Prow C2F 5.6

 
  • Currently 4.0/5
Search
Go

Washington Column


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Nose Bail & Prow Solo
Wednesday March 6, 2013 6:27pm
2012 was a big year for me. I climbed el cap twice, soloed the prow and WFLT, sent SFWC and climbed half dome in a push twice. I guess you could say it all started summer of 2011 with seeing a couple guys come down off the nose into manure pile parking lot with giant haulbags and even bigger grins. I climbed the east buttress the next day and was hooked. I needed to be high off the deck.

I recruited a friend later in 2011 to climb the South Face of Washington's Column. We did it like complete noobs and finished the route over 3 days.

I came back to the valley mid February for a birthday trip. I was going to try and solo the SFWC. I cruised the first three pitches to Dinner ledge and lounged about enjoying the solitude. I fixed the Kor Roof and settled in for the night.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I woke up around 2 am to a few inches of snow on my bivy sack. Knowing I had to wait for daylight I shiver slept for 5 minute intervals until the sun came up. I surveyed the 8 inches of snow that had fallen and promptly gathered my junk show , jugged my frozen ass rope and bailed.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

Fast forward a couple months to April 2012.

I once again get time off, convince Sara I need to to climbing, pack a TON of gear and head to the valley. Driving alone for four hours before you go solo a wall gives you plenty of time to think about it. I had made my decision to try and do The Nose as my first El Cap route based on my distinct lack of iron. I chose to solo it because all of my climbing partners pooped their pants when I asked them to go up El Cap with me.

I arrive in the valley under the cover of darkness and head into camp four to sleep for a couple hours. I wake up on a cold picnic table, later than I wanted to. Oh well. I pack the haulbag one last time and drive to the bridge. I feel mightily insignificant humping my first load to the base of Pine Line. It is already 9am by the time I humpmy second load to the base.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I restfor a few minutes, then double checkmy systems and blastoff. I climb Pine Line quickly and find my way over to the start of The Nose.

Anchor built and haul set, I try to start hauling. I was using 1 to 1 hauling with a rock exotica wall hauler. Big noob move. I couldn't budge the load. I rap down to see if it is stuck. Nope. They haven't left the ground. By they, I mean my ledge, massive haul bag and 5 gallon food bucket I decid to use my third rope as a haul line too and set everything up as two loads on two lines. I jug back up and begin again.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I was able to haul it right up to the ledge above pine line and then clusterf*#k it to all hell in the tree. I rap down and fix it; jug up and finish the haul. I do this entire scenario again with the second load albeit it's a little lighter as its just the ledge and food bucket. Yes. Pitch zero out of the way and is only...oh. It's noon.

Finally, I get my act together for a couple pitches and am sitting at the base of the third pitch feeling pretty bad ass. I rack up for pitch 3 and cast off. Seems to be going great and I backclean every other piece or so. With about 20 feet to the anchors I stand up on an offset metolius and pop!

I guess I had back cleaned a bit before the piece I was on, as I immediately flipped upside down and did a head-first-slide-into-home-plate down 30 feet of the pitch. I rudely came to a stop and hung for a second. I righted myself and checked the sitch. I had a goose egg on my forehead that was bleeding but not bad. Worse was I had smashed the left lens of my nice smith glasses. I drank some water and jugged to my highpoint and set off again. I just figured that's what El Cap was all about. I got to the anchors, cleaned on rap and hauled my two loads. I decided to get some rest early and start early the next day.

I pulled out my ledge and set it up for the first time on a wall. Pitch 3 of The Nose is pretty slabby so my ledge was at an odd angle. I also did not know the trick of hanging weight off the inside edge on a slab. Instead I set it up and clambered below to my haulbag.

I proceeded to throw ( not clip in) my stove, my food, my sleeping bag and clothes up onto the ledge. I had my phone in my hand as I climbed up onto the ledge and as fast as you can say El Cap my ledge slid up the wall and I fell onto my daisies while watching everything plummet 300 feet to the base. I steady myself with both hands, With both hands!!!! I look down and see my phone slide off my leg and follow the rest of my gear on an express trip to the ground.

F*#k!!! I decide to bail. I guess I wasn't ready. I rig everything together into one giant mess and begin to rap. I near the bottom and have to endure two tourons asking about big walling as I wallow in my self pity. After packing everything up it is around 10 pm. I head back to the truck with one load, my ledge and ropes stashed at the base.

At this point I was feeling pretty low. I drive to the Yosemite store and used the pay phone to call Sara. I left a message saying I had to get another load in the morning but after I was gonna cut the trip short and head home early.

