Zodiac A2 5.7

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
A lass solo on Zodiac
Monday November 21, 2016 4:00am
Me
Me
Credit: magda_o

Before I started my Partner said:
When you finally start climbing you’ll understand that there is just you and your route and on the summit, you will be a different person. Not because the route will change you but because it will show you your unknown face.

--------------------------------------------------------------


Last year we climbed Pacific Ocean Wall together. I learned my lesson
Pacific Ocean Wall 2015
Pacific Ocean Wall 2015
Credit: magda_o
Pacific Ocean Wall 2015
Pacific Ocean Wall 2015
Credit: magda_o

And trained a lot at home in Scotland.

70ty foot wall..I can’t count how many times I led ‘Razor flake’ this ...
70ty foot wall..I can’t count how many times I led ‘Razor flake’ this summer, cleaned, hauled bags, cleaned..led, cleaned, hauled..
Credit: magda_o

There were so many things that “I’ve never done before” but I was 100% focused on my goal and nothing could stop me.

I carried water couple days before and met guys fixing on Tangerine Trip. The day before I started climbing I carried all my stuff to the base and found a present – guys from Trip left some more water for me, thank you, it was very nice!!
Credit: magda_o

I blasted on 21st of October.
So..off I go
No…that gear isn’t too heavy
No…that gear isn’t too heavy
Credit: magda_o

Remember! Keep our tent clean and tidy, and see you on the summit in 7...
Remember! Keep our tent clean and tidy, and see you on the summit in 7days ;)
Credit: magda_o

- Magda, are you sure you want to do it? <br/>
- Do I look unserious? <br/>
- Magda, are you sure you want to do it?
- Do I look unserious?

Credit: magda_o

You see, I did first move and I’m still alive ;&#41;
You see, I did first move and I’m still alive ;)
Credit: magda_o

And 10th, 20th…100th
And 10th, 20th…100th
Credit: magda_o

Credit: magda_o

Almost there, approaching first belay.
Almost there, approaching first belay.
Credit: magda_o

Credit: magda_o

I did first pitch of Zodiac last year (for training) so I felt quite confident on it this year.

Ready to do it again?
Ready to do it again?
Credit: magda_o

Yeap, cleaning first pitch.
Yeap, cleaning first pitch.
Credit: magda_o

First time on unknown ground, pitch no2
First time on unknown ground, pitch no2
Credit: magda_o

Pitch 2.
Pitch 2.
Credit: magda_o

I hauled from second anchor, so many people doubted I would be able to...
I hauled from second anchor, so many people doubted I would be able to lift pigs 10cm above the ground.
Credit: magda_o

But I did it!!
But I did it!!
Credit: magda_o

I climbed three pitches on that day. Everything was perfect, except my bed. I wasn’t able to put my portaledge up. It was so easy the day before, at the base, when I wasn’t tired.
I didn’t know what to do, it was very late (after midnight). After an hour, I gave up and extended daisy, sit down on the ledge and shaking waited for the morning.

Credit: Tom Evans

Climbing, rock, weather, atmosphere and even my psyche, everything was great…except my portaledge. After day two, again, I was sleeping on a ledge. The base of the Black Tower was too steep so I abseiled to the Dead End Ledge. It was more horizontal but so narrow!! I fixed myself on couple bolts, glued my back to the wall behind me and try to sleep without moving on my side.

Credit: Tom Evans

Luckily on the top of the Black Tower pitch I met two nice sport climbers who helped me with my unfortunate bed. (Couple days ago I found out that they were Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher .
16th of October they climbed Zodiac – 3rd free ascent – Contratulations!!!)

What a relief. I slept for 12hours although it was storm at night and in the morning.
When packing my haul bags, before I start climbing next day, I took a can of fruits from the bottom bag and because it was just a single can I didn’t know what to do with it (I needed two hands to jumar up to the belay) so I just put it in to my pocket and very quick forgot about it. That day I was climbing in the most beautiful part of the route – White Circle (with the can of fruits in my jacket).

