Trip Report
New Speed Record To Sickle Ledge. And A Supertopo Lurker Encounter. A lil TR.
Wednesday April 17, 2013 7:40pm
We may have set a new record to Sickle Ledge last weekend. Not sure what the old record was, but if we didn't beat it, we must have been right on it. All times are in standard Greenwich Mean Time, official clock start at Car and finish at Car. Giving what we like to refer to in the speed climbing world a "Car to Car" time. Or CTC if you are Rad like us.

3:15am Making my patented HudonSuperSpecialBreakfastShake by Shakeology. One scoop shakeology mix, one cup soy milk, one banana, one dollop Adam's All Natural peanut butter, 6oz of radness. Add ice. Blend.
Credit: micronut

3:30am Pick up Macronut at the corner of Shaw and Hwy 41. He's fired up. Today is a big training day for our first El Cap route this spring. The goal. Sickle Ledge. SLAFAWC. Sickle Ledge As Fast As We Can.

6:10am We hit the tunnel with Mumford And Sons blaring and our bowels nice and light after a pitch black stop at the restrooms by the Glacier Point turn off.
Credit: micronut

6:40am Racked and jacked in The Meadow.
Credit: micronut
Three weeks ago we saw Chris Mac and Sean "Stanley" (We call him Stanley cause we shook hands once and we're all speed climbers and stuff...)Leary racking up right in front of us on their way to a speedy NIAD. We shook hands and wished them well. I wonder how long it took them to get to Sickle that day? One last peek at the Guidebook and we're off into the woods like a Fox hearing a trumpet during a hunt.
Credit: micronut

7:30am 4th Class Approach pitch. We will simul. Because we are Rad and I read on Supertopo that simuling is for speed teams and that it's totally safe.
Credit: micronut
We stuff some unused gear, two shells, some approach shoes, a Nagene Bottle and our wedding bands into a tiny REI knapsack and hang it in the "Start Tree." There's no way a bear can reach that. Ready...nGO!

8:00am Micronut starts the business proper.
Credit: micronut
Highstepping, sidestepping, yarding, yanking and cranking his way up the awkward, flaring first pitch. He struggles a bit, finding that four aiders on daisies keep getting twistified into a tangle-rama while he's sucked up into the leaning corner. He busts a free move or three and aids the last 20 feet, clipping the belay at 10:25.

10:50am Macrount arrives at the belay and gear is quickly and efficiently sorted.
Credit: micronut
That pitch took a bit of time but Macrout is feelin' fast so off he goes with bloody knuckles and a need for speed.

He keeps the aiders clipped to his harness. Free like Tom Petty, Free like OJ after the car chase, he's only stopping here and there to get in touch with his French side by grabbin' some gear here and there. He climbs the second pitch in style and we are makin' back some time as a team below us starts to catch up to us at the base of the third pitch. I use the Patented HudonAnti-Tat line to swiftly clean the pitch 2 penji and jug quickly up to Adam, staying ahead of the free team below us. Our anchor is clean and so is our conscience. We are makin' time now.
Credit: micronut

I reach the belay at 11:40, and within two minutes Macronut is freeing the 5.9 section above.
Credit: micronut

Robbie, the guy below us and I chat a bit while Macro send the next pitch quickly. I hear Robbie's partner from below..."Why are they taking so long!!" Robbie's a cool dude and well before his buddy gets up to us I'm off, jugging fast. I hear screams of "take!!" and "tension!!" and "take take take!!!"
from Robbie's partner as I reach the belay for Pitch 4, my lead.

We organize quickly, Robbie comes up, and for a few minutes there are three of us at the belay. They are going to Sickle too. I wonder if they are after our record. It is 1:30pm. I look down to the base and see a chubby momma bear waddling around near the base. I holler "Hey yall, thar's a bar down thar" some grateful climbers heading toward Pine Line, then it's back into speed mode.

I free like Croft up the 5.8 section, but am slowed a bit by the 5.9 pin scars, so out come the hooks and aiders. I use a sweet BD Grappling hook on a left incut edge, stand up and place two offset lobes of a Metolius offset into a shallow scar, highstep and grab some tat. I feel like a million bucks. "so this is C2....ain't so bad. Ain't so bad..." I think as I near the penji point. From below I hear from Robbie's partner again. "Why is he aiding?!!!" and "You guys are aiding the whole pitch? Dude just free that move. Grab that edge, you aren't gonna do both penji's are you? Dude, why you in your second to top step?!"

I call down....only slightly sarcastic...."Cause we aren't as rad as you are bro."

(I do give an apology for being pretty slow, but there is tons of daylight and we are almost to Sickle. They bail, one pitch short of their goal, Robbie's partner whining the whole way down. (ok, I'm kind of exxaggerating, they were both cool dudes) Macronut helps them from above with a snarlfest on their rappels. Maybe they are grateful for his help. Maybe they'll just badmouth us as gumbies jammin' up their sick send to Sickle back in camp. Who knows.)

