Astroman 5.11c

 
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Washington Column


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
My Road to Astroman
Wednesday November 30, 2011 2:30pm
The big goal of this season was to do Astro-Man. I had avoided major injury for over a year and had gotten a into the swing of things climbing in the Valley. The Rostrum and Astro-Boy are good stepping stones for full Astro-Man and my fitness was there.

Starting up Astroman.
Starting up Astroman.
Credit: cultureshock

Yet all of my wide climbing prep was not enough and I failed to lead the Harding Slot clean. The steep awkward size spit me out. We bailed but my partner agreed to another attempt.

The steep and intimidating Harding Slot
The steep and intimidating Harding Slot
Credit: cultureshock

The rest of the story:

http://www.dreaminvertical.com/2011/11/the-road-to-astroman/

Cheers,

Luke

  Trip Report Views: 4,788
cultureshock
About the Author
cultureshock is a trad climber from Mountain View, CA.

Comments
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jahil

Social climber
London, Paris, WV & CA
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:03pm PT
Nice - I've always wanted to do this route - a very inspiring TR.
Loved the 'we were still only boys.' comment !
steve
Pcutler

climber
Iowa
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:07pm PT
super cool - something I aspire to climb someday, thanks!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:08pm PT
I've always wanted to do it also. But I'm afraid that after 50 with kids and lack of sac that I'll never get 'er done.....
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:11pm PT
That's so funny, I was gonna' say "ends with that Goddamn Harding Slot!!! I was cranking hard 13's all over the US, I was ranked 6th in the US for competitions, I was dating Bobbi Bensman and I still got SCHOOLED on the Harding Slot and thought it was 12b. I lead most every pitch no sweat, that one pitch ruined the whole climb for me though. Damned Yosemite.. and that stupid Bachar Cracker also! can't wait for part 2 of the tr!!
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:16pm PT
I was dating Bobbi Bensman and I still got SCHOOLED on the Harding Slot

Really and I thought that was the ticked to climbing hard off width?


Prod.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Nov 30, 2011 - 03:37pm PT
Hankster, you can't be too careful in your dating choices if you want to send hard OW. Bobbi Bensman was the wrong choice---I would have recommended Lynne Hill. No wonder you struggled.
A5scott

Trad climber
Chicago
  Nov 30, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
great TR!

thanks for sharing..

scott
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Dec 1, 2011 - 01:17am PT
Congrats, Luke. Being a weekend warrior in the Valley isn't so bad, eh?

I bet you'll be back in the spring without the huge crowd. And probably with a fully charged camera battery? (I didn't see any photos from the upper half).
That Slot entrance move is technical; I've never gotten it clean.
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Author's Reply  Dec 1, 2011 - 02:13pm PT
Clint I'll definitely be back up there to lead the slot. The crowds were just funny the second time. One should arrive no later than 7 on a Saturday... I've also heard that Sundays are much less popular than Saturdays.

Being a weekend warrior is great when the weather cooperates. Especially for these one day routes. I'm yearning to get some more time off to go up on El Cap or out to Watkins and North Quarter Dome. Hoping for a dry spring!!

Hank, click the link above for the rest of the story! I agree that the slot is super hard, the crux of the route for me. Not very intuitive.

Thanks for the comments and reads!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Dec 1, 2011 - 01:15pm PT
congrats, good for you!
Thanks for the TR!!!!
Hankster

Social climber
Golden, CO
  Dec 1, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
I just read the link above. funny how that LAST scary 5.10 thingy pitch with 1 bolt is never really talked about. That last pitch is like like the climbs way of saying, NOW DON'T COME BACK!! and the walk off of the Column is soooo dreamy, come to think of it, Astroman blows!!
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Dec 1, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
bobby bensman is good training for wide slots?

that might be taken an insult if she's
in an unsettled mood.

chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
  Dec 1, 2011 - 02:55pm PT
Total respect for anyone who can do this route free. It has been on my to-do list for the last 30 years. A couple more decades and I think I'll be ready.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Dec 1, 2011 - 09:58pm PT
Good stuff Luke. Hoping next year will finally be the year for me, this gives me some fuel for the stoke fire.
LongAgo

Trad climber
  Dec 5, 2011 - 03:59pm PT
"Trick" to the Slot (and lots of like Yosemite cracks) is not to rush or over grip, find the pauses and use the face too. O, and left side in, and right hand for occasional palm work on face until you get in.

Have to agree with poster on last pitch - rock is not the best and move is tricky, especially when pooped and ready to be done.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Dec 4, 2011 - 12:24am PT
Cool photos and a nice report.
Brian

climber
California
  Dec 4, 2011 - 12:56am PT
Well done. I've been up it twice--three time if you count Astroboy--and led or followed every pitch clean over those various trips. However, the clean bottom-to-top ascent eluded me, and now I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge!
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Dec 4, 2011 - 02:07am PT
What a dream! Fantastic send.
cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
  Dec 5, 2011 - 03:13am PT
Nicely done guys! Super impressive and a good writeup and photos.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Dec 5, 2011 - 05:53am PT
Nice!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
  Dec 5, 2011 - 11:31am PT
sounds like the traffic's unbelievable. nice that everyone gets along.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Dec 5, 2011 - 01:22pm PT
Always surprised that a route as burly as A-Man would be crowded. So classic, but so hard.

Seems to me that if you've sent Astroman cleanly, you've got to be in the top 5% of climbers.

Put a random selection of 100 trad climbers in a room, and how many can climb .11+? The select few, my guess.

Sweet pics and thanks for the TR!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Dec 5, 2011 - 01:28pm PT
Hey, I can climb 11+ trad. You just have to keep the rope reeeaal tight ;).
Powder

Trad climber
the Flower Box
  Dec 6, 2011 - 10:27am PT
Wow Great TR and beautiful writing!

Thanks for sharing...... Most of all, congrats!! =)
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Dec 6, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Hearty congratulations to you, Luke!

Re: crowds- as a sandbagger once suggested to me, as he and his girlfriend were chilling at the Ahwahnee bear boxes promptly 'til 9:59, wait until 10am on a hot summer day and just, you know, follow the shade. ;)
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Dec 6, 2011 - 08:40pm PT
Sick!
LongAgo

Trad climber
  Dec 8, 2011 - 12:34am PT
Some tips on Yosemite cracks - technique, pacing, crack machines, body size, and info on specific crack routes:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=18&limit=1&limitstart=1
eagle

Trad climber
new paltz, ny
  Dec 8, 2011 - 05:19pm PT
the harding slot pitch looks insane. it it protectable when it gets wide?
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Author's Reply  Dec 12, 2011 - 02:25pm PT
Thanks for all the comments! You can get good gear in at the bottom of the slot(ie the Crux), where you might fall out. Once you get in the slot you are pretty well wedged and could place gear but it's not worth it (harder to place gear than climb). You "can't" really fall out of the slot once you get past the entrance moves.

Last year when I did Astro-boy, I waited until 10am and didn't have to deal crowds. Perhaps I'll get fast enough to do the whole thing starting late!

zoom loco

Mountain climber
san diego ca
  Feb 13, 2012 - 01:15pm PT
good job and good writing on the linked piece. bump.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Feb 16, 2012 - 11:16am PT
bump for a cool TR!
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