Super Slide 5.9

 
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Royal Arches Area


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Cookie Sheet, Bishop's Terrace, Super Slide
Monday October 19, 2009 8:58pm
I headed to Yosemite Valley with my friend Mike Z this past weekend. We wanted to check out the Cookie Sheet, a newish area a bit west of the valley proper with lots of friction / slab climbs.

But of course Mike had an adventure in store -- instead of heading up from the M2 sign on 140, we came down a loose, slippery gully from 120 along some powerlines, just before the first tunnel. He wanted to check out Hobknob (5.8), an obscure climb noted in the Reid guide for which we had basically no beta .. just a line drawn on a photo with a rating. Our thought was to use it to climb back to the car.

There were several handlines strung from trees to descend the gully, which some showers earlier in the week had made a bit moist.

Descending handline on loose steep gully from 120 to the Cookie Sheet
Descending handline on loose steep gully from 120 to the Cookie Sheet
Credit: rhyang

We arrived at the Cookie Sheet after several more of these and some brush wrestling and class 3-4 mud scrambling :)

Cookie Sheet from the west end
Cookie Sheet from the west end
Credit: rhyang

Mike had done a couple of the leftmost routes the previous summer, so we decided to do something different, and I started up Emm Too (5.7) which was a fun romp.

Looking up at the Cookie Sheet below Emm Too (?)
Looking up at the Cookie Sheet below Emm Too (?)
Credit: rhyang

Mike Z following Emm Too (5.7)
Mike Z following Emm Too (5.7)
Credit: rhyang

After swapping leads, we rapped off using the lead line and the 60m half rope we'd carried in for the follower to trail. We did this on all the routes we climbed there.

Next we decided to go do Little Tin Gods (5.8) - Mike led the first 5.7 pitch.

Mike Z leading first pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Mike Z leading first pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

I took the second pitch - the 5.8 crux seemed rather short.

Mike Z following second pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Mike Z following second pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

We swapped again for the last fun pitch, which had some cool knobs and other features.

Mike Z off belay after leading last pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Mike Z off belay after leading last pitch of Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

The day was getting hot, so we went to go have lunch at one of the shady spots along the base. There are some nice views from this cliff -

Big Oak Flat Road from the Cookie Sheet
Big Oak Flat Road from the Cookie Sheet
Credit: rhyang

Views from the Cookie Sheet
Views from the Cookie Sheet
Credit: rhyang

Several other parties were climbing by now. I was surprised that this place was so popular.

Another party on the Cookie Sheet
Another party on the Cookie Sheet
Credit: rhyang

We decided to do Plastic Jesus (5.8) as a final climb and then head out. On the way we ran into a party who wanted to do Little Tin Gods -- turns out I'd seen the leader at Planet Granite .. small world :)

Another party on Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Another party on Little Tin Gods (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

Mike led the first pitch of Plastic Jesus and I found it quite slick .. the polish was unlike the other routes we'd climbed that day, but interesting nonetheless. By now this part of the cliff had gone into the shade, for which I was grateful on my lead. We made quick work of the climb and rapped off.

Rapping off Plastic Jesus (5.8)
Rapping off Plastic Jesus (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

Thrashing back up the gully we realized that we'd run out of time to do Hobknob though, so back up the handlines we went .. tiring and slow .. wonder how many leafless poison oak stalks we brushed up against =:-O But we'd climbed eight pitches on good Yosemite granite, so we didn't feel too deprived.

Sunday we decided to go do some classics. I had been wanting to lead Bishop's Terrace for several years. Our early start put us behind only one other party, which was doing it in two pitches. Oh well, we shouted up encouragement to their new leader, chatted and just enjoyed the ambiance.

Another party on Bishop's Terrace (5.8)
Another party on Bishop's Terrace (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

Finally I got my chance and up I went, with my crack shoes and taped up hands. Oh man, beautiful sinker jams and elegant moves. So wonderful !

And then I got to the wide section .. argh. It was not quite as graceful, but I managed to find a sequence that worked for me. The steep section on the double cracks felt tenuous but exciting, and soon I was sinking hand jams up to the belay. Oh what a feeling :D

Mike had done this climb before, but he seemed to enjoy doing it again.

Mike Z following Bishop's Terrace (5.8)
Mike Z following Bishop's Terrace (5.8)
Credit: rhyang

We'd brought a single 60m rope for this, so instead of rapping off the bolt anchors, Mike led up a short 5.6 pitch to a slab as shown in the Reid guide. We rapped off from there, descended some brief third class, and walked down the descent gully a bit back to the packs.

