Trip Report
Bubbs Creek Wall - The Emperor (FA/FFA V 5.12- or 5.11 A0)
Monday July 13, 2015 5:41pm
Over the last two years I spent about thirty days in the Bubbs Creek Wall area. I hiked over two hundred and twenty miles and drove much more then I would like to admit. This was the first time that I had a real "project" - a route with approximately 2,200 feet of climbing, eight miles deep in the High Sierra. A route with sustained climbing and a few cruxes ranging from 5.10 to 5.12 on every pitch. The roller coaster begun from attempting to put up a new route ground up and transitioned into a quest to free climb it. It turned out much more sustained then I wanted, but the incredible setting and quality climbing had me hooked. Encouragement from friends mixed with a little bit of obsession kept me returning no matter if a trip resulted in major progress or doubts of the line going free. Countless hours of battle against a self-created obstacle - so pointless, yet so rewarding.


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The Emperor


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Luke and I on top on the day we completed the First Ascent (2014) to the top of the wall. This guy has been encouraging me to push myself and believe that I can do things that are semi-delusional. Turned out lying to yourself could work quite well! Blank looking walls have holds and it is possible to gain results from hard work. Mr. Energizer - Luke Stefurak my hat is off and the only regret I have is not climbing the FFA together. Wish I could do it with every person that has helped me in this quest. First team free with the direct finish and every harder variation is a possibility for the future though! I don't think my light version of the Emperor would be enough for you anyway, you are too strong to be challenged by it!


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Brian Knowles following the traverse on pitch 9 (2014) - "It is too blank to free climb!" We climbed five pitches (6--10th) in two days of hard work. Sent completely free 1/5 during those days. Two seemed impossible and one seemed like a hard 5.12.


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Cristiano Pereira and I on top after climbing Ronin - Samurai Warrior. We climbed on The Emperor and the Sensei during the 5 days we spent at Charlotte Creek camp that week.


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Caitlin Taylor following the traverse on pitch nine. We started and finished the route together. Watching her gain skills, maturing and growing as a climber is quite awesome. Even more awesome then me climbing this piece of rock. She went from single pitch sport, to doing 1,000 ft first ascents with me last year. In 2015 she helped me to free the Emperor. Even though I am sure she has gained many positive memories, learned a lot and seen even more, I still feel like I owe her a giant THANKS for helping me in my at times selfish plans.


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Pavel Burov enjoying the day on the wall. Similar story to the weekend with Brian. Full day on the wall and two new pitches. We knew one would go free. On my second attempt to top rope it I fell ONLY two times! :)


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Don't know why I could not find photos of Daniel Jeffcoach on the wall but he was a vital part of the early stages of the FA. He is a very encouraging friend, a mentor who taught me to drill and invited me on our first real backcountry FA - The Siege on the Fortress in Castle Rocks. Can't say enough good about this guy, he is awesome to talk and to climb with!


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ENTERTAINING STORY: when I was climbing with THE Jim Donini in CO, I took an earlier flight back to CA. I arrived at 8pm. Why? Because I got in my car and drove straight to Kings Canyon. I got to the trailhead after 1 am, woke up at 6 am, hiked in the 8 miles to the base of the wall so I could rope solo on my fixed lines. I worked out sequences, added a few bolts and cleaned a few cracks. That day I found a new variation to pitch four, which later allowed it to go free. It was a tiny step to free climbing the 17 pitch route, that was not even complete to the top at that point. Even though hiking out, driving home and having to be at work the next day f***ing sucked, I was damn happy with my decision to spent the day on the wall. Now that I think about it, I can't believe I was so driven and hooked on this thing...


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When Alaina Robertson and I went up the route a week prior the free ascent, she encouraged me to work out the moves on the 9th pitch till I got them to work. It was too blank and I never got anything to work there no matter how hard I tried during the previous outings. Only Luke made those moves go while following the pitch in 2014. "I will belay you till you get them," she said, "this does not look as bad as the stuff you have climbed lower on the route." I don't know if I trusted that it was easier or was tired of flailing, but I figured the moves and sent the pitch from the belay that day. Turned out it was the last big hurdle and the 14th pitch was not as blank as I remembered it. Thank you for your patience Alaina!


