I'm PtPP, and I'll be writing in this format. I see that Jon resized the photos a bit on the narrow size, although they are of decently high resolution. So the Better Way to look at this slide show would be to hit "ctrl" plus "+" on your keyboard to make text and photos a bit bigger and better to look at. If you make it too big, just hit "ctrl" plus "-" to shrink it back. And to return to regular size, hit "ctrl" plus "0" Cheers, eh?
We're going to climb an El Cap obscurity named Genesis. Genesis as we chose to climb it begins on New Dawn, continues to Lay Lady Ledge, then climbs straight up the corner to briefly intersect the Nose. The route proper starts just right of the base of Texas Flake. This route was put up in 1989 by Doug Englekirk and Eric Brand. I don't know who made the second ascent, but our very own Shipoopi made the third ascent – solo and in the wintertime, no less. Steve ranted about the quality of the climbing, and before long Batgirl and E. made the fourth ascent. Kate returned from the climb with a grim look on her face. "The free climbing is the Real Deal, Pete," she declared. "Erik made a nest of peckers, and ran it out another fifty or sixty feet. You're going to need to find yourself a Free Climbing Rope Gun.
Meanwhile, Silver and I had been typing back and forth, and Aaron had managed to locate my erstwhile climbing partner, Jon Fox. Back in 1999, Jon and I had made the eighth ascent of the big wall testpiece Jolly Roger. Arguably among the finest of El Cap routes, its combination of hard free climbing and hard aid climbing keeps away the riff raff for most part. Yet when Mr. Riff of free climbing and Mr. Raff of aid climbing get together, we achieve a synergistic effect whereby the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, we send. Jolly Roger, along with Bermuda Dunes, remains at the top of the list of my favourite El Cap routes.
So with Silver's help, I recruited Jon to be my free climbing rope gun for Genesis.
New Dawn -> Genesis -> New Dawn; September 2012
Prepping in front of the base flake - has it been 13 years since JR?
Pete had invited TS to learn some wall technique, so he drove up after he got off work in Las Vegas and got to the bridge the next morning to help with some pig schlepping. I had led the first pitch the previous day but hadn't cleaned yet, so I suggested Travis clean the pendos since I could jug up along side on a haul line to coach him through the process. As he began passing the lead line through the first pendulum point, Travis passed out -COLD. I was in disbelief for a few moments as I approached him...until he flipped over in his aiders.
Fifty feet off the deck I starting into freaking out: "WTF??? What happened? Dude!!!! Wake the f*<K uP!1!1" I struggled to keep him upright and supported while reversing the lead line through the pendi-point
I yelled for help, and Justin immediately ran to the base, and was up beside Travis until the Yosar crew arrived. Together he and Jon lowered Travis to the ground where he was immediately put on oxygen and an IV. Yosar felt there was risk of serious brain damage should Travis have another seizure, and insisted he get flown via helicopter to hospital. They rolled him down to the Meadows on their one-wheeled gurney, and we soon heard the sound of helicopter rotors.
I figured this was the last of Travis we’d see for a while. The whole scene was very dire and not a little frightening.
Miracles never cease to amaze…
First morning at the top of pitch 3 - day 3 climbing, 1st vert bivy after 3 days of humping loads, fixing, lushing, plundering..... Aarrrrhhhh!!!
P4 New Dawn. Plenty of time to relax before the belay marathon begins
PTPP setting up belay at top of P4
First half of haul, P4
Second half of haul, P5
Lay Lady Ledge – did someone say there was BBQ???
Fireside grape juice – definitely roughing it with roasted kielbasa!
I couldn't help but think of the words of Isaiah:
I always feel so privileged share and enjoy God's creation here in Yosemite. And He did one helluva fine job when he sent those glaciers to carve El Cap for us. And in case you ever wondered, my complete Yosemite nickname is "Praise the Lord and pass the pitons Pete".
Nine section of first pitch off Lay Lady, this looks like a good place to run it out...
Awesome view up the right side of El Cap Tower
P8, better now – I've crossed over to the wyde side…
Fixed to right side of Texas Flake. Back to LLL, with PtPP and the burning bush
Rise and shine hoser! Don't roll over
That's me – the counter-balance – extracting kit from the wyde.
Right side of Texas, ledge #2
Ledge #2 annex, home for bi-nationals
Roughing it with the wall-press. Gentlemen, start your engines!
Here's another Dr. Piton Big Wall Tip of the Day – check out the two-dollar hanging stove assembly for the Jet Boil stove behind me. Forget that crazy unstable triangle thingy they sell you. Go to your local hardware store and buy a four-inch hose clamp, screw it around the top, and add yourself a clip-in loop. Voila!
Belaying PtPP from behind an improvised sun-proof junk curtain
Petey's first of many equalized thin nailing placements
El Cap tower looks mostly junk free…
Wow – do we have enough thin gear?