I reach Sickle Ledge at 2:30 on the dot.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

It feels really good. I've always wanted to be in this place. The sun is shining, the wind has calmed down. There's not another soul around. Elapsed time. 7hs 4min 33sec. Like I said, I'm not sure what the old speed record was, but that has to be close. Minus my slow start on pitch one, we pretty much moved non stop, had smooth changeovers, didn't slow down for any reason, and arrived safe and sound with daylight to spare. If anybody knows the actual time to beat (if ours isn't the one) please let us know.
Credit: micronut

We rap we don't.
Credit: micronut

Halfway down the wind blows one of our ropes, the skinny purple one, about 50 feet out of reach, and it has a knot in the end of it. Thus, we cannot pull it through the rings. Before Macronut can offer a solution, I realize the gravity of the situation. The purple end is still below us, so I collect 50 feet of the existing yellow rope, tie on a BD Talon, a Grapplinghook and a Skyhook and we start making lasso attepts. On the fourth one, Macro threads the needle, the hooks slide down the escapee rope, and we hand over hand the free line back to us. We are on the ground after two more full length raps.
Credit: micronut

Now. About that little green pack in the tree.
"Yo yardsale bro!" Is all I hear as I'm coiling ropes. Macro finds the shredded REI pack, my torn Pattaguchi Nanopuff Hoodie, our wedding bands, and this Nalgene with a "bullet hole" in it.
Credit: micronut
I feel bad for leaving the pack and responsible that the bear toyed around with our stuff. There was no food in the pack, but the base of EC is regularly patrolled by larger mammals than us, so it was my bad all around.

After returning to the vehicle, taking some photos of Sickle from The Meadow and standing around clanking our gear near tourists to garner their adoration and awe, we slip off to the Pizza Deck for a victory slice and a cold one. While there, a handsome dude taps me on the shoulder and says..."I'd never not recognize that mug! You're Micronut from Supertopo aren't you?!"

Credit: micronut

Its LeBruce from here on the Taco. We chat for a while, he's there with his lovely wife and is planning on some action up on The Hourglass with Ed Hartouni the next day. He wishes us luck on Lurking Fear this spring and we tell him of our send and the record on Sickle today. He looks a bit puzzled but says congrats and we wish him a non epic on The Hourglass.

So all in all, a great day out. Not bad for a quick day trip from Fresno. We leave, El Cap looming above us, a big ol hunk of pretty rock for sure.
And I know, I know, we didn't even really scratch the surface, but being up there in the wind and sun and pinscars was good training for a couple of punters like us.
Credit: micronut

One last glance on the way out, and you know, for the first time ever, the thing doesn't look all that big. See you in a matter of weeks darlin'....we'll be back...this time with a summit in mind.

Post Script:

You know, I love being all self depricatin' and all. Its a fun way to write. But I feel like we're really comin along toward our first time up El Cap this Spring/Summer. We had a good run at The Column last year, and over the past month or so have done a couple training days where we did the first few pitches of Lurking Fear and a trip to Sickle with little fanfare. We're learning on how to be more efficient, how to set up and tear down wall belays quickly. We have penji's and cleaning traverses pretty dialed and we have been climbing for 20 years. We may not be fast, but we are fit, well trained and full of stoke. Can't wait to send that Mother and let yall know how it goes. Until then,
Micronut. Out.

  Trip Report Views: 4,054
About the Author
micronut is a trad climber from fresno, ca.

Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report

Social climber
  Apr 17, 2013 - 07:43pm PT
You know you make me happy right micro? you know that right?

K. Good.


Trad climber
Carson City, NV
  Apr 17, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
Yeah! Great write up. Sounds like too much fun.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Apr 17, 2013 - 07:50pm PT
Good stuff.... Very fuuny.
good luck on LFear!

  Apr 17, 2013 - 07:54pm PT



Sport climber
Made in California, living in The Old Pueblo
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
We may not be fast, but we are fit, well trained and full of stoke. Can't wait to send that Mother and let yall know how it goes.

Looking forward to it!

Great TR ... congrats.

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Can't wait!

Mountain climber
Marooned, 855 miles from Tuolumne Meadows
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
A great day trip from Fresno! No wonder I found it survivable despite hating it. Great report!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
Yeah, I think you pretty much killed it!

I don't know what the record is either, but you guys might be like, tied, with Honnold, or Hans or whatever their names are.


Trad climber
West Slope of Powell Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
Right on guys! Thanks for sharing the stoke!

Credit: Plaidman

  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
Killed it is right! You shattered the vertical foot-a-minute record.

Thanks for the fun. You seem to have a lot of fun in the hills. And that, of course, is the point.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
  Apr 17, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
Great TR as usual, very entertaining.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Apr 17, 2013 - 09:00pm PT

I thought the third pitch was harrrrrrd. I had to nail a Pecker and everything!

I think we were two days to that point.....

But we raced up Grape Race. Really, we did. New record for time.