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Richard Shore leading the 11b variation to pitch eight. First day on the route in 2015. An ass whooping for me. Hopefully Richard liked climbing the first twelve. Even though we did the Nose in a day together and have climbed in Patagonia, we decided bailing after the first twelve would be much more fun then continue to the summit in the dark. Happy about decision and chomping on instant mashed potatoes back in camp.

This journey, significance of which I can't articulate with words, was a giant test to my patience. A mixed bag of challenges, emotions and little memories I won't forget. It was about the joy of hiking up a beautiful canyon and challenges of bringing up the big loads of gear. Staring up at the wall trying to get psyched by listening to Slipknot on repeat. Finding the next stance to drill and taking a 40 ft fall when my foot slipped from the stance. The fun of figuring out that a particular move will go free with a subtle shift of my body and core tension. Twisting ankles on the approach. Watching the hammer bounce to the base after Daniel dropped it as he tried to drill the first bolt from a heinous stance. Taking over four hours to lead a single pitch. Solving mystery of route finding and rehearsing the moves on top rope. Watching the beautiful sunsets and drinking instant coffee to jump start our day at five in the morning. Connecting with other outdoor enthusiasts. There was some of everything - surprises, happiness, fear, embarrassment, sleepless nights, frustrations, injuries and many learned lessons. It was about taking it all in and feeling alive. In the end, this experience is an opportunity to admit that there is a lot to be proud and embarrassed about when you pick a real challenge. Personal journey I had a pleasure to share with multiple people whose presence and help is much appreciated and never will be forgotten. In particular, my friend Caitlin was there for the first day I started up the route. Neither of us thought the first pitch was easier then 5.12 crimps, by the end of the season she went out with me and I free climbed the first eight pitches. After several months off, I went out to the wall on four consecutive weekends and figured out a way to free climb the 9th pitch. On the last of these Caitlin volunteered to support me in my attempt to free the line. It was quite impressive to see someone gain so much competence in under a year. Going from single pitch sport climbing to being able to follow a route no shorter then the Regular NW. Face of Half Dome.


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Bubbs Creek is an awesome spot


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Brian on the double dike pitch


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Charlotte Dome and Bubbs Creek Wall


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Mama bear


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Pitch five is a pretty cool layback. Not too long, but pumpy, fun and has a fun move to a giant chicken head in the end :)


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Pavel following pitch 4 on The Emperor - the Granite Voodoo pitch! It starts with a deadpoint move to a shitty crimp, goes through a very insecure slabby traverse, continues up through more improbable sloping holds and finishes with a few exciting moves to the belay. For a pitch no longer than 90 feet it packs a lot of punch!

The day produced a bag of surprises. After figuring out a way to free the 9th pitch a week earlier I fell trying it again. I fell again and again. After almost sticking the move, I fell again, and again. I was getting frustrated. Over a 1,000 ft off the ground my patience was on the edge. For me, the move involves no hard crimping and is all about balance, so getting pissed was not gonna help my cause. I lowered to the belay again, tried a slightly different sequence and moved on to much better holds. Part of me was psyched, but there was another tricky 5.10+/5.11- crux in the end of the pitch that could have been a heartbreaking to blow. I took my time and passed on to the belay. From there it did not get easier. The next pitch had a difficult move that took me two tries to send. Pitch after that was much easier, but quite exciting because 140 feet of climbing are protected by a total of five bolts, one of which is right above the belay. After the eleventh I took in some of the last food I brought and tried to regain the momentum. The previous week had several thunderstorms which resulted in significant seeping on pitches twelve through fourteen. At first I did not think it would be doable to free them, but they turned out to be dry enough to continue trying. After barely sticking the 5.11 mantel on pitch twelve, getting scared as hell climbing a moist groove with no good holds and a little plant crimp breaking - which would result in at least a 35 footer - I stuck the tricky layback on the thirteenth.


