Trip Report
4 Days A-Leapin'. (Photo TR)
Tuesday September 11, 2012 10:12pm
(Photo edit/load by MisterE, text by Justthemaid)

We had 4 free days and a generous offer to camp in Norwegian's driveway... an opportunity that absolutely could not be squandered, so we booked out of L.A. on Thursday night and headed for The Leap.

Camping at Norwegian's place - thanks Weeg!

For those of you with the burning question in your mind: Does he really talk like that in person?.. the answer is.. yes... yes he absolutely does. We were only able to communicate with the aid of his daughters acting as translators... but it was all jiggy.;)

Skip at camp:

First climb was Bear's Reach - we walked up and no one was on it (weird but true). Start of pitch 2:

Next we got on The Line. Weird but... No one was on this one either... no really. Stopped to snap this shot mid-way pitch 1:

Skip pulling the final bulge on (for us) pitch 2:

Norwegian the hazard-tree go-to guy:

Early start Sunday to the Main Wall:

Skip at the base, with the East Wall behind her:

Looking up at the start of (what ended up being) Traveler's Buttress. We had mis-read the number on the guide and thought we were starting Corrugation Corner LOL.

Whoa.. chemtrails dude.

Leading the first pitch of Traveler's Buttress. We were like.. damn... this is a REALLY hard 5.7. By the time we actually got to the top a group of 4 Koreans had totally hiked up and finked us out of Corrugation Corner. They were running about 3 hours per pitch, so we.. and about 8 other people moved on.

It ended up being a blessing in disguise since we did Hospital Corner instead. Skip decided it was the "best... route... EVER!". It was tailor-made for stem-happy muppets who love 2" hand-cracks.

We took a 1/2 day for "rest" and did some 'splorin' up by a lake (Weege's suggestion) - gassed on the approach:

Worth the trip. Skip on the beach during our lunch break:

What goes up must come down!

Afternoon climb with Norwegian, the same day. He just finished his tree work. He was eager to climb and didn't even bother to brush the sawdust off before we set out to do Fantasia(5.9R)5-stars:

The yellow poly shirt rocks BTW... and what exactly is he looking at there?

Weege on the mandatory (really) run-out at the start:

Skip and I at the top of pitch two, Norwegian following:

Weeg sizing up the start of crux-pitch 3:

Me topping out at dusk, and a celebratory shot with Norwegian. Fantasia deserves all of it's stars BTW. Too bad it's so run-out most climbers piss their cargo-pants in fear just looking at it.

Gotta Love Monday mornings at the popular climbs! Nobody on Surrealistic Pillar:

All in all.. a fantastic trip with great company. We hopped on several major classics with no waiting and the temps were perfect. Can't wait to go back and thanks again to our hosts

  Trip Report Views: 1,825
About the Author
MisterE is a social climber from .

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Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Sep 11, 2012 - 10:19pm PT
Excellent! you guys ticked some really stellar routes.

Boulder climber
  Sep 11, 2012 - 10:39pm PT
This is great - seeing everybody climbing and all that.

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
  Sep 11, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
Great trip on some great routes! I'm jealous

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Sep 11, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
Nice! You hit the plums for sure!

Fantasia was one of the first routes I climbed there, as a teenager in EB's. I was scred to death the whole way! Had to do it after reading the account in advanced rockcraft though!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Sep 11, 2012 - 11:16pm PT
whoa! you had quite a list all to yourselves...
haven't climbed there for a few years... should get back out there

thanks for the TR

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Sep 11, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
Really cool, looks like a great trip!!!

Social climber
"close to everything = not at anything", ca
  Sep 12, 2012 - 12:01am PT
nice TR. saw you guys topping out fantasia. looked nice up there at dusk.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Sep 12, 2012 - 12:11am PT
Yeah, baby!
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
  Sep 12, 2012 - 02:14am PT
The first pitch of Travelers is still pretty wild for 5.8.
That is one of my favorite pitches ever.

Was that you first time on The Line?
Nice eh?
World class trad line that is..not a bolt in sight

You guys all look awesome!
Wish I had been there..
I got to meet the Norg!

