Trip Report
Lost Arrow Direct, a TR for your viewing pleasure
Wednesday June 22, 2011 4:28am
You know how these things get started?

A glimmer of a thought, that doesn't go away, becoming a nagging elephant which lumbers around, until finally you won't get much else done until you take that sucker out climbing.

Well, it was something like that that brought us to the lodge parking lot to rack up.
Credit: Jay Wood

Getting 70 lb. packs up Sunnyside regular route was not super fun, but we got warmed up, & made it to sunnyside bench.
Credit: Jay Wood

The efforts continued up slabs and sandy slopes, with some leap-frogging of loads.
Credit: Jay Wood

By the time we got to the base and collected water it wasn't worth fixing the starting pitches, so we put in our earplugs and settled for the night.
Credit: Jay Wood

Sunday morning, now, the first two pitches linked nicely, and we were off.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

The elephant trumpeted in delight, as the scenery was as great as expected.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

There's some physical offwidth, and I was fortunate to miss out leading the worst section. I heard that there were some puckering moments.
Credit: Jay Wood

But no pants were soiled, and we moved up in good spirits.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

While the days are long, our modest skills found us pushing on into the night.
Credit: Jay Wood

Sometimes, one good bolt and some junk will do OK
Credit: Jay Wood

The night-time scene:
Credit: Jay Wood

The spacious ledge at pitch 8 was guarded by more of that foul off-width, so we bivyed at the top of pitch 7 in a slot with a tree. While protected from the wind, this was NOT comfortable.
Credit: Jay Wood

But there wasn't that much night left, and we got back to it..
Credit: Jay Wood

The second error.
Credit: Jay Wood

The falls is a big part of the experience.
This is where a video is supposed to go showing the falls with the thundering sound, but I think it's too big to upload. Imagine standing in a subway tunnel for a long time, listening to an endless train.
Credit: Jay Wood

As far as the actual climbing goes, there's some bat-hooking, a few thin spots (flexing fixed rurps!), some rivets, and the afore-mentioned curse-inducing offwidths. The #6. #5, and 2 #4s were thankfully employed. Offset aliens were likewise appreciated.
Credit: Jay Wood

By not too long after dark, we got to the top of pitch 12, just below the notch. this pitch was tamed by some little fixed heads, and ends at a sweet sandy bivy ledge.
Credit: Jay Wood

Since the days agenda was basically just climbing the spire, we had a leisurely breakfast., and enjoyed the view.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

Me and Clarence- the happy campers.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

Alright, you're probably getting bored, so I'll pick it up... but hang in there, there's a cool part at the end.

Shots from the tip:
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

If you're really lucky, you have a friend like this, who brings ropes up for you, doesn't even climb the tip because it's crowded, but hangs out and helps carry stuff down. What a great guy!
Credit: Jay Wood

OK, now the bonus cool part- slack-liners!
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood
Well, I got some great video footage, but it also seems to be too big. Maybe I can get it up on u-tube. In the mean-time use your imagination... quiet, except for a little wind, concentration, the line slapping, perfect afternoon light, and every movement cast in shadow on the far wall. Wow.

Looking down to the notch from the middle of the line.
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

So we got that elephant settled down, I guess we'll see what comes up down the road....
Credit: Jay Wood
Credit: Jay Wood

  Trip Report Views: 6,658
Jay Wood
About the Author
Jay Wood is a trad climber from Fairfax, CA.

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Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jun 22, 2011 - 04:42am PT

Glad to hear you got a good adventure under your belt. Damn, my list just grows faster than I can tick it.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
  Jun 22, 2011 - 08:24am PT
Great job.
Stellar trip report.

Trad climber
  Jun 22, 2011 - 09:43am PT
This is still on my list.

Great TR.


Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Jun 22, 2011 - 09:49am PT
What an awesome TR! Loved it!

Random Nobody
  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:18am PT
Awesome work guys...

That first bivy looked pretty bad..

Props given!!!

Swami Jr.

Trad climber
Bath, NY
  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:32am PT
Thank you!

Gym climber
  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:49am PT
Awesome; well done!

Trad climber
  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:50am PT
Nice stuff Jay

  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:02am PT
Awesome TR Jay. Did the Direct years ago - awesome fun!! And thanks to Levy who carried ropes up for us to get out of the notch!!

dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:04am PT
great pics, thanks for the TR, looks like you guys had a blast.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:10am PT
Nice One! Always wanted to do that one.

Didn't realize there was so much wide there


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:25am PT
wonderful Jay!

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
  Jun 22, 2011 - 12:08pm PT
Nice pics and great report congrats

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jun 22, 2011 - 12:23pm PT
Fun read and good pics.


Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Jun 22, 2011 - 12:41pm PT
Nice TR Jay! I was hoping to climb this but never got around to it...
Wade Icey

Trad climber
  Jun 22, 2011 - 12:47pm PT
good work gents. thanks.

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
  Jun 22, 2011 - 01:09pm PT

Thank you!

Trad climber
  Jun 22, 2011 - 01:21pm PT
Been holding out on doing this route..thanks for posting looked like a lot of fun!!

Social climber
CHC, en zed
  Jun 22, 2011 - 01:37pm PT
Very nice. Thanks for putting this out there.
Jason Kraus

  Jun 22, 2011 - 01:38pm PT
Great photos and TR. Way to get after it. And great running into you and Clarence during the top out. No photo of the frayed haul anchor line that almost saved you from having to walk the trail down? Janice and I did the tip the following day and the boys left the highline up for us. Super fun. How's Clarence's dog doing?

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jun 22, 2011 - 02:15pm PT
Fully and wholly excellent and impressive. You two are most inspiring. Way to stay burly. Thanks for sharing.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 22, 2011 - 02:36pm PT
Wonderful TR, and great job on the climbing, too. Although you suspect boredom from your readers at one point, I was never bored -- just appreciative.

