Trip Report
Free( as can be )blast - .10d C1
Wednesday March 20, 2013 5:17pm
We slept up high in the forest, that night just ripping with stars. Got up in no rush and pulled up to the base of p1 at 9am.





Climbing in a team of three, something I hadn't done for years


Ankle still showing scrapes from last weekend. When I'm 80 (if I make it) all of these scars will be valuable to me.


Just as we arrive two teams of four are bailing after their second team's leader fell from p1, mid-height, and broke his ankle on a sloping ledge. Heal well, dude.

I don't mention it to my partners, but the penultimate time I was here I stepped over a large bloodstain on the granite and past a neatly coiled rope and stack of gear with blood all over them to start the climb.

Concussive blasts from Middle Cathedral as we rack up for the next pitch, and we see a herd of blocks stampeding down the North Butt route. They didn't seem too big, but thinking back they had some size, since we could see individual blocks. We couldn't have made out people from that distance I don't think - so they were what, car sized maybe? Fridge?

The atomized veils they left behind slowly drifted east as we peered up at El Cap's summit suspiciously.




Meanwhile our third was reaching the anchor, having a blast on p1


Here you can see what I'd guess was the ankle-breaking ledge


Runaway loop!


French lessons on p3






Back to free-grimpin'


Are you in the market for Link Cams? These await your liberation on p3


This was my favorite pitch of the day, the fourth. Good locks, good gear, good movement. You can't be prejudiced against pin scars if you want to like this climb.




Yosemite in March WILL make you smile






Another good pitch, the fifth, .10d C1. In this pic it looks like the leader should just reach up and start side pulling the Half Dollar. Not a bad strategy if your arm is like totally three pitches long, dude.




After this belay we switched into hurry-up mode and put the camera away. I peeled out of the Half Dollar twice while trying to get established. Both times I was yarding on a cam in a boxy pin scar when the cam pulled and sent me into the arms of physics. Third time I gave it the all-free effort and that worked, oddly. Man is that right wall slick at the entry move...

From Mammoth I stared over at the Salathé like a man on peyote.

Bottom floor, five raps away:


Fixed lines were in really good shape, 7 or 8/10, no core shots, no knots. We mostly rapped our own since we didn't know that.

Darkness caught us on top of Little John



Bonus photo: the gear we placed on the Sacherer Cracker one week before


Thumbnail
Salathé p1
Salathé p1
Credit: le_bruce

  Trip Report Views: 1,119
le_bruce
About the Author
le_bruce is a climber from Oakland: what's not to love?.

Comments
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caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Mar 20, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Good times! How about that first pin/sling off the belay on p3? Yikes!

Didn't want to invest the time bootying those Links? ;p

cheers buddy.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Mar 20, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
Why the double lockers on the rap?

Looks like a sweet day, thanks for sharing!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Mar 20, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
"Why the double lockers on the rap"

Super skinny twins or halfs, adds friction that makes rapping on them less of a pants-filler.

Fun route, wish I was up there in March.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Mar 20, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Cool, thanks.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2013 - 05:34pm PT
Dave - ha! Got that right, bud. I spat at 'em as I climbed past.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Mar 20, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
Thanks for the report! Dude that fell from P1 will have another surgery and hopefully will climb outside by the end of the year...Sad that it happened.

I think I got a few pics of you guys climbing (party of 3 on Freeblast- Saturday)!
Can't see you yet...

But there you are!


PS: sent you an email last week regarding those topos you said you might be able to help me with...
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Mar 20, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
Dude! Glad to see you getting out there on world-class weekend adventures. And nice new shoes! I was wondering about those brown blown-out ones for the last few years.
BFK

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Mar 20, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Thanks for the TR, I was the guy coming down as you guys arrived. Yup, my buddy suffered a pretty nasty break and has a long recovery ahead of him. Unfortunate reminder that accidents can and do happen in this game. This was his 3rd time on the route and P1 was well within his ability. Just the combination of an unexpected slip of the foot and running it out through the cruxy fingers section. Luckily it wasn't worse. Watching it happen from the P2 belay I thought for sure he broke his hip after bouncing off the ledge below but that only resulted in a few broken ribs.

