Lost Arrow Spire Direct C2 5.8

 
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Lost Arrow Spire


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Lost Arrow Spire Direct- Cragger and Taper get WORKED!
Wednesday October 31, 2012 12:01am
http://vividrea1ity.blogspot.com/2012/11/lost-arrow-spire-direct-with-amy.html

Lost Arrow Spire
Lost Arrow Spire
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Checking out everyone's wall reports got me excited about getting out and doing one myself. And by excited I mean fanatical. A few days before my friend Amy (Cragger- what I call her) and I (Taper- what she calls me) were supposed to get out for a LONG weekend in Sierra, the forecast high up has changed for the worse. Since the Valley was supposed to stay hot/dry, I was able to convince her that attempting a wall is a great idea- for two gumbies that never topped one out.

Yosemite Falls with LASD just to the right
Yosemite Falls with LASD just to the right
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Without exaggerations, looking at Lost Arrow Spire is one of the reasons I love climbing in Yosemite Valley. The view of the spire with Yosemite Falls booming a few hundred feet to the left never gets old. The thought of actually climbing it did not cross my mind- till I attempted my first wall (Gold Wall-Silent Line variation V C2 5.9). On Gold Wall we got to the point where most people rapell from, it was fun, but something was missing. There was no hauling the pig, most pitches were free-climbed, and most important there was no glorious summit. With a few pitches of aid under my belt I wanted to climb something that would feel more like a real wall. Multiple C2 pitches, natural ledges, interesting offwidth climbing, and a shot at glorious summit sealed the deal- Lost Arrow Spire Direct was our route of choice. In addition, we put aside enough time to spent three nights on the wall.

Credit: Vitaliy M.

Day 1:
Complicated logistics of climbing a wall didn't hit me hard till I was driving to Sacramento to pick up some offset cams from my friend Bryan (since than I purchased own full set). From Sac, I drove down to the valley, hiked the falls trail (7.6 miles 2600ft of elevation gain), and fixed two ropes that I carried up with me into the notch with the Lost Arrow Spire itself (donít forget to tie your ropes to a rock, it gets windy up there). Fixing the ropes into a notch is important to set up the glorious Tyrolean Traverse. Other options are not as fun.

Credit: Vitaliy M.

When I got down I tried to hike some of the water to the base of the route, but went up a wrong boulder field. I tried to get back on trail by climbing multiple 5th class headwalls (with 6 gallons of water on my back), but without much success. Getting myself killed before getting on the climb did not sound good at the moment. Multiple little flies, mosquitoes, and summer heat kicked my ass back to the car. Highlight of the day was taking a shower at Curry village and meeting up with my partner.

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Day 2:
With HUGE packs (7 gallons was just water), the hike to the base of the route was much more challenging than summit day on Mt. Denali (maybe a bit exaggerated, but not much). To be honest, I am not quite sure how we fit all of our stuff into the haul bag at the base (which I borrowed from Martyr, THANK YOU!).

Climber or a Christmas Tree?
Climber or a Christmas Tree?
Credit: Amy
Talon (hook) and tape gloves. If you are aiding you gotta have...
Talon (hook) and tape gloves. If you are aiding you gotta have tape gloves.
Credit: Vitaliy M.

After we did get to the base of the route and racked up I took the first block of pitches. Pitch 1 had some interesting 5.7 face moves- much harder when there are enough cams, hooks, and other misc crap on you that you feel more like a Christmas tree, than a climber. Second pitch had a bolt ladder, rivets, rivet holes, and a short C2 section. Was my first time hooking a hole of a missing rivet- was a bit scary in the beginning, but by the end of this wall it felt very secure. C2 section wasnít too challenging- just awkward. Crux of the day came when it was time to haul our bag from the ground. Our Topo said you can use a 60m rope for hauling from the ground, but for some reason it was just a bit too short for us. We had to figure out a way to set our haul system much lower than the anchor. At least I had a chance to practice space hauling! It ate a lot of our time, but ended up being the only major cluster-fk on this climb.

Pitch 3-OW/squeese-chimney
Pitch 3-OW/squeese-chimney
Credit: Amy

Next came the offwidth pitch. I was able to free climb the OW part till the crux moves by the bolt, from there I yanked, pulled, and aided my way up. Pitch 4 was a bit awkward, but had great placements all the way up. We were happy to get to a huge ledge and eat. To our surprise we werenít alone- there was mice and a few frogs jumping around. As everyone suggests, the wind picked up and didn't calm down till the sunrise.
Happy to eat
Happy to eat
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Views aint bad!
Views aint bad!
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Day 3:
Amy started leading her block (P 5-7) while I took it easy and had a day of hanging in my uncomfortable harness. I discovered that my face and neck are sun burned a lot more than I though- it annoyed me for the rest of the climb. I took the last pitch of the day (pitch 8), which had some crack and chimney climbing on it to a nice and exposed ledge. We slept tied into an anchor here.