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 12, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
nice eric.
i was dragging myself thru this 3am hour
looking for some relax and i find your report.

my family and i enjoyed yours and skips company,
my daughters both want hair curlers now. and dark hair-dye.

the pitches that we shared were grand and memorable,
jesus im a dirty kid. many times i neglect
my reflection for many days then
i catch a glimpse of whom i present
and i wretch and recoil.

my poor wife has to stare upon my puppets all times.

im glad that you found our place and stayed,
the torpedos were proper mind war,
the dinner and beers at the lodge, nice.
next time we gotta spins some juke box tunes, though.

so now you know, my secret is out, im just a shy
and slightly awkward little fella, kind enough anyhow,

just a dad and a husband; a hard working citezen-mountain zealot,
life struggler.

it is good to know you and skip, and hear some of your life tales and hopes and worries.

keep the light house lit,
maybe my and me girls will come on down to your beach town someday.


  Sep 12, 2012 - 04:33am PT
Such a cool tr to start the day with!

Never been to the leap, but it looks really nice.

That hazard tree is huge...would love a post-fall report on the 2-stroke wind storm.
Jebus H Bomz

Peavine Basecamp
  Sep 12, 2012 - 06:01am PT
What can you say? Nice! Superb! Glad you guys got a cool Leap experience with the mountain sage.


Jim Henson's Basement
  Sep 12, 2012 - 09:34am PT
so now you know, my secret is out, im just a shy
and slightly awkward little fella, kind enough anyhow,

just a dad and a husband; a hard working citezen-mountain zealot,
life struggler.

Indeed you are my friend.. ;) Don't change a thing.

What an awesome weekend.

I had only climbed at the Leap once about 10 years ago and got stormed out after only a single route so it was great to go back. Erik had been there before and had done some of the climbs already.

I had kind of an awkward start with the climbing-part of the trip. The first three climbs actually didn't go so well for the Muppet. I'm sorry to say I wasn't feeling the love initially.

I made a mistake taking off on Bear's Reach in my floppy shoes and had to do a fair amount of scetchy dog-paddling to get up what was otherwise a great route The Line had all the bells and whistles of a classic 5.9 but seemed to lack any charm. It pummeled my poor bone spurs and all I was feeling was pain, which was making it hard to enjoy the climb. Day 2 was the accidental start on Travelers. The dikes on that climb were perfectly spaced.. about 2 inches out of reach for me. Every move was either a strenuous lieback or an exhausting mantle. By the time I got to the offwidth I was totally spent and not having fun.

I was starting to feel defeated. What the hell was wrong with me? I'm supposed to love this stuff.

Hospital Corner changed all that. What an amazing corner! Definitely one of my favorite climbs ever. NOW I was feeling the BIG LOVE! Fantasia is BRILLIANT. What an amazing and bizarre "line". I can't even imagine the first ascentionists wandering up that maze of features to link up all moves. I've never been on anything that required so much zig-zagging to routefind but it was great fun and no harder than 5.9 if you can find it. Surrealistic was delightful and I was reluctant to get in the car and head home after that.

Can't wait to go back. Can't beat the place or the company.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 08:58am PT
All good 'n stuff, but there is absolutely no account of your jetisoning your original ultra-cute handmade micro-trailer for the razzle-dazzle current one. Did I miss a prior thread? Looks like a stellar trip, though and thanks!

Jim Henson's Basement
  Sep 12, 2012 - 07:11am PT
We've still got "Eggbert" Peter. New trailer "Arnie" is an addition to the family. Erik does all the cooking and was demanding a kitchen out of the wind.. which was invariably blowing him to bits and freezing him to death as he cooked and I huddled in warmth.

Gotta keep the chef happy if I want to eat.

Gym climber
  Sep 12, 2012 - 08:10am PT
Gosh Dang! that brings back some memories! Those swashbuckler pants, whoa!

Excellent, you got on some Fantastic lines. Too much fun to be had...
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 08:37am PT
as i suspected, norwegian lives in a hotbed of happiness. i'm afraid it affects his poetry. i suggest swapping houses--and jobs--with skip & eric for awhile.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Sep 12, 2012 - 10:04am PT
Saweeet! Hanta-virus at the Leap too? lol! Placed looked deserted!-maybe it was my joke thread that drove em away! yur welcome!;-)

Great job on great routes -- Never did do fantasia- couldnt really "find" it... I see the Weeg has it dialed though!

