Trip Report
Hall of Mirrors rebolting - October 30, 2011
Sunday November 6, 2011 11:16pm
Psyched by Alex Honnold's recent 3rd ascent of Hall of Mirrors, and his report on the condition of the bolts, Chris Cantwell wanted to do a rebolting trip, and I jumped at the chance.
We met in the dark at 6am, parking lot below the Apron. Left one car there and drove the other to the parking lot at the top of Glacier Point. We realized we were missing a second 1/2" wrench for the stainless Powers bolts from ASCA, and a second blow tube. I found a straw in my glovebox and Chris figured how to shim his larger wrench.
Chris Cantwell scrambling down from Glacier Point, October 2011
Chris Cantwell scrambling down from Glacier Point, October 2011
Credit: Clint Cummins
I was familiar with the upper part of the approach, from scrambling up this part of The Hinterland after doing all but the last 3 pitches of Galactic Hitchhiker with Steve Curtis in August.
The lowest of the big trees on the scramble down The Hinterland
The lowest of the big trees on the scramble down The Hinterland
Credit: Clint Cummins
Starting to get wet and exposed
Starting to get wet and exposed
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris at the first rappel point.  Too slimy to solo down any further.
Chris at the first rappel point. Too slimy to solo down any further.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris on the first rappel.  Note loose rocks perched on slabs, a hazar...
Chris on the first rappel. Note loose rocks perched on slabs, a hazard of this approach.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Starting the second rappel
Starting the second rappel
Credit: Clint Cummins
Looking down second rappel.  Bushes atop U-shaped Bowl in the sun.
Looking down second rappel. Bushes atop U-shaped Bowl in the sun.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris rapping from the top of the U-shaped Bowl.
Chris rapping from the top of the U-shaped Bowl.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Our anchor midway down the right side of the U-shaped Bowl - one of Ch...
Our anchor midway down the right side of the U-shaped Bowl - one of Chris's old hexes and a detached flake.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Second rappel in the U-shaped Bowl.  Chris kept going past the bottom ...
Second rappel in the U-shaped Bowl. Chris kept going past the bottom of the bowl and found anchor (16) on Hall of Mirrors, right where it was 31 years ago.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris adding a 3rd bolt to &#40;16&#41;. <br/>
Note left bolt without conv...
Chris adding a 3rd bolt to (16).
Note left bolt without conventional hanger (cable from wired nut used instead).
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;15&#41;, "before". <br/>
Original 2 bolts at bottom are 1/4" '...
Anchor (15), "before".
Original 2 bolts at bottom are 1/4" 'wedge stud' bolts used on the upper few pitches. SMC hanger at lower right added by Jonny Woodward & John Bercaw to replace rusty nut cable. 3/8" bolt at top placed by Woodward & Bercaw.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;15&#41;, "after". <br/>
I pulled the two original lower 'wedge...
Anchor (15), "after".
I pulled the two original lower 'wedge stud' bolts. The left one broke off in the hole when I wasn't careful to pull it straight out. I placed a new 3/8" stainless bolt left of the Woodward/Bercaw bolt.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris rapping from &#40;15&#41;, thinking about how to reach Flake in ...
Chris rapping from (15), thinking about how to reach Flake in the Sky and (14).
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris at Flake in the Sky &#40;14&#41;
Chris at Flake in the Sky (14)
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris adding a 3rd anchor bolt at &#40;14&#41;, Flake in the Sky. <br/>
Th...
Chris adding a 3rd anchor bolt at (14), Flake in the Sky.
This is the anchor where Alex said the hangers were pretty scary.
Chris said they were homemade, and looked like somebody's junior high shop project / practical joke.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;13&#41;, "before".  Alex's slings and biners.
Anchor (13), "before". Alex's slings and biners.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;13&#41;, "after".
Anchor (13), "after".
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris Cantwell reviews one of the ultimate slab pitches in the Valley,...
Chris Cantwell reviews one of the ultimate slab pitches in the Valley, "The Thirteenth", on Hall of Mirrors, 31 years after the first ascent.

Credit: Clint Cummins
In 1992 Jonny Woodward and John Bercaw reworked a few of the bolts on ...
In 1992 Jonny Woodward and John Bercaw reworked a few of the bolts on The Thirteenth, so that they are all clippable from free stances, and the bolt count was reduced from 13 to 10. Chris said they did a good job.
Credit: Clint Cummins
One of the bolts on The Thirteenth, replaced by Woodward & Bercaw in 1...
One of the bolts on The Thirteenth, replaced by Woodward & Bercaw in 1992, and looking good.
It appears to be a stainless 1/4" 'wedge stud' bolt.
Roger replaced a few of these in 2008, lower down below p5 and saved them; he may be able to comment furthe
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris at &#40;12&#41;. <br/>
We each had 2 ropes, and were backed up to th...
Chris at (12).
We each had 2 ropes, and were backed up to the previous anchor while replacing the lower anchor. We leapfrogged so that we didn't have to wait for each other.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;11&#41;, "before".  Typical Hall of Mirrors original ancho...
Anchor (11), "before". Typical Hall of Mirrors original anchor with three 1/4" bolts. Alex's sling & biners.
Was I motivated by the booty? Maybe at least partly. :-)
Can't have good slings rotting away in the UV all winter!
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;11&#41;, "during". <br/>
Applying my homemade tuning fork &#40...
Anchor (11), "during".
Applying my homemade tuning fork (old long thin Lost Arrow).
No "after" photo; busy rebolting in remaining daylight!
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;10&#41;, "before". <br/>
This is where Alex noted one of the b...
Anchor (10), "before".
This is where Alex noted one of the bolts "fell out" (note upper hole/sheared bolt).
It looks like it had broken off, and the hanger was still on the tat.
Fortunately it was an anchor with 3 bolts, which still left 2.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;10&#41;, "after".
Anchor (10), "after".
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris checking out p10, a solid 5.12 slab pitch. <br/>
He said it had one ...
Chris checking out p10, a solid 5.12 slab pitch.
He said it had one of the most ridiculous stances he ever drilled from; I think this was the second bolt on the pitch.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris mentioned that falling on these uppper 5.12 pitches was not like the sliding falls on the lower pitches - you quickly were moving fast!