Rainbow seen in the falls
Rainbow seen in the falls
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Amy leading 6th pitch
Amy leading 6th pitch
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Pitch 11
Pitch 11
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Day 4:
Started out when the wind stopped blowing. I led P 9, 10, 11 (divided into 2 short pitches), 12, and Amy led what was supposed to be 13. P8 had a weird traversing move. P9 had a small section in the middle that raised my heart rate a few beats.

Amy following p9
Amy following p9
Credit: Vitaliy M.
bomber placement on P9
bomber placement on P9
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Leading Pitch 10
Leading Pitch 10
Credit: Amy

However, the only short fall I took on the route came on a basic C1 placement higher up. Trying to save time I loaded the placement without testing it and ended up hanging from Metolious adjustable daisy (which caught my fall) on my last piece of gear. Wiggling my way up the squeeze in the end of that pitch sucked with all the gear everywhere. Next pitch was really steep, clean and cool. It required a few cam hooks (not really mandatory, but you might as well!), but mostly offset nuts, micro cams, and a few offsets. In the middle if it was a fun pendulum. Not sure if the hook move to get to the belay ledge was mandatory, but I did not see a way around it.

Cam hooking on pitch 11
Cam hooking on pitch 11
Credit: Vitaliy M.
Leading pitch 11
Leading pitch 11
Credit: Amy
Hook placement on p12
Hook placement on p12
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Next up was pitch 11 which was supposed to have a C2+ section. At the time I was worked by all the stress of climbing a wall, especially the heat. After a quick breather and prayer, I headed up. This pitch took me longer than it should have since I did not know when the C2+ would come, but the aiding never got hard. Amy got challenged by pitch 12 due to not finding the correct patch. In the end, we had a great evening on the ledge between LAS and the rim. Big, fat rat (Amy tried to convince me it's called a pika....ewww) tried to join us for dinner, but I did not feel like sharing. Highlight of the trip was running out of water and making ramen from water that must of been left in the notch by 1964 party. I could have jugged the lines and ran to the creek, but I am too lazy.

Credit: Vitaliy M.

Day 5
To finish the climb, Amy led pitch 13 and I led 14th. Pitch 13 started with an exposed step into a crack and finished with some annoying offwidth. There was an easy hook move and a few offset cam placements part way through the bolt ladder - pitch 14. Last low-5th slab moves were a bit challenging in approach shoes, with all the rope drag. I haul, Amy jugs, tourons are entertained, both of us are on top! Glorious summit-check. Top of the spire is airy, and exposure is amazing. Somehow we figured out how to set up the tyrolean traverse and got to the other side of the rim. While I wait for Amy to traverse the line, someone shares their water with me. Even though I felt like a sun-burned, nasty, ball of hatred, I was happy to answer all the questions that guy asked.

Tyrolean across the gap
Tyrolean across the gap
Credit: Amy
Finally off the wall.
Finally off the wall.
Credit: the rock
Tired but victorious
Tired but victorious
Credit: Vitaliy M.

Although we had a blast (trying not to kill each other) on the wall, both of us understood there is no way in hell we can do Nose in a day any time soon! Climbing 5 pitches a day on our best day was a humbling experience...
Half Dome after descent back to the car
Half Dome after descent back to the car
Credit: Vitaliy M.
But than I saw another wall and picked up the guidebook again... : )

  Trip Report Views: 3,765
Vitaliy M.
About the Author
Vitaliy M. is annoying gym climber from San Francisco.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:08am PT
Three thumbs up! Good job and that MartyR is a good egg too!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:11am PT
great pictures great report!

thank you
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:34am PT
BmacD, Jim Haberl and I had the best time on this route in the same style. Jimmy is gone now but did climb K2 a few years after our ascent.