Second pitch after Bishop's Terrace to single-rope rappel descent.
Second pitch after Bishop's Terrace to single-rope rappel descent.
Credit: rhyang

We were done just in time for lunch :) What to do next ? We were still taped up and in the neighborhood, so we walked over to do Super Slide aka Super Slab. A party from the UK was just rapping off, and gave us some beta.

The first pitch was pretty much an approach :) Mike led the second pitch up to the first tree, which was so-so, and a bit wet and seepy below the tree.

Mike Z leading second pitch of Super Slide (5.9)
Mike Z leading second pitch of Super Slide (5.9)
Credit: rhyang

I took the second pitch, across the ledge and up the cracks. More fun hand jamming ! I stopped at the hanging belay.

Looking down third pitch (5.7) of Super Slide
Looking down third pitch (5.7) of Super Slide
Credit: rhyang

Probably we could have skipped this belay if we'd started from the tree just below instead of the first tree .. oh well. Mike was psyched for the next pitch.

Mike Z ready to lead fourth pitch (5.8) of Super Slide
Mike Z ready to lead fourth pitch (5.8) of Super Slide
Credit: rhyang

This pitch was even better than the last ! In the meantime, clouds had been moving into the valley and the hour was getting late. We discussed whether or not to climb the last pitch, but our minds were made up when we felt the first drops of drizzle. Watching the clouds slowly gather in the valley was a beautiful sight, though not one we wanted to see at that moment :)

Time to descend .. our 60m half ropes made it to the ledge, and then we rapped from the first tree, which got us to within 10 feet of the ground, and from there it was relatively easy downclimbing.

The rain didn't really last long, just enough to give the valley floor a nice wetting and remind us that autumn was here.

  Trip Report Views: 2,455
rhyang
About the Author

Comments
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Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Oct 19, 2009 - 03:14pm PT
Thanks again! Keep 'em coming!
MooseTracks

Mountain climber
Bishop, CA
  Oct 19, 2009 - 03:32pm PT
Sir Robin: those look like so much fun! I'll have to note them down for next year! Congratulations on another fine day!

-PB
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Oct 19, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
I've been meaning to check out Cookie Sheet; thanks for the pics! Super Slide is another one I need to get to... so many climbs, so little time!

Good to see you out biting off more.
Michael Golden

climber
Mountain View, CA
  Oct 19, 2009 - 06:22pm PT
Nice work, Rob. Seems like you're getting a lot of mileage in.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Oct 19, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Sweet!

(For next time, you can rap Bishop's with one 60m and a bit of down-climbing from a big flake)
del cross

climber
  Oct 19, 2009 - 09:09pm PT
Hey Rob, that "slab" be the Bishop's Terrace proper. Not visited too often I reckon.
Zander

climber
  Oct 19, 2009 - 09:58pm PT
Nice rhyang,
Out having fun again!
Zander
rhyang

climber
SJC
Author's Reply  Oct 20, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
Thanks all !
Pate

Trad climber
  Oct 20, 2009 - 09:45pm PT
Cool Tr. Slabberiffic.
Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
  Sep 5, 2012 - 03:21pm PT
Bump for moderific fun.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Sep 5, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
Bump again.... the next weekend I make it to the valley with my lady I think Cookie Sheet might be in order.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
  Sep 5, 2012 - 05:53pm PT
Looove Cookie Sheet. Tons of fun if you like slabs and aren't intimidated by an approach of 30 mintues if talus hopping. I was there all day on a beautiful June Saturday this summer and my group had the whole slab to our selves the entire time.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Sep 5, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
How was the poison oak? When those routes got put up it was heinous.

Now yer ready to go to Washington and do Slab Daddy.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
  Sep 5, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
PO wasn't bad at all at the base of Cookie Sheet when I was there. I've heard it's pretty bad at the start of the approach, but we accidently started about 100 yards off (headed up past the huge overhanging boulder off the side of the road)so I can't speak for it personally. There are patches along the way, but just keep your eyes open and you'll be okay. Mosquito's were a little annoying on the ground, but disappeared 10 feet up.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Sep 5, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
The way to make the most of the time you had...Good climbs!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Sep 5, 2012 - 09:47pm PT
Stoke!
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Photo: Chris McNamara
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