The Shield A3 5.8

  • Currently 5.0/5

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Euro on The Shield, October 2008
Friday March 5, 2010 2:19pm
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
Credit: Regan

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
Shore leave...

The dream...

The reality...
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!!

More reality...
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...

See you...

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)!!!

Belay 16
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?
YOLANDA (crying).
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...

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!!!

  Trip Report Views: 7,293
About the Author
Regan is a big wall climber from Poland.

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Comment on this Trip Report

Oakland, CA
  Oct 23, 2009 - 07:04pm PT
One of the best TRs I've seen, BIG 10+ on that one. Thanks!

Those headwall pictures are just wild ~

Trad climber
  Oct 23, 2009 - 07:59pm PT
Stellar photography and TR.

Trad climber
  Oct 23, 2009 - 08:29pm PT
This is such a great TR. Pictures, the story, the good vibes and positive attitude, it's got it all. Well done.

Don't they have free coffee in Poland? If they don't they should!

Mountain climber
  Oct 24, 2009 - 09:08am PT
very good trip report and a great climb!

thank you!

Trad climber
  Oct 24, 2009 - 11:25pm PT
Excellent work! Good photos, man.

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Oct 25, 2009 - 01:51am PT
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Oct 26, 2009 - 01:36pm PT
Super! thanks for the report and good job on the route.

Trad climber
Merced CA
  Oct 28, 2009 - 12:31am PT
great report man! looked like a blast! come back soon for more FREE coffee
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  Mar 5, 2010 - 02:30pm PT
Great shots of the Shield. I can't wait to get up there myself.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Mar 6, 2010 - 02:50am PT
thx for bumping this one Mark. great photos is right!

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Mar 6, 2010 - 08:00am PT
Another stellar TR I missed the first time round. Great work, Marek!

Trad climber
Davis, Ca
  Mar 8, 2010 - 02:52pm PT
Go Zorro!!! Great pics and story. Thanks for the TR.

Big Wall climber
Author's Reply  Mar 8, 2010 - 03:46pm PT
Nice to read all your comments.

pip the dog

Mountain climber
planet dogboy
  Mar 9, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
what a gem! how did i miss this?

great attitude, outstanding photos. almost makes me want to try to solo it... well, almost. i'd solo it with you, though.

fwiw: i forwarded a link to this page (along with one to your home page) to a pal/ex-neighbor in SF who often plays sax with/for Waits -- and asked him to pass both on to Tom. given the one time i met Waits -- at my pal's house (i sat next to him on a sofa in the dark as a bunch of us watched this endless weird Romanian movie about an apartment building where the nervous inhabitants had only each other to eat...) -- i kinda suspect Waits will really dig your homage. perhaps he'll email you? he struck me as the kinda guy who would.

fine work, thanks

^,,^ (michael)

"I'm no different you know.
I'm not weird about it or anything,
I don't tie myself up first.
I just kinda spend a little time with myself"
--- from Tom Waits' intro to "Better Off Without A Wife"

Big Wall climber
Author's Reply  Mar 9, 2010 - 07:49am PT
Michael - many thanks...

I had two greatest inspirations from outside of a climbing world:

Miles Davis - concert in Warsaw in 1983 (check his autobiography or youtube)
Tom Waits - show in Chicago in summer 1999 (Mule Variations)

There were some kind of turning points for me...
"Soldiers Things" is like a hymn.

This is my favorite collage from Tangerine Trip TR (2009)
Credit: Regan

Thanks again

dont make me come over there
  Mar 10, 2010 - 07:10pm PT
Entertaining! Great job on the climb, excellent pics...but the commentary really made it special. More people should be like the Poles, and take anything in stride and with such good humor. Gotta love it.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jul 8, 2010 - 09:03pm PT
wow! exceptional TR and solo!
the Fet

  Jul 15, 2010 - 11:35pm PT
Now that's a trip report!!!

  Sep 27, 2011 - 01:56pm PT
Bump for Regan who is currently on Mescalito. Looking forward to another classic report.

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 13, 2011 - 04:23pm PT

lawrence kansas
  Nov 3, 2011 - 02:15am PT

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Nov 3, 2011 - 10:04am PT
Nice meeting you on the summit a few weeks ago. You look much OLDER in person! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!

Sure looked cold up on Chickenhead. We were sitting there in shorts just recently.

And can ya bring me a few of those Polish beaks, eh?


Let's see your Zed-Em report

Big Wall climber
Author's Reply  Nov 3, 2011 - 01:20pm PT
Thanks for the bump of my report...

I write some TR after my last trip, but I need 2 weeks time to finish, so be patient, please.

Pete, I was great to meet you on the top and funny to see your face when you did not recognize me 2 days later on the bridge.

By the way, can you e-mail me the pics and videos from ZM and the top? Thanks in advance...

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Nov 3, 2011 - 01:47pm PT
Of COURSE I didn't recognize you on the bridge .... you were CLEAN!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  Nov 3, 2011 - 02:16pm PT
Regan, did you hear me yelling over "GO REGAN" every morning? Max and I were on the South Seas keeping track of you.

Big Wall climber
Author's Reply  Nov 4, 2011 - 10:46am PT
Yea, thank you...I kept eye on you on South Seas (this is my favorite route).
I hope, next time we will meet on the bridge.

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Nov 16, 2012 - 06:18pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#274122

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Nov 16, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
I saw this before but guess I failed to comment on it. One of the best TR's I have read on the Taco!! Fun to read and watch too! You just might turn into a "real climber" someday soon!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Nov 16, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
What an awesome TR. Thank you for posting. Yosemite seems much more enjoyable than that cold place where you did Superbalance, you should come back here some day : )
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
  Nov 16, 2012 - 10:27pm PT
Beautiful jobs - the climbs and the post. Thanks!

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
  Nov 17, 2012 - 09:53am PT
outstanding TR that I have bookmarked -- I will refer to this again and again

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Nov 19, 2012 - 03:05pm PT
great TR! I somehow missed this the first time around. TFPU!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 19, 2012 - 04:12pm PT
Fantastic job and write up, thanks!

  Jan 23, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Good stuff!

  Feb 16, 2013 - 02:57am PT

Trad climber
Las Vegas
  Feb 16, 2013 - 09:49am PT
Fantastic trip report ~ One of the very best Elcap TR's I have ever read !
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
  Feb 16, 2013 - 10:36am PT
The shield headwall is one of the most impressive features on El Cap. Its so overhanging. I really wanted to do this route but my partner totally froze up on me on mammoth ledge. Then I went up to do the triple direct with another guy, who dropped all the cams, which we had put on one sling. So I've hauled the freeblast twice now for no reason. The headwall looks so steep and exposed, I have to get back there someday.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 16, 2013 - 08:30pm PT
The dude has a way with words!!!

Trad climber
  Feb 17, 2013 - 07:10pm PT
Thee best aid route for me ever,,[space for papa],,most excelent partner scott davis from portland,,munge nailer smithrocks extrodenair,,some where in the 70;s 80;s ,a most humble write up[had to have been the FREE coffee]thanks for the share regan,,,,,

  Jul 16, 2013 - 07:38pm PT

Trad climber
Stockholm, Sweden
  Jan 26, 2017 - 10:43am PT

Social climber
  Jan 26, 2017 - 04:39pm PT
I enjoyed this immensely! Great photos and nice communication
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El Capitan - The Shield A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Shield is route number 7.
Photo: Tom Frost
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1800' of fantastic climbing.
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The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
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