Chris replacing at &#40;8&#41;. <br/>
The Hang bivy ledges &#40;7&#41; vis...
Chris replacing at (8).
The Hang bivy ledges (7) visble down and left.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;9&#41;, "after".
Anchor (9), "after".
Credit: Clint Cummins
Doubled crux protection bolts on "The Unfinished Ninth". <br/>
Chris visib...
Doubled crux protection bolts on "The Unfinished Ninth".
Chris visible below, adding a bolt at The Hang (7).
Credit: Clint Cummins
Evening light on North Dome, across the Valley. <br/>
aka sunset.
Evening light on North Dome, across the Valley.
aka sunset.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Crest Jewel initial pitches in evening light, from Hall of Mirrors anc...
Crest Jewel initial pitches in evening light, from Hall of Mirrors anchor (9) [zoom of previous photo]
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;8&#41;, "after".
Anchor (8), "after".
Credit: Clint Cummins
View down p8, "Glass Menagerie", the lowest 5.12 pitch.  Chris at The ...
View down p8, "Glass Menagerie", the lowest 5.12 pitch. Chris at The Hang (7).
Credit: Clint Cummins

Bruce Morris following the Glass Menagerie, 1978 or so. From Bruce's facebook page.

Chris alerted me to this hangerless bolt on p8.  I had saved up hanger...
Chris alerted me to this hangerless bolt on p8. I had saved up hangers from above, and brought nuts for 1/4" bolts. This is one of Woodward & Bercaw's SMC stainless hangers.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Hanger now in place and nut tightened down.
Hanger now in place and nut tightened down.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;6&#41;, "before".  Top of Steel Wall.
Anchor (6), "before". Top of Steel Wall.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Anchor &#40;6&#41;, "after".
Anchor (6), "after".
Credit: Clint Cummins
Chris replaces missing crux protection bolt on the "Steel Wall", p6, i...
Chris replaces missing crux protection bolt on the "Steel Wall", p6, in the dark.
This is where Alex was "really scared" and "gripped" but did the move anyway.
Chris looked for other bolts on the pitch and didn't see them. But his headlamp was dim.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Newly replaced crux protection bolt on the Steel Wall, p6 of Hall of M...
Newly replaced crux protection bolt on the Steel Wall, p6 of Hall of Mirrors. The original sheared bolt is to left. Probably it was broken by the rockfall in May 2009 which apparently originated with large blocks just above The Hang (7).
Credit: Clint Cummins


Hall of Mirrors photo overlay, adapted from xRez


edited version of Bruce Morris's 1981 topo, with Jonny Woodward's rating edits

There are a few more "rebolting day trips" like this needed before the route is completely refurbished. Chris and I have a plan to go back when it's dry again for a couple more day trips, but leave ropes fixed at the end of the day. That way Roger can more easily access everything from the ground (as much as ascending a 1000' fixed rope can be called "more easily"). Zander may join in on the fun as well.

Alex originally suggested the rebolting work in an email after he climbed up onto p9 and observed the bolt conditions. Mikey had helpfully suggested Roger and I for the job, and I replied, but Alex went back and fired the route before he even checked for my email. :-) Normally I would have gone up there with Roger, and we had discussed it for this past summer, but other plans and climbs intervened. By late October, Roger was about done for the season, but Chris was psyched and we had a great time up there.

Chris remarked that in the 80s, people would often do the first 7 pitches up to The Hang as a "moderate" day trip, as the 5.12 does not start until p8.
The ideal season was September, when it was cool enough, dry, but perhaps after a cleansing rain. Those pitches are classic pure friction and reasonably low commitment, as one can rappel at any time. Although some long sliding falls are possible, of course. After some rebolting work next summer, this should again be possible on good bolts, like it was in the 80s.

Links

main Hall of Mirrors thread, 2008:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/527185/hall-of-mirrors

Alex Honnold's 3rd ascent, 2011:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1641757/Hall-of-Mirrors

Jonny Woodward's article Smoke and Mirrors on the second ascent, 1992:
http://www.stanford.edu/%7Eclint/yos/smjw93.htm

Long, Hard and Free page:
http://www.stanford.edu/%7Eclint/yos/longhf.htm#apron

  Trip Report Views: 7,167
Clint Cummins
About the Author
Clint Cummins is a trad climber and rap rebolter from SF Bay area, CA.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
  Nov 6, 2011 - 11:24pm PT
Thanks for the public service! It's awesome that there are people like you in the climbing community.

Josh
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
  Nov 6, 2011 - 11:31pm PT
DAMN! SWWEET Guys!





Nice series!


... but THATS CHRIS NOW???



Sh#t, that old geezer ATE CC, he looks NOTHING like CC. Where is the silky faced kid with the ass length hair?

That is ASTONISHING, I'd NEVER have recognised him.

