Laughing At The Void A2+ 5.9

 
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Ribbon Fall Wall


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Laughing at the Hammer
Monday February 24, 2014 1:47pm
Long TR with excessive beta. You have been warned.

Laughing at the Void goes clean! It is an amazing bit of clean climbing that relies on no fixed gear other than the bolts. The money of the route is the thin splitter of pitches three and four. 200 feet of thin bliss on a beautiful and clean wall of perfect golden granite.

I became interested in Laughing at the Void when I heard that it is like the Shield headwall before beaten out. I looked at Sloan's new topo of the route to find “Glory splitter! .3-1” A1 many pins.” This sort of perplexed me. Should the route be climbed with many pins as Sloan says? Should yet another potentially awesome route in the valley be pounded out? Shouldn't a different course of action at least be attempted? Ethics and judgement of Sloan and his topos aside, I was now fixated on going up to see if the route could be done hammerless. Perhaps if it could, Laughing at the Void could be spared a similar fate to The Shield. I was on a mission to try and preserve what sounded like a super classic line.

February 1-2, 2014

I recruited my good buddy and wall partner Alec Zachreson to go up with me and see what's what. The weekend weather forecast was less than ideal but we decided to go for it. Damn the weather and the hammers, full speed ahead!

Neither Alec nor I had ever been to Ribbon Falls Wall so we waited until sunrise to begin the approach on Saturday morning. The fresh snow on the trees and walls around us, coupled with the light from the sunrise, painted an amazingly beautiful picture as we walked up.

Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams

The plan was to go as far as possible that day and scope out the line. We left hammers behind, and were to forge up uncharted ground. We had to either commit to climbing six pitches to Rainbow Ledge that day, or climb three and fix to the ground with the two ropes we had.

I set out on the first two pitches and they went without too much trouble. I short fixed a bit from the first anchor, did a single haul from the ground to the second anchor, and we were there in seemingly no time. Most of the climbing on the first two pitches is good. There's a little bit of climbing in an awkward flare but it is fairly easily surpassed. The third pitch brought the beginning of the thin and steep splitter that had attracted me to the route. Alec set off on the lead and got up the bolt ladder to the base of the thin seam. Nothing would stick for him on the first move so he came down. It was my turn to head up and see if I could find something.

Credit: Brandon Adams

Aiming for a first clean ascent is similar to what I imagine a real first ascent would feel like. At the base of the thin seam it was unclear whether it would dead end on me or not. I didn't know it could be climbed clean and I had never been up there. The mindgames were intense and the headspace it brought was very cool. The seventy feet I climbed from the beginning of the seam to the anchor went down with many micronuts, a micro cam hook move, a beak hook, and a couple microcams. I would say that three marginal bodyweight placements in a row was average. The fall was pretty clean though. The A2+ pitch goes clean at what I would assume is something like C3.

Credit: Brandon Adams

With two more never before done clean pitches between us and the ledge, and with only several more hours of light, Alec and I fixed to the ground. There was to be some rain the next afternoon, but we were going to come up in the morning and hopefully get in one more pitch.

We woke up Sunday morning to find it already snowing on us. Bummer. I jugged the lines and rapped with all our gear and ropes. The adventure wasn't going any further for this weekend. We planned on going back in a couple weeks to push on. We considered part one of our saga a success though. The line is brilliant! It is splitter, thin, and raw. The rock is beautiful and of the highest quality. One of the crux pitches went down clean, and Alec and I left positive about our prospects of taking it to the top next time. We really stumbled onto something magical in the valley.

February 22-23, 2014

We approached the wall Saturday morning and I set off on the first pitch. Climbing the flare in the first and second pitches went easier this time around as I freed and french freed more of it. Alce led off for another go at the third pitch. This time he cruised it! It was great to see him proudly send what had stymied him last time around.

The fourth pitch is 150 feet of thin splitter on perfect golden granite. The first 80 feet is super fun and classic C1+ with bomber pockets for cams every few feet. Running up this part heavy on the cam hooks was awesome. From there it gets really thin and I had to rely heavily on hand placed beaks. It traverses right and then peters out just as its possible to reach left to another thin seam. Climbing through this section required six hand placed beaks in a row to a talon hook in the seam, and then up to the bolt ladder that leads to the fourth anchor. It is what I would call C3+ because of how small the placements are and how far you are from true protection. But the fall is clean. This is a great climb to push the limits of your clean climbing.

Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams

We spent the night in a portaledge at the fourth anchor. We wanted to practice hanging bivis to ready ourselves for a climb of the Shield that we have planned. It was a great night in a really beautiful part of the Valley. Ribbon Falls Wall is a stellar location.

Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams

The fifth pitch was the last one never to have gone clean before. It is an awkward and super dirty groove pitch that I had a perverse sort of fun with. Larger cams spanned the outside of the beginning of the groove and this allowed us to make quick work of the first twenty feet. From there it is necessary to get into the groove proper and dig around through the dirt for C2 placements and work up another 25 feet. The dihedral and small roof that follow are a little dirty and awkward, but fun and bomber C1 that leads to some 5.7 to the anchor.

Credit: Brandon Adams

Alec led the sixth and final pitch of the route which consists of C1 climbing up a splitter in a dihedral to some 5.7 up and right to Rainbow Ledge. The C1 at the start looks like it would be fun to free if it were cleaned up a bit. It is perhaps in the 5.10 range.

Rainbow ledge is awesome and appropriately enough, we arrived to find a double rainbow shimmering in nearby Ribbon Falls. It is a great ledge in a sweet location. From there we descended to the ground with five rappels. We went and celebrated with double burgers of glory in Mariposa.

Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams

We had done it! Laughing at the Void goes clean! And the route is a classic! The splitter thin crack of pitches three and four are the meat of the route and super memorable. I implore everyone to get out there to climb this thing. It will blow your mind. It certainly blew mine.

Credit: Brandon Adams
Credit: Brandon Adams

  Trip Report Views: 3,377
Brandon Adams
About the Author
Brandon Adams is a big wall climber from Monterey, CA.

Comments
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Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 01:55pm PT
I implore everyone to please climb this route as cleanly as possible. It is a truly special route and beating it out would be a real shame. It goes completely clean and climbing it this way is not only more respectful, it makes it far more memorable.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 24, 2014 - 02:02pm PT
That's an amazing splitter. If we bash more pitons in it the pitch might go free! Hope people do not listen and continue basking pitons in!

just kidding.


Well done! The splitter looks cool.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Feb 24, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
nice job!
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Feb 24, 2014 - 02:05pm PT
Yeah! The best thing I've seen on Supertopo in a long time. The splitter look amazing--just barely doable clean.

Way to go, Brandon and Alec.

Great work, and an inspiring trip report!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Feb 24, 2014 - 03:43pm PT
good work going clean and spreading the word!! Well done men.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:28pm PT
Brandon-

Nice work on getting it clean, it is a very cool route.

However, I think your smug tone and snarky comments toward E. Sloan detract from what you two accomplished up there.

I looked at Sloan's new topo of the route to find “Glory splitter! .3-1” A1 many pins.” This sort of perplexed me. Should the route be climbed with many pins as Sloan says? Should yet another potentially awesome route in the valley be pounded out? Shouldn't a different course of action at least be attempted? Ethics and judgement of Sloan and his topos aside, I was now fixated on going up to see if the route could be done hammerless

That topo was done years ago, and since then many teams have moved through that route. Without Eriks recommendation of Many beaks, that route WOULD have been banged out. Not to mention that the original route, or Eriks variation finish have never seen second ascents.

Slighting another climber who did the route years ago, when there was nailing that was necessary is low.

It is a good ethos to move clean climbing up front, yet remember how the natural progression of big walls goes in Yosemite, it is how you were able to complete your goal. Move around the valley and you will see this to be true. It can be much more serious than what you found on Laughing at the void. It is a true classic and one of a kind.

Once again, great work, but keep it about you and your partners clean effort.

Taken during your climb, P4 belay
Taken during your climb, P4 belay
Credit: mucci


j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:36pm PT
Well put Mucci, and much more diplomatic than I would have been about the attacking tone of the TR.

