Trip Report
7 fun new pitches and too many pictures in Sequoia
Friday November 29, 2013 9:41pm
I was happy to squeeze in one more long day this week before winter takes over at the higher elevations and I'm relegated to playing in the snow or playing on rocks guarded by poison oak.

This time the plan was to try to put up a long moderate route in Tokopah Valley, the only problem was finding a partner who enjoys type 2 (bordering on 3) fun. Most people that accept my invitations only do so once. I choose to believe that it's because I plan miserable days, not because I am terrible to be around, but I guess that's yet to be determined.

A last minute conversation with a friend from SAR and I had a partner! He hadn't done many long leads, but I knew I his belay was trustworthy and he's fun to be around so my strict partner criteria was met.

Tokopah Wall
Tokopah Wall
Credit: limpingcrab
The goal was the right side of Tokopah Wall, across the canyon from it's more famous sibling; The Watchtower. There's only one reported route on the whole thing and it's left of center so we had lots of room to explore.

After a 4am wake up, 1.5 hour drive and 1.7 mile walk to Tokopah Falls we were ready to bush whack up to the base.

Hmmm... Where's the escalator?
Hmmm... Where's the escalator?
Credit: limpingcrab
not as bad as it looks
not as bad as it looks
Credit: limpingcrab
Yay, open ground!
Yay, open ground!
Credit: limpingcrab
There wasn't an obvious route so we used the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other method. It's kind of like the marmot that got it's head stuck in my chili can, just walk until you hit something, turn, walk and repeat.

When we reached the base about an hour after leaving the trail it was kind of low angle so we scrambled up and left to start the route a little higher and increase the odds of finishing before dark.

Left side of Tokopah Wall
Left side of Tokopah Wall
Credit: limpingcrab
The left side of Tokopah Wall, across the gully, looks really fun. I need to try to find the only route there next year and maybe add a few so it's not so lonely. I think it's called Adrift and is 5.9.

Watchtower
Watchtower
Credit: limpingcrab
The Watchtower loomed across the canyon. It gets a bad rap but I think the climbing on it is fun. Of course I think all climbs are great so I'm a bad judge. If I ever make a guidebook every climb is getting 10 stars!

Start
Start
Credit: limpingcrab
The start of the route is perhaps the best 5 ft long hand crack anywhere. For real, I looked it up.

P 1
P 1
Credit: limpingcrab
After 5 feet of crack pitch one had 150 more feet of broken ledges and corners. Great rock and views but dirty cracks.

Start of pitch 2
Start of pitch 2
Credit: limpingcrab
Jonathan took pitch two. We thought it was gonna be short but he ended up traversing a whole rope length to the right to find a crack system that would get us past the big empty bulge above. We lugged a bolt kit along but were trying to avoid the scary inconvenience that is hand drilling on lead.

Pitch 3
Pitch 3
Credit: limpingcrab
Pitch 3 fun!
Pitch 3 fun!
Credit: limpingcrab
Ohhh man pitch 3 was fun! One of those hand cracks with holds next to it so you just smile and make dumb noises as you climb!
"wooo"
"ya!"
"muahahaha!"
It ended on a nice little ledge big enough for two.

Pitch 4
Pitch 4
Credit: limpingcrab
Pitch 4 roof
Pitch 4 roof
Credit: limpingcrab
On pitch 4 the crack widened and turned into a nicely manicured strip of turf. Fortunately the rock to either side was clean and featured so it went well. The roof had solid cracks and big jugs so it was really cool.

I belayed above the tree and Jonathan took the 5th pitch up easier terrain to a giant ledge system that cut across the entire upper two thirds of the cliff.

Beautiful Day!
Beautiful Day!
Credit: limpingcrab

Two thumbs up!  One is on the camera, you'll have to take my word for ...
Two thumbs up! One is on the camera, you'll have to take my word for it.
Credit: limpingcrab
Big ledge and crack up the headwall.
Big ledge and crack up the headwall.
Credit: limpingcrab
The ledge was an awesome place for lunch. We enjoyed the break even more because our lack of sleep was starting to catch up to us. SAR call outs were setting our phones off all night. I wish 8-year olds from Tulare would get lost at a more reasonable hour! (half the calls were to start and expand searches and the other half were to report that she was found so don't worry, she's ok and I'm not a heartless person).

I love big ledges! Belaying is just as fun as climbing if I have a comfy ledge high off the deck with a heavenly view.

Looking down pitch 6
Looking down pitch 6
Credit: limpingcrab
The sixth pitch was really good. A steep hand crack down low with varied climbing up into a huge corner and wide crack. The last 20 feet got grassy and wet, but again the surrounding rock saved the day so my little slips didn't turn into big falls.

Credit: limpingcrab
I was ready for a nap.

Credit: limpingcrab
The day was getting long, Jonathan was ready to stage a mutiny.

The seventh pitch was almost all 4" crack in a large dihedral. Great climbing except that a snow patch on top created a stream down the whole thing and made easy climbing a little more spicy!

