Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
A Laywoman's Account of a Not Too Soggy Siege on the Salathe with Some Spaniards
Tuesday June 14, 2011 11:36pm
I throw open the door and blow chunks. No time to waste. I don't even bother getting out of the car.

See here, I'm a 9 to 5 slave monkey. I don't have endless days to leisurely choose my non-cubical adventures. Hell or high water, I was going to get to Heart Ledges that night. Two dry heave and rally sessions later, I'm at El Cap Bridge. I pray that the bad taco truck fiasco of 2011 is over, throw on the harness and start running toward the captain.

The line.  More or less.
The line. More or less.
Credit: tahoe523

My friends and I made it as far as the alcove last week and barely survived the storm that blew through the valley. Stymied by the downpour of water on the route, the four of us were forced to come down after playing human tetris in a double portaledge for 36 hours. I won't lament over our first world problems. Plus, we had whiskey. And as a wise fortune cookie once said, things can always be worse.
Credit: Tom Evans
The weather finally decided to play nice; haunted by prior defeat, it was time to finish what we had started. I had to be back in SF 9am Monday. My boss wasn't going to accept a "sorry, stuck on El Cap" text message.

I jug like a lunatic up to Lung Ledge with a whole roasted chicken in tow. I am met with great enthusiasm. The plan was for me to jump on the hollow flake in the dark so as to not burn precious day light hours the next day grunting up the thing. However, after all the barfing down below and all the jugging up above, I wasn't in the best condition to fight with the rock. Midnight. Bellies full. We snooze.

Pitch 14: I flashed this bad boy the first go around and told my proud tale here.
The weekend warrior clock was tick tocking. No time to waste. Knowing the exact width of the cavity I returned with some DIY A0 ammunition.
A Black Diamond #6 Camalot = $60. A #7? $63.25
A Black Diamond #6 Camalot = $60. A #7? $63.25
Credit: tahoe523
Perfect yellow alien placement at the "crux" of the Hollow Flake
Perfect yellow alien placement at the "crux" of the Hollow Flake
Credit: tahoe523
Take the left knee pad and put it on the right arm. Your elbow will thank you.
The Hollow Flake
The Hollow Flake
Credit: tahoe523
Pitch 15: Fun! But careful, somewhere a quarter up the way is a loose block on the edge.
Credit: tahoe523
As I belayed, we scope out a SIAD team running toward us. I watched them dance up the HF in a matter of minutes. I stood there dumbfounded, in awe and we let them pass.

So far I've scratched off 27 of the 100 things I want to accomplish before I die. And while this might come as a surprise to you, climbing The Ear twice is not one of them. My partners have more pride than me because they wouldn't ask the other team the million dollar question. Plus, as agreed, it was my lead. With shame, I piped up and asked her if she could fix our rope while we waited for them to pass and charge ahead. It wasn't my proudest moment, but the timing was right and the opportunity lent itself. In rebuttal, if I hadn't ever lead the thing, there was no way any of us would have jugged a pitch we hadn't climbed. I survived it once. I had my heart set on getting to El Cap Spire in daylight. She graciously accepted (heaps of appreciation if you're out there reading this). I humbly jugged. My partners were elated. Neither wanted to clean that pitch again.

Take it from someone who isn't a hardman. If you aren't either, bring a #4 and #5. Back clean the 4 once you get the 5 in place because you're partner will thank you for not having to squeeze back there to clean it and you can protect the exit with the 4, too. But before you get there, yes, you will have to free climb... dun dun dun... 5.8.
view from within the ear
view from within the ear
Credit: tahoe523
Sling your stuff long and back clean some of the earlier pro or suffer the wrath of some heinous, ball sucking, rope drag (the pitch wanders like a backwards question mark). There's also a good bolt out on the face to clip before a really cool layback move to the anchor.
Above the ear pitch.
Above the ear pitch.
Credit: Tom Evans
All in all, G-rated and protectable, but you can go with the trademark Donini, it's just a chimney and you can't fall out of it thesis. I only climb 5.10. That's my beta and I'm sticking to it.

Enough ear talk! Moving right along. We make it back to the alcove and before I let the PTSD sink in, I chimney my way up the airy cavity to El Cap Spire.
Credit: tahoe523
AMAZING! I'm in heaven! Except I don't have wings. Can't fly. Also, not surrounded by nice, dead people.
Jugging up to the spire
Jugging up to the spire
Credit: tahoe523
We've all seen the historical photo of Royal Robbins on ECS.
Credit: Tom Frost
Ours is only slightly less classic.
Splayed out on El Cap Spire
Splayed out on El Cap Spire
Credit: tahoe523
We feast and relish in the glory of our great bivy site, but know that we've got a long day ahead of us tomorrow if we were going to make it to long ledge. Bellies full. We snoozed, night two, in our spacious abode.

