Trip Report
Beyond Lunacy (7 pitch 5.11c at Reed's)
Wednesday December 25, 2013 4:26pm
Unlike many I find winter to be as enjoyable as any season, especially for climbing in Yosemite Valley. With decreased amount of daylight it is much more difficult to complete long climbs, but it gives me an opportunity to focus on shorter climbs of higher difficulty. Also it is a great time to sum up the favorite climbs of the year and pick a few goals for 2014, but more on that in the next blog.


No matter how much I go here, I keep coming back


Cool snow flakes on Merced river


Reed's. Beyond Lunacy goes pretty much up the middle and tops out on top of the formation

So aside from flailing on hard one pitch climbs, recently I got to complete one of the newer multi-pitch climbs in the park – Beyond Lunacy (7-pitch 5.11c).
Established in 2008 as a 5.10c A1, it was climbed all free in 2009 and rated as 5.11c at the crux. This climb is a continuation to Lunatic Fringe, which is already one of the most classic single pitches in the Valley. I found a few posts about several attempts at Beyond Lunacy, but none that actually completed all seven pitches. Even though no report described the whole route, all people who attempted it agreed that pitches they have done were really fun and worthy.
With an available topo and positive reviews, it was not hard to convince Tom to give this route a try. Even though it snowed only about a week prior to our attempt and morning temperatures kept us wrapped in down, by 10:30 we finished our coffee and decided to make our way up to the base. The approach was exhausting – two minutes! Since I never led Lunatic Fringe I asked Tom if I could take the first pitch, and he was more than happy to let me have it. After the first pitch we swapped leads all day and continued to the top of the formation. To my surprise we both led and followed the whole route completely free and without falls or takes.


Tom cranking on the 2nd pitch.


Tom on pitch 3

First pitch is stellar and involves all sizes from fingers to perfect hands. The crux of second pitch involved a really thin crack and a lot of stemming. Delicate pitch of high quality. Midway up the thin section there is a little flake that was flexing, I wonder if it will stay there for long.
To start the third pitch I walked left and around an arete. Short handcrack in a corner was a little wet but after I reached the second tier it was quality dry climbing to the top. Pitch four required a committing step left off the belay and a mantle to a decent knob, before you get to clip the first bolt and exhale. Tom and I thought the crux was when the knobs disappear around the third bolt. I thought I was gonna fall on this section but some miracle kept me climbing. The roof in the middle of the pitch was really fun and not as hard as it seemed from the bottom.


Climbers climbing Reed's Direct


Tom on pitch 4

On pitch five I had a WTF moment. To protect the move over a roof I tied off a knob above it. After taking a long time to figure out the move over, I went for it, and in the process knocked off my "protection." I was in the middle of the not so easy crux with another knob tied 20 feet below. The sequence I figured worked good enough that I mounted the knob and was able to tie another one before clipping the "thank god" piton, there was a happy ending to this mini epic. Another roof that was less dramatic and a sea of knobs took me to the belay below the crux.


Me on pitch 5, trying to figure out how to mount a knob without any footholds above it


Tom on the crux 5.11c


Traverse to the anchor is fun

Tom led the crux without looking too bothered. On the other hand it took every little gram of strength and endurance to keep my half of first knuckle in the crack. With a pump level in my forearms through the roof, the "hammock traverse" was super exciting. Especially in places where there was about 20ft between protection pieces. I was happy the pads of dirt allowed my passage, and am sure someone in the future will not be as lucky :) Per topo the last pitch is a 5.10d/5.11a and was my last lead. I knew it was the only thing that stood between us and climbing the route all clean so I fought the temptation to forfeit my lead to Tom and did my best not to screw it up by climbing with confidence. Mounting a knob to a first stance was exciting since it is right off the belay ledge and involves climbing an overhang. Than you get to clip a bolt and do a few more insecure moves before you clip another two and come up to the final mantle.


Other crags seen from Beyond Lunacy


Campfire was also a success

I have not done the mantle on the Nutcracker, but with the last bolt way below me I worked hard not to f-up the exit. Tom followed clean and we both took in some rays of sun before starting the rappell. Both of us were really excited about climbing this not yet well-known, but soon-to-be classic.

http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/

  Trip Report Views: 2,224
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

Comments
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Matt's

climber
  Dec 25, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
That's me on reeds pinnacle!

So glad you didn't mention all the pissing and moaning I was making flailing my way up the third pitch...

Nice tr as usual
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Dec 25, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
Keep up the good work. Great TR, thank you!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Dec 25, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
That's me on reeds pinnacle!

So glad you didn't mention all the pissing and moaning I was making flailing my way up the third pitch...

Matt I know.

Oh we heard that moaning, thought the racoons were fighting. jk haha Actually we did not hear anything. Had our own moaning to listen to.