Credit: limpingcrab
Top!
Top!
Credit: limpingcrab
Uh-oh, the sun is gone!
Uh-oh, the sun is gone!
Credit: limpingcrab
After seven fun pitches in the sun we were on top exchanging high fives. It was a beautiful sunset! You know those times when it's like, "hey, that sunset is rad!" Then it's, "Oh crap, the sun is setting, let's go!"

Snow
Snow
Credit: limpingcrab
That looks slippery
That looks slippery
Credit: limpingcrab
Joke was on me on the nearly 2000 ft descent. I had been bagging on Jonathan for making us carry his giant snow boots in the pack all day and then my feet got soaked while he comfortably strode along. The irony!

Lovely path
Lovely path
Credit: limpingcrab
"I'm done"
"I'm done"
Credit: limpingcrab
About halfway down is when the day started getting really long. Neither one of us were familiar with the descent and once it got dark we had to just guess our way through the bushes. This is when Jonathan said he wasn't coming on one of these trips with me ever again :) I don't consider it bush whacking unless you have to crawl or swim over the top of bushes, and we definitely had to bush whack!

All said and done we had a great day. Now that Jonathans belly is full and muscles are rested he's really happy he came along for his first (and not last) FA! Days like that are why I climb. There's nothing like walking up to the base of a rock and trying to get to the top with nothing but your gear, brain, and a friend.

We named the route "Snow Boots" and agreed that it probably goes at 5.8 when it's dry and you're not tired. It was hard to tell when we were exhausted and I was leading on wet rock, but 5.8 is probably fair (just remember I don't do many climbs that have a good consensus so I'm bad at calling correct ratings). 14 hours after we started we were back in the car.

There's lots of other stuff in that valley that I'll keep under wraps until I get a few things finished, but if anyone is ever up to explore let me know and come along next season!

Snow Boots, 5.8 1000'
Snow Boots, 5.8 1000'
Credit: limpingcrab

Happy belated thanksgiving!




  Trip Report Views: 3,574
limpingcrab
About the Author
limpingcrab is me, nice to meet you.

Comments
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Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Nov 29, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Bump!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Nov 29, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
Sweet!
TFPU
Tad
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 29, 2013 - 09:56pm PT
No turkey jokes, but is the breast is yet to come?

This was a great meal.
thebravecowboy

climber
hold on tight boys
  Nov 29, 2013 - 10:22pm PT
Tokopah, ancient word meaning way out in BFE with mungey cracks, scary times, resinous appendages, SUCCESS!

Good job!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Nov 29, 2013 - 10:52pm PT
Oh this is EXCELLENT. What a beautiful day, night, and trip report.
Bushwacking! You gottit all in that climb

Susan
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 29, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Awesome sign me up
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Nov 29, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
Great trip report. Great adventure, pics, humor!
10b4me

climber
  Nov 30, 2013 - 12:03am PT
That looked like fun.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Nov 30, 2013 - 12:31am PT
Nice line.

No kit was used in the making of this backcountry classic.

I dig it.
rincon

Trad climber
Coarsegold
  Nov 30, 2013 - 01:06am PT
Nice work limpingcrab.
That 3rd pitch looks sweet!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 30, 2013 - 06:49am PT
Cool, I loved your sense of humor!!!!!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 30, 2013 - 09:26am PT
Great trip report and 12 now 13 comments....... Meanwhile 342 more political and slander comments that relate to climbing zero. Mice job limping crab, but this is why no one writes about climbing around here. Good climbing writing is really not valued around here. You need to put something in here about someone's sexuality or politics and it would do much better.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Nov 30, 2013 - 09:28am PT
Nice job guys!

as a few friends of mine like to say, the grass and veg isn't anything a few thousand ascents won't clean up. ;)
WTF

climber
  Nov 30, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Some good high value fun here. Thanks for the report.
Tork

climber
Yosemite
  Nov 30, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Very cool! Have you looked at the climbing log book in the VC? There are a bunch of otherwise unreported routes in it. I put up 2 routes on that wall, no bolts, and many others on both sides of the canyon. Lots of fun adventures out there still to be had.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Nov 30, 2013 - 11:54am PT
quality.
One of those hand cracks with holds next to it so you just smile and make dumb noises as you climb!


^ this produced a large smile and an audible chuckle. cheers.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Author's Reply  Nov 30, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
Very cool! Have you looked at the climbing log book in the VC? There are a bunch of otherwise unreported routes in it. I put up 2 routes on that wall, no bolts, and many others on both sides of the canyon. Lots of fun adventures out there still to be had.

Sweet! Ya I've flipped through the old log and I remember seeing an ice climb I didn't know about before but I thought I recognized all the other stuff. Looks like I need to read a little closer! Did our line cross yours? Definitely possible someone else has been there but ya never know.

Love it, half my motivation for making this TR was to see if any info like this would pop up! Supertopo never ceases to surprise.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
  Nov 30, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Way cool.

