The Shield A3 5.8
Trip ReportEuro on The Shield, October 2008
Here is my TR. That was my third solo route on El Cap, but this is my first TR, so I am more experienced climber than TR-writer...
This is not typical pitch by pitch report, but if you need more details, just e-mail me. Two years ago, when I decided to climb solo on El Cap, I wanted to do some routes in different parts of the wall. After Zodiac and South Seas/PO the time came for The Shield...
Traveling is a part of climbing. It remind me one of Tom Waits song...
"We sail tonight for Singapore,
take your blankets from the floor
Wash your mouth out by the door,
the whole town's made of iron ore
Every witness turns to steam,
they all become Italian dreams
Fill your pockets up with earth,
get yourself a dollar's worth
Away boys, away boys, heave away"
SFO - the first night in America
One man, one tent, one dream...
That night I was first in the line...
"And I bought a long sleeved shirt
With horses on the front
And some gum and a lighter and a knife
And a new deck of cards (with girls on the back)
And I sat down and wrote a letter to my wife
And I said baby, I'm so far away from home
And I miss my baby so
I can't make it by myself
I love you so
Tom’s El Cap Report - Shield: I did see Marek Raganowicz (aka Regan) rapping to his bags on the start of the Half Dollar pitch. He has hauled his bags up the Free Blast!! No fun there!!
Tom’s El Cap Report - Shield: My man Marek, not one of the cone-heads, was seen this afternoon established on Grey Ledges. He is in the wet zone there but he is one tough Polish dude who described a storm on SSPO as being “good weather” where he comes from!! It would have been nice if he could have gotten under the Shield Roof.
Californian party - Mark and John, want to pass me on the Roof pitch (C3). Bring some brass nuts for clean aiding...
Mark jugs the roof...
P.09 - long and beautiful pitch above The Shield Roof (C3/C1). Take all your toys...
After the lead I had to clean...
No hurry!!! Before, some funny swings and short play with a shadow...
I don't want to climb, I want to take a bivy here...
Get a groove on The Groove...For me it was C4.
Cleaning The Groove. Probably in the same time, Yuji and Hans climbed The Nose...
My Californian friends on the Headwall...
The Triple Cracks. First time on this route, I had to use my friend hammer. I am sorry - rock. Polish beaks and BD big beaks worked very well...
Where is Tom?
He is always in the right place and in the right time...
Shield: My man Marek was at the end of the triple cracks and rumor has it that he took a pretty big plunge off the pitch late in the evening yesterday. He looked confident today and took some time to take his own picture and several down the route too.
Fortunately it was only rumor...
My last look at The Triple Crack...
Supercrack. Party of three - me, I and myself...
Just a look at the Headwall...
...and a short break...For the next pitches take a few of your favorite hooks.
Tom's Report - Yo.. Well it started out nice but by noon the clouds had come in driven by a strong SW wind. The Cap got cold and all the contestants went into the puffy jacket and colorful windbreaker mode... nice for the shots!! But the cliff is pretty empty at the moment. Today's report is brought to you by the turnout in front of the SW face where I sat today and shot a few parties on the Salathe and worked on the mess in the van... nice place that is BTW devoid of Tourons. I was loving it!!
Today's Report ......
Shield: My man Marek (aka Regan) made Chicken Head Ledge late in the afternoon. The lad looked to be going well and it had to be cold up there on that route.
P.15 - Be careful - rotten rock (rock and roll)!!!
This is my birthday - the last night on the wall. I sang some of Tom Waits songs...
"I don't wanna have to shout it out
I don't wanna be filled with doubt
I don't wanna be a good boy scout
I don't wanna have to learn to count
I don't wanna have the biggest amount
I don't wanna grow up"
" And I woke up this morning with the cold water
Slept all night in a Cedar grove
I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter than ridin the rail
I look 47 but I'm 24"
But next morning I started to sing:
"I'm going straight to the top
Oh yea up where the air is
Fresh and clean
I'm going straight up to the top
If you know me, you know what I mean
I can't let sorrow
I'm going straight up to the top
Up where the air is fresh and clean
I know that I will never stop, oh no
Until I know I'm wild and free
Just like a champagne bubble
Pop pop pop"
On the top...
As usual I had a few problems on the wall: lack of water, lack of food, a cold(-7C), strong wind and too heavy pigs, but I always remembered one of the last dialog from Pulp Fiction:
JULES (to Yolanda):
So, we cool Yolanda? We ain't gonna do anything stupid, are we?
Nobody's gonna do anything stupid. We gonna be like Zorro. What' Zorro like? No answer.
JULES: C'mon Yolanda, what's Zorro like?
YOLANDA (through tears, unsure): He's cool?
JULES: Correct-amundo! And that's what we're gonna be, WE'RE GONNA BE COOL!!!
Tom's El Cap Report - Yo.. Whoa, what a beautiful day here in the Ditch. The temperature was perfect as whitnessed by the teams on the wall wearing light shirts most of the day. There is room on any route you want to climb. The normally full ones are very empty at the moment. Today's report is brought to you by Marek, aka Regan, who made it down from the Shield just in time to have breakfast in the Cafe and leave for home two hours later! He says his big mistake was not listening to advice form us locals not to haul his kit up the Free Blast! So he paid the price by losing 3 days on that god forsaken slab. You know, I get a headache from being right all the time and I sure wish people would just listen for a change.
Back at the SFO.
I like America, because there are good people , big walls and free coffee...
Again in an ordinary life, but...
I'LL BE BACK!!!!!
Special thanks for:
Tom, Scott, Ted + Guys (Mountain Shop), Mash and Chantele, Darryl and Phil, Mark and John, Unknow soloist who share a water with me, two Polish climbers and Guy on a parking who prepare some food and drink...but
Absolutly Super Special Thanks for:
Kevin (Washington DC) and Pou (Barcelona). When I went down carring my pigs (70 kg)over 12 hours they just picked up my bags and gave me a ride to the Camp 4. Thanks to them, I catched my fly home...Many thanks guys!!!
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