I'm surprised to see the attack on a guidebook author when then Anderson (FA topo) says not only to use many pins but heads as well?

Thoughtfully placed on Sloan's website in the history section
http://yosemitebigwall.com/jerry-andersons-original-laughing-void-topofa-story
http://yosemitebigwall.com/jerry-andersons-original-laughing-void-topo...
http://yosemitebigwall.com/jerry-andersons-original-laughing-void-topofa-story
Credit: j-tree
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:43pm PT
I have no intention of slighting other climbers.

Is it wrong to hope that a route doesn't get beat out any more than it has to be? I prefer that word be spread that excessive nailing is not needed on this route. At least not any more. Those who came before me, how can I say. I mean no disrespect towards them. In fact, I congratulate them and thank them for paving the way for my spectacular experience with the route.

From what I've seen, wall climbing in Yosemite is in constant progression. I mean by this trip report to say that the route has seen enough nailed parties to allow a clean ascent that, as you say Mucci, may not have been possible before. I am not attacking those who came before me at all. The route has simply progressed and so must the tactics of those who come from now on.
bowleggedgoat

Trad climber
CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:45pm PT
Eric Sloan is a great climber and he's a huge benefit to the climbing community, not only for being a crusher but for dedicating a large part of his life to access and stewardship. I don't think that Brandon is really "attacking" him, just proposing an alternate approach to the climb that makes it a lot more fun. Cheers.
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
BTW, thanks for the picture Mucci. Very cool.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 05:06pm PT
Great work, Brandon and Zach.
I have renamed it in my route list.

Josh,
I don't agree with your view, sorry.
The current topo in Sloan's bigwall guide still says "many pins".
This is not an "old" topo, it's the latest version.
http://yosemitebigwall.com/laughing-void

I agree with Brandon that it is a problem when a guidebook author promotes nailing.
Sloan in general seems to be about dumbing down the climbs.
Powerdrilling a bolt ladder to avoid a dirty A4 flake on the Great Slab Route is a prime example.
http://yosemitebigwall.com/routes/washington-column/east-face/great-slab-route
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1384195&tn=40
"Pillar of the community" - that's a stretch.
He has definitely put a lot of work into his guidebook,
but I dislike many of the actions he has taken on climbs and trails.

Sloan might correct the topo before the book goes into print - we'll see if that happens.
Joshua Johnson

Boulder climber
Boulder
  Feb 24, 2014 - 04:55pm PT
Spray on Kiddo. You should do your own blog too so you can double spray.

Sweet Lord...



BTW...holding Sloan up as some great access guru is idiotic.

Drilling others routes and putting up a shitty website and "soon to be" guidebook does not make it so.

Carry on.

EDIT: Clint is right on. Sloan is about dumbing down sh#t for the masses (and himself).
bowleggedgoat

Trad climber
CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 05:11pm PT
oh come on you guys, none of this is that big a deal, I think Sloan is a good guy he's doing his best maybe you're right about some of what you say but I never would've known about this route if it wasn't for his topo. It's a fun route and doing it clean was even more fun.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Feb 24, 2014 - 06:08pm PT
Clint-

**The current topo in Sloan's bigwall guide still says "many pins".
This is not an "old" topo, it's the latest version.**

That version was made when he did his variation 2 years ago, it is not current. A current version can be found above in the TR.

>>I agree with Brandon that it is a problem when a guidebook author promotes nailing.

How would he know that it went clean, if it never had before? How would he know the rack differed if it never had before?

On his Rack he reduced the iron by over 70%, adding beaks instead.

The topo as it is now is damn near exactly what you need to do a clean ascent.

I just don't see the point in slagging Erik for a topo, which until sat was spot on.

Brandon- I commend you once again on the clean ascent, and hope you have great success in the future going clean.

EDIT: Clint-

I have renamed it in my route list.

The route was not completed clean, only the first 6 pitches to rainbow ledge, Why are you recording a new name clint?






socialclimber

climber
CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 05:45pm PT
Wow! Great TR, I think if any of you knew Brandon you could tell spray from stoke, he doesn't have a single bone in his body that isn't enthusiastic, no matter what is going on he loves experience, he's not buffeting his ego, he is legitimately enthusiastic about what has happened, we need more like him!