Great job guys!
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Nov 30, 2013 - 04:17pm PT
Whoa, what a great TR! Looks like a very nice route.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 30, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
Bingo!!
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
Boulder
  Nov 30, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Adventure climbing with nobody else around, my favorite! Plus good writing, humor and cool photos. Forget the bush whacking, though. Mike m's comment compelled me to post. I should read only the trip reports from now on.
Bargainhunter

climber
  Dec 1, 2013 - 07:02am PT
I've often looked at that buttress and wondered. Thanks for posting up!
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Dec 1, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Top Notch!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Dec 1, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Nice Trip report.......must be lucky livin right there.



I know "Nick" from portland did a climb on that baby way back in 78 or so.... ask him.


Thanks
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Dec 1, 2013 - 11:27am PT
Stellar TR, LC. I spent some time there in '95, but all we climbed was the Watchtower. We Did do a few random pitches here 7 there, but it was just enough to make us want to return sometime.
Killer locale, for sure.
TPFU!!!!!
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
  Dec 1, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
I would love to go back to that area. We approached by hiking the trail that goes up to Sillman Meadow until it hits the ridge top and traversing into the cliff band. It was a good way to approach. The rock is superb and the climbing fun. We also climbed up there over Thanksgiving weekend and hit the top at sunset with no headlamps. The foolishness of youth. Thrashing strait down the manzanita covered slope in the pitch dark. Al Baby's first, FA. Thanks for sparking the excellent memories.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Author's Reply  Dec 1, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
Nick B who did Funky Neurosis? I know the rock you're talking about, and ya, it's super good! (cleaner than the rock on this cliff band) I've been trying to figure out where your route is but I'm still not sure. I guess I need to just climb around on it more until I see your anchor bolts...

Going down Horse Creek in the dark sure is fun huh? :)
Myles Moser

climber
Lone Pine, Ca
  Dec 1, 2013 - 09:38pm PT
Sounded like a perfect adventure...

Time for some bumping!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Dec 1, 2013 - 11:43pm PT
Yeehaw Son! Way to get steep and firstascenty on a beautiful formation. I'm getting back in the gym first thing tomorrow morning and my knee should be healed up by summer. Save one of those FA's for me!

Scott
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Author's Reply  Dec 2, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
I don't know about that Scott, I was silently cursing you on this trip. Turns out when you go to a Micronut event and get poison oak on your hand it takes some of the joy out of hand-jamming. If I can get over it emotionally by this summer then we definitely should do some exploring.

poison oak jams
poison oak jams
Credit: limpingcrab
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Nicely done -- both the climbing and the TR. I wish I'd read this thread earlier, though, because I got lazy this morning and figured I'd just go to the gym after my BSF meeting tonight. Had I known Scott was planning on being virtuous, I may have avoided my morning sloth.

Thanks again for the TR.

John
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
Nice!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 02:23pm PT
Very f-ing awesome. I like yer style. Looks like a cool day out on the rocks!
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Dec 2, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
Killer TR! Excellent photos and your write up was a hoot.

Poison Oak Jams...yowza...great name for a climb maybe? ;-)
bpope

climber
Sunnyvale, CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Nice! Looks like a solid adventure.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
Hey, anybody ever want to do some sh#t on the base of Cloud'S Rest? I know there are a couple of routes there, but that sh#t looks very fun!

Didn't someone ride a skateboard down the main face? Ughh, maybe I'm just dreaming...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
I'm definitely up for the route(s) on the face of Cloud's Rest. "My Favorite Things" looks like fun, if you don't mind pulling at the crux.

The face has, indeed, been proven boardable (with enough snow). Edit: snowboardable, not skateboardable. Sorry, Steve, i didn't read your post with enough care.

John
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Dec 2, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
John, we must accomplish this mission. I do recall Forum mentions of 'my favorite things'.

At about 13,000 ft of elevation (Summit) we'll need to take some things into consideration. Good time though.

Let me ponder this...
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Dec 2, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Limpingcrab,

Um....that's not poison oak. You might want to see your family doctor. Are you having any burning sensation upon urination?
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Author's Reply  Dec 2, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
Hmmm, now that you mention it...
tiki-jer

Trad climber
fresno/clovis
  Dec 2, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Haha......ya'll are two funny guys!
Limp, I would like to climb with you again.
Perhaps I will see you out at the boulders.
skamoto

Mountain climber
coalinga ca
  Dec 3, 2013 - 01:33am PT
that looks like a fun trip! id have passed out in the bushes though and hiked out in the morning. i probably wouldnt make the best partner lol
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Dec 3, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Well done Daniel! Canít wait for Spring of 2014! Have to get out and put some routes up! : )
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Dec 3, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Nice.....keep putting up new routes!!!
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Dec 5, 2013 - 10:20pm PT
sunny rock;in;solitude,,,way to go gents,,hope to chat at base camp some time\\\
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