I can confidently say that Yoga has given me the strength of 100 men. Skinny, metrosexual, crunchy Bay Area vegan men, but still. While my partners linked like crazy (P21+22, P24+25, P27+28, P29-31 with a 70m rope), I was a jugging and hauling MACHINE.
The very moist sewer pitch 24
The very moist sewer pitch 24
Credit: tahoe523
View from Sous Le Toit
View from Sous Le Toit
Credit: tahoe523
Pitch 27 leading up to the roof.  Ha.  Tick marks.  Unless I'm anatomi...
Pitch 27 leading up to the roof. Ha. Tick marks. Unless I'm anatomically modified with robot parts, I will never in this lifetime free 5.12d, but it's cool to see signs that people without robot parts or pro sponsorships doing so. Crazy.
Credit: tahoe523
jugging the headwall
jugging the headwall
Credit: tahoe523
With plenty of daylight left we setup camp on Long Ledge, which, as its name would suggest, is indeed very long and almost more fun to bivy on than El Cap Spire.
the silhouette of my partner on long ledge
the silhouette of my partner on long ledge
Credit: tahoe523
Waking up and definitely not disappointed with reality.
view from Long Ledge
view from Long Ledge
Credit: tahoe523
With only a few pitches left to the top, we slept in.
With only a few pitches left to the top, we slept in.
Credit: tahoe523
clearly it still wasn't long enough for everyone.  grigri, to you, we ...
clearly it still wasn't long enough for everyone. grigri, to you, we salute
Credit: tahoe523
Last real pitch before the top is yet another gaping canal ready to spit you out. The topo doesn't have a name for this pitch. I shall call it the angry vagina.
the last squeeze
the last squeeze
Credit: tahoe523
How this is supposed to illustrate the prior picture is beyond me.
How this is supposed to illustrate the prior picture is beyond me.
Credit: tahoe523
me 1, angry vagina 0
me 1, angry vagina 0
Credit: tahoe523

Same as the ear, if you like your partner, back clean the red #1 you can place before you squirm down and out. A big green 6 protects the squeeze. The hold out left isn't that blind. I tried to link 33 and 34 but I placed way too much gear in the pitch below and the rope drag was unbearable. I ended up linking 34 and 35.
A snowy summit view in June.  Love it.
A snowy summit view in June. Love it.
Credit: tahoe523
After a three day journey of a few thousand feet, we finally make it to the top!
SUMMIT!
SUMMIT!
Credit: tahoe523
A fairly quick jaunt back down to the bridge, I come to find in horror that my car is missing. Brain, what part of 'don't loan out your car to a complete stranger while climbing' do you not understand? I was back on the ground and yet epic'ing. Tom offered us beer. Problem solved. I was drunk and happy.

Hours later I get my car out of the NPS impound. Too tired to drive back to SF just yet, I crash in the International House of Euros tent. 2am I drag my half dead carcass across the parking lot and drive like a lunatic back to the bay area. I pull up to Mission Cliffs and shower in the fetal position.

9am I am in the office wearing dress pants to cover up the 17 bruises I had acquired on this excellent adventure. I just climbed El Cap. Psyched! 'Til next weekend. On deck: Lurking Fear.

Cubical monkey, over n out.


  Trip Report Views: 5,956
tahoe523
About the Author
Shino Jomoto is a trad climber from Station Wagon, USA. She can finally say that she has freed all but 264 moves on El Capitan.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:02am PT
Thank you! A marvellous report!
roy

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:18am PT
Great report and lots of fun.

Cheers, Roy
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Jun 15, 2011 - 01:31am PT
Nice TR, very entertaining. What happened to El Cap Spire, an earthquake rotated it sometime since RR's ascent?
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jun 15, 2011 - 01:42am PT
OUTSTANDING
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Jun 15, 2011 - 04:33am PT

Nice one!
JohnnyG

climber
  Jun 15, 2011 - 05:53am PT
Angry vagina! HA hahahahah!

this is the best trip report ever
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:51am PT
Great photos, fun trip report!

It's also a wonderful example of how climbing has changed over the years.

I hope someone puts it into an El Cap anthology some day.
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Jun 15, 2011 - 07:38am PT
good job... looks like a blast.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:45am PT
LOL, love the jaunty writing, good stuff! Congrats on the fine send and thanks for sharing it. What was the story with the car? The NPS hates imports or something now? 2 family's of bears moved into it and mama bear got her ass stuck in the opening? ?
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:45am PT
FACT: RADNESSS!!!!!!!!!!!
stilltrying

Trad climber
washington indiana
  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:46am PT
Awesome !!!!
Hoser

climber
vancouver
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:04am PT
very well written!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:30am PT
ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

TFPU!
b.caskey

climber
Tahoe, NV
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:35am PT
oh do i know the story of that car and its pilot! we met your craigsist rideshare buddy at the curry bar on his birthday. 'interesting' dude. he was almost arrested that night simply for being an ass to some rangers on the housekeeping bridge.

don't know what story you got about your car, but he got a DUI in the park sometime the next day/night - driving in the bus only area behing the grocery! i'm sure you know as you got your car back. real solid guy.

not jealous one bit that you had to be trapped in a box with that guy from SF to Yo. he loved to hear the sound of his own voice.

anywhos, nice work on the salathe! congrats and great write up!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:35am PT
what a rad TR. You rock and thanks!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:45am PT

Better than FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!

