Jesus Built My Hotrod A4 5.7

 
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Leaning Tower


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Jesus Built My Hot Rod First Ascent History by Eric Kohl
Sunday February 27, 2011 6:56pm
Chris,

I looked everywhere but I couldn't seem to find an original topo for "Jesus built my Hotrod". That's OK though because this isn't that complex. The topo in the Reid guide is essentially the one I drew and the hole count is accurate as I remember we drilled 20. This includes rivets and belay bolts except for the ones already on Ahwahnee Ledge and a few enhanced hooks on pitch 2. Rasmussen and I swapped leads with myself doing the first. The name of the route came from the Ministry tape we constantly had playing in the boom box.

You have my permission to reprint any of this with the condition that you must print my "note" at the end of this account. Impressionable climbers should be aware that some of us "old timers" are concerned with the current proliferation of unnecessary bolts on Yosemite's cliffs.

We became interested in climbing the line after we viewed pitches 4-7 with binoculars. We thought pitch 4 would be a wide crack (not so) and pitch 6 the crux as it looked ultra thin in the binos. This also was not the case. We were disappointed to find this pitch open up to cam placements and solid pitons.

The route began ominously when I took a 10 foot fall on the first placement of pitch one when a small block I was hooking fractured. We fixed two pitches before committing with a flotilla of haulbags stuffed with amenities such as a huge ghetto blaster, case of Olde E, and fireworks. I had to draw the line when "Spuety" (Rasmussen) announced his intention to bring firewood for Ahwahnee Ledge.

Climbing pitch 3 was somewhat spooky due to a super expanding block I had to nail, which I understand fell off shortly thereafter. So ignore my p. 3 rating. I then entertained myself by cranking Zappa's "Shut up and play yer Guitar" and tossing lit firecrackers down at Spuety as he cleaned.

Pitch 4 looked staightforward and short yet somehow still required Spuety an eternity to lead. The boredom of belaying him for hours on end was only relieved by the many vodka and fruit punch cocktails I mixed. This was not without it's consequences, however, as it likely was the cause of me "slipping" off Ahwahnee Ledge in the dark trying to get into my portaledge. I was tied to the anchor with 20 ft. of slack, enough to make my lumbar spine feel like an elephant stepped on it when the rope caught me. Spuety didn't know i was even tied in, as he was not. When he saw my headlamp fly down to the approach trail, he naturally assumed I suffered my ultimate demise. I surprised him when I Batmanned back to the ledge.

The next morning began with Spuety hauling and me cleaning pitch 4. Halfway up I heard a "ping, ping" and watched the haulbags suddenly drop 4 ft. Concerned, I asked what was going on up there. He said everything was OK, just part of the anchor blew. When I arrived at the belay I made this shocking assesment: he was hauling off two equalized pitons which both failed. So he finished the haul off the single 3/8" belay bolt and hand placed the pitons back to their placements as a "back up". I really felt nauseous when I realized I had ascended on this bolt as well. In fact everything we had, including ourselves, was hanging off a single carabiner. Weighing my options, I decided to start leading instead of drilling another belay bolt figuring I'd feel better just getting some solid gear in between us. This next pitch, "Go for the Olde", proved to be the crux and no holes were drilled.

NOTE: 12 years later it appears times have changed. There currently is a proliferation of unnecessary bolts on Yosemite's walls. The trend seems to be that it is OK to drill on established routes. This lack of respect for the style of the first ascent greatly saddens me. Not only do these actions destroy the route for future ascents, they are also robbing themselves of the challenging experience that the first ascentionist had intended. Therefore, I strongly encourage others to remove any bolts that were not part of the F.A hole count, 20 in this case.

  Trip Report Views: 2,170
Chris McNamara
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Comments
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drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Feb 27, 2011 - 07:08pm PT
Epic
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Feb 27, 2011 - 08:52pm PT
More Kohl stories please . . . one bad brother indeed.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:20pm PT
I got to watch a soloist, Huck off the middle of P3 above a small rooflet.

Serious airtime.

He ended up jugging my line to Awahnee, and told me a feature must have fallen off, no hooks or seams. Said he took repeated falls trying to hook past the 12 foot blank section.

He said he didn't want to be the one to drill the needed rivet.

Wonder what the status is on that pitch?

pc

climber
  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:44pm PT
Excellent!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Feb 27, 2011 - 09:55pm PT
Great ! I especially appreciate the note at the end.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Feb 27, 2011 - 10:22pm PT
When you aid guys tinker your way up some discontinuous loose sh#t on a FA, and then it blows off when the next guy tinkers with it, how do you decide when it's OK to drill so you can still tinker your way up the rest of the route? Is the thwarted tinkerer supposed to rap off rather than drill, to consult with the FT (First Tinkerer) before drilling?

Is there some kind of group whose members are allowed to drill to repair a "broken" aid route?

Can you be a member of that group if you don't drink OE?

Is there some kind of high tinkering summit where all the tinkerers convene to discuss particular drilling dilemmas, or is the first guy who tinkered the choss the one to make the call?

Is it wrong to carry a drill on somebody else's aid fest? Or is it foolish not to?


Aid climbing was always too hard for me.









Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Feb 28, 2011 - 12:44am PT
mt109...

good to know, thx.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Feb 28, 2011 - 12:48am PT
how do you decide when it's OK to drill so you can still tinker your way up the rest of the route? Is the thwarted tinkerer supposed to rap off rather than drill, to consult with the FT (First Tinkerer) before drilling?



good question. if in doubt, and no topo or FA party around before you go, try not to drill and do what you can?


I think we got a thread going on bigwalls.com about this.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 28, 2011 - 12:57am PT
Good stuff - thanks for sharing, Chris.

I think if there is a loose feature that might come off, it should be noted as "loose" on the topo so people will have some idea the feature changed.
If some people are bringing drills/bolt kits, then others should bring patch material to fill in added unnecessary holes.
Use the Route Beta section on supertopo to discuss particular questions about stuff that may have broken off. It should work well for this type of thing.
Good example: Re-animator beta:
http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/route_beta.php?r=ybwarean
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
  Feb 28, 2011 - 12:59am PT
Sounds like everybody should bring drilling gear AND filling gear.

Or maybe not....


hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
  Feb 28, 2011 - 02:16pm PT
Does anyone have insight into the condition of the Anchors and route??


There is a tale of some guys who (not so long ago) broke a bolt on the route. I didn't think it was the FA story, I thought it was later, something sheared off, a button head type bolt??

Anyone know if the route has been climbed in the last few years?
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