I'd a called him an imposter to his face!



God Bless, guys.

TFPU!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 6, 2011 - 11:37pm PT
haha, Chris is still way solid - casually scrambling in his loose sneakers and bolting a lot faster than I can.
He may look "round", but he still has the fire!
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
  Nov 7, 2011 - 12:05am PT
Its not the roundness, just that the last time I saw him, he was YOUNG. Considerably younger than me. Maybe 20?

He was MY partner for parts of at least two seasons... I know exactly what he could do. I was there.

And I ain't dead yet either.

Damn, I look younger than him now... (...but I'm a biased judge...)


He appears to be almost the only partner left that I ever had that ain't gotten dead in the meantime. And I wasn't sure about him, he almost never posts... I had no idea he would still bother to get on a rope, even a rappel rope. He musta wanted this pretty good.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Nov 6, 2011 - 11:58pm PT
Thanks for your work on this!

It's fascinating to get a glimpse of the smooth slab on this legendary route.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 7, 2011 - 05:54am PT
Nice job Y'all thanks for the public service!!!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:10am PT
That looked like a fun adventure.
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:12am PT
The pitches up to the Hang are so good, and now safer.. Thanks
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado, Nepal & Okinawa
  Nov 7, 2011 - 03:40pm PT
Yes thanks both for replacing the bolts and sharing it with us! As Doug says, it's a legendary route and this is as close as most of us will ever come to seeing it.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:55am PT
Chris with a beard looks like Robs Muir to me - and the route looks desperate.

It's a shame there can't be an exception to The Rules that allows good samaritans such as Clint and Chris to power drill for the safety of all climbers. Upgrading that route top to bottom by hand will require a lot of elbow grease and hours.

Nice effort guys!

tonym

climber
Oklahoma
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:58am PT
GreatTR! Thanks for the nice report.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:08am PT
Great stuff Clint!

Warbler, yes, I was thinking the same about the drill as I looked at some of those remaining 1/4 mankers.....
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:34am PT
Great trip report Clint. I can't wait for next season. I will check the 2008 log book to see if I made any comments about those bolts.
Roger
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:41am PT
Nice job! I'll bet half of the posters on ST will be lined up at the base next Spring raring to go.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:41am PT
Let's go for it, Jim!

You can lead the hard ones...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:45am PT
Slabs.....shudder....slabs, I need man sized holds.
Zander

climber
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:16am PT
Wish I had been there to help!
Z
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:23am PT
You have any plans to auction off those old hangers?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:25am PT
Great report Clint-kudos to all the work to revitalize this legendary route, way out of my league, even back then, but what the heck maybe next time around.

Early in the summer Boche and I were cruising by the Apron and wondering if there were many routes in that area. Spectacular.
bergbryce

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:28am PT
Wow, looks like a huge undertaking.
Strong work.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:29am PT
Historic thread about an historic route. Those first few pics give me chills, trottin' down from the top. WhooWee.

Good on y'all Clint and Chris.

Maybe Alex's attention to this will draw focus again to the gems we have in the slabs of Yosemite. The work of Clint, Roger, Chris and others needs to be appreciated!! I'm doing my best and would love to hit the Hang sometime.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:58am PT
Fascinating look at a legendary route...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Nov 7, 2011 - 09:02am PT
Thanks, Chris and Clint - good work! It looks like each of the belays now has at least one modern bolt and hanger, which gives a good base to work from. Assuming that you eventually pull most of the old bolts and replace them, how many more are there to do?

I notice that there are some old SMC hangers - better than none, at least, and not likely to be a concern over the winter? Or are they considered OK, as long as the bolt is also OK?
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
  Nov 7, 2011 - 09:04am PT
Thank you!

Great effort!

We tried to do the second in the way back year of 1981, but failed on the unfinished 9th.

I'm a bit confused, however, is the unfinished 9th the crux?

If I ever get sometime off, I love to give it another go, mostly because of your efforts; what a great climb!

Can't believe Alex, he is truly ahead of his time, what a talent!
YoungGun

climber
North
  Nov 7, 2011 - 09:08am PT
Super cool! Great effort and thanks for the photos! Did you keep the "looked like somebody's junior high shop project / practical joke" hangers from #14? Would be nice to see photos of this :) Thanks!!
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
  Nov 7, 2011 - 09:27am PT
good job guys, looks like it must of been quite an exciting day. we used to do the first few pitches routinely bitd to keep our skills up, might have to go check that out again next season. thanks
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
  Nov 7, 2011 - 10:18am PT
thank you, great work!

it's about time there was more attention paid to one of the great rock walls in the world...

just a short walk from a mountain store and pizza shop

(watch out for bears at the base)
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 11:16am PT
Fantatic photos, and cool TR! Thank you for your efforts for all of us.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Nov 7, 2011 - 11:28am PT
Truly amazing public service project, Chris and Clint! Thanks a lot!

Never having been above the 11th pitch BITD, I was really impressed with the view down the "13th". Whether it's 5.13a or 5.12b doesn't really matter. It sure looks like one of the Seven Wonders of the slab climbing world.

But what looks truly horrifying is the ramble and rap down through the U-Shaped Bowl. That approach makes the rap into Watkins look like a Sunday stroll in Golden Gate Park.

