Magic Mushroom A3 5.7

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
FA History of Magic Mushroom W/ Steve Sutton and Hugh Burton
Tuesday February 15, 2011 7:47am
Notes from Steve Sutton

We’d eyed the line for a year or so. Had a real good photo from ed cooper that we used as a topo.


Regarding the moves getting to chickenhead ledge
“Threw a bunch of hooks on aiders… knew there were a bunch of chickenheads. Waited till I caught and hand over handed.”

On the route name “We were into the power of magic mushrooms.”

Took 8 or 9 days.

First year tried got stormed off mammoth. Snowed 2 feet. Only had Army down sleeping bags and soaked.

Most exciting moment of the climb:

“As I was hauling two pitches below Chicken Head Ledge I looked down at the bag I could see smoke coming out of it. Turn out that our safety matches had somehow ignited themselves. I started hauling as fast as I could but the fire still burned for about 10 minutes. We had to empty the haulbag to put the fire out. The sleeping bags were riddeled with holes. “

Didn’t have nuts or copperheads.

“Great route. Lot of people complain about awkward flaring corners but they are pretty short. “

It was one of last totally independent lines on that face.

“Really hard dicey pitch off chickenhead ledge. The flake was thin and expanding so we organized all the haulbags to be under where it looked like Hugh would fall.”

Notes from Hugh Burton

“We still didn’t have all the basics down. This was the second year we had been climbing. Didn’t know how to properly haul bag. Barely got back to the ground. Should have just tossed everything.

Experience till then was just The Nose and just a bunch of squeamish new routes. It was our first grade VI first ascent.

“We did the nose and then were just like ‘F*#k it. we want to do something bigger!’”

“Before the ascent, made the mistake of going to one year of university. Which was just a waste of time.”

20 when they climbed the route.

“The route ended in a big lightning storm. The 5-10 second variety of lightning. Not the hair raising type, but scary all the same. It was hitting the top of el cap somewhere up high. That was pretty exciting. Got our attention and kinda made things interesting.”

Cool route. Hardly any dirt. Really clean.

When got 500 feet from the summit, it was a toss up where to go. Flip a coin and go for it. “decided to head right to hit the big ledges. They looked pretty cool. But I bet there is a really good variation straight up.” (later became Jolly Roger and Free Magic Mushroom)

“Awkward, that’s climbing.. its all awkward.”

Everything when pretty smoothly. Didn’t have to do much drilling. Didn’t have to do much cleaning.

Iron rack probably weighed 100 pounds. It was a double normally heavy rack. Chrome molly everything. It all weighted a f*#king ton. Turned out we didn’t need most of it. But you have to take it in case you need it.

  Trip Report Views: 1,789
Chris McNamara
About the Author
Climbing Magazine once computed that three percent of Chris McNamara’s life on earth had been spent on the face of El Capitan – an accomplishment that left friends and family pondering Chris’s sanity. He has climbed El Capitan more than 70 times and holds nine big wall speed climbing records. In 1998 Chris did the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan, an epic 75-pitch route that asks the question, “Why?”

Outside Magazine has called Chris one of “the world’s finest aid climbers.” He is the winner of the 1999 Bates Award from the American Alpine Club and founder of the American Safe Climbing Association, a nonprofit group that has replaced more than 5000 dangerous anchor bolts. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and serves on the board of the ASCA and the Rowell Legacy Committee. He has a rarely updated adventure journal, maintains BASEjumpingmovies.com, and also runs a Lake Tahoe home rental business.

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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Author's Reply  Feb 15, 2011 - 07:49am PT
Here is an awesome FA account by Hugh Burton
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=387488&msg=387568#msg387568
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El Capitan - Magic Mushroom A3 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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