Dihedral Wall A3 5.8

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Dihedral Wall clean- TR
Sunday June 22, 2008 7:16pm
Over 5 days last week, Chris Chan and I climbed the Dihedral Wall. It had been over 5 years since my last El Cap wall so I was rusty at first. Chris did a great job especially considering she had not climbed much this season do to school commitments. Our plan was to get up the rock in 4 days and to climb as clean as possible. We took about half the pin rack as shown in the supertopo description. Turns out those pins stayed there the entire time, though I came close to using a pin on the Black Arch pitch when several clean placements failed mild bounce tests- more on that with the photos below.

Notables:

 Chris took a 50 footer on the 4th pitch when a fixed pin sheared. She got right back on it and fired the rest of the pitch.

 We had planned on 3 liters per day per person, but had to reduce it to about 2.25/day when we figured (correctly) that it would take us 5 days to top out. With the 95 degree temps we were both pretty parched the entire time.

 We didn't clip the offensive free bolts next to the crack on the 10th pitch. We were going to remove the hangers, but the bag got hauled off before Chris could get the wrench out. Since we were in a hurry and running out of water we decided to just keep on truckin'.

 Very little vegetation on the first half of the route.

-The second half of the route had a ton of vegetation including a weird brown slime on one of the pitches.


A note on the clean ascent- just so folks don't get their panties in a bunch, here are the details:

1. There are about 5 fixed heads along the route that are essential to upward progress. If one was missing or blew out in a fall, then another would have to be placed to continue the ascent.

2. There are about 3 fixed pins in a similar circumstance.

3. In-situ bolts and rivets all held body weight. At some point these will break and need to be be replaced.

4. No cheater stick was used.

What we did use:
3 sets of offset aliens (these are almost like cheating!) These were the most used pieces on the rack. This quantity was essential to our clean ascent. (also 2 ea regular aliens thru red)

1 set tri-cams (6 smaller sizes- white thru purple) for boxed out scars

Cam hooks- one narrow and one regular

Regular hooks- 1 ea including bat (there are 3 bat hooks in old 1/4" bolt holes)

2 sets offset nuts

2 sets micronuts incl. offsets

2 smallest loweballs (used only 1x)

2 smallest WC zeros (used only 1x)

Here are some photos:

1st pitch pedestal- There were two shite bags exploded directly on the pitch: one above and one below me in the photo. I managed to get them off the rock, but the shite stain is still there. Ugh. Gross! Shortly after starting to haul this pitch the lower haul bag and the portaledge came loose and fell about 10 feet back to the ground. Turns out the bottom haul strap of the top bag had blown out. Too much butt-sliding on the decents, I guess! We remedied this and kept going.

Here's a shot of the 2nd or 3rd pitch.

Here's Chris lassoing a knob at the start of the 4th pitch.

Chris higher up on the pitch.

Here's Chris after her 50 foot whip. It was a blue alien that eventually arrested her fall. I offered to send up the pin rack, but she passed and proceeded to finish the pitch as if nothing happened!

At least my teeth were clean. Demonstrating good oral hygiene at the first bivy.

At the triangle roof of the 6th pitch.

Looking down at the meadows.

Pitch 7 with the Black Arch looming above. Looks hot? It was.

Here's the sketch section near the start of pitch 9 as it finishes the Black Arch. I was on very mariginal gear/ cam hooks and had twice popped gear on the bounce test. I was thinking of putting in a pin, but the third piece held the bounce and I was able to move onto better cam hooks and offset alien placements.

Our 2nd bivy was at the pitch 9 ledge. It was nice to have something solid to stand on!

Goingup pitch 11.



Going around the pitch 12 flake. Note: we did not encounter any notably expando features as described in the topo.

Pitch 14: the ooze pitch.

Here's a close-up of the ooze. It was about a 1/4" thick and had the consistency of running pudding. Luckily it didn't smell as bad as it looked! The ooze had to be squeegeed out of the crack before pro was placed.

Higher up on the same pitch.

Looking down from pitch 14.

Here's Chris at our 3rd bivy atop pitch 14. We fixed pitch 15 before settling in for the evening.

Here's a macro shot of a typical fixed pin along with the typical veg nearby.

Pitch 15 had a tough section with multiple micronuts in a row. Here I express my faith in this one by by adorning it with a scream-aid.

Pitch 17 had a full representation of the local flora. I'm still finding bits of shrubbery in my various orrifices!

Pitch 18 sweet hand crack followed by a strenous and frustrating flare.

Pitch 20, the Black Cave.

Thanksgiving ledge, our 4th bivy.
Pitch 23 had some lush vegetation!

Chimney gully on pitch 25 that exits the system out right on old bolts to the right of a death flake.

The last pitch wasn't so bad, a mixture of free and aid. The 5.10 squeeze was not so bad with some cussing, grovelling, and the help of leap frogged #4.5 and #4 Camalots.

So here we are at the top! 9pm on day 5. Very dehydrated, thus very motivated to get to the small creek on the descent.

We decided to keep moving, all the way to the car. We got there at 3AM. Chris was expected that same day at Whitney Portal, and I was supposed to be at work the day before!