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Hiking in - not the best weather


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One of the days on the route in 2014


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Caitlin on the Groove


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I want to go to sleep, can we please be done with the hard climbing?!


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Heavenly views from the route

Time of the day was running out and I still had to add two bolts, one on the thirteenth and one on the fourteenth. Fourteenth was the big question mark in my head. A year prior I made a few rivet holes and aided it on hooks. On the first ascent, in the end of the day it seemed too blank to free climb. Even though Luke said he free climbed it while following, that was no guarantee that the pitch would go for me, Luke is a much stronger climber. But to my surprise after placing the bolt and trying the moves they did not seem that tricky. I lowered back down and sent the pitch as the sun went below the horizon. I could not believe that the madness we started a year prior was almost complete. Before Caitlin got to the belay a few tears of joy came down my face even though we were not even close to the summit. However, the difficulties were behind. We climbed the remaining five hundred feet of easier terrain in the dark and Caitlin passed on a bar to me, likely to avoid my hypoglycemic fussiness. The day was a good finish to one of my battles on the Bubbs Creek Wall. I like the climb so much that I will make sure to climb it again. Maybe find a direct finish to the upper pitches? Maybe improve my skills and sent the harder variation to pitch - I took the 5.11B variation on the day of the free ascent. Have a no falls day while swinging leads with a partner? Linking up different routes in a day? Climbing the Beckey? Sky is the limit. For now however, I will make sure to take advantage of a small break from this wall!


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Fun climbing on pitch 10 - the double dike. Brian Knowles stemming and pinching.


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Zoomed in view of the clean corner system in the middle of the route


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After I finally sent the 9th pitch, week prior to the attempt to free the whole route.


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PITCH 14 GOES! So does the Emperor! YAY! 500 feet of climbing in the dark later we are on the summit!


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Topo - I will make a MP page soon and will post one with better quality. In the mean time, anyone can ask me for one and I will be glad to sent you a pdf.


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Adios and enjoy the route!

To conclude the report, I would like to mention that this experience, even though very satisfying as a personal accomplishment, will not be as pleasing if other people will find the route to be sh#t. I did my best to clean the loose rock, equip the belays with good hardware and even placed rap rings for most of the pitches, all the way to the 13th pitch. It is possible to rap most of the route with two 60 M ropes, or even with a single 60 if you are ok with leaving several carabiners and rapping off single bolts. Pitches that were onsighted on lead are left with the same number of bolts as were placed on the FA, but those that I rehearsed on top rope after aiding, I made sure to equip with a safe number of bolts to suit a climber trying to onsight the pitch. It is not a scary route, but could be quite exciting in spots, which should not scare anyone off - guy that constantly falls off v4 boulder problems in the gym could do it! The ratings are my best guess. I did my best to honestly rate the pitches and asked my partners who have climbed them to give their honest opinion so there is some sort of a consensus. I will make sure to update the topo if I have more feedback. The ratings can be adjusted if people feel something in particular is easier or harder. I think the quality of climbing on the Bubbs Creek Wall is worth a trip, especially now that there are THREE FREE ROUTES WITHIN 300 feet of each other. Ronin - The Samurai Warrior, The Emperor and The Sensei are all grade V 5.12 or 5.11 A0. All are in a spectacular location and could be linked with possibly the best 5.8 in the Sierra Nevada, the South Face of Charlotte Dome. As many of you know, I get out to the mountains quite often, and would not stick around one place if it sucked. So get out there, have your own adventure and please share the experience. I would love to hear about it!

Happy climbing to all!


Trilogy of reports over the last few seasons, for those who want to see more:
The FA - http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2014/10/summer-highlights-fa-of-emperor-v-511cd.html
Pitch 9 - http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-emperor-emotional-roller-coaster.html
FFA! - http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2015/07/bubbs-creek-wall-emperor-goes-free.html

  Trip Report Views: 5,478
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is an annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

Comments
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Jul 13, 2015 - 05:45pm PT
You know V that all these TR's of yours are taking up valuble bandwidth which could be used for slander and politics.