Charles
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 06:29pm PT
Wow how my trip report has become entertaining. Cant we all get along?

I suppose what I would like to add as postscript is this. Clean climbing should be practiced as much as possible by every climber on any climb, regardless of what any topo says (Sloan's or otherwise). Not only is it more respectful, it's more fun. It's way more bitchin in every way. But everybody knows that already right? Cool.

Sloan is probably a chiller of a dude. I hope to run into him this spring at the bridge and say hi.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 25, 2014 - 12:05am PT
Josh,

That version was made when he did his variation 2 years ago, it is not current. A current version can be found above in the TR.

I said "The current topo in Sloan's bigwall guide". Not Brandon's new version.

>>I agree with Brandon that it is a problem when a guidebook author promotes nailing.

How would he know that it went clean, if it never had before? How would he know the rack differed if it never had before?

This is a strange line of reasoning (or a misunderstanding).
Of course any topo may be outdated at some point.
My problem with Sloan's topo was simply the same problem that Brandon had -
the notation "many pins" on pitch 4.
This suggests to me that Sloan is advising "It's normal and accepted to place many pitons on this pitch".
That type of note should not be used. Put A1 instead.

On his Rack he reduced the iron by over 70%, adding beaks instead.
Good point - that's a good thing for lowering impact.

>> I have renamed it in my route list.

The route was not completed clean, only the first 6 pitches to rainbow ledge, Why are you recording a new name clint?
People often rename stuff when they free it. Why not rename when it goes clean?
If it is only a subset of the pitches, I have no problem with that.
People often free variations and not the complete original line.
Actually 6 pitches is the original Laughing at the Void - then it joined Thin Line.
Pitches 7-9 on Sloan's topo are his "Gold Rush Finish".
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
Some great photos in there. Thanks for the TR. And congrats on the clean send! Nice to pressure everyone to step up their game.

Climbing through this section required six hand placed beaks in a row to a talon hook in the seam...



To the OP (and to Clint, I guess): Even if you sent the entire line clean, not just the first six, why would climbing something clean entitle you to renaming the line? I don't see that precedent on the major formations throughout the Valley... Has any line on El Cap been renamed after going clean? After going free I can see, but clean...?
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Feb 24, 2014 - 06:53pm PT
Clint-



**the notation "many pins" on pitch 4.
This suggests to me that Sloan is advising "It's normal and accepted to place many pitons on this pitch".
That type of note should not be used. Put A1 instead.**

Agreed, thanks for the response.

When Charlie went hammerless on The shield it was ground breaking.

No name change needed. The act surpasses the need for recognition in the form of a name change.

Oh yeah, sweet pix if I forgot to mention that earlier.

Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 10:12pm PT
Just to clarify, there is no intention of renaming the route. I just wanted to get the word out that Laughing at the Void goes clean.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 24, 2014 - 07:12pm PT
There is no precedent for this type of renaming, as far as I know.
But, like free climbing, they upped the standard.
So it seems a legit case for renaming.
Renaming of FFAs is considered controversial by some people also.

Brandon, if you don't want to rename it, I won't force it.
But it seemed like a good idea to me.
And you did put that name (in quotes) on your topo.

Independently of renaming, I think guidebooks should record first clean ascents.
I try to do that in my list, even though there is potential error in terms of somebody having done it clean prior.
Even then, it's important to note that the route has been done clean.
Ideally this is done with C ratings on the topo.
I don't know if Sloan records First Clean Ascents in his guide.
I don't see a FCA noted on his Shield topo.
(I realize the FCA of that could be controversial, due to possibly strategically preplaced gear).
Sloan's Shield topo does have C ratings for all pitches, though, which is good.
It also has A ratings for many of the pitches.
Maybe this is the best that can be done at present for this climb.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Feb 24, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
-1 for renaming climbs based on the gear used. (Where does it end? I used Stealth, she used Onyx, mine's a 70m, etc.etc.)