I was just thinking about how someone so accomplished, trusted me with getting the ropes right for the Tyrolian. Powerful memories of the best guy when it came to having the virtues of humbleness and determination for a goal.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:17am PT
It sounds like a great adventure!
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:36am PT
I love this climb, the ledges are awesome. However, if you don't do the Second Terror pitches (the crux) you have not climbed the route.
squishy

Mountain climber
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:37am PT
damn good vitally!!
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:40am PT
Right on. That's a great locale, huh?
TFPU.
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Oct 31, 2012 - 12:46am PT
excellent! keep the TR's coming!

thank you!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
  Oct 31, 2012 - 01:11am PT
Well done. ;)

"But than I saw another wall and picked up the guidebook again... : )"

Some addictions ain't as bad as others.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 31, 2012 - 01:19am PT
TFPU!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Oct 31, 2012 - 01:27am PT
Only the one thumb, V, but my hat's off.
Amy is a great partner, too.
No worries on Halloween, Batso's watchin' over ya.
I love the rainbow in the Yosemite Fall.
Was it worth hauling all the water?
And you can quit callin' yerself and yer partner gumbies.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Oct 31, 2012 - 01:31am PT
I love this climb, the ledges are awesome. However, if you don't do the Second Terror pitches (the crux) you have not climbed the route.

Ledges are awesome for someone with no porta-ledge LOL.
(About Second Terror pitches) Seriously? The bolt ladder with 'bad bolts' was supposed to be the crux? Topo said those pitches (13 and 14) are "pretty optional. They may have bad bolts and a bad anchor." Also fixing the lines into the notch (for tyrolean traverse) sort of makes you go to the notch...
If you think those pitches are worthy to come back for, I would do that though.
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Oct 31, 2012 - 09:41am PT
Nice adventure!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Oct 31, 2012 - 01:52am PT
Yer ticking off the CLASSICS one by one Vitaliy!

Good on you.

Hurry up and get to Vegas so we can climb.
I should be ready for some easy stuff in a month or so.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Oct 31, 2012 - 02:06am PT
Good, you learn how to do all the aid stuff so if we hit a dead end next summer you can haul me up!

Looks like a cool place to spend a few days.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Oct 31, 2012 - 02:31am PT
Sounds like you two had the most fun of anyone out climbing on those days.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Oct 31, 2012 - 03:08am PT
cool trip report Vitaliy
I'm 58, maybe I should just quit too, but what I really should do is get on that rig and send it!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Oct 31, 2012 - 03:28am PT
"I'm 58, maybe I should just quit too"







NOT!!!!
We're both the same age, Ed.
We got a few years left in us.


:)
DerekCl

Trad climber
Altanta
  Oct 31, 2012 - 09:27am PT
Very Cool TR. Looking forward to getting on this route even more.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Oct 31, 2012 - 09:37am PT
Awesome TR,
TFPU
Tad
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Oct 31, 2012 - 10:14am PT
Thank you guys. It was great, especially the scenery. All the things I read about the winds are true. Starts some time after sunset and stops after sunrise. Seeing a rainbow in that waterfall was awesome. It was the coolest summit I visited in Yosemite so far, but than again- I have not done that much. Wish it wasn't as hot. Hauling a lot of eater (which wasn't enough) was a pain in the ass!

Ed, this one would be all for you- burly OW and all!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Oct 31, 2012 - 10:17am PT
Sweet!
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Oct 31, 2012 - 10:27am PT
NIce job grinding it out!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 31, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
Thanks Vitality, you always seem to get ER done!!!
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Oct 31, 2012 - 09:06pm PT
Cool stuff!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Oct 31, 2012 - 10:37pm PT
YES!!!
crack-a-holic

Trad climber
CA
  Nov 1, 2012 - 12:14am PT
sun-burned, nasty, ball of hatred,

i must say, that is a spot-on description of you by day 3 :)

"can we just pass the f*@*'n tourons amy?!"
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 10, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
4 days up there will get you cranky! Would be nice to do some wall this winter...
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 10, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
Sweet!!!!!

Prod.
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Nov 10, 2012 - 09:28pm PT
I missed this the first time around. Nice job man looks rad!
Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
  Nov 10, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
Great trip report, congratulations on the climb.

About the Second Terror comment, I'm thinking that climbing the Second Terror would necessitate first climbing upto the notch and pitch 14 to fix the tyrolean ropes, then rappel all the way back to the start of pitch 13 and do the Second Terror. So basically one would have to climb both variations of pitches 13 and 14, and I highly doubt that most climbers are patient enough (or sufficiently "purist") to do this.