The Nipple Pitch
The Nipple Pitch
Credit: Tom Evans

I kept my portaledge up until last pitches, fixed corners with ductape to make sure nothing split during hauling. From that point all belays were hanging belays so no way to sleep without proper bed until the Peanut Ledge.

I took a fall. Such a waste of time.  <br/>
Hm..do I really, know how to u...
I took a fall. Such a waste of time.
Hm..do I really, know how to use that?

Credit: Tom Evans

So happy in my portaledge - eating breakfast – that can was climbing w...
So happy in my portaledge - eating breakfast – that can was climbing with me the day before in my pocket.
Credit: magda_o

Climbing solo is so busy. I didn’t take many pictures, you may laugh but there was no time! Usually I called my days late at night.
Many people passed me on my route. Guys who did Zodiac in 24hours (2 teams, sorry I don’t remember your names, but it was very nice to meet you!!) warned me about storm (thanks guys!!) coming the next day – my 7th and last day of climbing. I wasn’t aware how many days I had already spent there, I was just pushing up, do my duties, move after move, lead, clean, haul, lead, clean haul…
I had three pitches left.

On my last day, I woke up earlier and did famous ‘no gear between me and belay’ pitch (the pitch above Peanut Ledge). It started raining at about 11:00am. I was hauling in a storm. Sort my gear and prepare to lead last two pitches. I heard the Voice from Falcon’s Nest –
‘Magda!! Do you think you can do it?’ ‘
‘I don’t know, but I’ll try!’.
It wasn’t an answer which the Voice was expecting. But what could I say.. I never climbed in a storm, or even in a rain!!
Second last pitch was beautiful and that crack in slabs at the beginning!!

It was still raining. Summit was so close and yet so far away. Water was coming through my sleeves when I was reaching high and I was soaking despite having rainproofs on. It was very cold, I topped out just after dusk and run away from the summit to Camp4.

Above the Peanut Ledge
Above the Peanut Ledge
Credit: magda_o
Above the Peanut Ledge
Above the Peanut Ledge
Credit: magda_o
Storm and two more pitches to the summit.
Storm and two more pitches to the summit.
Credit: magda_o
- Can you do it?
- Can you do it?
Credit: magda_o

Strom didn’t stop the next day too. I was very tired – definitely not in a condition to go back to the summit and get my bags down.
Despite the rain two nice guys who I met in the Caf did it for me and retrieved my stuff (thank you guys!!!). I had a flight booked for the next day so there was no time left.

It was my first solo in my life. I was climbing for 7 days and I didn’t fix . For belaying I used Silent Partner, it’s quite heavy but it caught my falls so…
Using hammer is not my strongest point, I did it four times on the whole route. When I was cleaning, one of the pitons jumped out without even hitting it, just by pulling the rope, yes, it was a bomber ;)

I want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who trusted I can do it and to everyone I met on the route for all the help and good words.

Oh..and my Partner was right, Zodiac shown me my unknown, dirty face!


  Trip Report Views: 9,076
magda_o
About the Author
magda_o

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Late Starter

Social climber
NA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 04:59am PT
Nice Report! I only wish I was as brave as you!!
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Nov 21, 2016 - 05:07am PT
What's 10 cm.... like 2.5 miles? Well done!
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Nov 21, 2016 - 05:28am PT
Way to go for it!
couchmaster

climber
  Nov 21, 2016 - 05:46am PT


Wow! You have plenty of the right stuff! Great job and super trip report, thank you for sharing!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Nov 21, 2016 - 05:54am PT
Proud effort and cool report.
Thanks for posting up,
Tad
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
  Nov 21, 2016 - 06:08am PT
good job.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Nov 21, 2016 - 06:19am PT
Nice work!
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
  Nov 21, 2016 - 06:40am PT
Nice TR.

You tell a good story.
nah000

climber
now/here
  Nov 21, 2016 - 06:51am PT
sweet.

thank you.
Mike.

climber
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:01am PT
Badass, Magda! Excellent work, good psyche and attitude. Couch master nailed it: you have the right stuff. Being a woman has nothing to do with it at all. Congratulations, climber. Thanks for the report!
Cragman

Trad climber
Mammoth and SLO.....Life is Good!!!
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:03am PT
Very impressive, Magda! And a great write up!

