Prow C2F 5.6
Trip ReportProw - May 2013
I can't do one for every trip but I try to do a few TR's each year. Here's one from mid may.
I finally feel better from a should injury a while back (training for astroman which is now back in sight=) I'm looking to get a warm up wall for the season and my bud Yafer (Jeff) is looking to do his first wall. We know each other from stoney point where he is a staple from way back and a lot closer to my parents age than mine. He's wanted to climb a wall before, even trained for it, but it was not in the cards with those partners at that time. That was years ago and Jeff had nearly forgotten how to set up his jumars and was not very efficient at first so it's a gopod thingwe practiced before the trip. I've had too many walls go south because of rook partners (only ones dumb enough to climb with me???). I don't mean beginner climbers either, just new to wall/aid climbing. Too many times I've let first time wallers tell me they "trained" only to find out the true nature of it too late.
So I kept us on track as we practiced at stoney point...
and at suicide on the pirate
I had Jeff do a mock lead. He was aid climbing the pirate on top rope, and I was belaying him from my jumars on a fixed line. He would climb and I would jumar up beside him, belaying and giving him placement tips and feedback about how he could be more efficient.
Whenever we practiced I made sure to time our laps. This is a great way to learn efficiency and benchmark yourself. Talk about strategy between laps and time it the same each lap. Do a pitch 3+ times and see how much you can improve. Time both the leader and cleaner, then switch and repeat.
I also tried to free climb the pirate on top rope. It was really hard! I was able to do a lot of moves down low, but would have zero chance of moving more than a few moves at a time. This was all on top rope too, forget about hanging around to place gear! I was able the free the first 10 or 15 feet though and also from where the crack opens about mid height to the anchors...so I guess it's just a 30 foot section I need to work =)
As the planned valley date got closer we were considering something on the column or an easier/shorter el cap route. Given the 30% rain forecast and it being Jeffs first wall and all we settled on the column...
I put plasti-dip on my shoes and was really happy. None of the stitching is frayed (2 walls later) and it was only a bit less breathable. I will do this to all my wall shoes from now on.
We hiked in and fixed 3 pitches the first day, a 70 m rope will reach from the top of P2 to the base. Jeff slowly lead the first pitch and I took over after that.
We hiked in another load that evening and blasted the next morning. The forecast was for a high in the 60's and 30% rain so we had our weather gear handy. We saw everyone (3 parties) from dinner ledge bail as well as several parties just starting up that morning. Scardy cats. This left the wall empty and did not see anyone for for the next two days. It sprinkled on and off but never really opened up. With the overhanging nature of pitches 3-6 we barely felt any rain.
I got a chance to practice my 2:1 ratchet on the slabby double rope haul to p3. I also tried to 1:1 for comparison and while I was able to body haul this section the 2:1 was far easier and left me with much more energy to start the next pitch. On the next few pitches body hauling was faster and easier (steeper terrain and fee hanging hauls). 2:1 ratchet - nice tool to have in your bag of tricks.
I ended up giving myself war paint sometime that day.
Jeff was really tired from cleaning and I realized we should have practiced more overhanging jugging. Jeff followed the last pitch of the day in the dark..
Jeff was totally knackered when he finally got to the belay.
I almost had to force him to eat that night but although physically spent he had the will and fight of a champ and never gave up or complained! Great attitude which is such a huge piece of the wall game.
While pitching the ledge that night I dropped my ipod an a small set of speakers...oh well...Jeff said we'd find it at the base...yeah right...dropped a keyhole hanger then next morning too, lucky that was all.
It was cold that night (in the 30's) and we had a few more sprinkles. When I awoke it was awesome to look outside. I could see nothing but the wall and clouds. Occasionally a holewould drift by, a little window to the valley floor or the face of half dome. Sheer magic. It cleared up fairly quick and was partly cloudy and in the low 70's that day.
The belay at the top of p6 was sweet for a ledge.
I linked the strange dihedral to tapir terrace the next day back-cleaning from the top of the dihedral all the way until the bolts below tapir so that Jeff would not have to do any lower-outs or clean a big traverse. In order to safely climb while back cleaning I used 3 daises/screamers and really ran it out, mostly on fixed heads and/or pins.
Jeff was more on rhythm today and we blasted to the top.
We spent the night on top and hiked down the next day. North dome gully was not as bad as I expected with a haul bag. I had done it 4 or 5 times without a bag before this though. If this was my first wall/descent I would have been hating it lol!
me on top:
WE saw some people climbing Quantum Mechanic on the way down. They were making quick work of it. I believe this is on a variation to the route which avoids the general relativity pitches a rejoining the route at the ledge just past the eye of einstein. The climber are to the left of the actual route and the eye of einstein I think goes up the right side of pointy pillar to the right of the leader. Anyone confirm this??? Amazing how steep the wall is...this shot makes it look kinda steep but in reality it was WAY STEEP!!!
I ended up finding everything I dropped right at the base of the route in grass. Beware the bivy site at the base (near start of Afroman, not after the final 4th class section) is in the line of fire for anything dropped from P3-7. I'm glad no one was sleeping there when I dropped my stuff at night.
Not only did I find my keyhole hanger, ipod + speakers (both broken) but I also bootied 2 cams and a few nuts!
We finished off the trip with some bouldering
but mostly just sat around and dreamed of whats next...
I really wanted to go back and solo this in a day but eventually wound up doing something bigger/faster which will be my next TR =)
Here are some general notes from what I remember of the route and what we took.
Rack we took:
1 set micro nuts
1 set micro offset nuts
1 set nuts
1 set offset nuts
3x set micro cams (1 regular 2 offset)
3x cams #1,2
2 small cam hooks
2 medium cam hooks
cliffhanger, grappling and talon hooks
some beaks/pins and heads
lots of biners/slings/draws
Next time I would not bring regular micro nuts (just offsets). I would bring 1.5 set of normal sized nuts (mixture of offset and regular) and I would only bring 2 each #1/2 cams and maybe only 1 #3, and no #4 (this would mean having to free the second to last pitch - 5.9 wide - but short - if aiding bring 2x#3 and the #4). Also I would only bring a few heads just in case but no other pins or hooks except the cam hooks...maybe one beak...but probably not. Looked straight forward to free/french pitches 1-2, and everything above tapir terrace, but I was in aid mode and didn't even bring my free shoes. (seemed like the strange dihedral would go free easily, but not the section after it). The hauling suck on the last few pitches. I would suggest setting an oppositional cam about 30 feet down and climbers left of the belay after the 5.0 gully up high. this will keep the bag/rope out of the bad flake noted on the topo. It is easy to rap down on the end of the lead line and set this piece (#2 or 3 cam I think). no jugging required, just a little walk down a slab will save much frustration.
Cheers and thanks for tuning in-
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