Trip Report
Independence Pinnacle (Photo TR)
Wednesday February 1, 2012 3:38pm
Me and Nutjob meant to climb this in early December, but bumped into ablegable and kev and they turned us on to their newish route, Angry Natives (here's that TR, good route).

We got back to the Reed's pullout a few weeks ago and did what we'd meant to do that first time, the first two pitches of Independence Pinnacle, Left, and the third pitch of the Center route. The day before we’d been climbing on the Arches apron, and we were ready for some cracks. Slabs are great, but they put me in the mood for cracks, same way yogurt makes me just hungrier.

[IMg]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Nt1lmQYmR-Q/TyhxYnrJhEI/AAAAAAAA4_8/Ycxf_KXlpn4/s800/IMG_9038.JPG{{/img}}


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I'd never heard much about people doing Independence Pinnacle. Alexey and crew sent it, but those guys aren’t a good comparison point for me and Nutjob, too burly.

When you walk along the base, you can see the holy-sh#t-it’s-beautiful splitter that cuts the proud, outside face of the pinnacle in half and makes up the 3rd pitch. From the base, you can see a thicker and thicker swath of blue sky through this crack as it widens toward the top of the pinnacle.

The first pitch is a bit of a scrapper, the second pitch was my favorite, and the third has you wishing it were longer. Here are some pics:

P2, cruiser chimney to some fists and cups with bad feet at the crux, then a long section of perfect gold camalots.

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Top of p2, looking at the traverse into the Center route’s p3.

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Nutjob coming up p2.

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And Nutjob first contemplating, then starting the exposed traverse toward p3:

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Heading up:

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The shirt, always with the shirt:

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The crack starts at a fingerlock, then hands, cups, fists, bars, until the next 30 ft or so take a #6 camalot, and then it’s a run too big for cams to the anchor. I think Nutjob is at about 5” here.

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Milking a rest off of the aręte:

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Easy raps to the ground:

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You can’t see Steppin’ Out very well which is a shame, we wanted to have a look. You do rap over what looks like a new, hard, bolted route that goes up the roofs and aręte on the SE corner of the Independence Pinnacle. Wonder how hard that line is? It comes up steep roofs below Nutjob, and then up the aręte in this pic. Looks hard.

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This is what the area above Independence looks like:

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Caught this last shot of two FA’ists who were busy at work that day before I was off and headed toward El Agave.

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Credit: le_bruce


  Trip Report Views: 3,773
le_bruce
About the Author
le_bruce is a climber from Oakland: what's not to love?.

Comments
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Feb 1, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
hup hup
this damn medium
inhibits my enthusiasm.

good for you, folklores.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 03:58pm PT
Rad!!!!!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:13pm PT
El Agave....I AM JEALOUS!!!!! Miss that place so much. Especially those all you can eat dips. Guacamole is nom nom yummy.

Nice report TYFP!
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Draperderr, by Bangerter, Utah
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:21pm PT
TFPU Bryce & Scott! So when are you returning for Steppin' Out?
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:33pm PT
le_bruce

Hey! Very fun to see the photos and read the report. I did the climb with Vern Clevenger in 1972 or so. Galen Rowell took photos from the ground- never saw them but would sure love to if they still exist. I got the 1st and 3rd pitches. The 1st had a certain "ball-bearing" feel to it. Vern cruised the beautiful 2nd, of course. I remember thinking the 3rd was fairly sporting in the pre-cam era. Bongs as nuts were pretty unsettling for me. In fact, I dropped a bong that nearly hit John Long in the face as he pullover the bulge on the Center Route. The community of climbers was small then and it was pretty amazing for a mortal to climb with and around the "gods" of the time.

Thanks for reporting on a fairly obscure route.

Rick
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 1, 2012 - 04:49pm PT
Hey Rick - man I love to hear about those days. Leading either the 2nd or 3rd pitches without cams is a different proposition altogether.

In this age, weekender guys like me and Scott can - sometimes, and to a certain degree - rack up and start climbing with a "hell, let's try it" attitude. Sometimes this will bite you (witness our past TR's!), but in many cases the margin between safe and unsafe allows for more breathing room with the gear now. Not always true, but often true.

If I knew I'd only have the pro I could hammer in up there, and couldn't count on anything wider than a few inches, I'd wait until I was just about damn sure I wasn't going to be close to my limit before giving something like Independence an onsite whirl. Basically, I think any attempt at onsite climbing w/o cams would be at grades a full number below my best redpoint efforts.

As is, I am usually mentally ok about trying to onsite at or near my red point level on gear (witness this TR).

Edit: thanks for the comments all.
Rick Linkert

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills CA
  Feb 1, 2012 - 05:08pm PT

le_bruce

Well, you and Nutjob looked pretty damned comfortable to me. In fact, it looks like Nutjob could have been smoking a cigar while leading the third pitch. And I sure as hell didn't wish it was longer than it was. The funny thing about off-with pro is that placing pro can make it harder because you have get around the pro unless you are pushing a big cam. I suspect that some run-out climbs of yore are now harder because you have to monkey around with the pro and then climb past it.

Nice job

Rick
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
  Feb 1, 2012 - 05:08pm PT
Doing the 2nd pitch of the Left Side (5.10c, correct??) on the old Hexs was scary. Nice TR.