Can't you get a permit from the Park Service to use a roto-hammer for a day? Two or three battery packs and the whole H of M would glisten with new 3/8" bolts equipped with Fixe hangers. Everybody (and their mama) would want to do it then!
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Nov 7, 2011 - 02:45pm PT
Page 666 bump!

just looking at those pictures of the wet slabs at the top creeped me out. Thanks for your hard work.
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
  Nov 7, 2011 - 03:05pm PT
Bravo. Great to see Mr. Cantwell part of the effort.
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Nov 7, 2011 - 03:35pm PT
A line directly up the watercourse above the 10th pitch would be a sick variation.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
Very cool! I love this history carrying itself on stuff!
I would not have recognized Chris C either, though his spirit is clearly there, in a newer morphology!
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:07pm PT
Super cool. If I can ever get back into good shape, that would be high on the list of things to do.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
Very cool, this definately beats reading the paper.
ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:21pm PT
Had great time with Clint on the route. Was one of those looong days, pitch black and still 400 ft off the ground, searching for the rappel anchors I ask him "is this officially an epic". can't remember his exact words "almost" we agree as we are still warm, dry and hydrated, both of our headlamps working. I think we do learn some things from so many years, but on the flip side, I could barely walk for the next few days, started my diet again, the one I went on a few years ago after I couldn't bend over far enough buckle my snow board bindings.
lance it really is me!! although sometimes it seems like someone else, I was 17 when I started and 19 when I finished the route. I still remember our Nose attempt when I was 15, showing the photos to my friends at high school, confirming their suspicions that I was truly crazy. Remember when that was the standard response from non-climbers? I helped out at our church recently at their Halloween party, they had a climbing wall and it seems like every 8 year old has been on a rope before. Is non-climber even going to be a valid concept in a generation?
As to the anchors on P15 Clint had the camera so the mystery remains, one of the hangers was in fact made in my Jr. High shop class. The anchor was a comment on the old anchors you would find on big walls like the Nose back then. You will have to climb up there to see it, I did add a new 3/8" but left the old bolts.
Thanks for all the cool comments and encouragement, Chris
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:28pm PT
Clint, Chris, Roger- thanks for getting Hall of Mirrors all peppered for me and the route's 4th ascent. I will have you and the non slip-in-the-shower banana decals to thank.

Credit: tahoe523

Seriously though, thanks to you, I now know exactly how much work it takes to replace a bolt by hand. Thank you for the countless hours that you and other ASCA sponsored samaritans have dedicated to making our routes safer.

P.S. Clint, we really have to try out these bananas on the apron.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 04:31pm PT
Great work guys!!! Thanks for sharing. I did it to The Hang BITD and kept looking up going "Dang, that looks wild".
msiddens

Trad climber
  Nov 7, 2011 - 05:00pm PT
Great stuff Clint and thanks
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:04pm PT
Great TR. Looks like a super fun route. Wish I could still climb 5.12.
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:31pm PT
I had NO IDEA you were that young, I guess I never asked you. I thought you were at least 4 years older. I must have been 21 or 22 ...


I would NEVER have guessed. Damn, did I give you beer? Drinking age was 18 or 19 I think. You were whay advanced for your age! No wonder I never remember you shaving. I just thought you were babyfaced, like I was.

All these years to find that out!

Stay in touch, I am more fun nowadays...
Gagner

climber
Boulder
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:29pm PT
Cool, and good work Clint, and Chris.

And as was said up thread - I would have never recognized Chris "Can't Climb Well" - ha, ha. But then I guess none of us look like we did in the 80.

Paul
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
  Nov 7, 2011 - 06:41pm PT
Good on you guys! An iconic slab route for sure. Before the route was finished in the late 70's I went to the top of the sixth and was really impressed with the climbing and run outs. Glad to hear you are still getting out Chris.

Nick B
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:22pm PT
Chris, if you were with Clint and both of your headlamps were still working, it was not yet an epic.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:45pm PT
Nice work, guys!

Geez, when I think of Chris Cantwell on Hall of Mirrors, I think of this young upstart. [Note - only *I* can be a parvenu, right, Conrad?]

But Chris is OLD, man! He's ancient.

In fact, I found his brother from another mother.

Separated at birth:

Chris Cantwell:



Billy Gibbons from Zed-Zed Top:

ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:45pm PT
A clarification: the route can only be climbed by the dry variation right now. The anchor bolts on top of the original 5th pitch are gone completely, three 3/8 bolts rusted away almost completely. we did not have time to replace these or check out the rest of P5 and P4 although I doubt there is much left of them. We are hoping to have it all rebolted by next fall. Thanks,Chris
klk

Trad climber
cali
  Nov 7, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
chris looked better b4 the beard.

good on ya guys
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 15, 2011 - 11:54am PT
Thanks for all the support!
A few replies:

 powerdrills?
Thanks, but we don't need 'em. We have Roger. All we have to do is get the ropes fixed and he will do it all by hand. Maybe a visual will help:

from
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/912351/Bolt-replacement-2009

 You have any plans to auction off those old hangers? [Batrock]
bolt and hangers brought down from Hall of Mirrors
bolt and hangers brought down from Hall of Mirrors
Credit: Clint Cummins
I don't have any plans, but it you want one, make a donation to ASCA and I'll send you one. Most of them look fairly ordinary - rusty Leepers. The "junior high shop class" hangers might be a bit more unique, though! :-)
There might be some "marketing potential", though? Maybe polish up one side of the Leepers so they are like a mirror, stamp HoM, serial number, try auction at the annual ASCA fundraiser? (Greg Barnes and Chris McNamara organize this).

