Trip Report
An Oddyssey to Shangri La (FA and an FFA in a little paradise)
Monday November 17, 2014 4:10pm
“We climbers are tribal. It sounds trite, but it is true. The brotherhood of the rope is real. It spans the globe, cultures, bitter national rivalries, languages. Climbers from the world over gather around a fire and by virtue of common experience and shared passion, they know they sit with brother and sister.” –DMT


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Red – FFA Brutus of Wyde Memorial Route (IV-V 5.11a) – free version of Et Tu Brute (V A2 5.9+). About 1,500 ft from bottom of the wall to the summit.
Orange – FA/FFA Parasitic Nematode (III-IV 5.10+)
Right skyline is NE Ridge which was first climbed by Fred Beckey and a partner.

I never got a chance to meet Bruce Bindner — or Brutus of Wyde, as he’s known. I got into climbing a few years after Brutus passed away in 2009. Nonetheless, I feel linked to him through the brotherhood of the rope and the numerous reports he has posted online. Even without photos, the excellent writing and quality content of his reports are more than enough to seize the reader’s interest. I have spent hours browsing through tales of his adventures, which included first ascents on backcountry walls, climbing ice routes in Canada, aid climbing in Yosemite, general mountaineering, and much more — Brutus was one of the few people I would label as a true climber. I value climbing as more than a weekend activity; I see it as a method of self-expression, an art. Unfortunately, he stopped producing masterpieces, but without a doubt he left his mark. As an artist, Brutus influenced me greatly.


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Awesome pool for soaking during warm summer days


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The valley has other goodies, not just rock climbing


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Parasitic Nematode (III-IV 5.10+) goes up the right-leaning crack and corner system in the middle of the photo.

While reading an article DMT wrote in tribute to Brutus, I came across a reference to Shangri La. My curiosity instantly grew. A beautiful place in the High Sierra that people rarely visit? A rugged thousand-foot wall? There were no photos posted of this mysterious wall, but the drawing done by Brutus pushed my curiosity to an unbearable level. As a kid I had dreams of exploring different worlds and reaching new dimensions. Finding new places and figuring out a way to pass challenges is what lured me into climbing. The adventurer in me wanted to experience the serene valley, spend time exploring an area few had seen, and hopefully find an easy way to scramble to the top of the peak only a handful had summitted. Problem was that Craig kept the location of this valley a secret. My attempts to ask him for clues were ignored, however I kept faith. This was back in 2010, the year when I got hooked on scrambling around the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. This passion grew into an addiction—the most satisfying high. Back in 2010, climbing the face of that mysterious wall was beyond my deepest dreams, or abilities, but the obsession with finding Shangri La grew stronger as the years passed. Over time my passion for peak-bagging grew into a love for taking difficult routes up mountains. Acrobatic movement over rock added the needed variety when simple scrambling got old. I rock-climbed often, and by the time I discovered Shangri-La, I had scaled over a hundred peaks in the High Sierra, multiple big walls in Yosemite Valley, high altitude death traps in Cordillera Blanca, and had even put up my own routes.

Shangri-La — Lost World. A fictional land of peace and perpetual youth.


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Tip of the monster illuminated by first light


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Me, Gleb and Max after climbing the NE ridge in 2013. Photo by Daria. A fun day in the mountains.


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Something my mom would like...

Doing the approach for the first time was a torture. Would we see a steep wall or a chossy crag? Was this area seriously serene or was it all a bit puffed-up by the writer? Were we going up the same valley? Was the object of my imagination becoming real? The approach followed a raging river, passed several beautiful meadows, and rewarded us with a seemingly infinite amount of redcurrant. With berries all around, the approach took us longer than expected, but after several hours of hiking we spotted the menacing wall. As we got closer, my excitement grew and my fearless attitude vanished. The wall was steeper than I imagined, and I did not feel comfortable attempting the direct line on it during shorter days of autumn. We climbed an easier ridge route to the summit, had a great social outing and none of my friends left the valley disappointed. We were rewarded with exciting climbing, great views, meadows full of alpine flowers and a true adventure. By the time we returned to our cars, my aspirations had grown. I was not only planning to repeat the direct route (“Et tu, Brute!” V 5.9+ A2)—I wanted to find a free-climbable path up the rock face that I found too frightening a few hours prior.


