Trip Report
Gabel/Dignes Mosstrum/Supernova Wall Yosemite

by bob
Friday August 8, 2014 8:13pm
Gabel/Dignes
A bit shaky, but gives the general line.
A bit shaky, but gives the general line.
Credit: bob

Coming to Yosemite on the 140 brings people in front of Elephant Rock, The Rostrum, and a cache of other fine cliffs that are pleasing to most viewers eyes regardless of whether they climb or not.

One of these cliffs in particular, is The Mosstrum, or Supernova Wall. Its the huge silver shield left of the Rostrum Buttress.

My mind always wondered what was up there. Look at it!!!!! There has to be something.

I've been on a kick lately of at least dreaming of doing a bunch of obscure routes . Eric Gabel is one of the folks who have really been generous with their time to fill me in on some things.

The "Gabel/Dignes" had caught my eye a while back through conversations here on ST and just plain snooping around websites to come up with a topo and such. Thanks Clint.
Sure enough this thing goes up some of the meat of the formation. Basically starting from the toe of the buttress.

This is not a free route in its entirety. If a climber is one who likes the challenge of how to move through terrain while mixing free and shenanigans climbing, then this route is definitely for them. Don't get me wrong, the bulk of this route is free climbing. As in 98% free climbing. I freed a little more than had been, victoriously upping the climb's free percentage by an enormous 1%. YEAH!!!!!!!! :-/ Oh, and there is the pushing out from what's left of a tree about a 3rd of the way up the 3rd pitch. So extended is the climber simply trying to get a piece in under the roof that is about to be given a thorough undercling. Whew, groin stretcher! My partner couldn't even reach. I'm 6'2.
Also, there are a few Dr. Seuss tree pulls here and there just because they are there.

This route puts all the challenges forth to the climber. Challenging many a Yosemite skill and, at least for me, then some was called upon! It would have been nice to have some dome time up high, or some slabbing in the ditch first because this thing gets tradski face style and thus had me slightly pissing myself on the 3rd pitch.

This route is also characterized by clean climbing (after first pitch), but mossy ass cracks which gave my hands some of the softest jams ever. Loose Jammies if you will. I couldn't imagine doing this one wet.
There were some of the funkiest features too that tested OW skills right along with slab, and micro jamming. All in one. I have a wound on my right shoulder from a feature called "The Half Pipe." Or, was it from the "easiest" pitch on the route at 5.8 wide. Oh good golly I was puffin on that one!!!!!

The topo is quite adequate. It was taken from Clints site and this particular routes topo has been publicly available.
Credit: Eric Gabel
If you like adventure and some really good climbing on surprisingly good rock then I suggest this route.

Start of first pitch.  Looking fuzzy!
Start of first pitch. Looking fuzzy!
Credit: bob
Following.  Looking like the rock is getting better.  Though fuzzy in ...
Following. Looking like the rock is getting better. Though fuzzy in the crack above.
Credit: bob
Tough 5.9 on pitch two.
Tough 5.9 on pitch two.
Credit: bob
Slick and old school.   Stay calm.  Pitch 3
Slick and old school. Stay calm. Pitch 3
Credit: bob
"The Half Pipe"   Great fuzzy jams, solid lay backs, and some truly fu...
"The Half Pipe" Great fuzzy jams, solid lay backs, and some truly funky stuff to stay put and progress in the upper portion. Pitch 5
Credit: bob
looking down great stem box.  The crack right of the follower is rated...
looking down great stem box. The crack right of the follower is rated 5.8 and was one of the hardest parts of the climb for me. Pitch 6
Credit: bob
Tons of sweet soft and fuzzy jams with sharp lay backs.  Since the fac...
Tons of sweet soft and fuzzy jams with sharp lay backs. Since the face pitch the rock has really improved. Pitch 7
Credit: bob
This tree was so happy for us  that its head blew off, it threw its ha...
This tree was so happy for us that its head blew off, it threw its hands in the air, and sported a pinky for us. Happy tree. Just like a lab after swimming.
Credit: bob
This is the last pitch mega butt shot.  It was surprisingly steep with...
This is the last pitch mega butt shot. It was surprisingly steep with tenuous tree yanking to a fuzzy wuzzy hard roof problem. Cranker. Pitch 8
Credit: bob
Even with glasses, the moss build up in the eyes, ears, etc was presen...
Even with glasses, the moss build up in the eyes, ears, etc was present while belaying the leader.
Credit: bob
Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls
Credit: bob
Sun. We got sun.
Sun. We got sun.
Credit: bob
The flowers that grow from the moss are beautiful indeed.
The flowers that grow from the moss are beautiful indeed.
Credit: bob
This is my partner Josie.  She's totally badass.  If you ever have tro...
This is my partner Josie. She's totally badass. If you ever have trouble on a cliff you might get saved by her. Seriously.
Credit: bob
Hope you enjoy.

Bob Jensen

  Trip Report Views: 1,039
bob
About the Author
bob is a climber from .Near the Ditch

Comments
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whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 08:35pm PT
Good on ya! Looks like some fun times!