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Sep 12, 2012 - 08:52am PT
nice nice, never seen many pictures of fantasia before. climbing season and no lines on weekend? ^^
Captain...or Skully

  Sep 12, 2012 - 08:59am PT
Sweet. I can dig it.

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Sep 12, 2012 - 09:04am PT
Splendid! The start of Fantasia looks pretty serious.

I think the best part of Traveler's is after the OW pod and going up a short slabby thing and looking down along this huge exposed spine of arete. I think when I did the climb years ago half the pitch before the pod was buried in snow.

The direct start on Surrealistic Pillar might be my favorite thing at the Leap, but now I have to try Hospital Corner.

Thanks for sharing :)

Social climber
  Sep 12, 2012 - 09:18am PT
Awesome! It was great to read a Lover's Leap TR. Norwegian is a great guy, though I have never met him in person.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 09:20am PT
Isn't it fun to get out and meet some of the others in the Taco clan? Good on ya.

30 mins. from suicide USA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 10:03am PT

Jim Henson's Basement
  Sep 14, 2012 - 06:08am PT
Norwegian has actually rope soloed Fantasia. We weren't too proud to pester him for beta on every pitch.

That long runout start is, fortunately, pretty easy climbing. The "business" is the moves off the second anchor. You have to move over a couple steep techy, slabby lapps - definitely the psychological if not technical crux (IMO). The piton listed in the guide is now gone BTW... so protection is scetchy to non-existent and it's a pretty good runout to the first solid protection. E cruised it following a slightly different line than Weege and I and thought he saw a placement that would take a small cam. (for future reference).
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 12, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
Very nice, thanks, great pics!!!!

Author's Reply  Sep 12, 2012 - 12:42pm PT
A couple of foot-notes:

Cody Lake is the cabin site of the #1 Troop of the California Boy Scouts - pretty historic.

Norwegian actually felled 5 big trees that day, not just the one. He cut them all up, cleaned the yards and then spent a couple hours wrestling a chimney cap onto a friends chimney (solo). THEN he went climbing with us - pretty impressive.

I had done all of the climbs previously (8 years ago), except Hospital Corner, Fantasia and that first pitch of Travelers.

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 12, 2012 - 03:22pm PT
The yellow poly shirt rocks BTW... and what exactly is he looking at there?

eric i was merely checking her,

i shoulda though,
been checking my own leg loop
thus saving me the blessing of
un-tuckering mid-runout.

maid you really do love choss?
i should introduce you to my choss-seeking friend mucci.
by the way i hear that your maid-status is
neath critique and perhaps compromised?

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
  Sep 12, 2012 - 03:33pm PT
Awesome pics, awesome TR - thanks for sharing! It looks like y'all had an ideal time.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one still rocking the old-school Edelrid brain bucket :D

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 03:37pm PT
I was already envious when I read your posts on Facebook. Now I'm even more so.

Thank you very much for both posts, and the excellent pictures you posted from an area where I've climbed much too little.


Trad climber
  Sep 12, 2012 - 03:50pm PT
way to get out man

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Sep 12, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
Looks like fun, not to mention an anthropological experience.
Hey, where's the woody? You've gone plastic on us?

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 12, 2012 - 04:22pm PT
cody lake is a local treasure.
please visit her confines with respect.

by the way,
the road approaching her is closed to vehicular traffic
due to impact upon the pre-established meadows 'tween here and there.

republicans if you would like to enjoy this lake
you need about 6 months of training to un-condition
yourself of your habit of 'just sittin there and gettin places'

good for skip and eric on using their genetic stamia to earn this glory...


Jim Henson's Basement
  Sep 12, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
by the way i hear that your maid-status is
neath critique and perhaps compromised?

Doh! The gig is up. I admit it.. I left a #7 stopper on The Line. The first piece I ever left behind (that wasn't already fixed) in 12 years of climbing.

My reputation as the perfect cleaning maid is shattered. My feet hurt.... it defied me... the chemtrails made me do it.

Good news though.. that booty bail anchor we cleaned off Fantasia.. a #7 and a #8.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Sep 13, 2012 - 08:29pm PT
I'm thinking eggbert is jealous. NIce TR. Particularly like there's several norweigan posts on this thread in clear prose for those of us poetically challenged. Hope you guys are making it to Facelift, maybe talk the weige into making an appearance. It won't hurt.....much.