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Crux of the approach - a V5 dyno over a stream. On the way back we did not send.


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Caitlin following the fun first pitch on Parasitic Nematode


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Celebrating good climbing before hitting a few crux overhangs (Parasitic Nematode)


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Looking up at the intimidating wall from the base

As winter approached, I began fantasizing about the wall and increased the amount of time I spent on rock. I couldn’t hold back the excitement and emailed Craig Harris. Along with Brutus and a few more, Craig was one of the first ascentionists of Et tu, Brute. His reply fueled the fire: “The face will go free, we were close!” Given that finding the wall had been a mysterious journey, I kept the spirit going and did not request beta. Finding the free route and picking the appropriate gear was up to me. Free climbing this face turned into the most significant rock-climbing goal I had for 2014. That was before I found Bubbs Creek Wall, but that's another story...

“Standing there in Shangri La as we came to call that place, we might have been in Pakistan or even on some other planet. No other hikers, fishermen, no body at all, came up this canyon the whole time we were there. We had it to ourselves. We were a short twenty minute hike from the base of the first pitch of a thousand foot tall, dead vertical to massively overhanging chunk of orange granite and we as far as we knew were the only climbers on the planet who knew anything about it.” –DMT


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Somewhere in the middle of a giant wall


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About to traverse right into a cool hand crack

I did not know when the appropriate time would come. Only a few people were excited about a trip to a thousand foot rock-face with vertical walls, questionable rock and no beta. It happened unexpectedly. After one of my partners bailed, I included a trip to Shangri La as one of the options to my friend Caitlin. She had less than two years of rock-climbing experience and only a few multi-pitch routes under her belt. “First ascent in a secret valley?! That sounds really fun,” she replied. I was not sure if posting this option was wise, but the train was off and running. On the few outdoor routes we had done together, she had proved to be safe, but most important of all, I knew she was excited about having a true adventure.

As Bay Area desk jockeys, we had way too little time and way too much on our agenda. The itinerary I proposed involved an absurdly busy weekend. On Saturday, we would haul our gear seven miles and attempt a first ascent of a different line I had scoped on the first trip. On Sunday we would try to find a free climbable variation to the grade V route “Et tu, Brutus,” summit, hike out, and drive back to the Bay for five hours. All without much chance to acclimate. Saturday’s climb did not give me much hope for a successful Sunday. The approach took a little longer, the first ascent we completed turned out to be a full value climb. As a result, we got back to the camp pounded. Though she had led a few 5.10 sport climbs, it was Caitlin’s longest route, first time following on a FA, and her first alpine climb. She deserved a lot of praise, so I honored her with picking a name for our new route! Since Caitlin is a neuroscientist at Stanford University who spends her workdays playing with worm DNA, our route got an attractive worm-inspired name – Parasitic Nematode (III 5.10++ PG13).


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Another view of the wall. Rock seemed fairly loose in most spots


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Nice chimney with a fun roof on pitch 3


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Good views and exposure on the route

The pristine setting, a simple dinner, and our warm sleeping bags would have to be enough to bring our psyche up again. We woke up to a windy morning and ominous sky. Our chances for getting on the route seemed slim to none, but by the time we finished our coffee the sun had begun to illuminate the wall. I had mixed emotions about coming face to face with the climb I had dreamed about for so long. I felt a mix of excitement and fear of the unknown: fear of being unprepared, not finding a free-climbable way, loose rock, climbing with a much less experienced partner and not having enough protection to feel safe enough to continue. In addition to standard double rack to #3, we brought a single #4 and a #6 cam, and I was glad we did. Brutus of Wyde sure loved the offwidth; on photos from his various first ascents it was evident that his arsenal of big bros and giant camming units was as impressive as his tick list. The first pitch was a warm up for a sustained wide crack on pitch two. The original 5.9+ rating was likely spot on for technical difficulties, but it did not speak to the level of required exertion. Fists grew into stacks, which transformed into a squeeze chimney below the third pitch – an intimidating roof.


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Fun overhang - making my way up to the double roofs and a perfect steep splitter


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SICK two pitch variation to the original route with a 40 meter overhanging splitter! And TWO roofs!