AWESOME!!!!!
Edge

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:49am PT
Awesome write up and pics. Congrats!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:54am PT
Very cool thanks!

DMT
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Jun 15, 2011 - 10:09am PT
Great trip report. Angry vagina hahahahahahaaaa.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Jun 15, 2011 - 10:18am PT
Was waiting for this and scrutinizing Tom's reports. Awesome TR and great accomplishment! Love the modded cam.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 15, 2011 - 10:51am PT
hahaha, great descriptors of the experience. Yoga strength cracked me up.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jun 15, 2011 - 10:56am PT
Now That's a trip report! Congrats on the climb and esp the presentation!

Angry Vagina! Hahaha! G.e.t.s.!
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Jun 15, 2011 - 11:06am PT
Great pics and TR! and so very funny, too!
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:08pm PT
Totally cool, with attitude.
You're a seriously good -- no, make that off-the-wall goofball good -- writer.

Can't wait for your next adventure.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:30pm PT
The best!
Thanks for sharing.

And may I humbly offer this tweaked version of the Hollow Flake shot, so that people don't get the impression that it's more heinous than it already is....
The Hollow Flake
The Hollow Flake
Credit: tahoe523
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
A most excellent adventure most excellently related. Thanks!
aguacaliente

climber
  Jun 15, 2011 - 12:36pm PT
WINNING !
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
Author's Reply  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:30pm PT
I wasn't sure whether the projectile vomiting was from listening to him ramble on for three hours about how amazing he was or from the taquitos. A bit of both I'm thinking. Despite his bravado, he seemed like a pretty harmless guy, so I let him borrow my car.

As you can imagine, upon discovering that my car was no where to be found, I was filled with visceral rage. Lucky for me, the effects of cheap alcohol prevailed. He never told me about a DUI. He just wankered on about how much park services suck without any merit. My car was towed because the idiot parked my car in a red zone and kept drugs in the backseat. Awesome! Thanks, Dude!

Anyhoots, I wasn't going to let him or the impound detract from my awesome trip up the captain. We had a blast; never hungry, never thirsty and most importantly, never COLD. Our only regret was, you know, not freeing 5.13c. And yes, Clint(!), you have it angled accurately. :) I promise I didn't photoshop the perspective, but I'm sure my friends were trying to make it look scary to psyche out their offwidth hating peeps back in Europe.

And as far as pitch 34 goes, if anyone here is friends with Chris McNamara or Chris Van Leuven, please tell them that they should consider editing the topo in the 4th edition with this more accurate depiction of that last squeeze-fest.

Credit: tahoe523
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:51pm PT
F*n brilliant! Tell us where your cube is so we can get you fired and read more trip reports!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jun 15, 2011 - 08:59pm PT
I love your writing! Thanks for sharing the climb and photos!
Gagner

climber
Boulder
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:26pm PT
Awesome ....

WOO HOO!!

Paul
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Jun 15, 2011 - 09:50pm PT
What an excellent report excellently written. Thanks so much for posting this. You rock!
10b4me

climber
  Jun 15, 2011 - 10:20pm PT
for being a 9 to 5er, seems like you are pretty hardcore,
thanks for the tr. I liked your Astroman tr too
Cain J Waters

Mountain climber
Ithaca, NY
  Jun 16, 2011 - 07:18am PT
The TR I was looking for that did not disappoint! Looking casual and all smiles. Really enjoyed the photos and writing style. Bravo, team! -CW
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Land of God-less fools
  Jun 16, 2011 - 01:06pm PT
Awesome, thanks.

I'm slightly less gripped at the thought of that wideness now.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jun 16, 2011 - 01:16pm PT
Awesome! Many thanks.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
  Jun 16, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
Flat out AWESOME!