TFPU
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Super cool
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Aug 8, 2014 - 09:43pm PT
Sweet.
TFPU
Tad
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Aug 8, 2014 - 09:49pm PT
good times, thanks for the share.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
proud!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:09pm PT
Best TR ever.
Hey, I might be able to follow that. Or not.
E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Nice!
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:22pm PT
You will have no fear if climbing at Squamish leaves chlorophyll on your hands.

RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
So any people have looked at that wall for so long. Those features are larger in your pics than I imagined them. Congrats to you and congrats to Eric on another fantastic looking line.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
Way cool. Thanks for the photo tour on this climb that I've looked at from across the valley for so long.
WBraun

climber
  Aug 8, 2014 - 10:45pm PT
I been down that wall years ago.

I did second ascent of SuperNova.

That upper wall sucks. I rappelled down a couple hundred feet to check out what "looked" like good cracks.

They were filled with sh!t as I climbed back out.

Never ever wanted to go near the place ever again since there was so much better stuff around ....
Salamanizer

Trad climber
The land of Fruits & Nuts!
  Aug 8, 2014 - 11:59pm PT
How did you get past pitch 4? Went up there a couple years ago and got stopped on pitch 4 after the traverse and left facing small corner. Is that the aid spot? Because I was under the impression that the route was all free. I feel better now, thought I was just being a pussy.

Wish I would have pulled through it and finished the route. Thanks for the TR.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 9, 2014 - 09:46am PT
Anyone who has whiled some time away at Reeds, hanging at belays above the tree tops, has spent time looking at this line. I've stared at it for hours. It's like looking at the Elephant from the Cookie - your eyes get pulled in.

Goliath and the Mosstrum - hell f'n yeah. Nice, proud, adventurous work.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Aug 9, 2014 - 05:37pm PT
Sean Shannon and I climbed four pitches to the rim from a little flat ledge near the bottom of a long hanging corner, the left of two twin corners prominently visible from Reeds parking. The route's in the next crack system to the right of the thread topic.

3 raps from the rim to the start.

5.11 corner with a classic fingertip lieback start opening so very gradually to hands over 50 ft, followed by a mix of everything to squeeze size, think Catchy Corner followed by the first pitch of Gripper with a bit of lichen thrown in, then a12a super exposed jug hauling pitch, a nearly unprotected 5.7 diorite knob climbing pitch, and a last pitch left facing 5.10 lieback corner with an undercling roof. Ends at the rap bolts on the very edge of the slabs a few minutes below the big turn where you park got The Rostrum. Spirit of '76 we named it.

Check it out Werner -

But be ready to eat yer words upthread fer dessert, old buddy!

I'm digging your TRs Bob. I feel like less of a freak with guys like you out there, know what I mean?
bob

climber
Author's Reply  Aug 10, 2014 - 08:22am PT
Sal, I traversed low off the first bolt with tip toe moves. From the second bolt I down climbed the trough slightly, then did a pretty hard series of moves out left to the base of the shallow corner. Stem/layback up until fist bolt of ladder and hang. Did a few more free moves then pulled through couple bolts in the meat of the ladder. Free climb after.

Werner, there is some good rock up there for sure, but yeah its full of stuff.

Kevin, Spirit of 76 looks cool. We just kept looking up there and wondering if something, somehow went up to those corners. Haunted House looks really fun too!

I was up on Hard Farm Labor (left of Rostrum) yesterday and spied the Supernova for hours. Those base routes up towards the cleft/recess between Supernova and Rostrum look pretty dang nice.

The Peregrine's were a joy to watch. Until one sh#t on my partner just to let us know who was boss. Stinky!!!!!


I'm glad folks are enjoying this share.

Peace.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 10, 2014 - 09:24am PT
Cool gardening ;)
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Aug 10, 2014 - 10:51am PT
Unfortunately, I don't think you can free climb the face into the bottom of the Spirit of '76 corner.

Or I should say I don't think I can.

There is a cool line of features that have been created by eons of water flow out the bottom of the corner, but not quite enough...

Big scale over there and lots of shade, plus the approach in the Fall is mellow

I like it. There's lots of climbing to do over there.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Aug 10, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
the rock at the base, from the Rostrum alcove up to the eastern margin, is beautiful, bullet proof and smooth.

amazing stuff of dreams...

and then there are the golf balls, and tires littering the forest down there, along with other flotsam and jetsam from the rim... even the occasional pigeon foot band, leftovers of a sort, hey, maybe they should make those edible...

If you go, be respectful of the fact that the ground is loose and it's easy to make a mess traipsing around. Go with a light foot.

I don't think it is destined to be an "in spot" simply because the times of the year that make for easy access are those with a low river when crossing is possible.

For those that go, "fly your freak flag high" as if six were nine...
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Aug 10, 2014 - 06:31pm PT
No flotsam or jetsam over tward the Haunted House.

Did see some fat and happy salamanders.

Definitely an enchanted forest and a rarely appreciated zone.

After wading the river the base is only about five minutes, but you'd swear nobody's ever been there.

Nice.

And like Dr Hartouni sez, the rock's bullet hard.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Aug 10, 2014 - 10:02pm PT
I did enjoy! Love the obscurities and reading a wall I was curious about too. Thanks!
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Aug 10, 2014 - 10:05pm PT
Sweet adventure climbing! Rad!
covelocos

Trad climber
  Aug 11, 2014 - 10:26pm PT
The selfie is the best part.
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