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Looking down at the splitter (photo by Caitlin)


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Climbing stayed fun for the whole duration

I made a solid 5.10 move to pass the crux of the third pitch and fought horrific rope drag to combine the next two. Another moderate pitch with a solid 5.10 crux put us on the exposed arête. I could see the next bolted anchor above a crack system to our left, but straight up was a beautiful splitter that started close to the exposed arête. It looked steep, passed two roofs, and continued up into the unknown. It looked harder than the original option. Part of me did not want to jeopardize my free ascent, but those who don’t take risks never taste champagne. This climb was about challenges, adventure, and the unknown, so I decided to test my luck. After doing a few spooky moves to gain the arête, I got into a fingercrack and worked hard to pull the first roof. As I had no idea how long the next pitch would be, I set up the belay right under the second roof. It was a great decision: it gave me a chance to rest, and the next pitch turned out to be about fifty meters long.


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Caitlin with sweet exposure below.


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Me on somewhat loose last pitch of the face. One that was aided on the FA


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Looking down the NE Ridge - First climbed by Fred Beckey and partner (what a surprise!)

By the time I got to the anchor, my forearms felt like Jell-O. This crack was likely the best splitter I had done in the High Sierra. I pulled the roof on thin hand jams and ring locks. The crack then widened to accept hero hand jams, but only for a short while. It grew into cupped hands, and the angle never allowed me a rest stance. This crack belongs in the Cookie Cliff, and it made Outer Limits feel slabby by comparison. I led the ninth pitch and came face to face with the crux. I knew it was the last pitch that was aided on the first ascent, but by this point I was not sure I had enough juice to put up a good fight. The previous two days had not exactly been restful. The only way was up, and I did not see any alternative. The last pitch began with a game of “choose the right block.” If I chose the wrong one, I was fairly certain the house of cards was going to come down. When I got above the loose section, I found myself staring down the crux — getting over a bulge and into an offwidth crack. Even though the move was incredibly hard, for the first time on this pitch I felt secure—the #6 camalot was in a perfect spot above my head. The pitch kept throwing burly bulges in my way, and while locking off on a jam I began to cramp. When I finally traversed to the anchor and saw the sunny ridge a few feet above, I wanted to cry with joy, but we still had to scramble another 500 feet to the summit. Combination of easy scrambling, low fifth and a few steps of 5.7 took us to the top. The sun was setting, the wind was chilly, and we still had to descend, gather our gear, hike out, and drive home. We did not stay on the summit as long as I would like, but we did have enough time to snap a few photos and sign the register.


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Caitlin on the summit ridge - her first experience with simul climbing :) We tried hard to beat the sunset.


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Summit glory after the climb :) One of the happiest days of my 'climbing career.'


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Our register entry

It would be impossible to pick one factor that was responsible for our success. Was it my obsession and hard work? Was it Caitlin’s willingness to suffer and jump way out of her comfort zone? Was it the well-written tribute to Brutus that gave us the inspiration to travel off the beaten path? I am not sure, but it is hard to ignore the fact that the day we drove out for our adventure coincided with the five year anniversary of Brutus’ passing. Perhaps we weren’t alone in Shangri La that weekend, but even if his spirit does not roam those valleys, it will forever be linked to our climb, the Brutus of Wyde Memorial Route (V 5.11a). We decided to maintain the location of the valley a secret. Not because we are greedy, but because we want to preserve the mystery of Shangri La for those who seek a voyage into the unknown.

More could be found at: vividrea1ity.blogspot.com

  Trip Report Views: 7,012
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

Comments
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Nov 19, 2014 - 02:13pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video] ]YOU MAKE ME CRY, "THAT LOOKs LIKE THE KOOLEST"!! SO DAMN COOL HATS OFF TO YA"!!!
Rhymes with Italy VITALIY M you get it and get it done!!
Is IT just me or is it you who should be Cliff bar a sponsered. haha haha
Whatmore can be said, wow terrific!! and take me with you on your next climb!!
Hey I want to say thank you and I will cover Crushed crabs extortion HA HA HA
st00pid symbol with a hat</;+D(( I went to your Blog post and could not add to it so this will have to do bump
or for music do you prefer>>?? give a hint... I do not want to shame or taint this fine work of ART!!!.
with say the Drop kick Murphys?? as far from ol' gerry and the boys as another old home town (S.F. BAY AREA)band the sucky but pals of mine BOMB . they will not show up here thru me.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Nov 17, 2014 - 04:28pm PT
Nice..... you got a map???

