Skull Queen C2 5.8

 
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Washington Column


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
SQIAD
Monday January 3, 2011 2:44pm
I had just finished my final exams, and NEEDED to get off the deck. But where may one do such in the middle of December? Thankfully, the Valley gods graced us with a dry weekend and minimal snow just after my finals ended. Game on.
The team was as follows:
1) Elliot Faber AKA Faberaid
Faberaid
Faberaid
Credit: Mittens

Faber is a crafty and unassuming 20 year old whose infectious psyche and enthusiasm is capable of clearing the heaviest of Yosemite storms. He is extremely talented with tools and is destined to become a great aid climber. He recently soloed the WF of Leaning Tower.
2) Zach Parke aka Zacksquatch
Credit: Mittens
Zach is a multifaceted bike messenger with a quiet, yet uncontrollable affinity for climbing. Zach has his own company, Prototype, and makes handmade chalk bags, wall hammocks (see Mark Hudon's Shield TR), Aiders, and really anything you may ask him to. Buy his stuff. He also recently sent Mescalito.
3) Mark Seelos AKA Mittens
Credit: Mittens
A veteran supertopo Troll, you may recognize me as an annoyance with nothing worthwhile to contribute to this forum. As such, take this trip report as an apology for all of those "Grack Redpoint" Posts. If you've climbed a wall in Yosemite in the last year, you may have seen me bailing off of it. Yet still determined to break "free" of my free climbing comfort zone, aid climbing is finally starting to become first nature.

Our friend Scott gave us the beta that the Column was the wall to do, and the route we settled on was Skull Queen.

We hiked out to the base the night before after cragging at the Cookie. We slept in that sweet little cave and started climbing at 5:15ish
Note my "Devil Lock" hairstyle, which Zach gave me the night before.
Note my "Devil Lock" hairstyle, which Zach gave me the night before.
Credit: Mittens
Starting the first pitch.
Starting the first pitch.
Credit: Mittens
We used the "SHORT FIXING" method, which kicks ass! The first four pitch block was mine, and I climbed fast, doing a ton of free climbing.
Credit: Mittens
Zach Crushed the second block quick, but bloodied his finger while testing a micronut on the 6th pitch. (Fixed heads are missing on this pitch). Sadly, the only photo we got of Zach leading his block sucked, but Faber got a nice one of his feet.
Credit: Mittens
Also notable in Zach's block is that he got through the 5.9 OW by standing ON the #5 cam and thrutching a few feet past it in approach shoes.
Next came Faber's block. The 9th pitch went fast with many fixed heads, bringing us to the Clance Stance.
Credit: Mittens
Looking down from the Clance Stance.
Looking down from the Clance Stance.
Credit: Mittens
This next pitch was the crux of the climb and Faber's Hardest aid lead to date. He crushed it and had fun the whole time!
Credit: Mittens
Credit: Mittens
Squatch at the Clance Stance.
Squatch at the Clance Stance.
Credit: Mittens
The next pitch went fast: a spectacular paper-thin lieback flake slabbing out onto the top of the column.
We made the summit at 5:15ish, 12 hours after we started.
Post Wall Depression.
Post Wall Depression.
Credit: Mittens
The NDG was EASY AS EVER, as much of the snow has melted and made the dusty kitty litter into hard packed dirt. It went fast and soon we were back at the base.
Burning stogies after firing Skull Queen.
Burning stogies after firing Skull Queen.
Credit: Mittens
We met our friend Shaun and Faber's Faberette, Sarah, back in Camp 4 and after hanging out for an hour, Zach, Sean, and I made the drive back to Santa Cruz (enduro crux). We stopped once en route for Chalupas (no meat), which are ONLY good after a long day of climbing.
We all had a lot of fun, and were psyched to get such a nice weekend in the middle of Winter. We can't wait to climb another route! I see this as the first of many wall sends this year!
Thanks for reading!

  Trip Report Views: 5,420
Mittens
About the Author
Mittens is a climber from Santa Cruz.

Comments
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murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Jan 3, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
Suite! Thanks for the great TR!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jan 3, 2011 - 02:52pm PT
Good job. Summit Smokes are cool.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 3, 2011 - 02:53pm PT
Good Job fellas!

I love Washington Column (4 ascents total) and I love the cigar finish. You must have been pretty "burnt".

Thanks for dragging me along!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Jan 3, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Excellent! The Kids come through again.
Mark Not-circlehead

climber
Martinez, CA
  Jan 3, 2011 - 03:04pm PT
Great ascent. I did SQ in 1992or93, in a couple days. Good route. Took my first (and only) fall on aid on the crux pitch. Crappy micronuts in crappy rock = 40' fall.

