Dark Star 5.10b

 
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Temple Crag


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
Dark Star Car2Car
Thursday August 15, 2013 3:57pm
Wes, we agreed I would do the trip report this time. So I go to upload it and see you have pre-empted me by posting “beta” notes. If I had known, I could have spent the last 2 hours catching up on missed Sponge Bob episodes instead of slavin over this thing. Yer one rat bastard. Expect penalty slack in your near future.

Back to my attentive audience. Ladies. Worms. This is the TRUE and AUTHENTIC account of our escapade up Dark Star. You will notice many discrepancies with Wes’s poor substitute for a TR. Take pity on Wes, he is old and too much California sun has fried his brain to mush so he just makes sh#t up when he can’t remember.

So Wes Goulding and I partnerd up for a go at Dark Star Aug 3, 2013. We only had the weekend and didn’t have them back-country permits so he suggested we do it car2car. The reported length of this bad-boy started gnawin at me. I buzzed Wes and motioned we hike up around 6pm Friday and bivy under one of them rocks so we could get a hit more ZZZs. A foam pad and light sleeping bag wouldn’t add much in the way of weight, and seemed unlikely we would get hassled by the law at that hour. My idear was met with stone cold silence.
Hey there buddy did ya get that?
Reply:
car-to-car is what we talked about, and we are still doing the two approach pitches not the 3rd class ramp to the ledge right?
It was at that point I reelized in his mind this was an endurance test to train this Tennessee boy up fer joinin him on future hairier goals.

Check out the slideshow on you Tube (with groovy music)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3BRUmEuqsI
or just search Dark Star car2car.

Dark Star is an awesome route. Many of the lower pitches are quite sustained considering the alpine nature of the route. The miles of easy stuff on the upper sections are a bottomless course of divine desert topping off the feast of stouter pitches below. Or so I persuaded myself as my legs degraded into noodles of pain trying to keep up with Goulding’s furious pace.

Below are a bunch of details I noted about the climb. They are far more useful and accurate than the lies in Goulding’s beta post.

A lot of conflict on past trip reports and the hand-drawn topos we could find.
“Small nuts will do you no good”
“Bring lots of small nuts!”
“Doubles up to 4”
“Just one #3 and nothing larger”
“You can’t have too many slings”
The only consensus was “if you bring bivy gear you will”.

Taking this to heart, here was our gear list:
1.5 liters water each
Extra layers, weather shells, and a hat
5 medium nuts
1x green alien
2x yellow aliens
1x gray alien
1x gray/red hybrid alien
1x red alien
1x orange alien
1x 0.5” camalot
1x 0.75” camalot
2x #1 & #2 camalots
11 slings of assorted sizes, some with 2 biners
5 free biners
2 cordelletes (1 would have been enough)
A 60m 8.5mm rope (just one strand of a pair sold as a double rope system)
Lots of caffeinated shot blocks
Lots of GU packets
More GU and shot blocks
More GU and shot blocks
Sub-sandwich
With a few other sundries we had about 25 lbs each.

Throughout the climb the leader was finding great placements for something large or small and hollerin down “hey did we use them tiny cams in the anchor, I can’t find none on the rack???”. But, really, what we had werked great.


TIMES
Started 2am, back to car at midnight.
3 hours up to 3rd lake
1 hour to the base of the approach pitches
12 hours to summit ridge
3 hours of talus back down to 3rd lake (my quads were neigh give out by end of this)
3 hours to car
This is for 2 old guys who drove up from sea level the afternoon before. So you youngsters should be faster.

We found that the hand-drawn topo that Chris Mac posted on supertopo matched the route very well.
http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/5301/darkstarsq2.jpg

To git up to the official start of the climb we went up the 500’ cliff band below instead of going further up the talus and cutting right across the wide ledge. Lots of options here. Ours had a short 15 foot section of maybe 5.6 about 40’ off the deck, but was otherwise all 5.4 or less so it goes real fast.

The 10b first pitch is certainly the crux of the climb. Wes led that one. The crack was often shallow, flaring, or contorted, and pro was not as good as I would have liked. Foot and handholds to the right of this right-facing dihedral are generally lacking. Wes found lots of good opportunities to move left onto better holds on the arête for short sections. I think I remember that the fixed pins were missing at top of pitch #1. Pitch 2 continued up the dihedral at sustained 5.8, really nice. The first 5-8 feet of the thin 10a section of the 3rd pitch protected well with a green alien and maybe a #4 or 5 black-diamond nut, then there was a big chink in the otherwise thin, laser-cut crack that took a #2 camalot higher up. Several features to the left made it much less physical and tenuous than the 1st pitch. Simuling pitches 4 & 5 saved a lot of time. It was impossible to communicate though, so pre-coordinate this. I didn’t which resulted in me doin my best to drag Wes up the cliff despite the fact he was still attached to the anchors.

BTW, right in the anatomical middle of the buttress I passed the amazing 10” crystal in the picture below. Dark Star Buttress has a great view of Sun Goddess Arête from here. Near the top of Dark Star is a big red face, blushing?

10” crystal near the anatomical middle of the 1st Dark Star Buttress. ...
10” crystal near the anatomical middle of the 1st Dark Star Buttress. Great view of Sun Goddess Arête from here. Near the top of Dark Star is a big red face, blushing?

