Trip ReportLurking Fear - El Cap
Trip: Yosemite's El Cap - Lurking Fear
The Architect contemplates the task ahead in the Merced River
El Cap, Lurking Fear, C2 5.7 19p. 3 camps on the wall.
Lurching Steers Beta (by Ivan)
We arrived at the base to find that a bear had torn Ivan's gear and supplies a new, slobbery as#@&%e. All that was left were a few unchewed cigarettes, some unpunctured water bottles, and 3 small cans, well coated in saliva (we hope) and dirt. Vienna Sausage, anyone?
Not to worry: we send Ivan down to procure more supplies and toss our garbage. Unfortunately, he tossed three days worth of my food (stowed in a garbage bag) in the dumpster as well.
Large mammals can be a problem in Yosemite.
From the base. Our fixed lines appear at left.
Plumage. This photo, taken after the climb, includes only the gear we took on the wall. Ivan's foam pad, torn to shreds by a playful bear and lovingly reconstructed by a local artist, is on the left.
Our first aborted attempt at hauling the equivalent of a battleship up Lurking Fear's 2,200 vertical feet result in a general order to lighten said ship and shorten our time on the wall from 5 to 3 days. After a redistribution of food wealth I wound up with Ivan's Cambells Chicken and Dumpling Soup, which is basically snot in horse c#m as near as I can tell, as well as several squshels of gummy worms and a North Sea full of Swedish Fish. The Beanie Weenies were self inflicted.
Once we were off the ground, things went relatively smoothly, with only one sleeping bag destroyed and the usual array of trinkets dropped (and some recovered later) en route. All poos were on time and on target, we didn't run out of water (a gallon a day per), and nobody took any giant rides earthward.
Being the newest big waller, I was relegated to leading some C1 and low 5th, removing stuck pro, pig wrangling, and fully exploring the operation of our only belay chair. My trip up the wall was therefore slow, scenic, comfortable, and, with the exception of some strenuous sphincter isometrics while trying not to stare down 50 feet of offwidth runnout, a pleasant way to spend a few long summer days.
A 2:30 am start under moonlight enabled us to arrive at Camp 1 just before dark, thanks to Mike's affinity for combining swinging and climbing. Mike and I played house on our two man ledge while Ivan gently attempted to cajole his Pringling portaledge 80' above. Eventually, the dynamic trio: Ivan, his portaledge, and his sleeping bag, produced a white mushroom cloud of down fail, punctuated by a verbal explosion that cut through the darkness like the shriek of a Valkyrie betrayed.
I still hear echoes of that mournful cry every time I see a can of Beanie Weenies.
Mike jugging P4
Pat leading P5 (by Ivan)
Mike leading the P7 traverse
Double butt shot, P8. 50' of runnout on this offwidth - not a problem for the swallows who were flying in and out of it, though (by Ivan)
Camp1 for 2, below P10. You really can poo where you sleep if you're careful. Mike and I spent a pleasant evening here listening to Ivan and potato chipping portaledge destroy his sleeping bag together 80' above us.
Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla) at Camp 1, a thousand feet up the wall. Hummingbirds, salamanders, and other quiet little spirits revealed the wall's less intimidating nature on numerous occasions.
Pat ascending back to the P10 anchor from Camp 1 (by Ivan)
Mike responds to a suggestion while on lead
Big Man, Small Umbrella. Temperatures were in the high eighties, but our route enjoyed shade until midday (by Mike)
Ivan practicing his 'long haul' technique - to the ire of his pig wrangler below
Mike on the mantle at the start of P14
Camp 2, P14. I used the belay chair at left to extend my sleeping platform for my feet
A belay chair is a must on a route like Lurking Fear (by Mike)
I heart hauling. P 17 (by Ivan)
Thanksgiving Ledge (Camp 3, P17)
Topping out on P 19
Mike rap scouting. Ivan and I followed, each riding a pig. It took us about 6 hours to rap the 13 pitches down the face.
The Bull Whip Effect: the ends of ropes dropped when rapping often exceed the speed of sound and explode
Ivan and his pig fight the urge to swing
3 More Raps
Schist, sh#t, and grit
We happy few
The Big Man Upper Pining it wit J Roc
A nice, cool cave on a 90 degree day
Fleetwood Mac's Latest Album Cover: 'Tumors' . We climbed Daff Dome's West Crack on our last day
Descending Daff Dome
Glacier glass (Daff Dome)
Belay Chair and umbrella a must.
2 double rope buckets (Fish makes em) would have been exceptionally nice.
A dry bag works well for poo, but one without a burp vent might provide a better ambiance next time.
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