JL
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 1, 2012 - 08:27pm PT
Rick - Nutjob is a strong lad, much stronger than me, and better at wide cracks to boot. But even I felt pretty secure on p3. There was no psychological edge to my experience though, being on 2nd. I think the .10a crux of that pitch is moving up through the first steep part off of the undercut ledge/traverse.

JL - I think p2 gets .10b in Reid, and felt similar in difficulty to something like Henley Quits, maybe imo a little bit harder and burlier/more sustained. On hexes seems like it'd be a long while before you got something in after the squeeze - most of the crux fist/cups section on top of the chimney looked parallel.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Feb 1, 2012 - 08:35pm PT
Nice report, sounds like a good time was had by all.
What's the finish of the Left side look like?
David Wilson

climber
CA
  Feb 2, 2012 - 11:45am PT
great TR !

we went up to do the center route on independence a few weeks ago. started with the 11c seam as a first pitch ( can't remember the name of that route ) and then here's a pic of the second pitch splitter section. it's either hospital fall 11a ( should have bolt added even if cerro torre guys chop it later ) or decomposed 5.8 to get to the splitter. i opted for the 5.8. the splitter was short, but pretty nice and probably only 10c.


we only had one yellow and one blue cam, so i opted to go no pro on the 7" 5.9 OW to the left instead of the 10a center route third pitch - glad i did as i heard this pitch delivers
Zander

climber
  Feb 2, 2012 - 11:47am PT
Woo hoo!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 2, 2012 - 10:53pm PT
Schweet, thanks Bruce!!!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Feb 3, 2012 - 12:31am PT
Nice work le_bruce-great stuff for you and Scott
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Feb 3, 2012 - 01:28am PT
hell yeah!!!!1111

tom Carter

Social climber
  Feb 3, 2012 - 01:58am PT
Thanks very much. Memories from the crew. Rick, Kevin, all - Hi.

I climbed that in ?1975 with Allan Bard. Got 1 & 3 and I think only one #11 Hex? Got my knee stuck for a bit too!

Anyway those pics straightened my murky dream out and I thank you.
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
  Feb 3, 2012 - 02:29am PT
"11c seam is Direct Start to Center Route of Independence"

Do you mean, "Rocket in My Pocket" (5.11c) Elias, Morris, Lollard (10/83)? Used to be rated 5.11a in Meyers/Reed 1987.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Feb 3, 2012 - 03:31am PT
I'm burning up my karma points for not uploading my pics yet... if I was at home I'd do it right now.
at least it will occasion another bump of the reports when I get to it :)

And don't listen to le_bruce about me being stronger... I used to comfort myself that he was the face ropegun and I was the wide ropegun, but he led the 10b chimney up through the cupped hands / fisty stuff and got it no falls. I followed and choked twice at the same spot before I got it. The 3rd pitch is all about wrapping your brain around that traverse off the belay. I was having a low biorhythms day and almost pulled the plug on our adventure before doing it. Le_bruce just had to smack me around a little to get me back on track. Once you get to the crack it's all over (at least with modern cams- without cams it would be more adventure than I want to bite off).
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Feb 7, 2012 - 10:36am PT
Way to git sum. Thanks for great photos and a fun write up. Keep on keepin on!
seth kovar

climber
Reno, NV
  Feb 8, 2012 - 03:39pm PT
ugggh, can't see any pics here but thanks for the TR
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Mar 5, 2012 - 06:50pm PT
OK, finally got my pics uploaded. I didn't have time for any cropping or snazzy clean-up, just the raw deal:

The whole route:

The final bit of P1 is trickier than I expected after a cruiser start. Looking down on it:

Obeisance to the gods of wyde. Or is he imagining some jugs?:

Motoring up like nobody's business:

Now there is a fine wide gentleman:

There begins to be some work in earnest:

And it gets earnester and earnester:


I think one of his parents was a Great Horned Owl. Check out that rotation!

That was right about where I biffed it while following, and I ignobled myself by trying to lieback it after hanging, which also resulted in total failure. So I rested a few minutes, contemplated the horror of making him haul me up, but then I somehow managed it at last. Here's le_bruce finishing in fine style:

Not much more to say except unreal sky:

Blissful topout with Ablegable in the background:

Another glorious day!

There's a whole subplot related to the love triangle with Barbie that le_bruce omitted. Maybe the Angry Natives report will include a little more detail on that.



mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
  Mar 5, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
great t.r. guys, can't wait for the road to open so i can go up there and do that route. thanks
PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Draperderr, by Bangerter, Utah
  Mar 6, 2012 - 02:20am PT
Great photos, Scott!
50

climber
Stumptown
  Mar 25, 2012 - 12:12am PT
Good job guys. Nice TR of a classic route.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
  Mar 25, 2012 - 12:18am PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Some theme music for the (ahem!) Barbie story.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Mar 25, 2012 - 11:42am PT
Awesome photos fellas, that wideness looks quite appealing!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Mar 25, 2012 - 01:01pm PT

Now that's the juice!

hell yeah!
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Feb 13, 2015 - 09:42pm PT
what!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Apr 16, 2019 - 01:43am PT
I'm not sure about the statute of limitations for the Barbie fiasco. I had to change my phone number and everything....

It's been a fun night plumbing memory lane and making sure I have a copy of all the stuff that I would never get to enjoy again if it disappeared from here. Thankfully the links are still there to reconstruct reports with inline images.
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