Thanks and good job!
BrianH

Trad climber
santa fe
  Jun 17, 2011 - 03:12pm PT
I want to party with you. Even more, I want to climb with you!
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Jun 17, 2011 - 03:50pm PT
Sweet! We all salute your radness. Nice motivation! Whoop whoop!
And quit with the laywoman crap as your obviously not.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 17, 2011 - 05:18pm PT
Killar!
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jun 17, 2011 - 05:54pm PT
Wow! Excellent effort and great example for the rest of us working class inmates.
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Jun 18, 2011 - 02:13pm PT
Great read! And nice photos. Brings back fond memories of the magnificent architecture of the Salathe Wall; The Spire, Hollow Flake, and the Ear, and most of all the amazing Long Ledge bivouac ledge.
Thanks
slidingmike

climber
CA
  Jun 18, 2011 - 02:56pm PT
Thank you for the great TR -- it's inspiring!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jun 18, 2011 - 03:14pm PT
All time.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Jun 18, 2011 - 03:32pm PT
Super Great!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Jun 20, 2011 - 02:08pm PT
Love your trip reports. Great climb made greater by good storytelling.

How about a photo of your cubical, just for the sake of perspective.
Blue Devil

Mountain climber
Virginia countryside
  Jun 20, 2011 - 02:31pm PT
Best title ever! Who knew while being the juggin machine you'd also win best stacked? That CamNut beats my last best double Hex for damn sure. You should go into business.

What a trip. Thanks and see you around In Station Wagon.
BD
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
  Jun 21, 2011 - 11:44pm PT
Sickness
Gane

Ice climber
State of Confusion
  Jun 22, 2011 - 08:02am PT
A great write about a great feat!
sclaussen

Trad climber
Foster City, CA
  Jun 23, 2011 - 11:33am PT
Absolutely brilliant ...
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  Jun 23, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
Great write up! Thanks for all the pictures, too!


-JR
zeta

Trad climber
Portland, OR
  Jun 23, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
awesome trip report! it had me laughing and ancy to get back to Yosemite...looking forward to your next TR
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 23, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
Sweet! Missed this until now. Freaking hilarious! Thanks
JLP

Social climber
The internet
  Jun 23, 2011 - 04:45pm PT
The angry vagina as you call it is a pretty easy lie-back. There are good feet out there. You don't need to squeeze up that thing. Just step out to the left, get the feet, then drop back into a pretty secure lie-back. You're on TR for the slightly insecure drop-out move that gets you started. It's actually a pretty cool pitch.
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
Author's Reply  Jun 24, 2011 - 11:29am PT
Well, like they say, there's more than one way to f*ck a woman scorned.

In other news, I can't believe Roger Breedlove read my TR. That made my day. Hi, Roger.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our little adventure. I have received one too many 'post another picture of you climbing on rocks and I will forever ban you from my facebook newsfeed' threats, so it's nice to know that I can share pictures of rocks with you all, whom I've never met, this colorful peanut gallery that is Supertopo.


russellg

Sport climber
Malibu, CA
  Jun 30, 2011 - 10:15am PT
Great trip report! Might have to pick your brain for more beta at some point!
Paulina

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 30, 2011 - 10:30am PT
Love your trip reports! And the suggested topo mod.
CathC

Social climber
Wyoming
  Jun 30, 2011 - 10:44am PT
Loved this story !! Congrats !!
medican

Gym climber
  Jun 30, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
Good TR dude, easy to finish and fun to read.
Lace

climber
las vegas, nv
  Jun 30, 2011 - 12:33pm PT
awesome.. gets me re-excited
canoeper

climber
  Jul 2, 2011 - 11:56am PT
I admire the courage of these fine climbers, it takes me back to the old days of Squamish Climbing, I wish I could still find this courage. So I took up another sport!! Long distance ocean canoe journeys!! Great report With admiration Chris G. Cooper
http://www.spiritdancercanoejourneys.ca
Russ Aulds

Trad climber
Cleveland, TN
  Jul 3, 2011 - 06:14am PT
GOOD STUFF!!!!! :)
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Jul 3, 2011 - 06:41am PT
I think this is my favorite TR to date. Fantastic! And the set-up for the picture sequence on the Spire was HI-Larious! Thanks for the great start to my day.
rockgobbler

Big Wall climber
London, UK
  Jul 3, 2011 - 06:46am PT
Awesome pics and great account. Nice one! Can't wait to try it myself....
Doug Buchanan

Mountain climber
Fairbanks Alaska
  Jul 3, 2011 - 03:36pm PT
Jolly good climb and write up.

Keep writing, climbing and thinking that fast.

Doug
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Jul 3, 2011 - 04:17pm PT
Fantastic! I like that you cut it close for getting back in time for work-this is what I would do too! After all-the weekends are the time to get up early and do fun work-the cubicle work week is the time to rest and sleep in ;-)

Thanks so much!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jul 18, 2011 - 01:41pm PT
Randomly noticed this photo from your climb on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=211307392248310&set=a.155810587797991.27582.100001071513920&type=1&theater
but he has it mislabeled as the Nose! :-)
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Nov 8, 2011 - 07:51pm PT
awesome adventure and pics!

love the tom robbins-esque title
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El Capitan - Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
Photo: Mark Kroese
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El Capitan - The Shield A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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The Shield is route number 7.
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