NIce going Brandon!
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Feb 24, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
Umm I might have to head out here in April :)
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Feb 24, 2014 - 10:40pm PT
nice job Brandon and Alec! What a beautiful-looking line and challenging one to do hammerless.

Looks like you can see some pin damage in some photos. Good to get the word out as you have done.
Nanook

climber
  Feb 24, 2014 - 10:47pm PT
Wow, awesome job guys! I don't know how I missed this but feel lucky that I provided some good fodder for your camp fire,hahaha.

I'm all about changing the topo. That's why I put a Summit Register feature on my site so it's easier to find the latest beta, and the trip reports all get sorted to the Route's page so you don't have to search to find them.

The book is being printed now, but the ebook is always able to be updated.

For sure, routes are all progressing toward more clean all the time. That's great for everyone--less rack to have to borrow or buy, and better for the rock. When we did the route in '11 it was very thin, but as I cleaned the beaks I could see many nut and small cam placements being created. Warmed my heart. I'd bet Good Ole Boy is the same way, clean or nearly clean.

One thing that I think is interesting about your climb is that you didn't go to the top of the mountain. To me that is what mountain climbing is about. Jerry and Sigrid climbed Thin Line to the top when they did the route. Just because they didn't put the pitches in their topo doesn't mean the route ends in the middle of the face. For example, Lurking Fear ends at pitch 11, where it joins the West Buttress route. But you don't hear of people rapping after pitch 11 and saying they climbed Lurking Fear. I'm not dissing your style, I'm just encouraging you to always tag the top, cause it's an awesome feeling especially when you've done something as significant as what you two did.

Thanks for sharing. Woot!
erik
yosemitebigwall.com

ps. another great example of this misinformation about routes leading to people cheating themselves (and so you don't think I'm pointing a finger because I made the same mistake before): when I climbed Son of Heart in 2000 I used the Don Reid guide and started on Heart Ledge. Then Chris and I contacted Rick Sylvestor, the FAist, and he sent us this amazing 3000 word story about the FA. Amazing story! Rick climbed independent of any routes from the ground to Heart Ledge, or so he thought except he came to a bolt at one place. He could never figure out where his pitches were compared to the other Muir pitches so he didn't draw them in a topo. Man I feel cheated! With my new topo I put the Muir pitches in to Heart, and a note explaining the history of the start of the route. Man I hope I get that FA history again so you can all read it. So cool.
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Feb 25, 2014 - 10:16am PT
Really nice job and photos.


wrt
I became interested in Laughing at the Void when I heard that it is like the Shield headwall before beaten out. I looked at Sloan's new topo of the route to find “Glory splitter! .3-1” A1 many pins.” This sort of perplexed me. Should the route be climbed with many pins as Sloan says? Should yet another potentially awesome route in the valley be pounded out? Shouldn't a different course of action at least be attempted? Ethics and judgement of Sloan and his topos aside, I was now fixated on going up to see if the route could be done hammerless.

I thought that the above quote was way mild and only reflected on the TR author's attitudes, not Sloan's. It's funny that Mucci's protestations made me much more suspicious of Sloan.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
  Feb 24, 2014 - 11:45pm PT
BTW...holding Sloan up as some great access guru is idiotic.

Drilling others routes and putting up a shitty website and "soon to be" guidebook does not make it so.

Carry on.

EDIT: Clint is right on. Sloan is about dumbing down sh#t for the masses (and himself).

this pretty much says it all. so how about the power drilled bolt ladder to avoid pesky climbing on Bad Wall?
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
  Feb 25, 2014 - 12:14am PT
from the guidebook thread:




xtrmecat

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia

Dec 25, 2013 - 06:08am PT

Topic Author's Reply - Dec 22, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
I would agree that I have benefited from many climbing guides and I am hoping to do so from this new one.

To my prior question, does anyone know why Chris and Erik are not putting this book out together?