Credit: wallgumby

I won’t spoil pitch 5, Wes led it and it was way cool! For pitch 7, start in the crack maybe 6 feet right of the belay. The topo says “obvious crack in black rock”, but it didn’t seem black or obvious to me. Seemed like lots of options once you got 40 feet up. Recommend stopping immediately as soon as you get to easy ledges, belay your partner up, then pack up the rope until you get the base of the 2nd buttress. All the terrain between is easy.

We started the lower face of the 2nd buttress right where the talus peaks against it. The route (pitches 10&11) matched the topo well. Had to wander left and right quite a bit on the lower steep face part to find good pro and the easiest path. I found this pitch thought provoking and sustained for 5.8!! Oh, watch the holds involving white crystals. They tend to be crumbly. One came off in my hand as I made a dynamic move off it, but fortunately my momentum carried me to the next hold. I tried to bean Goulding’s head with the shard as a lesson for not wearing a helment, but missed. There is plenty of loose stuff on Dark Star. We had originally planned I would do 10&11, linking them if possible. But I used up all my gear on 10. I told Wes he should take the next pitch since it would avoid losing time reconfiguring the rope (not because the next one was reportedly two grades harder than the one that had just scared the sh#t out of me.) I’m glad he took it the 11th pitch is no 5.10 gimme.

The rest of the climb is loads of fun, miles and miles of scrambling and easy 5th terrain along knife ridges and around towers and gendarms with amazing views and exposure. Just say no to bivy!!! Route finding confusing at time. We did a single rappel somewhere between belay 12 and 15 that was not marked on the topo we used. There was a big tower right afterward we found it easiest to go left around.

I lost a red approach shoe somewhere along here probably when I took them off to squeeze through a short chasm.
At the very end of the exposed ledge with yellow lichen below the big red tower there is a 12 foot 5.3-4 downclimb before you continue traversing to the right.

Short 5.6ish section near the start of the approach pitches
Short 5.6ish section near the start of the approach pitches
Credit: wallgumby
Dark Star is laden with White Crystals
Dark Star is laden with White Crystals
Credit: wallgumby
Gerwe following 1st pitch (full value 10b)
Gerwe following 1st pitch (full value 10b)
Credit: wallgumby
Wes following 3rd pitch (10a)
Wes following 3rd pitch (10a)
Credit: wallgumby
Wes at top of 5th pitch chimney.
Wes at top of 5th pitch chimney.
Credit: wallgumby
Start of pitch 7.
Start of pitch 7.
Credit: wallgumby
Pitch 10, 8++
Pitch 10, 8++
Credit: wallgumby
Credit: wallgumby
Great exposure on the upper sections.
Great exposure on the upper sections.
Credit: wallgumby
Credit: wallgumby
One of many knifeblade ridge sections
One of many knifeblade ridge sections
Credit: wallgumby
Wes traversing around a tower.
Wes traversing around a tower.
Credit: wallgumby
Wes after traversing yet another tower.
Wes after traversing yet another tower.
Credit: wallgumby
Gendarms!
Gendarms!
Credit: wallgumby
Summit with register.
Summit with register.
Credit: wallgumby
No pen in the register.  Fortunately I had a Swiss Army knife.
No pen in the register. Fortunately I had a Swiss Army knife.
Credit: wallgumby















  Trip Report Views: 832
wallgumby
About the Author
Wallgumby is a wannabe big wall climber from LA LA, CA.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
eKat

Trad climber
  Aug 15, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
LOVE THIS GUY!

HA!
HA!

Nice TR!

TFPU!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 15, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Good job guys, solid day! Those crystals up in the pallisade region are pretty cool!

matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Aug 15, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
good on ya...the gumby and the gimp! Hope to see you two at stoney soon.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Aug 15, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
Man, having done the camping version of your trip, I gotta hand the masochist award to you all who c2c that sumbitch. I'd just risk the ticket, I didn't see ranger one on my trip.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 15, 2013 - 08:02pm PT
Well done boyz, did you actually cut yourself for blood to sign the summit register???
If so wow. :)
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Aug 15, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
signing summit registers in one's own blood is way Bronson!!!

TFPU!

hamik

Mountain climber
Pasadena, CA
  Aug 15, 2013 - 06:04pm PT
The crystals on Dark Star are way awesome. Great job getting the C2C!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Aug 15, 2013 - 06:24pm PT
Nice one...

signed in blood, to cool

jedster

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
  Aug 16, 2013 - 12:46am PT
What about the shoe? Did you descend and walk out without? That is way b.a.
wallgumby

Big Wall climber
LA-LA, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 16, 2013 - 01:41am PT
Yeh, my brand new right Mythos got broken in in just one trip!
WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Aug 16, 2013 - 01:44am PT
Rad! Looks like an adventure and in such a beautiful place.
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Temple Crag - Dark Star 5.10b - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from Second Lake.
Photo: Ryan Crochiere
Other Routes on Temple Crag
Temple Crag - Venusian Blind 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Venusian Blind, 5.7
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Sun Ribbon Arete 5.10a - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Sun Ribbon Arete, 5.10a
Temple Crag
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Moon Goddess Arete 5.8 - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Moon Goddess Arete, 5.8
Temple Crag
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The route as seen from Second Lake.