Northwest Buttress 5.5

 
  • Currently 4.0/5
Search
Go

Tenaya Peak


Tuolumne Meadows, California USA


Trip Report
Alpine start...I don't think so.
Wednesday August 17, 2011 6:28pm
This is an account of my second weekend in Tuolumne. The first was chronicled in Anilís (anilk) trip reports from last week when Anil and I did the Regular Route on Fairview and On The Lamb. I was up in Tuolumne with my friend Nate who just moved to SF. This weekendís plan was to spend a mellow but long day on the Northwest Buttress of Tenaya Peak on Friday and then tackle some shorter climbs (Zee Tree and Phobos) once Anil joined us on Saturday and Sunday. It turned out that Anil couldnít make it and so Phobos was crossed off the list considering my noob status as a leader.

We got up fairly early on Saturday and drove down to the Tuolumne Campground to try and get reservations for the rest of the weekend. This turned out to be a big mistake as we were told that we would need to come back at 2pm. We werenít getting a campground for the weekend, national forest lands to the rescue. Off to a great start, hmm...missed out on an alpine start and no campgrounds either. By the time we were on the approach it was about a quarter past 10am and we were only on the first pitch by about 11am.
Me staring up at the imposing peak, worried about an after-dark top ou...
Me staring up at the imposing peak, worried about an after-dark top out.
Credit: nouveau

The very end of the approach is really the only wet part of the climb, although I guess itís not technically part of the climb.
Roping up below P1.
Roping up below P1.
Credit: nouveau

The first 2-3 pitches were slow going because Nate and I were getting our belay station gear swap system in order. Since Nate was not going to lead any of the pitches we were a little slow but things smoothed out pretty soon and we were flying. Before we knew it we were mid-way up P9. I was pretty lost up until here but there are so many features and climbable paths that I wasnít too worried about hitting a roadblock. The only reason I knew we were on the P9 was because I had to be lowered from the belay to try and clean some gear that my partner was having trouble with and I spotted the piton that the topo talks about. While Iím on the topic of pitons, that was the only piton I came across while climbing this route although the topo seems to indicate that there are more of them scattered around the higher pitches.
Not the best place for a belay, P4? - hornetís nest w/ some not so hap...
Not the best place for a belay, P4? - hornetís nest w/ some not so happy hornets buzzing around :P
Credit: nouveau

Pitches 10-14 were more fun in terms of the climbing and the views just kept getting better.
Nate following P12 w/ Tenaya Lake in the background.
Nate following P12 w/ Tenaya Lake in the background.
Credit: nouveau

I opted to do the 5.7 hands finish, and it was a glorious ending to an already great day. There are a lot, a lot of loose blocks up there as the topo indicates, watch out for them.
P14, hand jams to the top.
P14, hand jams to the top.
Credit: nouveau

We topped out at about a quarter past 6pm and were treated to some amazing views. Here are some pictures of us at the top and on the descent. A quick note about the descent: we opted to take the long route down the ridge to the hikerís trail. It wasnít as straightforward as the topo made it sound but we followed the general direction of the lake and made it to the trail just as the sun was going down.
Nate on top.
Nate on top.
Credit: nouveau
Legs dangling above Tenaya Lake.
Legs dangling above Tenaya Lake.
Credit: nouveau
Half dome in the background
Half dome in the background
Credit: nouveau
Tenaya Lake at sunset.
Tenaya Lake at sunset.
Credit: nouveau
Credit: nouveau

We stumbled into the parking lot by 9pm, satisfied beyond belief but hungry, dehydrated and ready to sleep like babies. Great day, great views and great company.

  Trip Report Views: 1,629
nouveau
About the Author
nouveau is a climber from San Francisco, CA who would be posting these trip reports on the Rants & Raves section of Craigslist if it weren't the case that SuperTopo users humour noob climbers like him.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Aug 17, 2011 - 06:34pm PT
I don't know, that hornet's nest looks like a prime spot for a stopper.
BrianH

Trad climber
santa fe
  Aug 17, 2011 - 06:40pm PT
Sounds like a perfect day 9in the mountains, TFPU!
anilk

Trad climber
Santa Barbara, CA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 06:51pm PT
Nice pics and great TR! The 5.7 hands finish is a great way to top out. Looking forward to your NIAD TR soon.
Lolli

Mountain climber
...silence, like a cancer grows
  Aug 17, 2011 - 06:55pm PT
good day!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 17, 2011 - 07:01pm PT
Nice work guys!

Thanks!!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 17, 2011 - 07:07pm PT
Awesome, thanks!
O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
  Aug 17, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Another great TR, you guys! Looking forward to more!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Aug 17, 2011 - 07:56pm PT
Cool! Excellent photos. Thx for sharing
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 08:04pm PT
Most excellent. Nothing goes as planned. It's what you make of it.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 09:10pm PT
One of the best routes in the known universe. Thanks for the photos - that long descent put your in a prime spot for the sunset, it seems.
McNutty

Sport climber
SF, CA
  Aug 18, 2011 - 03:04am PT
Hey that's me! P.s. the descent was a real motherf*#ker, we got so tired of finding cliff edges at every turn while looking for the good/fast way down that we almost decided to go off the next cliff voluntarily! (the really fast way down) ...Great day though, you know, otherwise.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Aug 18, 2011 - 05:26am PT
Good stuff, Job!
It's cool that supertopo made a topo for this climb - it seems like a lot of people have been having fun up there ever since.
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Aug 22, 2011 - 10:08pm PT
This is why I incessantly pester my friends to write trip reports. I always look forward to post weekend TR submissions, and yours is no exception! :-)

Congratulations, Job and Nate. Looking forward to reading about the romp up Snake Dike, CPoF and The Nutcracker. I shall bug you again in a few days if I see no such posting.

Nohea

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
  Aug 22, 2011 - 11:07pm PT
Who needs the Alpine Start when you can do that after 10.

Thanks for the share.

Aloha,
will
Zander

climber
  Aug 22, 2011 - 11:12pm PT
Sweet TR. What wonderful sunset pics!
Thanks,
Zander
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Aug 23, 2011 - 04:16pm PT
Good stuff!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Aug 23, 2011 - 04:33pm PT
great pics. missing tuolumne.
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go
Tenaya Peak - Northwest Buttress 5.5 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Greg Barnes