I may or may not be able to shed some light, or enlighten, if you will.
A few winters ago I went up to do a winter solo of Zodiac. On the transition of the top of the crack into the roof I fell onto my good cam hook and bent it severely. My other had also seen damage from a previous climb, so I ended up having so much trouble with this section due to not having the right gear I bailed. I spent six or so hours trying to work it with many falls, so was very disappointed with myself.
Upon my arrival down to the meadows via a very groomed out trail, I ran into Eric. Our conversation was long, and in the end all doubt was removed about his thoughts and beliefs on ethics and morals. My take that I expressed was that at this time it is beyond my gear and ability, and I would be back when my gear and skill were up to the task. I expressed my desire to climb in good form, and not bring the route down to my level.
His opinion shocked me that I should nail the crud out of it, so the route could transform into something many others would be able to do. I was also asked to nail the crap out of the black tower should I have the chance to, for the same reason. Seeing all the trail " improvements" and hearing this crap just shocked me. My only regret is I remained polite and went my way with my tail between my legs.

Summary, I cannot see giving support or money, in any way, to anyone or anything that would treat our resources this way. I have witnessed many others confront this very behavior, only to be openly ignored. Is this the type of person you would like to be associated with? Nice guy or not, these resources are finite and dear to many others too, and to change them under open criticism from the community?

Now a website to promote this great area and help many people of the pursuit of manys dreams in the best style is a good venue to promote their media? Really? Would you wish to continue to be associated with someone who acts like this?
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Feb 25, 2014 - 01:35am PT
Time to get Sloan on the Enormocast.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 25, 2014 - 02:37am PT
When we did the route in '11 it was very thin, but as I cleaned the beaks I could see many nut and small cam placements being created. Warmed my heart.

Shet, can someone go up there with bigger pitons?! I want to climb the first pitches free, at no harder than 5.10+ and re-name the whole formation.
Seriously though, renaming the route just because it got beaten out enough to go clean, doesn't seem like a good enough reason to change the name. Especially knowing the party didn't even complete the route. Don't want to sound negative, but that's my 2 cents.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Feb 25, 2014 - 03:52am PT
It seems to me that the true crux must have been downing that burger! You need to work on your clean eating skills - a little mayo was escaping from the sides of your mouth. Nice TR.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Feb 25, 2014 - 09:06am PT
Nice send
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Was Sloan the voice over in Despicable Me? He seems an exceptionally fine and honest man in my small dealings with him.

Renaming the route is cool, but a party must leave the hammer at the road to truly laugh at it. Personally I would have had the good sense to bail at the first flair, get my partner to lead the first 5, and lead only pitch 6. The burgers make this one of the best TRs ever.

If we did ground-up stance ascent of an established hooked route placing bolts in different locations than the first ascent party, could we rename it? Based simply on better style? There are more than a few possibilities at the Pinns. Names such as "Wild Steer With A Hildenbrand" or "When Its Ooky, Get Mucci".

Sorry stretched the rhyme, slaughtered the name/



Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Can you people read? Brandon said:

Just to clarify, there is no intention of renaming the route. I just wanted to get the word out that Laughing at the Void goes clean.

You can stop griping and whining about them renaming the route!
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:38am PT
I think the name-change issue has moved from Brandon's intent to Clint's written archival of the suggestion, but you'd have to read to see that shift.

 - -

I'm confused though. Brandon said in his FCA thread (that's been deleted) that the route went free without any fixed gear except for bolts. I remember fixed gear up there in Jan 2013 so I wonder where it went. But even if that got cleaned by someone, the topo and his redrawn topo have the head placements in pitch 1. So did he bypass the head and just not write anything about it, or did he clip it and thus the route should be clean on fixed gear Cf?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:32am PT
Awesome work!
RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:51am PT
Excellent job! You guys upped the game with that route.

I am not sure there is any need for negativity in any direction. An aid pitch will have a given rating until someone comes along and climbs it in better style (ex: clean). At that point the topo is updated with the new information. We are just watching the evolution of this climb. Many people climbed the route with the FA'ists A1 rating and believed it to be true. These guys pushed the limits and did it clean. Now the topo reflects the clean possibilities and people have something to shoot for.

Once again, well done.
-Roger Putnam
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
  Feb 25, 2014 - 11:47am PT
Kids these days..... sheeeesh!

nice job!
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Feb 25, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
Laughing till I got hiccups, with mayo infused saliva dripping off my chin.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Feb 25, 2014 - 12:51pm PT
J-Tree wrote:
I think the name-change issue has moved from Brandon's intent to Clint's written archival of the suggestion, but you'd have to read to see that shift.