 Assuming that you eventually pull most of the old bolts and replace them, how many more are there to do?
I bet Roger already has them counted, as he plans these projects carefully.
Roger already replaced p1-p5 in 2008, but the rockfall of 5/2009 removed some of these. Chris and I replaced 8 anchor bolts, added 3 anchor bolts, and replaced one missing protection bolt.
My quick count is 78.
We are psyched to have so many of the "last of the 1/4 inchers" in close proximity.

 I notice that there are some old SMC hangers - better than none, at least, and not likely to be a concern over the winter? Or are they considered OK, as long as the bolt is also OK?
There are 2 kinds of SMC hangers - the rusty thin chrome-moly type (which are suspect like the Leepers), and the thicker stainless ones, which I consider to be as good (strong/reliable) as any current hanger (although with a little less room for biners and slings).

 
Credit: tahoe523
Shino, let's test over on the Half Dome Cables route first - I've heard it's way slick over there!

 I'm a bit confused, however, is the unfinished 9th the crux? [coz]
Yes. At least for shoes people are currently using. Sorry if my messy topo with the edits makes it hard to see this.
Jonny Woodward felt it was the crux, and has a great passage in his article Smoke and Mirrors where he tried to aid past it, but couldn't. Check it out. untaintable!
And it was the only pitch that Alex Honnold didn't onsight, so that would seem to confirm this.
Plus you said in the main thread that you took 30-40 falls there, so this also is a statement about how it is so tempting, but so hard to do.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
  Nov 8, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
well done on the community service thing.
Thank you!
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Nov 8, 2011 - 12:35pm PT
All Roger needs now is one of those 3 lb driving hammers they sell at Peninsula Building Supplies in Redwood City and Sunnyvale. That old Black Diamond hammer is way too light! With his arms, he could handle that big iron like it was a tooth pick!
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  Nov 8, 2011 - 12:42pm PT
The problem with heavier hammers is you risk damaging the drill bit. Lots of light taps are the key to drilling, it's not blacksmithing.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
  Nov 8, 2011 - 02:05pm PT
whoa..
nice work gents..
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Nov 8, 2011 - 02:24pm PT
Good work, thanks for all your effort.
AKDOG

Mountain climber
Anchorage, AK
  Nov 8, 2011 - 02:42pm PT
Thanks for the report, good work, boy those pitches look slick.

What kind of harness and new sticky rubber is Mr. Cantwell sportín?
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
  Nov 8, 2011 - 03:00pm PT
Great report and nice work, Clint & Chris. Inspiring.
ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
  Nov 8, 2011 - 06:19pm PT
Pass the Pitons Pete,
love your post !! had to show it to my kids. thanks,Chris
dogtown

Trad climber
Cheyenne, Wyoming and Marshall Islands atoll.
  Nov 8, 2011 - 08:34pm PT
Smoke and Mirrors, article is awesome. Great read!
Some how I was not surprised when Hensels involvement was mentioned.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Nov 8, 2011 - 08:36pm PT
The public thanks you! What a great thread.
henny

Social climber
The Past
  Nov 9, 2011 - 05:37pm PT
Just having one good bolt at each belay should definately change the dynamics of considering doing the route. Even back in 92 a couple of the belays didn't make me feel all that comfortable when JW and I made our recon run of the upper pitches in bad weather (so I'm a whimp - but the transition to 3/8 had started and I was beginning to view 1/4 with an ever more suspicious eye.)

I was entertaining thoughts of doing it earlier this fall but had a feeling that the route would require bolt maintenance given it's long neglected status, and the fact that JW/JB had only replaced essential bolts for their ascent (+ no beefing of anchors.) I guess those suspicions rang true.

It would of course be nice if all pro bolts were replaced, and it sounds like there are plans to do so, but the essential first step has been taken with belay beefing. That alone is a good deal. Thanks guys!
Morgan

Trad climber
East Coast
  Nov 9, 2011 - 08:28am PT
Outstanding work, and cool Mjollnir hammer!
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Nov 9, 2011 - 10:03am PT
What a great report and a way of sharing a route that most of us will never get on. I remember Misty Beethoven being hard enough. It took a few tries to get that first pitch and I remember falling way above a bolt and running backwards down the slab while my partner took in slack. I can't imagine those upper pitches. Spectacular.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Nov 9, 2011 - 10:35am PT
Happy to see this labor of love.

I don't have the skills, so I'll have to just enjoy the fruits of it vicariously.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Nov 9, 2011 - 11:32am PT
Great job Clint and Chris. Question... on anchor 6 there were two rivets and a 1/4" bolt. You chose to replace the bolt and leave the two rivets. Does this mean you have more faith in them than the 1/4" bolt? If so, is this the case with all the old gear (well, all that's left) of that type scattered around Yosemite?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 9, 2011 - 02:03pm PT
Thanks, Darrell. Having one good bolt at each anchor also means we can fix ropes for Roger more safely, so when he is at the top of the fixed ropes, he is not on just one old 1/4" bolt while replacing the other. Although he will often replace the last protection bolt on the pitch below, and have that as a backup.

jaaan,
Anchor &#40;6&#41;, "before".  Top of Steel Wall.
Anchor (6), "before". Top of Steel Wall.
Credit: Clint Cummins
What you call "rivets" we call "buttonheads". It is the same Rawldrive bolt underneath, just a different head which is equally strong. [Edit:] But see Chris's reply below, the buttonheads used were longer/stronger than the studs with hex nuts. And "Equal" is an approximation; not exactly equal, but both are pretty good (see posts below).
The reason I replaced the lower left bolt is that it is at the same height as the right bolt. Later the lower right bolt will be replaced and those two will be the anchor. We will consult with Chris, but usually 2 good 3/8" bolts makes a good anchor.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Nov 9, 2011 - 12:31pm PT
Thanks for that. You also answered my next question - which was... are the anchors going to remain like that or will the eventually be two new bolts at each one. I guess I didn't really appreciate that this was just the start. Again, great work.
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Nov 9, 2011 - 12:31pm PT
Thanks Clint. I always wondered what these pitches looked like. The photos make it look low angle, I assume when you were on it some of the pitches looks fairly steep and blank?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 9, 2011 - 02:00pm PT
Marty,