Its not nice to show the goods and then keep secrets.... ;>)

moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Nov 17, 2014 - 04:35pm PT
Good read and nice pics too...Looks like a fun outing.....Thanx..

Stevo
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:07pm PT
After one of my partners bailed...
I had to go to a wedding, quit making me jealous, I already hate you!

Proud ascent and adventure, and a great story!

T-minus 20 posts until someone spills the beans on the location.

T-minus 1 day until you send me $100 or I spill the beans.

Again, great TR and photos and climb and achievement and TFPU!
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:08pm PT
Nice
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:16pm PT
Very nice! Thanks for sharing your great story and photos.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:26pm PT
Badass Vitaly! Nice tights Caitlin.

Bruce was a friend of mine BITD . . . thank you for memorializing him!
RP3

Big Wall climber
Newbury Park
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:26pm PT
My coefficient of jealousy just increased. It gets higher every time I read one of your TRs. VERY well done!
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
  Nov 17, 2014 - 05:33pm PT
Excellent TR Vitaly. You put the thrill of discovery and adventure back into a sport made mundane by the acceptance of the masses.
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California, living in The Old Pueblo
  Nov 17, 2014 - 07:14pm PT
Awesome TR, V., as always.
cat t.

climber
california
  Nov 17, 2014 - 09:02pm PT
this 'twas a magical place for a first alpine climb!! Thanks for the pics and cool TR!
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
  Nov 17, 2014 - 09:45pm PT
Wow man! What a trip report! Great pictures, great writing, and a fantastic achievement. Cheers!

ps, I just realized I totally know where this is, but I'm not telling!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 17, 2014 - 11:11pm PT
Gnome Ofthe Diabase, thank you for a nice comment. A friend of mine is a big fan of Drop Kick Murpheys. I am more of a numetal, alternative and industrial metal type. Even though I enjoy anything from techno to pop.

Guyman, I can give majority of people a map and pay for their gas and they still won't go anywhere that isn't in the supertopo guidebook. With all the directions, descriptions of routes and promise of PERFECT rock, to my knowledge no one went out to Tokopah domes to repeat any of those fun lines. Maybe not giving any of that will raise interest? :) In any case, to find the formation all I had was a photo of a drawing and a claim that somewhere in the Sierra is this stunning wall, that's it. Those who want to get out there have enough info to find it within an hour. So get out there and have a blast! And invite me along!

Excellent TR Vitaly. You put the thrill of discovery and adventure back into a sport made mundane by the acceptance of the masses.

Thank you! Have to disagree that climbing is mundane though. For everyone it is a personal journey. You put up a lot of good routes and I bet climbing was not at all mundane to you. For majority of beginners following on a 3 pitch 5.7 is SUPER exciting. Personally, at this point I am super excited when I get a chance to go exploring, but I love doing established routes too - hard and easy. Ice climb, aid, scramble, general mountaineering, whatever...I have some friends that are more excited to climb in the gym than majority of people I know who get out to Yosemite. I am happy for them. Climbing is awesome because it is multi-dimensional and each person can find an appropriate test, appropriate level of commitment. To each his/her own. I remember when a friend took me on my first multi pitch climb (East Crack at Lover's Leap) I thought if I fell following, everyone will go down with me. Everyone starts somewhere...at times people realize it is not for them, other times they get hooked. As long as the climbing is still EXCITING to you, on any grade that you want to do, that's all that matters. Everything else universally doesn't matter.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
  Nov 17, 2014 - 11:48pm PT
Ah yes Vitaly, what constitutes adventure is a different metric from individual to individual, quite true. But what I refer to as " made mundane by the acceptance of the masses" is the deep path they trod. There are relatively few, like you, that find true adventure where the maps end.

I have a tick list that I am slowing chipping away at. None of it is far, none of it is long, none of it could be construed to be world class, yet it is on no climbers map. My ability nowadays is less than modest, yet I still find adventure in the unknown.
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
  Nov 18, 2014 - 06:13am PT
Great stuff, like always.
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Nov 18, 2014 - 07:05am PT
Great trip report Vitaliy - the passion and the fun come right through into my computer.

