, because it's long, and you don't want to have to try to locate the Contact Pass rappel in the dark, trust me.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Jul 31, 2008 - 03:32pm
 
Did this 2.5 weeks ago. No ice axe needed. Snowfield very soft at 8am when we got to it. Did it in tennis shoes no problem, didn't need to kick steps the day before.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Peakdancer

Trad climber
California
Jul 31, 2008 - 01:11pm
 
Just about to head into Temple Crag. Does anyone know what the approach conditions are like? Ice axe needed?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 14, 2008 - 11:16am
 
I've its neighbor, the Moon Goddess in a day from the road, and my suggestion is that if this is your first route of this length that you find something more straightforward, with fewer route finding issues and clearer options for retreat. I admire your spirit of adventure, but the aretes can be wild and woolly.

LOTS of other good stuff to do with fewer question marks attached.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
harpo

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
Apr 13, 2008 - 08:09pm
 
Craig wrote: "The topo for Venusian Blind seems a bit off. The pitch listing on p.76, indicates there are 12 pitches. The last pitch on the topo on p.77 is 13; AND if you count out the pitch sequence from pitch 10 (on p.77) the count sequence is 10, 11, 10, 11, 12, 13. "

I am confused as the same thing as Craig. I assume the second 10, 11 sequence is a different viewpoint than the first 10, 11 sequence, but could someone explain to me where the first sequence ends and the second begins?

Also, Supertopo shows an escape rap just below the pitch 10 belay, but it isn't obvious to me into which gully the rap goes: the one between the Venusian Blind Arete and the Moon Godess Arete on climbers right, or between the Venusian and the Eclipsed Arete on climber's left. I assume it is the former as Secor in Peaks and Passes mentions an escape route in that direction.

Thanks for your help; sorry if I am a lousy topo reader. This the first route of this length for me.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
OhYeah!!!

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
Aug 12, 2007 - 08:55am
 
I just got back from Temple Crag and none of the approaches needed ice travel. I even did the Palisades Traverse in tennis shoes without an ice tool. I just walked up the glacier and hopped across the schrund.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Lars Ensign

Trad climber
Zephyr Cove, NV
Aug 11, 2007 - 07:09pm
 
Did the steep snow approach to the base of Sun Ribbon in July using a Trango Shark nut tool (the one with the fold-out knife blade) as an ice dagger and a pair of Katoola crampons (the red ones with the tiny stubby teeth - very small and light). That system worked really well without being too cumbersome on the rest of the route.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Jonathan Willy

climber
Bishop, CA
May 17, 2007 - 06:34pm
 
Has anybody been to temple or walked by it recently within the last couple of weeks and know the snow condition at the base of the route?
Thanks,
Jonathan
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Craig Knoche

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Aug 11, 2006 - 05:43pm
The topo for Venusian Blind seems a bit off. The pitch listing on p.76, indicates there are 12 pitches. The last pitch on the topo on p.77 is 13; AND if you count out the pitch sequence from pitch 10 (on p.77) the count sequence is 10, 11, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Tuca

Trad climber
Ventura, CA
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 27, 2004 - 10:10am
Climbed route 9/26/04. Sole climbing party in Temple Crag.

Bypass snow approach via short, 40 ft, 5.5 section with Memorial at the base. Fun climb with an alpine feel to it. Bring a fleece as the route goes in/out of the sun.

Don't skimp on the summit visit and signing the register. Great views!

Ivan
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
clustiere

Big Wall climber
Ventura, CA
Mar 4, 2004 - 10:52am
 
Ice axe avoidable.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
bobh

climber
Bishop, California
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Feb 10, 2004 - 09:31am
It will depend on the size and condition of the snowfield, but typically in July/Aug, one axe should be enough for both of you, as the second can have a top-rope from rock anchors. Crossing the snow is more of an issue on Sun Ribbon, because the snowfield is bigger and steeper.

If you're looking for some snow and ice experience, it's not a bad place to practice with crampons low-angle snow.

I did the Venusian approach last Oct, and it was very firm. Managed it without crampons, but had to cut a few steps.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Feb 5, 2004 - 12:08pm
 
Do you need one ice ax or two. Could the leader get up high enough to set up a rock anchor and belay the second up (without ax) or do both need them. If I took up double ropes, would that be long enough?
For somebody with minimal ice experience, is an ax enough?
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
bobh

climber
Bishop, California
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Feb 2, 2004 - 05:20pm
If you are camping at Third Lake the night before the climb, a good idea is to kick steps up the snow the the afternoon before your climb when the snow is soft. Then, you probably won't even need an axe the next morning despite brick-hard snow.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Thom

Trad climber
South Orange County, CA
Jan 30, 2004 - 09:12pm
 
Ricardo,

Been up there several times over long 4th of July weekends. For reasons I haven't quite figured out, I always end up on Dark Star. Anyway, everytime I've been there the approach (to Sun Ribbon, Moon Goddess, Venusian Blind) has been over seriously hard-packed snow/ice. We wanted to check out Sun Ribbon once and (without axes) chose not to risk sliding back down into the talus. Alpine starts mean cold, hard snow/ice; everyone I know recommends bringing an axe for the approach and hurling it back down as suggested by Bob.

