Never Never Land A3 5.7

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Never Never Land , El Cap . Long[er] TR
Wednesday February 16, 2011 3:51pm
[August 2010]
This is a longer TR of a climb I already described here.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/August-in-Cali-Never-Never-Land-Evolution-Traverse-Muir-Wall-WFLT/t10753n.html

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 man.
the man.
Credit: freerider
It was cool to see him, we immediately got 2 bags filled with water and gear and hiked to the base of El Cap. We were there in no time! Turned out, later trips to the same spot would take longer and longer...
Looking up.
Looking up.
Credit: freerider
The next day, after breakfast in the lodge with the girls, we hiked up and fixed the first 3 pitches.
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.
pitch 2
pitch 2
Credit: freerider
I had looked at those Ammon McNeely pics of him on Native Son on R&I a bunch, and was psyched to finally put the daydreaming about topstepping in my aiders on the reality check. It went quite well on pitch 3, which is a rivet ladder. ;)

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.
ledge life
ledge life
Credit: freerider
For breakfast I had Poptarts... it is a really dumb idea to take something to eat on a wall that you have not tried before. I basically skipped breakfast after the first day.

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.
Timbuktu Tower
Timbuktu Tower
Credit: freerider
It was quite late when I started the second one of those pitches. I figured it would take me 20 minutes to climb those 130' of 5.9 and 5.8.
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.
Timbuktu Bivy
Timbuktu Bivy
Credit: freerider

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)
one of the best pitches of the climb
one of the best pitches of the climb
Credit: freerider
The 12th pitch has a wet and slimy pendulum which I found hard, and I wished I had climbing shoes. But after 160' feet of climbing, I could not get them.
getting closer to the pendulum
getting closer to the pendulum
Credit: freerider
We bivied at the top of this, and the next day, climbed 3 fairly uneventful pitches to the top the base of the Pinnacle of Hammerdom.
Looking up to the Pinnacle
Looking up to the Pinnacle
Credit: freerider
It's the coolest construction ever, and we really wanted to climb it. We noticed that some clouds were coming quickly, and they were looking like rain a lot.
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!
Credit: freerider

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...
pitch 17
pitch 17
Credit: freerider

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.
the free pitch
the free pitch
Credit: freerider
Credit: freerider
I think the "Summit" of El Cap is a great place. In the evening and in the morning the light is awesome. Also, even without getting the summit fever, topping out is a great feeling.
Credit: freerider
On the top of the Nose we washed our hands and faces, which I regretted 3 weeks later when I topped out the Muir Wall thirsty like hell.
Credit: freerider
Back down, I dropped the Haulbag, and jumped into the Merced. Cold!
Then, off to the Pizza Deck, and the next morning, the Mobil Station in Lee Vining for breakfast.

I really dig wall climbing.

Cheers!






  Trip Report Views: 2,143
freerider
About the Author
Ben is climber from Luxembourg

Comments
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
  Feb 16, 2011 - 04:41pm PT
Nice. My partner got sandbagged by the 5.8 too. He said it was more like 5.11.
eKat

Trad climber
  Feb 16, 2011 - 04:42pm PT
TFPU!

STOKE!

eKat
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Feb 16, 2011 - 05:30pm PT
Nice family outing!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Feb 16, 2011 - 05:39pm PT
Awesome. Your dad must be one of the coolest dads on the planet.

DMT
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
  Feb 16, 2011 - 05:43pm PT
How cool is it that you climbed El Cap with your father!

I've only been able to get my father to Yosemite once and that was not for climbing, just sightseeing. What a great experience to treasure. Nice job.
Eubanks,D

Big Wall climber
  Feb 17, 2011 - 04:27pm PT
How special is THAT!

Congratulations, Father & Son team!

squatch

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
  Feb 16, 2011 - 06:17pm PT
sweet! nice send!
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Feb 16, 2011 - 06:32pm PT
Ah man, how sweet. I hope to climb the captain with my kids.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Feb 16, 2011 - 06:56pm PT
Killer. Really inspired by your dad!

I remember reading somewhere here on ST about a father-son NIAD team. Who was that? Was there a TR?
Pcutler

climber
Iowa
  Feb 16, 2011 - 08:57pm PT
Super cool TR,

super cool to do something like that with your dad
Buju

Big Wall climber
the range of light
  Feb 16, 2011 - 09:21pm PT
AWESOME! Family fun is the best! I cant wait to have a rope gun son to drag my old behind up el cap.

Last year I did the Aquarian and Never Never Land looked AMAZING!

Way to go!

Prod

Trad climber
  Feb 16, 2011 - 11:04pm PT
Nice.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Feb 16, 2011 - 11:19pm PT
way to go!
Nice Pics!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Feb 16, 2011 - 11:37pm PT
Super TR Ben! Looking forward to seeing you both this Summer.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Feb 16, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
hey there say, freerider.... such a very nice neat report.... i liked the "dad" part... dads are special...


thanks for the fun share... :)
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Feb 17, 2011 - 12:10am PT
Father and son on NA would have been Tom Frost and son Ryan.
freerider

climber
Author's Reply  Feb 17, 2011 - 02:34am PT
Thanks for all the nice comments. I enjoy climbing with my dad a lot, as you can tell!
Melissa, 5.11 seems more reasonable.
Buju, how was Aquarian? Much grass?
Buju

Big Wall climber
the range of light
  Feb 17, 2011 - 02:36am PT
shoulda brought a weed wacker. How about on NNL?
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Feb 17, 2011 - 05:03am PT
Great report, great family experience, great pics from new spots!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Feb 17, 2011 - 07:49am PT
Great report! I've got an 8 year-old son. I gotta whip him into shape to be my rope gun.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Feb 17, 2011 - 08:28am PT
You guys Rule. TFPU!!!
yosguns

climber
San Mateo, California
  Feb 17, 2011 - 10:09am PT
Thanks for this trip report!!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Feb 17, 2011 - 10:12am PT
Now that stoked my Thursday morning.

Cheers to that!
freerider

climber
Author's Reply  Feb 17, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
Thanks!
Buju, on some pitches you could use a lawn mower ;)
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El Capitan - Never Never Land A3 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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