And although this may be true, it's also very funny: "...a neuroscientist at Stanford University who spends her workdays playing with worm DNA...."
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
  Nov 18, 2014 - 07:28am PT
It's rarely a bad thing to follow in the footsteps of Beckey and Brutus! Well done.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
  Nov 18, 2014 - 07:43am PT
Great trip report and beautiful photos. Very inspiring and very fun reading.
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Nov 18, 2014 - 07:49am PT
A truly fitting addition to the saga. You've put in time and effort practicing your luck and when you need to test it, there it is.
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
  Nov 18, 2014 - 07:53am PT
Well done, both the adventure and the report. Tip of the cap.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Nov 18, 2014 - 08:30am PT
Guyman, I can give majority of people a map and pay for their gas and they still won't go anywhere that isn't in the supertopo guidebook. With all the directions, descriptions of routes and promise of PERFECT rock, to my knowledge no one went out to Tokopah domes to repeat any of those fun lines. Maybe not giving any of that will raise interest? :) In any case, to find the formation all I had was a photo of a drawing and a claim that somewhere in the Sierra is this stunning wall, that's it. Those who want to get out there have enough info to find it within an hour. So get out there and have a blast! And invite me along!



Just jerkin your chain, some.... Tokopah Domes, are on the list, for as soon as I can walk 3 miles.

This winter you need to come climb at the Rincon. We have been sending out invites for about 2 decades now, only the strong climbers make that trip.

Great TR, its good to know that some climbers go and get after the big stuff. Keep posting.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Nov 18, 2014 - 08:31am PT
Nice work V! Rad report dude. Your stoke oozes from the words on the page, inspiring me to greater heights.

Have you had time to put any more effort into that piece we talked about?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 18, 2014 - 08:34am PT
Another fine climb and great description....thanks!
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Nov 18, 2014 - 09:12am PT
One of this site's best TRs of all time IMO. Bravo!!

You have a great attitude too. You understand climbing offers all kinds of challenges to all kinds of people.

And what a stud Caitlin is!
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
  Nov 18, 2014 - 09:48am PT
You'll pay for my gas? Sweet!
Oh, wait, nevermind it's not in the supertopo guide :)
Been jonesing for a VM trip report...TFPU!

Yahoooo!!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2014 - 01:40pm PT
There are relatively few, like you, that find true adventure where the maps end.

Which is a great thing! Leaves some for me. :) When I got into climbing I was quite sad because I looked at obvious aesthetic lines in the Sierra, and all of them were climbed. No generation would miss the Twilight Pillar on Norman Clyde peak, East Face of Whitney, North Buttress of Goode, Sun Spot on the Hulk, Harding route on Keelere or Conness etc. A will to hike a long way and a lot of research can take you to some interesting places, even in a range like the Sierra Nevada.

Seems like when your generation was figuring it out, pretty much all climbers were explorers. There were roadside crags with plenty of new route potential too, so exploring did not take as much effort. Lovers Leap, Phantom Spires, Sugarloaf...man, so much roadside potential. Climbing has changed a lot since than. Climbers took it from general exploration and getting to the top using any means possible, to hard free climbing. Climbers created gyms so they could train for those free climbs while making a living, which made climbing available to the masses, for many it became a popular work out. In turn raised the desire to climb outdoors for many of those who did it as a work out. A lot of people complain about gyms and number of people they produce. Overcrowded crags is a turn off, so are the loud people taking poser shots at every belay. But if you think about it, how many of them are gonna become actual explorers? I honestly don't think the number of those will increase much. How many will be excited about going to Greenland to solo big walls? How many Charlie Porters the gyms will produce? How many will want to bushwhack 5 miles to a chossy crag to climb something "not classic?" Not many. But the gyms do change people in a positive way. Recently I heard of a guy who randomly walked into the local gym high (on hard drugs), didn't know where he was. Was offered to try out bouldering and it changed his life right there and than - has not taken any drugs since that day, climbs really hard. Amazing story, and I am sure there are many of them. Getting outdoors is a great thing for everyone, no matter if one is chasing her first v8, finding an obscure crag to put up a two pitch 5.8, or trying out crack climbing for the first time. You can take it to greater ranges and solo new mixed routes on 22,000 ft peaks too. So there will always be a step up, an opportunity to take your skills and apply them to harder objectives, explore valleys that no human has seen. There is plenty for everyone! Just got to stay positive and get after it - the Golden Age is now. :)

Have you had time to put any more effort into that piece we talked about?

