Never Never Land A3 5.7
Trip ReportNever Never Land , El Cap . Long[er] TR
This is a longer TR of a climb I already described here.
On the bottom of Half Dome, at 1pm. "How long is it going to take to get to the summit?"
-"approximately an hour and a half"
Which was about the time it would take to run down, I figrued. I wanted to meet my dad in Camp 4 at 3.30... It would suck to be late. On the other hand, before heading up the walls and mountains for a month I might as well enjoy the company of the nice girls that had invited me to come along on Half Dome on my rest day. Difficult decision. I hung out at the base of the cables for another half hour, then ran down.
On my way down, I got really psyched about the challenge of making it in less 1h, 30 min. I didn't make it, but also didn't break my ankles. The shuttle bus took so long that I was late in Camp 4 anyways. And really tired. I got my camping chair, the "the Good, the Great and the Awesome" book, and waited for my dad who was late too.
The first pitch is a bit loose, but easy... 5.6 or so. I got to lead that one, which turned out to be a bit of bad luck, since the second pitch is sweet. Getting to lead that pitch was about all the luck my dad had, when it came to leading the better pitches.
We fixed the ropes, and went back for a jump from the Bridge. No climbers at the bridge, or in the Valley at that time. Some haulbag packers, that was it.
The next day we hauled the rest, and stayed in the portaledge for the night, eager to see how the climbing was up to Timbuktu. It was my first night in a portaledge, and really nice.
The climbing on the first two pitches was pretty casual and great. The slab is really impressive. The other two pitches to Timbuktu were less good... a bit dirty and awkward. We arrived Timbuktu with lots of time, and fixed another two pitches.
Well, I was wrong!
The first part was really good 5.9 blue cams, until the crack stopped and gave away to some big, loose flakes. That was where the 5.8 was supposed to start. I thought it was really sketchy. Steep, and very small crimps, which is exactly my style, but this was a bit too loose.
I asked for the hooks, and got my introduction into hooking. Another daydreaming obsession put to test... As I clipped the anchor it got dark.
After jugging and cleaning in the early morning, we tried to move quickly to get as much done as possible before the sun would come. Here, the climbing gets really steep and good. (except for the barnacles pitch, which my dad got to lead by chance)
Since we couldn't sit in the ledge for a day as we had to get ready for the Evolution Traverse after this climb, we decided to take the Hole World finish which looked like a rivet ladder from the topo.
As we were both on the top of the Pinnacle, I started up that pitch, but quickly realized that this was going to take longer than the harder NNL pitches to Thanksgiving Ledge. The rivits were so far away that even topstepping I had to use the cheat stick, since I did not have an equalizer. That sucked, and we rapped back to the anchor below the Pinnacle.
Right when I started the A3 ramp, it started to rain a bit. After a short bit of hooking, there were some crappy rivets. One was missing, and I used the stick to get the next one. Soon after, the crack left of the ramp opened up, and I started with some tiny cams. It then got thinner, and I didn't see another option than nailing. It was the first time I nailed... a beak. Then as I tried to place an LA, a bit of rock broke off, and the placement was gone. There was a really thin bit left, and I got a rurp half way in. I totally felt like Potter and Bocarde on the Shield, hahah!
The weather got better quite quickly, and the evening was perfect Yosemite weather again.
That pitch had really scared me, and was a bit anxious about the next A3 pitch, which I was going to lead, since" you weigh less"... That pitch was actually pretty straightforward, and I could've gotten it clean reckon, had I been less tired. Sorry rock...
My dad led the next pitch, which was easier than the topo suggested but really scetchy because of a loose block. When my dad placed a cam behind it, it shifted a ways and spit him out. Somehow we got around, and arrived on Thanksgiving Ledge. Getting to the top from there involved an excellent free pitch, and some grueling walking.
Then, off to the Pizza Deck, and the next morning, the Mobil Station in Lee Vining for breakfast.
I really dig wall climbing.
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