Very badass indeed!!!!!
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:06am PT
Amazing solo effort, congratulations!
Watermann2

Mountain climber
Saluzzo Italia
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:08am PT
Good morning Miss Magda, what else to say of his amazing climb on ZODIAC:
CHAPEAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many Greetings.
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:09am PT
Good job even with the poor sleeping accommodations.
Bald Eagle

Trad climber
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:10am PT
Fantastic effort, well done you and top work Magda! :-)
Cheers
Dave
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:16am PT
You are one tough cookie. I am inspired!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:15am PT
Nice report....great job, congrats!
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:23am PT
A can fruits in your pocket?! Well done.

DMT
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:27am PT
Fantastic report.

But when you mentioned your home in Scotland and never having climbed in the rain I became suspicious ;)
magda_o

Big Wall climber
Aberdeen(Scotland)/Tychy(Poland)
Author's Reply  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:41am PT
Thank you guys!

and mtnyoung, hope that dispel all your suspicions ;)
Scotland
Scotland
Credit: magda_o
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:51am PT
Dzień dobry, Magda! :-) Very nice TR!
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:58am PT
Magda, thank you for sharing the story of your vertical journey. Congratulations to you on your solo ascent.
kingtut

Social climber
Citrus Heights, CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 08:25am PT
Congratulations Magda. You now have something in your soul that none can remove. :)
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Nov 21, 2016 - 09:27am PT
Best TR on the taco in awhile. TFPU! and nice climb!
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
  Nov 21, 2016 - 09:46am PT
Awesome Magda.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:01am PT
Most excellent!!

Thanks for sharing, and congratulations!
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:04am PT

...and mtnyoung, hope that dispel all your suspicions ;)

Oh, duh. It goes straight to snow there doesn't it?

Fantastic report and (now) total credibility.

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:15am PT
Magda, are you from Poland? Well it is a Polish name I think. Doesn't matter, I just wanted to bump your excellent TR.
canyoncat

Social climber
SoCal
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:27am PT
#ImWithHER :)
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:36am PT
Great job! The serious photo at the start is very amusing!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:36am PT
Top notch report on a job well done.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 10:42am PT
Nice! Two routes I've actually done (counting the PO). Not that you had much choice, but way to power through the upper pitches in a storm. I always wondering how grim it would be climbing those in poor weather since you're no longer sheltered from above. Hopefully I'll never find out.
hamersorethumb

Trad climber
Menlo Park, CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 01:18pm PT
wow, love it, thank you so much
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Nov 21, 2016 - 01:27pm PT
Looks like a lot of fun and a lot of work. Congrats for getting up in time to not miss your flight!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 21, 2016 - 02:45pm PT
Way to go!
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Nov 21, 2016 - 03:03pm PT
Really enjoyed your TR. Congratulations on a proud and tenacious send.
i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
  Nov 21, 2016 - 03:13pm PT
Nice Lasso magda_o !
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Nov 21, 2016 - 04:39pm PT
Super inspiring. Thanks for the great story, photos and write up. Congrats on a gnarly send. Keep climbing hard and keep writing trip reports!
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
  Nov 21, 2016 - 04:48pm PT
Super awesome lass!
Edge

Trad climber
  Nov 21, 2016 - 07:37pm PT
Respect!
Scrubber

climber
Straight outta Squampton
  Nov 21, 2016 - 11:05pm PT
Way to get after it!
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 22, 2016 - 06:44am PT
Nice work

Prod.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
  Nov 22, 2016 - 07:04am PT
Awesome! Badazz!
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Nov 22, 2016 - 09:51am PT
TFPU - great report.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Nov 22, 2016 - 09:57am PT
Wonderful report Magda, just an all round wonderful story. Also, I especially like the thought bubbles on your photos - most amusing. Why do I suspect that your life will be filled with much adventure and daring-do.
cheers
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
  Nov 24, 2016 - 01:17pm PT
Nicely done!