Topped out the route. On one of the following trips was able to free climb the 8 first pitches. 8 more to the top. Out of those there are few spots that I have not freed yet. Hope to work more on it next year and free it by the end of the season. Man it would be a dream come true.

http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/10/summer-highlights-fa-of-emperor-v-511cd.html

This winter you need to come climb at the Rincon. We have been sending out invites for about 2 decades now, only the strong climbers make that trip. 

Where is that and what does it involve? I am not very strong but would come along and belay. I like meeting people from ST.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Nov 18, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
This is righteous. That overhanging 40m pitch with two roofs... Shwing!

Plus any time you get "crack" and "arete" in the same sentence, you know something good is going on.

Is IT just me or is it you who should be Cliff bar a sponsered

Vitaliy holds down a job and fires off these badass trips. Two backcountry FFA's in a two-day weekend, with 10 hrs driving to bookend it. And then showing up to work next morning. To me, more inspiring than sponsored climber's latest 5.14. True test will come when he has kids haahahha

Besides, he has the effect of a sponsored climber. When last I saw him, I made sure to check what technical clothing V was wearing so I could purchase it as well:


Chuck Taylor All-Star. Sold all my Patagonia and Prana, already stocked up on the Converse. Couldn't convince myself on the helmet, though (haha)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2014 - 04:43pm PT
Oh man, you know how many people made fun of me for that helmet? What I need is an ultra light and good looking helmet sponsorship, not Clif bar...but if they ship me some Builder bars and shot blocks, I will take them! :)
looks easy from here

climber
Santa Cruzish
  Nov 18, 2014 - 05:10pm PT
Sooo should we just redirect this thread here?
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Nov 19, 2014 - 11:54am PT
badadadadabump for unique adventure time
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Nov 19, 2014 - 01:12pm PT
IT WAS A JOKE ...MAN.... NOW THE Kid's comment .. One at a time If that is possible, this guy gonna get trip letts... HaHa HA on more than on level.... The big V reminds me of another, in more ways than just his line of work .the way he sends what he sends makes me think he may be related to Richie Romanohttp://www.mammutathleteteam.com/.../there-are-no-cracks-in-gunks.html okay it is find the 'candy' time!!((Sweets)) Go to the archive and scroll down to November 2008 and skip the first great one...
((I know it will be hard, you can go back for that gem)), Read the November 13 2008 "no cracks in the Gunks" write up as it is who and what I was talking about.
Cheers
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Nov 19, 2014 - 12:47pm PT
Thank you for posting a great trip report, with wonderful photos on one heck of an adventure.

And thank you for going out in the land of dragons and finding some adventure!

More please!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Nov 19, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
Where is that and what does it involve? I am not very strong but would come along and belay. I like meeting people from ST.

It's a place to go in the dead of winter... 11 miles north of Kernville. The hike is 2,000 foot gain in 1.5 miles.... that keeps a lot of climbers just looking at it. There are about 30 really great 1 pitch climbs... 5.8 to 5.12...cracks and face climbs, you will love it.

ST member RINCON had a hand in about 50% of the FAs.... we have been kicking around the idea of a "Balch Flake"-ST- type of a get together this winter. The season starts when it gets cold cause the place is a giant sun catching, south faceing bowl.

We will let you, and others, know far enuf in advance to plan.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 19, 2014 - 03:08pm PT
Yeah, I would be super up for it, Guyman. Let me know if you have an email I can reach you at. I emailed you at some point to ask a few questions about GOD, but did not hear back, so I don't think the ST email thing is the best option.
I would want to check it out no matter if we do a big meet or not. Just pick a weekend with good weather and go!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Nov 19, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Another steller TR. Anything I can say has all been said before^^^. Thank you for posting this up and keep up the great work.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 19, 2014 - 04:12pm PT
DMT, don't have anything from you. Email me at xxvitaliyxx@yahoo.com directly. I think this thing does not work at times. If anyone wants to email me use this thing. Sorry for countless bumps...
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Nov 19, 2014 - 05:19pm PT
Most excellent trip and report.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Nov 20, 2014 - 07:40am PT
Vitaly is the new star. Clif bar should sponsor him immediately.
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
  Nov 20, 2014 - 08:15am PT
Great tribute DMT. I love that picture with the duct taped helmet. What a cool looking dude!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 20, 2014 - 11:23am PT
Why did I quote DMT in my TR? Because he is a damn good writer! Hijacked my report in just one post! :) Seriously, enjoyed reading that! Will have to get back there and spent some time looking for arrows. Always wanted to find one.
By the way did you guys know that the word "Yosemite" translates into "those who kill" or "they are killers," and was used by Miwok and white settlers to describe Ahwahneechee. They were quite violent.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Nov 25, 2014 - 07:32pm PT
EXCELLENT!!!
And thanks for that DMT.