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Sep 13, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
Awesome write up and pics!

Norwegian, what's your view on whether the third pitch
pin on Fantasia should be replaced to spare the factor two fall on the belay.

By the way, someone's now placed a pin at a crux on Psychedelic that I'd like
to see removed. You game?

Author's Reply  Sep 13, 2012 - 08:44pm PT
If you go left after the first lap, there is a great TCU placement, Norwegian's friend Chuck said the same thing when we consulted at the top. The tendency is to attack the laps directly right, thus missing the initial (critical, IMO) placement off to the left under the initial roof.

No pin is needed, from what I saw - but, again - I did not lead that pitch.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Sep 13, 2012 - 09:00pm PT
Alpinist 17 described Fantasia in a short article by Robbins

great Dodrill picture of Jorgeson on p1


Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Sep 13, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Chuck, huh?

Of course the sweet irony is that this very location with potential factor 2 fall is indeed the route crux, otherwise I wouldn't give it two thoughts.

Also, if Norwegian needed a pin, he'd know where he could find one after climbing first pitch of Psychedelic Tree.

Just had an idea: To avoid the factor two fall, just don't belay there. A 70m could get you to the mantle higher up that protects well. Belay from there. Problem solved, I think. Now I'll have to try it!

Glad you guys enjoyed the leap.

Get that Chuck guy to give the banana a go!

Jim Henson's Basement
  Sep 14, 2012 - 06:43am PT
Just had an idea: To avoid the factor two fall, just don't belay there. A 70m could get you to the mantle higher up that protects well. Belay from there. Problem solved, I think. Now I'll have to try it!

Sane solution IMO.

.. but the lunatics are running the asylum.

Edit to add : Was the piton original or added later? The locals will have to make the call.

Second edit to add: E just found a great Fantasia-thread so we are giving it a bump.


Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 14, 2012 - 06:34am PT
im not going to add a piton to that pitch.
eric saw a good tcu placement that i missed,
so i'd say no pin is necessary.

there is a sucker pin up and right from the
second belay that is off route.

the rope drag at the crux is pretty bad
if you climb from the first anchor, thru the
second anchor and belay higher.

i tried this approach once with charlie d.

i took me four attempts to
commit to the upper pitch,
i retreated until i felt ready.

that is old skool, i guess...
instead of manking the mountain
just wait until your up for the r-rated task.

pin on psychedilics?
yea that should definately go,
the last time i peeped in about cleaning
coward's gear, i received threats on my
property and family.

i'll go clean that pin, anyway.
bring on the threats,


Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 14, 2012 - 06:49am PT
anyway i don't want this thread to become about me,
lets give it back to skip and eric,

eric what did you think of hospital corner?
and the line? how about that low crux?
sweet topout on that route!

that picture of skip with the east wall in the background is great,
also the beach shot at the lake!

good country here in strawberry.
did ya'll know it's called strawberry because
early on the owner of the lodge, whom was
frugal with his means,
fed straw, instead of hay to
the horses of the passing riders...

come on back anytime.
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Sep 14, 2012 - 07:03am PT
Choice pick!


Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 14, 2012 - 07:37am PT
hi lars,
you healing up well?
could you trip up to the sierras this fall?

skip eric by the way
i found my helmet
i didnt leave it in your car
its been on my head for the past 4 days,
never thought to look there,
it solved the crook in my neck though,

Author's Reply  Sep 14, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
Haha! Glad you found it!

Yup, Hospital Corner is about as nice as 5.10a gets. It's like it was made for climbers, the way the left crack appears just when you need it, and when that one goes away, Voila! Another one is there on the right! Then the thank God flake at the top...brilliantly designed.

Some guys were on a climb to the right of us that looked cool, they said it was "April Fools", but it's not in our book...wait, here it is:

Done that one? He said getting to the slash (first pitch) took a while to figure out.

Author's Reply  Nov 15, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Bump for good time with the Weeg.

  Nov 15, 2013 - 06:31pm PT
Never saw this one before but really glad I did now. Nice one y'all, super productive 4 days, way to get after it!

And lucky to tie in with Norwegian, that would be a good time I'd bet- especially if he talks like he writes!

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
  Nov 15, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
This report makes me smile!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 15, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Credit: mouse from merced
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