We got rained on for those last 2 pitches as well, though not as epically as your shot shows. The last pitch in particular had "BAD IDEA!" going through my head as the water coursed over my hands for the first few easy free moves to get up to a spot for a yellow alien.

I setup my ledge on a tree by the summit, and my partner hung his fly over this dry-ish sleeping spot from a branch. It seemed less sketchy than doing the rappels in the rain.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
  Nov 23, 2016 - 12:52pm PT
Great. I love the pictures. Some of that rock is super good. I wonder how it looks these days, as far as pin scars from so many ascents.

Good on ya for hanging in there during the storm. You got a taste of Alpine...suffering. You didn't bail. You did it, all by yourself.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Nov 22, 2016 - 01:44pm PT
full value!


Lol with mtnyoung on Scottish 'rain'. :)
GZ

Trad climber
Pasadena, CA
  Nov 24, 2016 - 08:42am PT
You're a better woman than me. Congrats on one tough climb!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Nov 24, 2016 - 09:17am PT
Congratulations. Great climbing. Nice writeup. Put a smile on my face.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Nov 24, 2016 - 09:26am PT
Bravo!! Inspirational!
magda_o

Big Wall climber
Aberdeen(Scotland)/Tychy(Poland)
Author's Reply  Nov 24, 2016 - 09:52am PT
Thanks for all comments!
clifff

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
  Nov 24, 2016 - 11:53am PT
Great climbing. Thanks for the excellent report!

To keep water from running down your arms get a paddling jacket, it has gaskets on the wrists and neck to keep water out.

http://www.supertopo.com/forumsearch.php?ftr=paddling+jacket

msiddens

Trad climber
  Nov 27, 2016 - 10:47pm PT
Solid and proud thanks
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Nov 28, 2016 - 06:14am PT
So happy in my portaledge - eating breakfast – that can was climbing w...
So happy in my portaledge - eating breakfast – that can was climbing with me the day before in my pocket.
Credit: magda_o
photo says it all!
STEELy EYED DETERMINATION !
senderzero

Trad climber
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA
  Dec 22, 2016 - 11:01am PT
Great trip report! Will incorporate can of fruit in pocket for all future training :P
ts123

Trad climber
uk
  Dec 26, 2016 - 10:20am PT
Nice one Magda :) I climbed Zodiac as my first solo too... and also fell off the nipple! Good call on flagging your portaledge, it makes it so much easier...
Maria
JohnnyG

climber
  Mar 2, 2017 - 12:54pm PT
love this report. Hope to solo it myself some day
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
  Mar 2, 2017 - 03:58pm PT
Thanks I liked it
Dan McDevitt

Social climber
tioga cliff or fifi buttress
  Mar 2, 2017 - 04:22pm PT
great job!!! serious kick ass motivation!

love it!!!
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
  Mar 2, 2017 - 04:22pm PT
Love the thought bubbles along with just about everything else. This is the good stuff.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Mar 2, 2017 - 05:02pm PT
How did I miss this excellent TR?!

By a Polish girl too!

Gratulacje, Magda. Swietna robota!

Andrzej
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Mar 3, 2017 - 11:19am PT
She is not Polish bro, she is a full on Ukrainian! Even if she doesn't know it.

Well done on the climb! I want to learn to use my silent partner. Having too many psyched friends does not help it...
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Mar 3, 2017 - 12:49pm PT
Fantastic! I'm glad this got bumped.

So many good things in this trip report.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Mar 3, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
Great TR!

Thanks!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
  Mar 4, 2017 - 05:12am PT
Awesom
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Mar 4, 2017 - 09:28am PT
MIssed this the first time around. Thanks for bumping it. Superb climb Magda ; all the best for many many more.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Mar 4, 2017 - 10:16am PT
She is not Polish bro, she is a full on Ukrainian!

Keep your hands to yourself, Vitaliy!

On Magda's profile it says she lived in Tychy, which is in Poland.

Ha!

Moose
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Mar 4, 2017 - 11:18am PT
Impressively brave Scot Lass climber!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH0eRKq1lE

Play this while reading TR
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El Capitan - Zodiac A2 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
1800' of fantastic climbing.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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