WL's right, too.
Gagner

climber
Boulder
  Nov 25, 2014 - 07:56pm PT
Way bitchin!!

Looks sweet...
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 25, 2014 - 08:14pm PT
Vitaly, DingusMilkToast, Le_..., and! photos of Brutus of Wyde&Em.

This has totally become the best Supertopo post ever.

Oh, and a great climb.
Powder

Trad climber
the Box
  Dec 9, 2014 - 01:08pm PT
Awesomeness, as always!!

This is what ST is about (at least to me.) Thanks for sharing!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Dec 13, 2014 - 01:04pm PT
Killer
this just in

climber
Justin Ross from North Fork
  Dec 13, 2014 - 01:11pm PT
What a TR and congrats on the FFA/FA.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Dec 14, 2014 - 08:52am PT
This is the drawing that started my obsession with finding this place! I don't remember where I saw it, but that and the report from DMT was all that I had to find this peak! That's why it took forever.

1. There is a beautiful 1000 ft wall in the Sierra
2. It is rarely visited
3. DMT, Brutus and friends climbed it
4. There is the drawing

Good luck! Lol.

Thank you for sharing the drawing Dingus, I had it saved somewhere, likely on my old desktop.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Dec 14, 2014 - 11:27am PT
Great circle of life. Lets go again!
nah000

climber
now/here
  Dec 14, 2014 - 11:51am PT
glad this got bumped, as i missed it first time around...

very nice Vitaliy and DMT!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Dec 14, 2014 - 12:14pm PT
It is 3:11 east coast time and that is in the afternoon !
I am more about the early morning stoke !
so this is a bump for the fire and flames of respect !!
pherbump bum pity bump!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Dec 15, 2014 - 08:28am PT
Bump for a great TR.
"The brotherhood of the rope".
That is the essence of it. TFPU
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Dec 19, 2014 - 01:13pm PT
I needed to bump this, I needed a fix. After the trolling from europe andthen I found this ??[Click to View YouTube Video] is it speedy enough?? note that I am in the deep rear end of this az it iz notz my tazte in muzic?? Ever heard of XTC ??
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Aug 27, 2015 - 03:07pm PT

Photo by Abe Blair. Very cool, belongs in this thread!
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 27, 2015 - 03:05pm PT
sickest thread!
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
  Aug 27, 2015 - 08:04pm PT
SOOOO wonderful!

As a side note, that image really caught my attention too, as did the outpouring of stories that followed Bruce's passing. While I had climbed and had hung out with him a number of times and felt like I'd been chasing his name around the Sierra for quite a while, I didn't quite feel close enough to attend the memorial at Stone House. Several weeks after that gathering I was in Leh, Ladakh and pulled up a slideshow of the event that Jerry Dodrill had taken and as I was watching, a picture of my friend Darla came up. Now, here we were, thousands of miles from home, and the woman running our guest house remembered Darla's visit some 20 years earlier! Sometimes I feel skeptical about the whole "brotherhood of the rope" thing, but I'm convinced that mountain people do share something with one another.





ps: Vitaliy-I'll be hitting you up for some directions soon!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Aug 27, 2015 - 08:04pm PT
but those who don’t take risks never taste champagne.

Pretty much sums it up.

Thanks for a great story that I missed until now.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  May 3, 2016 - 09:59pm PT
A 10/10 TR and I'm glad I came to read it a second time. Vitaliy you've truly got the fire in you. And luckily for all of us you take damn good pictures.

DMT, what a beautiful piece, only just read it now and it has set in deep. Every line awash in love and respect. I could read miles and miles of writing like that. Thank you for sharing it. RIP Brutus.
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