BBST. TFPU. And other gibberish acronyms.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 05:46pm PT
Wow! Serious sendage! But why didn't you call it The Tsar? ;-)
Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:04pm PT
Looks good, nice effort! You certainly spent lots of time and effort to get it completed and the results are well worth it. My experiences up in that area have been quite rewarding too but your accomplishment is another level beyond, congratulations on a fine job.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:13pm PT
No, the topo sucks, I will make a better one. The route does not deserve to be drawn in my shitty hand writing! :)
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:20pm PT
Bravo Vitaly! Almost makes me want to get back into 5.12 shape.
Maeday

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:23pm PT
Congrats Vita! A+ for persistance :)
cat t.

climber
california
  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:33pm PT
But why didn't you call it The Tsar? ;-)
I am mildly ashamed to admit that I referred to this route as "The Other Woman" when discussing it with my non-climbing friends last summer :P

This route is AWESOME. I hope other people get out to SEKI and get on it. It's certainly a huge day out (especially for mediocre sport climbers!) and for sure there's the mental toll of pitch after pitch of sustained (and probably a tad sandbagged, V...) climbing, but DAMN. Amazing route, amazing setting. SEKI is the best place on earth.
sharperblue

Mountain climber
San Francisco, California
  Jul 13, 2015 - 06:47pm PT
~sigh~ yet another of your weaksauce parking lot bouldering sessions. why do I even bother to read these?

Thanks for constantly reminding us why California is so awesome, and just how much more great stuff is out there waiting to be put up!
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Jul 13, 2015 - 07:10pm PT
Very nice real climbing TR...Thanx for sharing it....

Stevo
ecflau

Gym climber
CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 07:24pm PT
Again, well done!

Also, for those that haven't been out there, I just hiked out to the Bubbs Creek camp for my first time out to Kings Canyon, and the 7 miles hike in and out was actually really nice. Its on a established hiking trail, it follows a Bubbs Creek in a very beautiful setting. Bubbs Creek is such a prominent peak from the backpackers site that I would love to check it out, and I usually have to be convinced to do any route that is more than a stones throw from the car! There is so much climbing potential with no crowds, and ~5% of the tourists of Yosemite; I'm surprised there aren't more established climbs out there.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Jul 13, 2015 - 07:44pm PT
Hot damn man, you are an animal. Looks pretty world class to me. Before I started climbing, that was one of my two favorite places in the world (the other is around Valhalla area where you are also making your mark). Fine work and dedication.
this just in

climber
Justin Ross from North Fork
  Jul 13, 2015 - 08:19pm PT
Biggest congrats man. To me this was just as entertaining as following the Dawn Wall final push, sure the rating isn't as hard, but you pushed your limits and should be proud of yourself. You are really getting stuff done and are the definition of a climber. Each report shows your progress and the skies the limit. Awesome report and a pleasure meeting you and Luke this weekend.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 08:25pm PT
Don't know why I could not find photos of Daniel Jeffcoach on the wall but he was a vital part of the early stages of the FA
There you go! Now everyone knows I was there for part of this so they will think I'm hardcore! In reality, Vitaliy is too kind. I helped for 3.5 pitches, dropped the hammer, bailed and never went back because I thought it wouldn't go or would be too hard. In my big dumb face, Vitaliy pulled it off and created one of the most epic routes out there!

Congrats on finishing this beast, stud muffin! That double dike pitch looks soooo cool!


In my defense, check out this picture of Caitlin on P3, I think it's understandable why I looked up this thing and felt hopeless. Leave it to V to make the impossible happen!
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Jul 13, 2015 - 09:00pm PT
Very cool looking route, good job!
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:09pm PT
Wow, epic! Great TR, and congratulations on the climb. But you should delete that picture of the spider, or no one will go there.
Fish_Products

Big Wall climber
FishProducts.com
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:13pm PT
Good stuff!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:20pm PT
Bravo V man!
as usual a total stoke-fest...
Lasti

Trad climber
Budapest
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:42pm PT
Vitaliy is on fire (as usual).

+1 on the stoke fest. The first pic of the face with a nice line right in the middle is enough to get any climber psyched. But then it just keeps on coming.