Chris was remarking also, on how the pitches look so easy when on rappel. It is a different perspective in a couple of ways. One of the reasons is that you can see the holds much better from above. From below you are guessing what holds might be good, and you know that often you will be wrong. Like in Bruce's story of leading p9 and the "Treble Clef" mantle above the belay - looks like a jug from below, way sloper when you get there!
And after I replaced a bolt at (9), I looked up at p10 and tried to imagine how I would lead it. It looked pretty rad. Not just steep and blank, but slick. Chris mentioned that if you fell on those upper pitches on lead, you didn't just slide slow, you went fast immediately. That's when you realize you can't judge all that much on rappel.
ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
  Nov 9, 2011 - 01:21pm PT
As to the angle, look carefully at the photos looking down from the higher pitches. The beginning pitches look like a sidewalk, then remember these are 5.10+ and 5.11. As to the anchor bolts, the ones with button heads were longer, better bolts. The 1/4" with the nut were the short studs that we would place first from the stance because they were quicker to drill.
Thanks,Chris
henny

Social climber
The Past
  Nov 9, 2011 - 01:49pm PT
Yeah, two new 3/8 at each belay should a good anchor make. No need for 3 3/8.

My experience, or so it seems, is that the 1/4 buttonheads seem a little better overall than the threaded ones. Maybe an illusion, but they generally seem better when taking them out for replacement. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather see a buttonhead than a threaded job if I need to clip a 1/4 bolt. Maybe it's just because the buttonheads typically tend to be longer. Sorta moot point anyway.

The upper pitches are steeper, as Chris and others are pointing out. It turns from smearing to more edging. Bear in mind that "edging" still means pretty small holds. It's steep and slick enough that even though it appears low angle (relative to steep sport) it's not easy to just paddle up it. Plus, as mentioned again, it's hard to see a line or holds to go for while on it because everything is small. And it tends to be reasonably continuous. A small break in technique/focus and it's easy to quickly depart.
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  Nov 9, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
The buttonheads should be much stronger than the threadheads. Not only are the buttonheads slightly longer, most importantly they are full dia at the hanger where they recieve the greatest shear load. The minor diameter of a 1/4-20 thread is 0.188", so really only 3/16" dia. Not only a much smaller dia, but a stress riser at the point of greatest sheer load!
Greg Barnes

climber
  Nov 9, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
I don't know if Chris remembers, but many of his 1/4" thread-head bolts in Tuolumne were actually stud bolts, not thread-head split-shaft bolts. Those nearly always snap during removal. The Uriostes used those all the time in Red Rocks, it took us a bit to figure out why every single bolt was snapping when you'd get at least 80% of thread-head split-shaft bolts out in Yosemite.

I don't know if any of the thread-head bolts on HoM are stud bolts instead of split-shafts - maybe Chris knows?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Nov 9, 2011 - 05:08pm PT
Plus, as mentioned again, it's hard to see a line or holds to go for while on it because everything is small.

Of course, once the route's bolts are all replaced, there'll be lineups to climb it, chalk on all the holds, and rubber streaks everywhere, from falls. Except that it gets rather well washed every winter.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
  Nov 9, 2011 - 07:02pm PT
Greg,
On the last formation Clint helped fix ropes on for me this season, one of the routes was 1/4" stud bolts and they all came out without without breaking. That is the first time I can remember that ever happening for me.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 15, 2011 - 11:56am PT
Greg,

The answer is in the caption to this photo (yes).
Anchor &#40;15&#41;, "before". <br/>
Original 2 bolts at bottom are 1/4" '...
Anchor (15), "before".
Original 2 bolts at bottom are 1/4" 'wedge stud' bolts used on the upper few pitches. SMC hanger at lower right added by Jonny Woodward & John Bercaw to replace rusty nut cable. 3/8" bolt at top placed by Woodward & Bercaw.
Credit: Clint Cummins
Mostly on p13-p16. The lower pitch bolts are Rawldrives (split shaft).

1/4" Wedge Stud bolt from anchor &#40;15&#41; of Hall of Mirrors <br/>
1/4...
1/4" Wedge Stud bolt from anchor (15) of Hall of Mirrors
1/4" x 1.5" Rawldrive "buttonhead" from a lower anchor
Credit: Clint Cummins
I called them '1/4" wedge bolts' instead of 'stud bolts'.
So I changed it to '1/4" wedge stud bolts'.

Chris and Scott Cole called them 'taper bolts'.

I pulled 2 of them intact, after the first one broke when I wasn't careful about how I used the tuning fork.

I believe Roger is referring to No Falls Wall and Black Sunday, at Last Resort. These were Chris' FAs in 1980. Hopefully we'll have continued good results in pulling the remainder on Hall of Mirrors.