Overall, an excellent adventure. A large dose of suffering caused mainly by the heat, vegetation, and lack of sufficient water, is mediated by excellent views and some really nice climbing.

Hopefully it won't be another 5 years before I embark on another journey up the Cap'n.

Bob

  Trip Report Views: 2,050
cragnshag
About the Author
cragnshag is a social climber from san joser.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Jun 22, 2008 - 08:37pm PT
Nice work!
Thanks for the report.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Jun 22, 2008 - 08:54pm PT
Thanks and way cool!
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
  Jun 22, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
Good job. How much gear did your partner pull when she whipped?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jun 22, 2008 - 09:22pm PT
Bob + Chris,

Awesome job on the clean ascent!!
Nice photos, too. Even of the slime. :-)

50-footer for Chris - yikes! Hopefully not too much skin was lost in the process.
I presume Chris was backcleaning (her standard MO when we did the Salathe'); having a pin shear is bad news.
Gene

climber
  Jun 22, 2008 - 09:40pm PT
Very nice! Congrats and thanks for sharing. Cool top out portrait as well.

GM
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  Jun 22, 2008 - 09:49pm PT
Too many photos to load on dialup, but my hat is off to you.

THIS is the kind of ascent that should be celebrated; taking the time to do it right!
You should note the critical fixed pieces and people should emulate your ethical propriety.
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Jun 22, 2008 - 10:03pm PT
Very nice report. I did the route in 92 and found it to be a fine line... very good on the clean ascent. thanks for the pics and report!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Jun 22, 2008 - 11:45pm PT
Bob and Chris,

Exceptional report. What can I say. And your faces: the photo on the summit in the night. Really wonderful and rich. Nice show and thanks ever so much for sharing your experience with us. On a forty-six year old route, the third to go up on El Cap. Great detail and humanity!!

best ph
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Jun 23, 2008 - 12:00am PT
Fun read. Good job!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jun 23, 2008 - 12:42am PT
Great job, guys! Pretty darn fast ascent, considering you took the time to fiddle-fart all the clean placements. [You owe me a beer for one of those fixed heads, eh?] Even better to complete the legit finish, which is UG - LEE.

I've never come close to taking a fifty-footer in thirty years of climbing - yikes!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 23, 2008 - 02:43am PT

Thanks bump!

You're right, the sludge does look like it'd smell bad.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Jun 23, 2008 - 03:03am PT
Very much admire the clean ascent. Great you made it a priority and pulled it off.

Peace

Karl
Scared Silly

Trad climber
  Jun 23, 2008 - 01:25pm PT
Very nice ... Great photos.
Mike.

climber
  Jun 23, 2008 - 02:00pm PT
Nice TR, pix and effort on the climb. Thanks for posting it.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Jun 23, 2008 - 02:48pm PT
The Bob & Chris Show!

Congrats!
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Author's Reply  Jun 23, 2008 - 03:22pm PT
about that whipper- I think I felt at least three things pull out of the crack as Chris came sailing down. One of them was a head (wire pulled thru the glob)... I'm not sure what the others were. I know that she was back-cleaning quite a bit, so the pieces were probably spaced a bit. Maybe she can chime in when she gets back from Whitney.



Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Jun 24, 2008 - 12:09am PT
A bigger Rock...good one.
hollyclimber

Big Wall climber
North Rim, AZ
  Jun 24, 2008 - 01:30am PT
Very impressive! One of the proudest sends this year in my opinion. Good job!

Holly
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
  Jun 24, 2008 - 01:47am PT
Cool! Nice report!

After getting down Chris drove straight to Lone Pine and with basically no sleep hiked up the next day with her friend Sarah and myself to Upper Boy Scout. I would have been flat on my back, but she showed virtually no sign of exhaustion and of course made not a single complaint. She then climbed the East Buttress the day after that...

This girl is nuclear powered or something. Fvckin' hard core.
Zander

climber
  Jun 24, 2008 - 10:47am PT
Great trip report!
With all the greenery it looks like that route doesn't get climbed that often.
Must have made it feel more adventurous that way.
Thanks for posting.
Zander
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jun 24, 2008 - 01:15pm PT
chris is insane... lol
Niko

climber
Agoura Hills, CA
  Jun 25, 2008 - 01:37am PT
Great job, but where are the pictures of you getting down?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 13, 2008 - 01:33am PT
Great TR! Way to work it out up there and not pound. Leaves a satisfying feeling to take nothing away from the route but the smiles in your snapshots. Good job!
dogtown

Trad climber
Cheyenne, Wyoming and Marshall Islands atoll.
  Aug 13, 2008 - 02:46am PT
Way cool TR. thanks.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Aug 13, 2008 - 02:52pm PT
Neat report, congrats on a fine job!
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Aug 13, 2008 - 06:15pm PT
If you guys are still following this thread, wondering if you did standard hauls through the last chimney pitches or monkeyed the bags up some other way? Just curious. I think it's cool you did the full route. Congrats!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Aug 13, 2008 - 09:02pm PT
Sweet!
Buckwheat