Mountain climber
Marooned, 855 miles from Tuolumne Meadows
  Jun 22, 2011 - 04:28pm PT
Outstanding report. Many thanks for this.
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
  Jun 22, 2011 - 05:02pm PT
Congratulations on the climb, great TR and awesome photos.

That second photo startled that other guy your brother, or did you clone yourself? Or did you do some very fancy Photoshop work and actually solo'd the whole thing? Jess' askin'...

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 22, 2011 - 05:13pm PT
super good TR

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jun 22, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
Nice Jay! The colonel and I did it in the spring in '79. Isn't that a coolmf*#king route?
Great work!

And, what Em said!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 22, 2011 - 06:00pm PT
Nice work men !!!

Way to push through your difficulties and keep yer eyez on the prize!

Thanks for taking us along.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 22, 2011 - 09:24pm PT
Fantastic TR!, TFPU!!!!!
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Land of God-less fools
Author's Reply  Jun 22, 2011 - 09:56pm PT
Thanks, all.

Yeah, wussed out on the second terror. I had some excuse worked out about the bags & picking up 3rd partner, but it was weak. Even had a bolt kit to beef up the belay...
Credit: Jay Wood

Sadly, Max passed on to the canine beyond while we were on the climb. Condolences to his grieving owners.
Credit: Jay Wood

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Jun 22, 2011 - 10:40pm PT
Well done Jay and partner! (again)
Great TR and pics.
All I saw of you after you passed us on Royal Arches was your chalk in that nasty slimy wet corner after the "rotten log". You were probably in Fairfax by the time we started rapping.

  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:39pm PT
Nice Jay,
Way to get it done and have fun!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 22, 2011 - 11:45pm PT
That was one Fine TR sir. TFPU.!

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Jun 23, 2011 - 12:03am PT
Great work guys!

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
  Jun 30, 2011 - 02:47pm PT
Hey Jay,

I was part of the party of 4 that was up there with the slacklining crew - I got some pictures of you on the tip - where should I send them?

some selects are posted at the link below, but I have a few more of you guys.

Here's one that I have accessible let me know where to send the rest.
Credit: TKW


Mountain climber
Draperderr, Utah
  Jun 30, 2011 - 06:14pm PT
I've been wondering about this route. Thanks for the great trip report! Now this is definitely on my 'to-do' list :-)
Russ Aulds

Trad climber
Delano, TN
  Jun 30, 2011 - 09:19pm PT
Great trip report!!
Granite Hugger

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 1, 2011 - 02:01am PT
Great TR. Attempted the Lost Arrow Tip in June, 1987 as the middle of 3 after only a few climbs experience (maybe 6). Bailed due to a rainstorm while the leader was almost setting anchors at the top of the 2nd pitch. The 3-person relay-jumar experience from the notch to the rim created a memorable daymare. I was the last one up and when they lowered the rope with the jumars and etriers, of course, the etriers swung out of reach and hung up down low in the notch and my parnters above couldn't hear my plaintive yells for them to try and free it. So, after much solo dialougue, I managed to downclimb unanchored a little way (keenly feeling gravity) to free my escape route and the rest is personal history. BTW, the story surrounding this experience is a legend to me and they, involving all night backpacking starting at 1am from the Yosemite Creek campground road on the Tioga Road before beginning the climb the next morning , wife & girlfriend communicating and relating changing weather conditions via walkie-talkie to the lead climber's receiving device in his helmet, pushing cars up the Tioga road at 1am to be able to start the backpack, and so much more.

The next weekend, I was honored when asked by my friend, the same leader, to help him and his partner -- the previous third -- by being their assistant on the rim while they re-attempted the tip. So, I (somehow) got to the Valley the next weekend, hiked up the Yosemite Falls trail then to their anchored ropes at the "vegetable pro" on the rim and saw them complete the climb to the Lost Arrow tip. I forget how he signaled me or whether he did -- but by plan I pulled the single-rope span between the tip and rim until the double-rope which he had linked behind was at the rim and I tied if off. He approved of my technique upon inspection on the rim. He had been apprehensive about doing the Tyrolean on a single rope, so he really appreciated my commitment to ensure he had a double rope for his traverse. All survived in good spirits.

Now, well past most climbers' prime, (and I was a late bloomer to boot), I've introduced my son (now 13 y-o) and maybe there are climbs like these in my future, still. We've already tried a few. But my son's biggest motivation is to summit all the mts I've summited before the age I was when I did them. Let me tell you, he's got a big head start on me -- already beat me on a few and he's got a ~20 year advance handicap on most of the rest! Gotta love it!

My best

Trad climber
  Jul 6, 2011 - 07:10am PT
You're quite amazing...
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Jul 6, 2011 - 07:31am PT
Great TR, thanks.


Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Jul 28, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
Too bad you guys didn't know how to highline, i dont think anyone has ever done the direct route to the spire then walked off the tip Via slackline!!!
Cool TR by the way and keep climbing strong!!

Social climber
Tucson, AZ
  Aug 8, 2011 - 09:28pm PT
Gorgeous fotos, great climbing guys- hats off!

la la land
  Aug 8, 2011 - 09:55pm PT
Those wide cracks down low were harder than they looked with whiskey, a bunch of percocet, and many bowls of sour diesel and purps in me. I remember dry heaving at some point and had like zero pro because I didn't bring many big cams on route... not that the FA had any... but I suck... and I really sucked that day.

I remember the end of one of those pitches... I had to free climb and thought I was gonna puke in the 95+ weather... I see supertopo calls that 10b... ummm... I swear my topo showed that as 5.8 and seemed so f*#king hard at that!
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