[Edit to add:]
There may be 2 reasons we are having more success in pulling the 1/4" wedge studs these routes (Hall of Mirrors and Black Sunday):
1. Using pretty thin tuning forks (thinner than the standard #4 Lost Arrow ones that Theron makes). I used an old long thin Lost Arrow to make mine, and Roger is using a very thin wide chisel for his.
2. The bolts are not that rusty/weak on these routes. Less water damage. So the bolts can take the outward force without breaking at the head or cone.
Roger and I had problems breaking the 1/4" Rawldrives on Greasy But Groovy, because they were so rusty/weak from being in the water so much. Roger carefully used knifeblades to wedge them out straight and slow. And I used my tuning fork very carefully.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Nov 10, 2011 - 06:29am PT
Those photos make me wanna get back on the Apron like nobody's business...
dustonian

climber
  Nov 10, 2011 - 07:25am PT
Awesome work, guys!! You're total heroes.
henny

Social climber
The Past
  Nov 10, 2011 - 08:26am PT
I obviously was wrong about JW/JB not beefing anchors, as Clint's picture of anchor 15 proves. When I queried JW about having fixed up any belays, he didn't remember if they had or not. Looks like they did. So, just to jog JW's memory..., did they beef any other belays?

Question: when JW reworked the 13th, did he remove the original bolts that were bypassed? If not, and Chris feels that they did a good job, are there plans to do so? The cleaner of superfluous bolts the better, IMO (2 cents worth).

MH - rubber streaks will be the case up to about the 9th, from there on it might be getting steep enough to not leave streaks. And yeah, it sure does get washed clean when it rains.

When JW and I first went on it, we got caught in a downpour at the 8th. I was on the hang while JW rapped and it was getting downright serious. Thought I was gonna drown, not to mention all the rocks that were starting to get carried by the water. We left a gallon water jug at the hang and came back to find nothing but a few tattered pieces of plastic. The hang is a nasty place in the rain.
ghostfromthepast

Social climber
oakhurst ca
  Nov 10, 2011 - 11:39am PT
Henny,
There was a JW 3/8 at the Hang, P7 anchor, the hanger was smashed, Zappa Dave's original 3/8 was still solid so I replaced the hanger,could not get the JW bolt out so I added another 3/8" stainless taper bolt . There was also a JW 3/8 at the last protection bolt on the 16th.
As to the 13th memory is a funny thing I remembered it as a long blank headwall of about 80+ feet that had a bolt ladder straight up about 60' of it. What I saw this time were more stances and holds than I remember, weaving gently back and forth, the bolts were at the stances and followed the holds. I don't know if I missed this line of holds on the FA or just am not remembering it as it was. I distinctly remember top roping from the belay up to the top bolt on the ladder and continuing on to the next stance without falling or weighting the rope, my feet were smearing not edging most of the foot holds. I also remember thinking ,after I reached the stance that the run out was rather anti-climatic and we should have ended the bolt ladder a few bolts lower.
Edging the pitch would make it a different line of holds I assume. Next time I go up there I will have to look more closely at it. We were pressed for time so I didn't get a real good look at the whole thing
Thanks for all your comments and info!! Chris
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Nov 13, 2011 - 07:39pm PT
Listened to all the comments about how low angle the Hall of Mirrors looks from above when you're on rappel. So . . . I thought I'd add on some shots of climbers on the route to give you some reference points.

Dave Austin leading the first pitch of Mark Wilford's "Misty Beethoven...
Dave Austin leading the first pitch of Mark Wilford's "Misty Beethoven", which served as the launch point for "Hall of Mirrors." The two pitches of Misty were originally rated 5.10d and 5.10c, but JW rated both 5.11a friction.
Credit: Bruce Morris

The third 5.10a pitch of "Hall of Mirrors". Photo: Dave Austin.
The third 5.10a pitch of "Hall of Mirrors". Photo: Dave Austin.
Credit: Bruce Morris

Cory Dudley leading the original 4th 5.10d pitch on the H of M.
Cory Dudley leading the original 4th 5.10d pitch on the H of M.
Credit: Bruce Morris

Cory Dudley leading the 6th "Steel Wall" pitch &#40;5.11a&#41; of the ...
Cory Dudley leading the 6th "Steel Wall" pitch (5.11a) of the H of M. Looks plenty run-out without a missing protection bolt.
Credit: Bruce Morris

Looking down the "Glass Menagerie" &#40;5.12a&#41; with another party ...
Looking down the "Glass Menagerie" (5.12a) with another party below on the 4th pitch. Photo: Cory Dudley.
Credit: Bruce Morris

Chris Cantwell &#40;sans beard&#41; belaying Scott Cole from a portale...
Chris Cantwell (sans beard) belaying Scott Cole from a portaledge on the 11th pitch. The size of cars below in the Apron Parking Lot give you a good idea how high up you are at this point. Photo: S. Cole.
Credit: Bruce Morris
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Nov 13, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Thanks for your service Clint, Chris, Roger et al.

You guys are badass!

Great writeup and pitch by pitch description.

mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
  Nov 13, 2011 - 08:00pm PT
Thanks a bunch guys!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Nov 13, 2011 - 08:34pm PT
Wow! FA photos. The masses demand more.
FortMental

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
  Nov 13, 2011 - 10:55pm PT
It was cool to see Crest Jewel from the other side! Thanks!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 15, 2011 - 11:59am PT
I added an enlarged version of the visible initial pitches of Crest Jewel.
I just switched over to a Fuji EXR from my old Canon SD450, and the EXR is an improvement in low light and higher resolution.
Also added a photo of the bolts and hangers brought down from the route, and an enlarged photo of one of the 1/4" wedge stud bolts, in comments after the main trip report.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Jan 20, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
I still remember all the mean-spirited gossip and buzz that went around when this route was going up...and now conventional opinion is that it may be the best all-around slab climb in the world.