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Apr 17, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
Good read and funny too. Nice start to the season and lucky for you guy's that bears don't wear rings. Thanx for sharing......


Random Nobody
  Apr 17, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
That is bad-ass quazi-gonzo journalism in my book.

Thanks for the both of you for posting up the new record

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Apr 17, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
You guys rule!

You need a video trip report with David Bowie "Heroes"
Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Apr 19, 2013 - 07:50am PT
How many times you gonna do this? Either get up there or get off the pot.
If you're froggy, JUMP! My advice? Get Froggy!!!6!
It ain't Rocket Surgery.

Just bustin' yer balls, man. You guys have fun.

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Apr 17, 2013 - 10:56pm PT
Good call on spending the day on El Cap, it looked like a great one!

The line I had picked out on Big Baldy was really hard and I found some bolts when I checked it out on Friday so you didn't miss much :-(

I was hoping you'd post something about your day. Thanks!

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Apr 17, 2013 - 11:14pm PT
Yours are always the best. Good job, and great TR!


Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Apr 17, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Yeah guys!!! Having too much fun out there. I'm jealous!

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Apr 17, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
You never disappoint Micro! Great TR.


Trad climber
Northern California
  Apr 18, 2013 - 01:17am PT
Sweet! I can't wait for the next TR

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
  Apr 18, 2013 - 06:44am PT
Top drawer TR Micronut! Thank you...

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Apr 18, 2013 - 07:27am PT
dude i had that same breakfast.
mine wasn't chocolate flavored, though.
i think it was cuvee blanc.

came right back up.

Credit: Norwegian

is that car on your coffee cup,
the one on the live simply sticker..
is it on a jack?

looks like the wheel departed
from the greater mobile.

hmm. that sucks when that happens.
all of sudden you're steering with
one rubber contact and one
sparking metallic contact,

coffee in the cab always spills.
i usually bight my tongue
when i lose a front wheel.

micronut you better better-maintain
your ethical stickers.
just check the lugs with a clockwise
crank of the iron.

don't ever forgive me for who i am.

Social climber
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  Apr 18, 2013 - 10:20am PT
Great job!

Trad climber
  Apr 18, 2013 - 10:49am PT
Nice Micro. Funny stuff I like the progress to end result. Especially the porta-ledge in the gym. Nice!

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:27am PT
right on! The Nut brothers strike again!

bummer that the bear shotgun'd your Nalgene...thought that technique was only for beers. Musta been a thirsty bear.

Can't wait to read your LF TR. Stay the course!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Three weeks ago we saw Chris Mac and Sean "Stanley" (We call him Stanley cause we shook hands once and we're all speed climbers and stuff...)


Glad you beat those suckers to Sickle. No one will take your record now!

Trad climber
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Nice stuff and always enjoy your posts.
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:41am PT
RAD....way to go!
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Awesome stuff Micro. I always enjoy your TRs. You always get me stoked to get on the rock and get to some adventures.

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Love it!

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Apr 18, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Fun, and I'm sure you beat the record, whatever it may be. :)

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Apr 18, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
Keep on keepin on microNUT!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Apr 18, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
Way to SHRED THE GNAR, Nut bros!!!

Trad climber
Melbourne, Victoria
  Apr 18, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
Great stuff, as always. Can't wait to hear about the upcoming send. Best of luck, and have fun (type I or II).
Killer K

Boulder climber
Sacramento, CA
  Apr 18, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Weeg, killer post.

Social climber
  Apr 18, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
That was a matryoshka of chuckles. Look forward to reading your go in the summer.

Oakland, CA
  Apr 19, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Good to meet you both and I liked being able to thank you in person for some of the best TR's on the market. Wish I could have stuck around to shoot the breeze more. Next time I'm buying.


Social climber
Joshua Tree
  Apr 19, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
We hit the tunnel with Mumford And Sons blaring

Well, there's your problem right there. I'd rather shotgun castor oil than listen to that crap.

Swap that out for some real man's music and it'll cut your time by 1/3, easy.

When is the big event? Ya'll will send, no problem. If you've got the drive to get up at 3am for a run to sickle, I reckon you've got the drive to keep going on the full deal when it gets tough . Make it through day 2 and you're on top before you know it. Good luck fellas!

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Apr 19, 2013 - 03:20pm PT
Nice job boys!

Next time you rap with knots in the ends, clip them to your harness. ;)

Trad climber
  Apr 19, 2013 - 06:30pm PT

Just livin' the dream
  May 19, 2015 - 02:08pm PT
What a totally enjoyable TR!

Many thanks.


  May 19, 2015 - 03:08pm PT

SIAD! (Sickle in a day!) WOOT! Love your stuff man!

Trad climber
  May 20, 2015 - 09:17am PT
Add Chia seeds to yer shake, you coulda wiped and easy 20 minutes of yer time to Sickle.

Trad climber
Little Rock and Loving It
  May 20, 2015 - 01:36pm PT
I'd rather shotgun castor oil than listen to that crap.

That is funny
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report