"Ya know what, Jonny? The sun's starting to set. Let me equalize some pieces, then zip me up a rope so I can rap down to camp. I've had enough of this pitch for today!"
It's a mighty thin under this arch
Dawn #7 on the wall – completely Genesis
Climbers on the Nose – where is your junk show?
Miracle #2 – my pillow dropped during bivy cleanup to the last belay ledge
PtPP leading out the 1st pitch of Genesis
Two-rope cleaning (very effective technique, thanks Pete!) of the long left arch, P2 Genesis
Once Jon finished cleaning this pitch, we returned to camp for a beer, then hauled the Junk Show to the top of 2.
Skyhook for pro – P3 Genesis
Free climbing on this pitch almost done….ready for the aid-ace to tackle the A4 corner above
Genesis, day #8 on the wall
Captain Tom's view of P4 Genesis
P6 free climbing fun!
Big fun, as seen from the bridge, on Genesis' P6 – just before the business
This ¼ inch rivet is not very inspiring to pull the .11 mantle – WATCH ME!!!
P6 dispatched – ready to haul!
Hooks in the Rain==Free in the Dry! Schneiderado Ledge, here I come
PtPP belaying from the palatial and airy Schneiderado Ledge (the golden promise, to the north…)
Steve Schneider had told us of this fabulous ledge, halfway between the 6th and 7th belay anchors. Determined not to repeat the mistake of the first ascensionists – who belayed on either side, but not on it – we converted this ledge to a fabulous bivi by adding two bolts as a hauling anchor, plus two rivets on either end for two portaledges. Schneiderado Ledge is fifteen feet long, and at its widest part – which is about three feet – we left space for the two of us to lounge on the ledge. I have rarely added bolts to an El Cap belay, but this was definitely one of those times. I'd like to think we did a good job here, and hope you'll agree.
Tom catches my last aid move before stepping out of the ladders and pulling hard onto P8's belay ledge
Ladies and Gentlemen – prepare for the freakin' show!
Ticky tack freaklimbing crux – almost pulled it off before Pete could snap the shot
Effin looz-a$s flakes to spice up the afternoon
Free gear behind expanding flakes – God I love SLCDs!!!
Two cams are better than one before casting off onto that loose pillar up there
Another sweet taped down skyhook for pro! I downclimbed back to this point several times before committing to heading up the left side
This route had three pitches that involved some committing, difficult free climbing AND difficult, tenuous aid – send in the Ace of Aid
OK, Pete – I've got a little green Alien stuck in this expanding downward-facing flake here above this runout 5.10 free climbing with no pro. Go ahead and lower me off, and you can jug back up and take over the lead.
Are you freaking kidding me, dude?! Stick in at least a couple more cams, will ya! Geeez…
Looking back down on the free crux.
Another stellar weekend ahead gents
This shot would have been even better with a tripod
Day 11 on the wall - a groovy shot shows where the action stopped at dark
Just before the fall of western civilization…
That was a sweet whipper Petey!
Dang buddy – you CAN haul fast
The view up P9 – The Golden Corner, aid crux
During Pete's lead on this pitch, rock chips and flakes rained down a accumulated on the portaledge to the extent I had to dump the fresh till twice! Folks around the base must've been wondering WTF?!?!?
I had to ask Pete to toss the shorts he had been wearing, due to the noxious view from the belay
Day 12, ready to tackle P10. Any chance of dimming that thingy?
You mean I get to lead this? Thanks Pete!
Holy frig! More nailing than I've done in a long time. Tried to keep with the clean aid program, but my patience waned after repeated daisey chain falls in the expanding corner.
Well, all grand things must come to an end – back to New Dawn and a tasty run out :-D
I suppose I could start leaving some gear behind
I have been waiting for this bivy for a long time. Looking up at the Dawn roof does no justice to the up-close and personal view
Day 13 started with some big air beneath my heals, half an hour before my whipper at the end of this pitch
Dawn roof to bridge: who left this choss up here? Ready to grovel – over…
So this is the Sidewalk. Weird. Get me outa here - I got summit fever!
Day 14 begins with some hauling fun - only because the pigs are nice and light
Very cool exit – can't get off this rock fast enough!
Hmmm, I need to formulate a Diabolical Plan. (evil laughter)
Summit!!! Thanks for changing the perspective Tom! Last haul begins…
All right, let's get the heck outa here.
Come now, have a beer.
If I have a beer, I'll get all sleepy, and I won't be able to go down!
[diabolical grin] Here, let's open a bottle of wine next.
Great friends enjoying a fine red at sunset ;-) Props for the stemware.
Last rays from the top of The Shield
Trying really hard not to laugh – Yes, future generations will be scarred forever from the sight of such a big schnozz ;-)
He did actually eat the sun. Thanks for all the memories, we will be back again…