Credit: jcory86

I slept terribly. I couldn't stand the thought of going home with my tail completely between legs. I felt like I was giving up too easy. I woke up the next morning to the same cold table and drove back to the bridge to get my second load down from the base of the wall. I reracked, repacked the haulbag and headed to Degnans for a deg muffin and to call Sara. Sometime in the night I had decided that I would solo the prow. I felt stupid for not having tried that first anyway.

I parked at the Awahnee; left a note that I'll be on the wall and began the approach. I had slimmed down my gear food and water into one giant pig. I even had he ledge inside it so I could approach in one trip. All that said, the pig felt absolute enormous. I must have taken a hundred mini breaks on the way to the base. After a long two hours I found myself at the base of the 4th class that leads to the start of the climb. I muscled the bag up to the start of the climb and sat the eff down. I ate some food, drank water and started organizing for the climb. With the haul set and my anchor built I set off on the first pitch.

As I was aiding and solo I chose to forgo JoJo's crack and head up the original first pitch. I made it to the belay with little trouble, rapped, cleaned and hauled. I was feeling good and was having fun. I proceeded to knock out the 2nd and third pitch and was sitting at anchorage ledge around 3pm. I decided to set up my ledge and fix pitch 4.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I set up my ledge much more confidently than previously. It helped that anchorage ledge is nice to stand on whilst setting up camp. I set off on lead on the 4th pitch and had a blast. I took a couple photos while on lead. I also brought a can of Sierra Nevada (11 less than I tried hauling up the nose) to take a photo with for the "where CAN you go?" Contest from Sierra Nevada brewing. With the rope fixed I descended and spent a restful and satisfying night on the ledge.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I woke up early as I knew it was gonna be a big day. Due to my time constraints I knew I had to make it to the top that day. I felt like I really had my systems working well and made good progress.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I was at tapir terrace around 1pm so I stopped for a snack. After a quick bowl, jerky, candy and water break I set off again. I was on the 2nd to last pitch by dark. I hadn't climbed much in the dark yet so I kept my wits about me. I finished the last two pitches with the worst rope drag I've ever had. Must've messed up the system somewhere.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I set up the haul for the final pitch with a #4 in a dirty crack and a little manzanita tied off. I later learned there is a great place to haul further back and to the right. I couldn't see much with just a headlamp so I made do. I hauled for what seemed like an eternity. I kept wondering how there was that much rope out.! After getting my pig and ledge to a safe spot I unroped and scrambled to the summit to make a plan on how to get my bag up there. I scrambled back down and climbed the scariest pitch of the route. 4th class scrambling with the pig on my back.

I made it. I was at the top. It was midnight.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I threw my junk show everywhere and promptly started the stove to cook food. There was a small fire ring and some dry wood so I treated myself to a small fire and then passed the eff out.

I was visited a few times in the night by the infamous ringtail cat that lives up there. He wanted my trash bad. I managed to get a shot of him.

I woke up early the next day and got all my gear together for the descent. I had chose to rap the South Face as I knew the rappel route we from descending the South Face the previous year. Also, I had here that North Dome gully is awful to hike down with a pig. So, I made my way over to the top of the South Face, set up the first rappel and start heading down. I think it was 9 raps from the top to the bottom, 6 raps to Dinner Ledge. When I got to Dinner Ledge I took a break and drank some water. I rapped 3 more time to the ground and gathered myself and gear one last time and began the final descent.

Credit: jcory86
Credit: jcory86

I was resting every 200 feet on the talks. I was beat. As I got down to the valley and the trail became flatter I got more excited. The walk along the trail back to the awahnee was painful. I didn't stop, I knew it would be horrible to start again so I just kept walking. When I was just about to lose my sh#t...I hit the parking lot.

I had done it. I had soloed the prow. I was wrecked.

I unloaded and promptly began to cook soup and eat cheez-it's in the parking lot of the Awahnee. I got some strange looks. After loading my gear and stuffing my face I drove to El Cap meadow to relax and gaze up at my next adventure. The Prow was sent and I was happy.

Credit: jcory86




Notes: this is and will remain one of my most memorable climbs as it was my first successful solo. I learned a lot about my systems but also learned a lot about myself. I have the drive. I am willing to push myself to the limit for wall climbing. I absolutely love it.

The route goes hammer less no problem.

I will be back to do it in a day.




  Trip Report Views: 2,317
jcory86
About the Author
jcory86 is a big wall climber from Grass Valley, CA.