Probably will see you this weekend. Was surprised to not see you last time. :)
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Dec 25, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
great that you got on this V,
Eric will be psyched!
yosemite 5.9

climber
santa cruz
  Dec 25, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Nice report! I went up to that top final traverse heading left to the final mantel years ago, starting from above Reed's Pinnacle. In involved a long mid-way traverse to the right to get over to your route. What was difficult about the crux? Thanks!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Dec 25, 2013 - 06:30pm PT
What was difficult about the crux?

5.9 Yosemite, here is the photo of the crux section:


It is a really thin crack in a left facing corner. With finger size that I have, it was tips of my fingers in improbable barely first knuckle jams and than a semi lie back. Nothing for feet once you get above the stance Tom is in (on the photo). Below that section there is also a flare we can't see. It requires another hard exit which was pretty pumpy.
I don't think we would do the same mantle to get to the top. Exit we did was after a newly bolted 5.10d/5.11a pitch and would not protect with gear. Way hard to solo onsight that for most mortals. But who knows...
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Dec 25, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
Very cool!

TFPU!
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
  Dec 25, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
Cool TR.

Putting that route up must have been a blast.

When I climbed through that crux pitch, that black streak was running with a thin film of slimy water. The rating of .11c was just a guess.
yosemite 5.9

climber
santa cruz
  Dec 25, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
Thanks for the description of the crux. Thin fingers is not my forte.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Dec 26, 2013 - 11:43am PT
When I climbed through that crux pitch, that black streak was running with a thin film of slimy water. The rating of .11c was just a guess.

Wow, that’s impressive. It was mostly dry for us but I found it really tough. At least an 11b I thought. It is a 5.11 of some sort lol. If one becomes super anal about precise accuracy of ratings the climbing will become way less fun. I think guys in the past had it right with their 5.10 5.10+ etc. Letter grades are hard to deal with and make everyone happy.
Johnny K.

climber
  Dec 26, 2013 - 11:49am PT
Awesome pics and climbing! ...looks like 5.hardfun =D
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Dec 26, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Always love your TRs, Vitaly!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Dec 26, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
SWEET!!!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Dec 26, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Nice! I love reading about the more obscure routes.

Glad to see Tom is still allowed out of the house after baby #2 :)

Edit: I forgot to say I enjoyed the snow animation in the first picture!
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Dec 26, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
tfpu
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Dec 26, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Wasn't the second pitch (above LF) done free long ago? Just wondering a little about the history of the entire route as a separate independent entity? Is there a topo anywhere, V, to see how it all comes together?

Just wondering.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Dec 26, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
Wasn't the second pitch (above LF) done free long ago? Just wondering a little about the history of the entire route as a separate independent entity? Is there a topo anywhere, V, to see how it all comes together?

Yes, it was. I think the second pitch continuation is called "Beyond the Fringe" (also 5.10c) and the whole route to the top is called "Beyond Lunacy." And has another 5 pitches on top of those two (Lunatic fringe and the second pitch).

Here is the topo I used:
http://www.stanford.edu/~clint/yos/BeyondLunacy.pdf

Helpful thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1495663/Beyond-Lunacy
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Dec 26, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
Bruce, the second pitch was Clint cummins et al.

The remaining 5 were E. Gable et al.

I remember a photo of static cords all lined up on the reeds retaining wall after the FA.

Classic shot of how the big ones get done.

Cheers V glad to hear you had a good time. Gable has a good eye, and a better disposition.

cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Dec 26, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Great photos of an excellent route! I agree that the Happy Hummock Traverse is "super exciting"--I climbed the route last May and found it to be the most terrifying section of the route by far. Thanks for taking the effort to write a TR and provide some wintertime stoke.
Gene

climber
  Dec 26, 2013 - 08:05pm PT
I have not done the mantle on the Nutcracker
~V

When you try it, be careful. Be very careful.

You might send it clean.

Great trip report. I enjoy your TRs, drive, humor, and successes. Keep raging.

g
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
  Dec 26, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Nice!
ablegabel

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Dec 29, 2013 - 01:10am PT
Nice job Vitaliy !
-Eric Gabel
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Dec 29, 2013 - 02:04am PT
Been looking forward to reading this one & it didn't disappoint.


Great stuff V! Looks like a cool route in a neat position, thanks for the TR!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jan 2, 2014 - 04:18pm PT
That's the good stuff. I wonder how many full ascents this thing has seen by now?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jan 2, 2014 - 05:05pm PT
Eric Gabel, thanks for putting the work in. From two relatively new routes I have climbed recently, this one really stands out. And is bolted with thought. Super Slacker Highway on the other hand...no comment.
phile

Trad climber
SF, CA
  Jan 2, 2014 - 09:01pm PT
nice!
Rudbud

Gym climber
Grover Beach, CA
  Jan 2, 2014 - 09:10pm PT
Very Good Route, lots of fun! Thanks for equipping it right Eric, nice work.
Tom
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 4, 2014 - 08:44am PT
A great winter TR!!
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