As a side note, the Sonora Regional Medical Facility took pretty good care of him. An Ortho was on call and was very familiar with climbing injuries...

B
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Mar 20, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
Great TR!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
Nutjob - ain't no sunshine when you're gone, old buddy. You two moving back up to the Bay yet?

Vitaliy, that was you asking for the topo? Hell man, should have mentioned it was you, I'd have answered more quickly. Anyone who posts so many top shelf TR's deserves nothing but the best. Did you get my reply?

Friend of fallen climber - End of the year? Damn, damn.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Mar 20, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
Very nice lebruce!! When we were cragging at the base of el cap last year, we linked p1 and two because relic wanted to get on them. Wow! Probably the raddest pitch I got to climb when I was down there! I managed to second it clean, but just by the skin of my teeth!

Then before I descended I got some pics of my buddy leading it!

E6 on p2



High on p2




Just after I reached the ground, e6 started to bring up Aislinn and we heard, ROCK!!!!
Suddenly a huge tv sized boulder which originated from half dollar came down and blew up on the slab, right beside Aislinn. Somehow the debris missed her and just dusted me a bit on the ground. We were all fine but Aislinn wanted no part of that pitch after that, and e6 lowered her faster than I've ever seen someone lowered. When e6 got off, we peaced out. We were no longer interested in hanging out at the base of el cap after that!!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Mar 20, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
Sweet. Did you DIAD except for the descent bivy?
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Mar 20, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
Good to hear you had a good time! I was setting up top-ropes at the base for family and watching you guys jealously. Great pictures too!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
Big Mike! That is a crazy story about the block. Everything looked good to me in the Half Dollar,bit wet under the roof maybe but didn't see anything looking loose in there. But Mammoth is another story - plenty of stuff there ready to be jettisoned by a stray boot or by the forces that be.

Those are some excellent pics you posted - stitches? Last time we were at the second belay when Dean Potter started the first pitch. I was bringing my second up so had an excuse to be peering down without being that guy staring like a goon at the professional climber. Pleasure to watch that kind of harmonious movement, and on such a striking set of cracks (as your pics show).

John, DIAD? Trying to work that one out, probably don't have the smarts. We left the car about 9a, and got back to it about 8:30p.

Had a hell of time with rope management which slowed us down a good bit, ugh. I've climbed on doubles a bunch with Nutjob's setup and never had issues, come to love it actually. But when you're taking in slack at different paces on each rope I found it was tough to keep 'em stacked in a way that would keep 'em running clean on the next lead. We were also leading in blocks, adding to the rope cluster problem for us.

Edit: You guys looked to be having a great time, limpingcrab. I had fun watching your crew enjoy the Yosemite climber experience. What a day that was, right?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Mar 21, 2013 - 12:47am PT
Le Bruce- I didn't see it come out, the guy who called it said it was knocked off by a bag in the chimney. I did however see that it was a 20' old school projection tv size block. The thing was HUGE!!!

No stitches, just a high res image that I cropped really long and took far away facing downwards. Cool trick eh?? I was particularly stoked on those pics! Especially considering if i was hanging there ten minutes later i would have been right in the line of fire!!

Don't climb under ten other party's on Freeblast/Salathe is the lesson on that one i guess... ;)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Mar 21, 2013 - 12:55am PT
Nope, didn't get it. Probably went into my spam section and I deleted it...would be awesome if you re-send. Thanks!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Mar 21, 2013 - 01:07am PT
Big Mike,

Don't climb under ten other party's on Freeblast/Salathe is the lesson on that one i guess... ;)

There was also a Freeblast rockfall accident a few more years back, where Hans was climbing with a friend. A block came down from higher up somewhere, Hans dodged to one side, but his belayer had less room to manuver and it hit her in the arm. He got to her quick, stopped the bleeding, clipped her to his harness, and rapped to the ground.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Mar 21, 2013 - 01:15am PT
You got that right, a beautiful day to be there, even though I was "that guy." I must say, though, it's pretty fun to see how excited people get to make their way up the bottom of the big stone!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 21, 2013 - 01:42am PT
Vitaliy - sent you a pm. Not sure if it was your email I got re. topos last week or someone else - were you asking about Super Slacker?
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