Have fun, the climbing is great that time of year.

TW
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
bobh

climber
Bishop, California
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jan 30, 2004 - 12:16pm
Bring an ice axe for the snow below the route. When you get to the rock, chuck the axe back down the snowfield as far as you can, and pick it up later on the descent from Contact Pass.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 30, 2004 - 10:47am
 
can anyone give me some beta on the approach in july .. i'm putting together my first back-country climb, and i'm wondering what its like to approach the base of the climb.. all the photos i've seen have a snow field right at the escarpment .. do you need any special equipment to make it to the base?

    ricardo
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
clustiere

Big Wall climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 28, 2003 - 04:26pm
 
The bad anchors are to skiiers left (old pins) and the good anchors are to skiiers right blocks and now a long cord going up slope (making them obvious). YOu wont have trouble finding them in the light. At night could be a very different story.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
clustiere

Big Wall climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 28, 2003 - 04:17pm
 
The bad anchors are to skiiers left (old pins) and the good anchors are to skiiers right blocks and now a long cord going up slope (making them obvious). YOu wont have trouble finding them in the light. At night could be a very different story.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
clustiere

Big Wall climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 28, 2003 - 04:16pm
 
The bad anchors are to skiiers left (old pins) and the good anchors are to skiiers right blocks and now a long cord going up slope (making them obvious). YOu wont have trouble finding them in the light. At night could be a very different story.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
johnkitt

Trad climber
San Diego, Ca
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 23, 2003 - 09:50am
All,

I didn't see the long cord that Del mentioned, so perhaps someone left it there after I was on the rock.

I assume that we're all talking about the same rappel station(s). I didn't see any others, but then again, there could have been something we missed.

Anyways, when we got to it, the second station consisted of a piton about some webbing slung into a chockstone. However, the anchor was pretty poorly equalised, so anyone using it at that time would have essentially been rapping off of the piton, which makes me a little nervous. We re-equalized the anchor and added a rappel ring to the this anchor.

Hopefully that clarifies my earlier comments. If you have any other questions, you can reach me at johnkitt@hotmail.com

-john kitt.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
del cross

climber
Sep 17, 2003 - 09:01am
 
I climbed the Venusian Blind Arete last weekend. I've never seen the bad rap anchor, but the one I've used several times was in good condition. Someone had even tried to back it up with a long piece of cord to a small rock 20 feet up the slope. Seemed kind of silly, but it made it a little easier to spot from above.

If you're still nervous, take the equipment necessary to build your own anchor. Take two ropes. Or consider descending the class 3 gully instead.

We thought Venusian was a fun route, by the way, despite our blowing it at the start, traversing too far left and doing a couple of unnecessary 5.7/5.8 pitches. We decided to call our unintended variation "The Blind Venusians".
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Ray

climber
Templeton, CA
Sep 16, 2003 - 01:03pm
 
Dara,

When we were up there in Aug of last year, the 'hidden' rap was a mass of slings around a chockstone. There were probably 10 slings or pieces of cordalette, and I felt perfectly comfortable rapping off of them. The rap off of the rusty old pins looked sketchy.

Have fun,

Ray
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Dara

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Sep 16, 2003 - 09:02am
 
John,

I'm just wondering if you saw all the anchors. I hope to do this route next year and your comments make me nervous. Did you see http://www.sierramountaincenter.com/pages/individualtripspages/summertrips/templecragclassics.php which says:

"There are two rap anchors: the poor one, off pins, and the hidden, better one, skierís right from the other one and hidden below a boulder."

You mention both, so perhaps you were looking at the hidden one. What does it look like exactly? Bolt, pin, slung, rings, webbing, ... those kind of details.

Thanks, Dara
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
BEN York

Mountain climber
Arcata CA
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 15, 2003 - 07:20pm
Rappel anchors were fine in August.
climbing was cool summit was cool. had fun. swam in lakes. hiked to the car after climbing and drove to the hotsprings. got there at midnight. it was fun.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
johnkitt

Trad climber
San Diego, Ca
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 2, 2003 - 11:36am
Did this climb 8/30/03.

The route information found in the SuperTopo guide was pretty accurate. It's a long climb, so you'd better be prepared to solo or simul climb parts to make it back to camp at a reasonable time, especially if you go all the way to the top of the mountain.

The glacier levels have retreated quite a bit - no need for crampons for the approach.

Another thing I would add is that there are actually two rappel anchors on the descent leading into Contact Pass. I will warn you that both anchors are in pretty bad shape. My partner and I tried to pretty up the second one by re-adjusting some of the runners and leaving a rappel ring, but it's still pretty bad. Had I known, I would have brought some pitons to really fix things up...

-john kitt.
Was this beta helpful to you? Yes | No
Temple Crag - Venusian Blind 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from Second Lake.
Photo: SP Parker
Submit Beta on this Route
 
*What is "Route Beta"?
It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant information to share after a climb.