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

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Mar 6, 2013 - 06:45pm PT
Such grom to grace!

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Mar 6, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
Badass!
I bailed from the Kor roof once.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Mar 6, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Congrats on your ascent, seems like you were able to have a good time up there!
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Mar 6, 2013 - 07:32pm PT

Nice!!
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Mar 6, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
Talk to Russ Walling at Fish, and pick up a bunch of his Fish bags. They come in assorted colours and sizes so you can more easily remember what goes in what, and each has a clip-in loop and drawstring closure top.

They are indispensable for big wall camping, and you won't have stuff soloing on your ledge, or anyplace else, where it can fall.

The Fish Beef Bags are really handy for holding your peckers and hooks, too.

Nice send finally!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Mar 6, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
Great read and some good fotos too. Self portraits that are hand held are great but also get creative with where/how you set your camera and use the self timer for some shots at ledges and such. I think it would add a lot of perspective and depth to the scene and balance the visual style of the TR. Look forward to more. Way to see it through after a few retreats.
bob

climber
  Mar 6, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
Nice! The fourth photo down looking over to Half Dome is stellar. Seems to capture the ominous, yet beautiful at the same time.

Thanks

Bob J.
LuckyJack

Trad climber
Novato, CA
  Mar 7, 2013 - 02:25am PT
Nice TR! Big wall solo has never interested me, but I have deep respect for it. Way to push through after almost bailing on the trip!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Mar 7, 2013 - 03:41am PT
Awesome man! Good well written report, your psyche really comes thru! Nice photos!
Paul Brennan

Trad climber
Ireland
  Mar 7, 2013 - 04:01am PT
Good stuff man. Went through much the same process over the same time frame, just on different routes. Good effort on not bailing. Its too easy to do.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Mar 7, 2013 - 04:34am PT
Good job! Nice that you kept the motivation up after the bail.
Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
  Mar 7, 2013 - 08:32am PT
Nice tr and way to stay motivated! Its really hard to get psyched after a bail. TFPU
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Mar 7, 2013 - 09:41am PT
Nice! Well done.
Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
  Mar 7, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Awesome. Between this and your WFLT solo TR, you are crushing it in the bringing the stoke department. Thanks for sharing!
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Mar 7, 2013 - 12:03pm PT
Awesome TR and climb! Tfpu
mareko

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Mar 7, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Never give up! Great TR.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Mar 7, 2013 - 02:34pm PT
Big respect, man. Knocking down that many pitches solo in that kind of time can't be easy.

Were you using the continuous loop, something else?

Ballsy choice to rap the SF - how long did it take? Any rocks come down from those top pitches when you passed through with the pig, or when you pulled?

Thanks for the great TR.
The Call Of K2 Lou

Mountain climber
North Shore, BC
  Mar 7, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
Great TR. I thought the photo of the frozen waterfall spray (near the top of the page) was pretty cool, even though (or perhaps because?) my mind momentarily went in the gutter. (Anyone else?)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Mar 7, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Way to go!!
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Mar 19, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
Way to snatch Victory from the jaws of defeat. Awesome job. Thanks for the cool TR and pics.

Wes
jcory86

Big Wall climber
Grass Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 19, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Thanks everybody! I'm heading down in a few days to do wet denim daydream on the leaning tower. Will try to do it in 2 days as its my first A3 route.
Mikemcee- I just used a bunch of backup loops tied to me. It was heavy as sh#t and since I have changed to a continuous loop. I was just a noob!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Mar 20, 2013 - 02:40am PT
Crap, you rapped the SF? Musta been pretty desperate to avoid the gully.

Oh, crap, I almost died in the gully. Twice. Yeah, you made a goood choice.

Nice pic of the varmint. (:
martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Mar 20, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
great job! I really enjoyed the read.
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go
Washington Column - Prow C2F 5.6 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The line follows a series of small features.
Photo: Chris McNamara
Other Routes on Washington Column
Washington Column - South Face C1 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
South Face, C1 5.8
Washington Column
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The South Face of Washington Column.
Washington Column - Astroman 5.11c - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Astroman, 5.11c
Washington Column
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Astroman takes a brilliant steep and clean line.
Washington Column - Skull Queen C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Skull Queen, C2 5.8
Washington Column
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Skull Queen.
Washington Column - Re-animator A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Re-animator, A3 5.8
Washington Column
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The steepest route on the Column.
Washington Column - Ten Day's After A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Ten Day's After, A3 5.8
Washington Column
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

A series of steep corners lead to an exposed face.
More routes on Washington Column