Bingo. And since Clint is a player (the player?) in the documentation/guidebook game, his position matters a great deal.

OP did a rowdy job on a bunch of kick-ass climbing. Big respect, full stop. Imagine the mental mechanics going on in the cranium before stepping onto that hook after six hand-placed beaks? Gives me the willies (but I'm a wuss).

J-Tree and others are talking about precedents and the way we record history, not hating on OP. Clint is pretty much the prime mover in this arena, and we are lucky to have him. He's the LeBron James of Valley documentation, and he does a holy-shit level job of it. J-Tree and others are dialoguing with him. And he has responded.
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 25, 2014 - 02:23pm PT
Nanook has changed the topo on his website and added clean ratings. I commend his actions! Good form!

I feel happy that word has successfully spread about the progression of this route.

Seriously though, enough talk. Everyone should go get on this thing right now because it is basically climbing in a dream.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 25, 2014 - 02:46pm PT
Brandon, are falls usually clean etc? I just got a personal ledge, and want to practice solo aiding. You think it is a good place for it? The route looks really good, thanks for making a report about something that has not been talked and posted about 100 times.
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 25, 2014 - 02:55pm PT
That's whats so great about this route and why it lends itself to clean climbing so well. The falls you would take during all the hard climbing are all pretty much clean.

Climbing this route when just learning to solo would be heady indeed. It took all I had to keep my sh#t together at the crux, and I had a partner belaying me. Haha. My first solo was West Face of Leaning Tower and that was a stellar place to get used to the systems involved, etc. Falls on the Tower are usually clean as well since its so overhanging. That being said, if you want to go right for this, Id say go for it. Up to you.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Feb 25, 2014 - 02:59pm PT
Vitality, the climb is super mellow, and the anchors are good for rope soloing. Do it with a Silent Partner though because a grigri or other soloing devices will screw you in the upper pitches where freeclimbing will get you past harder placements.

I climbed this route in a party of 3 last a year ago (almost exactly) and I'm planning on heading back up to solo it and check out the clean ratings at some point this spring. I'll let you know if you haven't gone up by then.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Feb 25, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
Nanook has changed the topo on his website and added clean ratings. I commend his actions! Good form!

Despite what people will say about Sloan, he very often accepts information about clean ratings for pitches from those who are willing to tell him and will make adjustments tot he topo. Most people would rather just assume he wont and so live in their own feedback loop of confirmation bias.
 He's made clean rating adjustments and pin rack adjustments to Afroman, Jericho, Horni-Johnson, Wet Denim, and Tribal Rite based upon my info after I climbed those routes.
 The Ebook for his upcoming bigwall book has 3 pages devoted to Climbing Stewardship written by Jesse McGgahey. Something I vaguely remember was supposed to be in the 3rd edition Bigwalls by CMac but didn't make it into the final cut.
 Another page in his eBook covers "Essential Gear" and concerns offset nuts, offset cams, camhooks, and beaks for hand placing. A similar amount that would be found in the 3rd edition Bigwalls book by CMac
 The benefit of his topo website is that he can easily change the online topos so climbs that progress from nailing to clean (or even clean to nailing, should features, fixed pieces, etc disappear) can be updated in real-ish time.

In no way am I saying that Sloan is perfect and all that he does should meet with the communities approval, the fact is that Sloan is a person made up of negatives and positives. You can dialogue/act/etc about the negatives without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. In this case, the baby is the great service he's done collecting ~300 updated topos for wall routes whereas before that, you only had the out of date Reid guide or ST's 75. You don't need to commend his actions as if they are something new for him concerning topos. Sloan has been "good forming" and "commended actions" when it comes to topos long before some of us newer bigwallers started sending in the last year.
msiddens

Trad climber
  Feb 25, 2014 - 04:01pm PT
Very nice
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Feb 25, 2014 - 05:06pm PT
Roger and Erik,
Good work on updating the online topo.
I agree with j-tree about negatives and positives.
Trying to ignore the negatives is difficult sometimes.
I have nothing but positives about Roger (RP3), by the way.