Then there was all the mean-spirited gossip and buzz that made the rounds when WOS was happening. Haven't read the magazine article, but from what I gather the route is not quite the immoral insult to all things climbing it was made out to be.

For all the cultrual changes in climbing that have surfaced in the intervening years -- things both good and bad -- one thing I don't miss is the nasty bloodlust that sometimes boiled over in those days. Things seem a bit mellower on the ground. Maybe it's because if we're really pissed we can vent here on the interwebs, as opposed to the icky alternative -- raging at folk in real life. Or maybe we're all just getting old, warming up for our epic battles, wheelchair-ramming fights, and walking cane smackdown in the Old Climber's Home.

I'm curious, 'cause I don't know the history -- were Kroger and Davis given any flack when the rolled in with no fanfare and did the heart route?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Jan 20, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
bvb,

You can read Chuck Kroger's story:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/474787/First-Ascent-of-the-Heart-Route-1970-Kroger-and-Davis

"In the morning we were sorting pins by eight, ready to start at ten, when the big boss barbarian (let's call him Jim) arrived on the scene. He made it pretty clear that his stuff was already on the WML [Wall of Early Morning Light], and that we'd be pretty dead pretty soon if we tried to steal his route from him and his partner (we'll call him Kim), who has a bit of a killer instinct."
...
"Two hours of reconaissance convinced us that we could try a route left of the Muir Wall," ...

There is a pretty cool cartoon by Chuck's then girlfriend of the barbarians, stuff on the route, etc., published in Vulgarian Digest!
It's on the second page of the above thread, and you posted on the thread, too. :-)
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Jan 22, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
Very cool, nice public service gentlemen!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jan 22, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
mmmmm, Apron frikshun


need me a trip next weekend, maybe I should get silly with cold temps and some Aperun.


not HoM mind you, but it gets the juices flowing thinking about edging on the slippery side of nothing.
Rosamond

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Jan 25, 2012 - 02:11pm PT
That Can't Possibly be Cantwell.......He's wearing shoes, and he appears to have taken a Bath recently!!!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Jan 25, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
Sorry to tell you this Clint, but I think some Italian guys are coming to chop this route.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jan 25, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
What a thread! FA pictures and a super re-bolting effort on an iconic route. Thanks for letting get a close-up of a route I could not touch now.

Superb route. Superb TR.

Thank you.

John
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
  Jan 26, 2012 - 12:24am PT
Nice try, boys...but if you been following the news, the Italians are now boarding one of their cruise ships to come over and chop the whole shebang.

Scottie once related how he and "Can'tClimbWell" trundled the Mouth while, uh, drinking beer; Scott reported that the declevity down to The Mouth looked liked a sidewalk in its relative steepness, as their nighttime trundling from their Flake in The Sky covered that route†with their sparks, and smelling of ozone from the dangerous rockfall reported in that area.

Since I ain't gonna climb it†anytime soon - since, as you can plainly see, the Golden Age is now speed climbing events on TR plastic - it would be innaresting for an old guy like me to rap the darn thing, now that I've a visual on the base of the U Shaped Bowl.

Last I heard, from Leo Burk, his son hasn't climbed in more than 7 years. Any new news for any concerned for Chris' FA partner on the upper third?
Rokjox

Trad climber
Boys I'dunno
  Jan 26, 2012 - 12:37am PT
Everyone knows I am a Cantwell fan, I thought he was pretty decent BITD, and I liked apron climbing. But how can this be called an "iconic" route when it gets no traffic over a 30 year span?

Like WOS, much ado about a route that has ZERO repeats until this last year.



Seems kind of weird to me. I can understand Chris and the other guys wanting to reboot it, they went through a lot of sh#t from all the other Kalis for just doing a SINGLE FA.

The frigging jealousy and power tripping of the 80's was incredible. I thing honestly that was a lot more of the problem with those routes, the climbers were not authorized to do FAts, and the self appointed guardians of Yosemite were pissed that climbers from outside the approved group were even daring to attempt the feat.



I remember when Steve G got all kinds of sh#t for the same thing, putting up routes. Yet his routes were grand and bold and highly ethical.
crazy horse

Trad climber
fresno, ca
  Jan 26, 2012 - 08:52am PT
cool rebolting mission guys!!
Doug Tomczik

climber
Bishop
  May 9, 2012 - 11:48am PT
Clint, Chris and Roger, I really appreciate the work you are putting into this. Thank you.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Nov 5, 2012 - 05:13pm PT
THis TR has the most views of all of em!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 5, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
2012 update:
On June 16 and 17, Roger and I repeated the approach that Chris and I had used in October 2011 - we hiked down from the top with 2 ropes each.
This time, we replaced bolts on the top pitches, and then eventually fixed our 4 ropes each day as high as possible to reach the ground.
After 2 days, we had 8 ropes fixed to the top of p13, with all bolts replaced above that.
We also placed a new rappel anchor above (15) on the L side of the U-Shaped Bowl, so it is now straightforward to climb the 16th pitch, then diagonal right, back left to the U-Shaped Bowl, then scramble 3rd/4th class out left to the new anchor and rappel the route.
Roger then spent the next weeks jugging up the fixed lines and replacing all bolts on p13 and below, including the anchors on p4 and p5 which had been damaged by rockfall.
The route is all ready to climb - get out there before it starts raining!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Jan 23, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
Hadn't read this before. Thanks for the great report.
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