Lasti
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:46pm PT
Holy moly, way to go man! Congrats. You are continuing to absolutely kill it.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:49pm PT
Yo Vitaliy! Very inspirational- I may go gun for the 2nd soon. Thanks for the stoke, would love to cross paths sometime
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 13, 2015 - 10:52pm PT
Also! Care to elaborate on what "tricky 5.11 or 5.12a" means- hahaha love it
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 13, 2015 - 11:14pm PT
Justin, thank you and it was awesome to meet you in person this weekend. I will be coming out to your hood much more often, maybe we can climb or hang out at least. Will keep in contact!
Working on this route made me respect the Dawn wall proj even more. Emperor was two seasons, their effort took 7 or 8? That is incredible to keep going for so long. Hope to never have a climb that I'd put so much time into. A taste of hard work was enough. Working on super hard routes for a long time is not as enjoyable (to me) as getting out to a new place and climbing a new line in a day. I can see myself getting excited about something like this, but hopefully not in the near future! For now I can enjoy my cookies and long hikes to remote locations...

The Other Woman will be a good name for a future route..now we need to find Caitlin a proj, very deep in the Sierra >:)




Snowhazed, I'd be super excited to hear about it if you do go. Taking a prolonged weekend and climbing a few routes up there would be perfect, but doing it car to car is also possible, even though not as enjoyable! By tricky 5.11 or 12 I meant that it is hard for me to put a rating on it. I have not projected many things in the past, and don't do as well on slabby face, usually. It is hard for me to call something I was able to sent a 5.12-, even though that's what I think it is...I did work that pitch a bunch to get the moves. Hoping people will climb it and give their honest opinions on pitch difficulties so I could adjust the topo accordingly after hearing from several people. I don't want the ratings to seem wayyy off. So far it is the best estimation based on own experience and feedback from multiple people that went up with me. All the hard spots are very well protected and could be pulled through on gear in the worst case. Email me or post your email here so I can send you a better topo...even though you won't get lost once you find the base.
One tip for the first pitch is to extend the pieces and back clean a cam from beginning of the roof, to prevent the rope drug from screwing you for the crux. The crux is in the end of the pitch. Aside from this pitch the rope drag is not an issue. In the future I may try to see if the dike could go straight up, which would make the pitch straight as an arrow. Would be a harder variation..
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
  Jul 13, 2015 - 11:58pm PT
Ho-Ly Crap. This is as badass as they come. Congrats on what seems to be a mammoth effort.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 12:00am PT
Holy sh#t, now thats a route! A 2200 ft. face, 18 long pitches, incredible looking climbing, wow. To say nice job would be an understatement.
MisterE

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Jul 14, 2015 - 07:17am PT
Killing it, V!

Major props.

Erik

overwatch

climber
Arizona
  Jul 14, 2015 - 12:41am PT
Epic project, epic tr, great support crew.

It has been a pleasure watching you mature as a climber and as a poster on this forum.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 14, 2015 - 03:42am PT
Just awesome, wow!
Mark Sensenbach

climber
CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 04:31am PT
OMG
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Jul 14, 2015 - 04:51am PT


Great that you posted it here in full,
thank You,thanx for laying to rest any
fears that you are done yet!

Can't wait to see more !
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jul 14, 2015 - 06:33am PT
badass-ness for sure!!!!
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
  Jul 14, 2015 - 07:02am PT
Awesomeness!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jul 14, 2015 - 07:11am PT
Great TR with fantastic pics.....your drive is amazing!
dhayan

climber
culver city, ca
  Jul 14, 2015 - 07:30am PT
Awesome!! Congratulations, that granite looks amazing!
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Jul 14, 2015 - 07:38am PT
Another Vitali ass kicking. Thanks for reminding us all how it's done.

BAd
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 10:41am PT
Wonderful TR, Vitaliy. You are on one amazing roll!

John
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 10:57am PT
Awesome! So awesome.

What do you bring along in terms of rack for this beauty? Not ready to hop on the thing but always like to imagine the rack I'd need for stuff I may not every be solid enough to do.