P.S. le-bruce,
I try to be a careful compiler of route info.
Ed is also doing it and we compare to hopefully reduce mistakes.
I've seen many a rename that has been done; some that I didn't agree with.
Actually I keep track of the original names, so I can still find the
corresponding route in a search.
Anyway, I am not going to do a rename in my list if I am the only person who wants it....
"I'm trying to keep my own negatives under control" :-)
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Feb 25, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
I'm exited to get back up there and see this route again from a solo perspective. One issue:
a party must leave the hammer at the road to truly laugh at it.

The problem I have with this is that it seems a bit outdated. Going clean without handplaced beaks def needs no hammer, but for a route that has a lot of handplacrd beaks, you'll still need your hammer for cleaning since placing and bounce testing a beak is very similar to a few raps with the hammer.

Trying to clean bounce-tested handplaced beaks without a hammer can be difficult if not impossible to do every time. People who want to do a beak seam clean on handplaced beaks should keep a hammer, not at the road, but in the second's holster.

Another tip (harharhar) is to sling the hole on the top of the beak to funk the placement out. Often this will snap the cord if it's a hammered beak, but with a handplaced beak, the success ratio will be higher and the rock damage will be lessened.
Brandon Adams

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
Author's Reply  Feb 25, 2014 - 07:24pm PT
FWIW, of the probably dozen beaks that we hand placed on the route, all of them were removed fairly easily without a hammer. I can certainly see one of the deeper and tighter placements getting fixed if you bounce the hell out of it. But in pockets like that, its pretty obviously bomber and doesn't require that much of a bounce.

That's just my opinion though, admittedly derived from shallow experience. This route single-handedly doubled my beakhooking experience.
bowleggedgoat

Trad climber
CA
  Feb 25, 2014 - 09:27pm PT
Wanna go try that gold rush finish
Nanook

climber
  Feb 26, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Right on gang, it sounds like people are getting stoked!

This route is in full sun so it is an excellent choice this time of year.

Can't say I'd recommend it for aid soloing, unless you were experienced, because the hike up there is substantial with all that stuff.

I hope this route becomes super popular. No doubt the Gold Rush finish will go clean pretty quick, as it only had a few beak placements (and our friends repeated it so that always helps).

I do think it's weird that the route is not just the Gold Rush finish, meaning there is just one Laughing At The Gold Rush. After all, if you're climbing up a mountain and you get to some point, and the cracks you're following continue above to the top of the mountain and are generally the same difficulty as the rest of the route up until that point, most people would call the upper part of the route the route, not a variation. I tried to sell Jerry on this after we did it, that we should put all five of our names on the FA, maybe tweak the name a little.

No big deal to me. I did the route, and loved it. But while you're all packing your packs to hike up there, consider climbing the whole route. It will be more fun, I promise.

Also funny that so many people bring a portaledge up there. Kinda a long walk,and the natural ledge is comfy for two, and rapping with more stuff is not that much fun, but I guess it's good exercise.

Go For It!
erik
yosemitebigwall.com
Nanook

climber
  Feb 26, 2014 - 11:29am PT
Just to be totally clear: Jerry, Sigrid, and Lynnea Anderson are close, long-time friends of mine.

I'm not knocking their ascent/style at all. I'm promoting my way of climbing the route ;)
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
  Nov 18, 2014 - 04:08pm PT
BBST

and JB case Brandon or his partner come back on, I'll repost my question that he ignored in the last go around.


j-tree
Feb 25, 2014 - 11:38am PT

I'm confused though. Brandon said in his FCA thread (that's been deleted) that the route went free without any fixed gear except for bolts. I remember fixed gear up there in Jan 2013 so I wonder where it went. But even if that got cleaned by someone, the topo and his redrawn topo have the head placements in pitch 1. So did he bypass the head and just not write anything about it, or did he clip it and thus the route should be clean on fixed gear Cf?
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Nov 19, 2014 - 03:12pm PT
That splitter made me reach for my pitons

But I controlled myself
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