But who knows, maybe people do it like this - to prolong and savor the wall experience!
Hoots

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
  Nov 11, 2012 - 11:43am PT
Nice job Vitaly!
You've been having a kick ass season! I am pretty sure the topo is a bit turned around for this route- C2+ was no more than C1 for sure, and then bad rock was mislabled as well. I thought the bolt ladder exit and the next pitch were tricky enough though- and pretty fun!
lucho

Trad climber
California
  Nov 11, 2012 - 11:13am PT
Great trip report! Lost Arrow just begs to be climbed with its tiny summit and all. Nice work you guys!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  Nov 11, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
Amy is crack-a-holic? That sounds about right! Cool TR, I remember Amy and I bumbling our way up Yosemite climbs way back when, glad to see she's still getting on the good stuff - Zach
Alpamayo

Trad climber
Davis, CA
  Nov 11, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
What'd you do with that giant backpack during the climb?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Nov 12, 2012 - 06:18am PT
Happy to bump this. Thanks for the TR, with its excellent text and photos of a classic climb. Well done!

John
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Nov 12, 2012 - 11:17am PT
I enjoyed that.

I have to say, it looks like Amy weathered the thing better that you
:-)

Steve
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Nov 14, 2012 - 11:18am PT
Andrew, according to klaus you go up the tip via the old way and rap the chimney route. Do not do the Tyrolean. But I mean for majority of people doing the tyrolean would be the highlight of the route. I sure am not regretting doing it the way we did.

C2+ was no more than C1 for sure
+1

Jebus, yes that's Amy. And she did handle it much better than me of course the sun and doing 2/3rds of the leading beat me up. haha.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Nov 14, 2012 - 11:37am PT
Love these reports! Hats off to both. Thanks for sharing.
cencalclimber

climber
  Nov 14, 2012 - 10:23pm PT
Thanks for sharring! congtats!! Attempted LA direct a couple years ago and I sure remember that approach being ROUGH! Worst part..snow storm forced us to bail from P8 and we had to reverse the approach. In the cold.and wet. The Nose.was a.breezeeeee after that!
Zander

climber
  Nov 14, 2012 - 11:13pm PT
Oh Yeah! Great TR.
Z
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Feb 4, 2014 - 08:31am PT
Nice TR! I remember seeing this the first go round back when I ONLY lurked here. Vitaliy, I was curious what source you and Amy used as a Topo. Also, looking back with all your current experience, how hard do you think it would be to do LASD in one long day?
Myles Moser

climber
Lone Pine, Ca
  Feb 4, 2014 - 10:01am PT
That brought back some awesome memories!

Thanks man!... It was my first wall in the hole. Stunning views and fat ledges. There was a ringtail cat on one of the ledges that ate all our kingsize snicker bars in the top pocket of the haulbag.

Fun read!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Feb 4, 2014 - 11:17am PT
Vitaliy, I was curious what source you and Amy used as a Topo. Also, looking back with all your current experience, how hard do you think it would be to do LASD in one long day?

We used supertopo. Not sure about doing it in one long day, just because it seemed like it took an eternity as a first wall where I hauled etc. I think it would be fine as a grade V for me now, but it is hard to say for sure. If you are planning to do it, you should go for it. It is easy to rap from if you have two ropes and are a bit slower than you expected. Good luck.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Feb 4, 2014 - 12:44pm PT
I didn't see this the first time around, fun to read now :)
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Feb 4, 2014 - 07:25pm PT
Thanks for the response Vitaliy. This whole thing came about rather suddenly for me and even though I'm probably more than twice your age, I'm more than intrigued by the offer to climb this route with an experienced partner. It would definitely fast track me where I would like to be skill wise if I could pull it off. I've much prep work to do if it is to happen.

On another note, it's been really cool watching your growth as an all round climber with your TR's on this site. Your definitely an inspiration for me to get my ass out on the rock.
Tvash

climber
Seattle
  Feb 22, 2014 - 05:35pm PT
The most photogenic climb in the Valley. Such a pleasure!
Nanook

climber
  Feb 23, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
Filling your water at the pool at the top of the Lower Yosemite Falls, which is just a couple minutes of flat walking from the trail (but about an hour from your car with a pack) and a sweet spot to swim if the water is low, is a life saver on this route.

Metolius adjustable daisy held a fall? Lucky man!

Good work!
erik
yosemitebigwall.com
Weez

climber
East Bay, Ca
  Feb 24, 2014 - 02:58pm PT
great entertaining TR. I've been wanting to do Lost Arrow Spire in a while. this is inspiring.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
Filling your water at the pool at the top of the Lower Yosemite Falls, which is just a couple minutes of flat walking from the trail (but about an hour from your car with a pack) and a sweet spot to swim if the water is low, is a life saver on this route.

Yeah, found out the hard way.

Looking over this TR makes me think about how much has changed during last 1.5 years! Hard to believe it was not that long ago...good times. Thanks for bumping this TR. Unfortunately Amy has moved to the East Coast and we do not climb any more :(
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Lost Arrow Spire - Lost Arrow Spire Direct C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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