And, what was your favorite pitch?

Well done, V, well done!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 14, 2015 - 11:54am PT
Rack would be doubles from tiny to BD #1. Single BD #2, 3 and 4 is useful for pitch 7 and 13.
Favorite pitch...not sure. I really like the 3-5th pitches. Really like both variations of the 8th and it is super cool that the 9th goes, so I find it awesome. Pitch 10 double dike is super cool. Face climbing on pitch 2 is awesome and it is awesome that it went smooth because when we got up to the belay ledge on top of p1 it seemed like a blank wall above. Pitch 11 is kind of fun too. Pitches 12-15 are good too, not my favorites, but good. Probably two variations to p8 are the funnest because it is a full rope length of cool climbing.
Good day of climbing would be climbing to top of pitch 10 and TRing the harder variation of 8 on the way down. If one has two ropes and does not want to top out the route...
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Jul 14, 2015 - 12:17pm PT
Looks like some sick slab work. Lycra is so 1980s, but some can still pull it off
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jul 14, 2015 - 12:18pm PT
FFA envy!! NICE WORK VITALIY! YOU DA MAN!
Nanobody

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 01:13pm PT
Sunning! What an amazing achievement! love the TR, wish I had the skills to climb it
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 03:02pm PT
ive tried the pm through st in the past, i think its hit or miss

snowhazed at gmail

thanks for the topo and excitement!

DaveyTree

Trad climber
Fresno
  Jul 14, 2015 - 05:01pm PT
That'l do pig. That'l do.










Way to push V. Can't feel better than sending a project like that. It will be a couple weeks and you know you will have another.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 14, 2015 - 06:06pm PT

Photo that got me hooked originally. Ever since I saw it I thought it would be mega awesome to put a line down the middle between the other four. Quite unreal it worked out.
Remember checking out the photo as my friends and I went to do South Face of Charlotte dome. One of my first 5.8 leads in the backcountry in the end of 2011, for my birthday...Bubbs Creek wall seemed like a different planet. ;)
chappy

Social climber
oakhurst
  Jul 14, 2015 - 06:18pm PT
Vitaliy,
Inspiring as usual! Keep getting after it! It was great meeting you and your buddy Luke at Shuteye...hope to see you again.
Chappy
cat t.

climber
california
  Jul 14, 2015 - 06:20pm PT
One of my first 5.8 leads in the backcountry in the end of 2011
Based on this trajectory--can I claim you as my belay slave for the Emperor as my 2018 project? :)
Burnin' Oil

Trad climber
CA
  Jul 14, 2015 - 06:57pm PT
"Countless hours of battle against a self-created obstacle - so pointless, yet so rewarding."

Nice. Great looking climb. Lower the angle to 60 degrees and I am IN!
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
  Jul 15, 2015 - 01:19pm PT
Inspiring. Nice work man.
curt wohlgemuth

Social climber
Bay Area, California
  Jul 15, 2015 - 01:43pm PT
I have to say, the stoke you bring to your ventures is so cool. That's the kind of wall I'd have simply looked at, fearfully, from the base for a couple of days before I hiked back out. And that was when I was young and foolish!

Congratulations for sticking to it!
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Jul 15, 2015 - 02:17pm PT
Outstanding and just simply astonishing Vitaliy!!!
I was going to wait until this TR slipped to page 2 but I don't think it ever will. :)
yanqui

climber
Balcarce, Argentina
  Jul 15, 2015 - 04:10pm PT
Totally awesome proj and an inspiring report!
rincon

climber
Coarsegold
  Jul 16, 2015 - 07:06am PT
Photo that got me hooked originally. Ever since I saw it I thought it would be mega awesome to put a line down the middle between the other four.

That's my pic! Glad it got you hooked! :)

Roughster

Sport climber
Vacaville, CA
  Jul 16, 2015 - 07:44am PT
Awesome job!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 16, 2015 - 08:55am PT
Based on this trajectory--can I claim you as my belay slave for the Emperor as my 2018 project? :)

Now we're talkin!
How about Astroman fall of 2015?! I think you can give it a good try. The laybacking on the emperor sure makes the enduro corner to feel nice and fuzzy. :) I would get back on it in 2018 or earlier.