Big Wall climber
No. Cal
  Aug 14, 2008 - 06:10pm PT
Encouraging!!!
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Author's Reply  Aug 14, 2008 - 07:01pm PT
We hauled the final chimneys. It was not too bad- I hauled whilst Chris unstuck the bags on her way up. At one point the bags dislodged a block that almost clobbered her. Took all day to get from xgiving to the top and we were a bit parched.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Aug 14, 2008 - 08:51pm PT
This is pretty inspirational, good stuff!
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
  Aug 14, 2008 - 10:14pm PT
Great job on doing such a proud ascent. I agree with Piton Ron.
THIS is the way to climb El Cap; CLEAN!! Thanks for the TR

JACK
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
  Aug 15, 2008 - 08:19pm PT
Cool tr
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
  Aug 16, 2008 - 06:10pm PT
Bump
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 17, 2008 - 02:02am PT
The Dihedral Wall is definitely a line! Lots of awkward left-handed nailing back in the day. Much more fun without the mallet.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Aug 17, 2008 - 03:18am PT
Clean walls are proud. Nice job!

Looks like so many classic lines and cracks from far away but pretty grassy up close. How was the munge factor compared to other el cap routes?

Peace

Karl
Chris C

climber
  Sep 9, 2008 - 04:24am PT
Hi,

Thanks for all your encouragement! Life's been a bit crazy this summer, but I thought I should finally set the record straight.

First, Bob did an amazing job, leading all those pitches! Except for the 4th pitch, the one where I took a whipper. Yes, I can say I have now jumared almost all of El Cap. It would have been nice to have had time to lead more, but Bob did a great job leading under those sweltering conditions, which was a ton of work.

Clint and Bob are right, I was back cleaning quite a bit. The things that popped were 1) blue alien that came out, 2) sheared the pin, 3) blew the copperhead. Landed like Bob said on another blue alien. It was a totally clean fall (very steep!) so it was no problem to finish it except I had to figure out how to get up past the fixed gear which took some time. Sorry again for the delay which did not help with the water situation.

The scariest moment was actually near the top when (yes, we were doing standard hauls through the chimney), I was on my jumars and a block the size of a laptop sailed at me. Fortunately I saw it at the last moment and I was able to deflect the flat side coming at my face, but it knocked me off my jumars and I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't seen it in time or it hadn't been so geometrically advantageous. I put on my helmet for the last pitch.

Since right before Dihedral, I had to move out of my house, grade a final, and e-mail in my own final exam for a class from Yosemite Lodge at around 4a, following which I hiked up my load to the base of Dihedral around 6a, I was grateful to actually get some sleep on the wall...! Only once we got down, I didn't get very much again before I had to be down at Whitney Portal. But, once I arrived, Sarah made me take a day off before we hiked up to Upper Boy Scout and that kind of easy mountaineering is possible even if you are moving slowly. So there were no heroic ascents of any sort, at least not in comparison to Eric's free solo of East Buttress on Whitney. Eric and Sarah were great company and put up with my post-wall state of fatigue, so I have to thank them for their patience!

I have not gotten to do so much climbing this summer since then - a couple days out at Baihe outside of Beijing. Right now I'm in Yangshuo trying to rustle up some partners so definitely e-mail me if you know of anyone who can go out in the next week!
tradgirl@gmail.com

Chris

Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Feb 18, 2009 - 08:52pm PT
Bump for a great bunch of photos and taking the time to do it right.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Mar 26, 2009 - 01:18pm PT
hehehehe
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Nov 17, 2011 - 04:43pm PT
Bump for the tradgirl.

elAndy

Trad climber
El Portal, CA
  Nov 17, 2011 - 04:55pm PT
Chris was an amazing person. I was lucky enough to climb WFLT with her and I will never forget her infectious positive energy. Her spirit definitely lives on.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Nov 17, 2011 - 05:28pm PT
Chris was an amazing person. I was lucky enough to climb WFLT with her and I will never forget her infectious positive energy. Her spirit definitely lives on

This thread deserves a bump both on its own merit, and as a memorial.

John
Gene

climber
  Nov 17, 2011 - 05:52pm PT
Credit: Gene

http://www.elcapreport.com/content/el-cap-report-092309

The highlight of the afternoon was the arrival of Chris Chan, just down from the Shield Solo she did over the last 9 days. As she walked across the deck the Crew rose to their feet and gave her a round of applause. She got a chair in the shade and a cold Cobra to wash away the gunk and dryness in her throat. Although filthy, she was as bubbly as ever and told her story to an attentive audience. All the guys wanted to shake her hand and congratulate her. Great stuff!!
Chris Chan, Hero of El Capitan.
Credit: Gene
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Nov 19, 2011 - 12:35pm PT
Woa is this world when young ruffians can venture out on walls without a hammer...
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 20, 2011 - 10:41pm PT
Damn shame that her climbing and life were cut short...

By way of memorial, I wonder if this was the first clean ascent of the entire route?
elAndy

Trad climber
El Portal, CA
  Nov 25, 2011 - 09:53pm PT
My bad, I actually climbed Wet Demin Daydream, not WFLT with Chris. Regardless, she put up with my noob-ness and smiled through it all.
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