Rincon, that is awesome, thank you for contributing the photo, it sure had me drooling for a while.

Chappy, nice meeting you too, good luck with the route you and Jay are working on. Let me know when it is done, would love to try it...and Jay ' s line on Middle Cathedral too..
Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
  Jul 16, 2015 - 09:16am PT
Vitally wins the internet........again.
Sabirila

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
  Jul 16, 2015 - 09:22am PT
this is awesome.
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Jul 16, 2015 - 09:52am PT
Finally got a chance to read this in the style it deserves - savoring every bit.
What a rewarding project for you: hard, beautiful, and NEW!
Congratulations to you and all your partners.
Phyl
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
  Jul 16, 2015 - 12:34pm PT
Climbed it with only your hands and feet and the rope to catch you if you fell. Sounds like someone found their own dawn wall. Seriously just read this again and am impressed with the sheer will involved in pursuing such a thing. Can't wait to see the next one.
GARY Owen

Trad climber
Lexington
  Jul 16, 2015 - 03:02pm PT
TFPU - inspiring progression
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jul 18, 2015 - 01:19pm PT
Whoa Man Vitaliy!! That's a beautiful line on a big chunk of rock! That must feel good to have it under you belt. I'm always inspired by your photos and story line and the bravado to go out there every weekend and get er done somewhere somehow. Your definatly one of the modern day Stonemashers! The bar is set pretty high for all the folks going after it..wish I was, but its pretty great sitting here in the front row.I think its really cool that you gave everyone credit, a fine thing to do! Thanks for keeping us on our toes!!
Jdizzle

Boulder climber
Lander, wy. Born 1992. student of physics and pain
  Jul 19, 2015 - 01:39pm PT
inspiring effort on a perfect piece of rock. Way to work it out, thanks for sharing!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 20, 2015 - 08:02am PT
Thank you all for all the comments. I am super excited because at least three teams will attempt the route during the next few weeks! Hopefully!
Fingers crossed all will be satisfied with quality, challenges and length! Could be like a cross between the astroman and rainbow wall...but a little harder and a little longer. :))
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Jul 31, 2015 - 06:57pm PT
Has seen a second ascent!!!! And another party climbed half of the route! Supposedly they liked it a lot! :)))

see comments and description for beta!

http://mountainproject.com/v/the-emperor/110776954
nopantsben

climber
europe
  Aug 5, 2015 - 12:13am PT
f*#k yeah man.

So what are all the routes on this formation?
from left to right:
Chrystal Bonzai (aid)
Samurai Ronin (free)
Emperor (free)
What's up Bubb (aid) Sensei(free)
Beckey Route (aid)
Aquaman (free)

and that's it?

edit: i will report back when/if I've tried it ;-)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Aug 5, 2015 - 02:54pm PT
Ben, you would love it, I think.

And yes. Check out the route outline on this page: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201213104/Bubbs-Creek-Wall-south-face-The-Emperor
nopantsben

climber
europe
  Aug 5, 2015 - 02:59pm PT
Thanks for the link! Awesome!
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Sep 3, 2015 - 09:54pm PT
BUMP!

Per previous posts:



Also of note most of Crystal Bonzai went free a while back. It was done via the "Samurai Wind" start with only one "point" of A0. In this case i think its a 50 foot penji. There are references to how to do this on one of the nettle topos.
kief

Trad climber
east side
  Jan 28, 2016 - 09:34pm PT
Hot damn! There’s stoke in them thar hills!
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Jan 29, 2016 - 05:27am PT
F'n impressive. Well done and thanks for putting this great TR together!
Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
  Feb 2, 2016 - 08:47am PT
That's not real. Photoshop. CGI. Something.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Feb 2, 2016 - 03:27pm PT
Your getting more annoying every day,,,way to share the the vibe,,is there any easy routes up there ???
Escopeta

Trad climber
Idaho
  Feb 2, 2016 - 03:50pm PT
Outstanding. Plain and Simple
Go