Good job, and was fun reading your account.
Prod

Trad climber
  Jan 3, 2011 - 03:23pm PT
Nice
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jan 3, 2011 - 04:56pm PT
Cool adventure, thanks for taking us there.


More fun Than soloing Chouinard Herbert and down climbing SS?
MH2

climber
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
If you have nothing to contribute to this forum you are a hero of mine, already. Nice TR, though.
Muddud

Social climber
the Cruz of Santa, CA
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:15pm PT
nice stogey faces on that last one, mark. crikey, you write like a college student! :D

naw, that looks rad! i'll keep living vicariously through you and faber/zack.
squeakyboater

climber
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
Nice job, and no mention of the fact that you climbed through a tree?
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:17pm PT
excellent
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:20pm PT
Way to tick off the queen!

I almost died on that route from 100+ degree temps.

You guys looked comfy.

Mucci
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
Looks like it was fun! (I guess I better get to work on my Shield TR, eh?)
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Jan 3, 2011 - 05:28pm PT
Yep-me likka this Report. Sense of humor is always a plus and looks like you had a great voyage. Looking forward to more.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 3, 2011 - 09:48pm PT
Nice Job boys, thanks for posting up!
squatch

Boulder climber
santa cruz, CA
  Jan 3, 2011 - 10:02pm PT
good stuff!
yeah pretty psyched on the next one!
socialclimber

climber
CA
  Jan 3, 2011 - 10:31pm PT
That was by far one of the best contributions in a long time, by anyone...

Charles
Mittens

climber
Author's Reply  Jan 4, 2011 - 02:42am PT
It's funny, the crap photo mentioned earler was of Zach climbing through the said tree!
Here it is:
Just a little jungle mountaineering.
Just a little jungle mountaineering.
Credit: Mittens
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Jan 3, 2011 - 11:32pm PT
Nice job boys!!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jan 3, 2011 - 11:47pm PT
5.9 OW by standing ON the #5 cam and thrutching a few feet


will have to try that one. new techniques are where you find them.

heh


nice job guys!
jahil

Social climber
London, Paris, WV & CA
  Jan 4, 2011 - 01:28pm PT
I love you guys.
Zander

climber
  Jan 4, 2011 - 01:42pm PT
Oh Yeah!
Mike.

climber
  Jan 4, 2011 - 01:53pm PT
Nice surgical strike--congrats on bagging it.

Thanks for demonstrating that, with a little go-for-it-ness, the wide pod is no big deal.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 4, 2011 - 04:47pm PT
Nice work guys. Reminded me of a similar, youthful, eleventh hour trip up the Prow BITD. Glad to see the post-climb stogie tradition hasn't skipped a generation.
squeakyboater

climber
  Jan 4, 2011 - 04:58pm PT
Ahh, climbing through a tree. That route is supper cool.

Why do people do the south face instead? that said I have only rappeled it, but it looked way less classic that SQ.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Jan 4, 2011 - 09:24pm PT
Attitude is everything!
'Love the crisp bios.
A CultClassic TR.
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
  Jan 4, 2011 - 09:35pm PT
rack beta? lay it down!
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jan 4, 2011 - 09:39pm PT
A ray of light in the darkness of winter... thanks for keeping the torch burning for us!
Mittens

climber
Author's Reply  Jan 5, 2011 - 12:23am PT
Wow, thanks for all the comments- this weekend's weather might be good for another one!
As far as the rack goes, we agreed that the MVPs (Most Valuable Pieces) were DMM brass and alloy offsets. Supertopo's suggestions are good. Bring offsets, you will be glad.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Jan 4, 2011 - 11:33pm PT
Nice TR, Mittens. The Column is an Awesome rock.
Enjoyed the Memory Lane thing....Skull Queen was my 1st solo, so Yeah, your pics brought it back, Vivid!
Dig it! TFPU!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Jun 9, 2011 - 07:14pm PT
Bump for a little more Zach
BrianH

Trad climber
santa fe
  Aug 12, 2011 - 04:49pm PT
Love the enthusiasm.
crackfiend

climber
Springdale, Utah
  Aug 12, 2011 - 05:09pm PT
nice tr mark. Hope to rope up with you again someday. I think the salathe gets the "most epic bail" award.
Silver

Gym climber
  Aug 12, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Cool stuff man I love yer attitudes and continued Zach bumps.

Keep living the dream men.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 12, 2011 - 07:08pm PT
Missed this the first two times. Nice Work Men!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Aug 16, 2011 - 01:24pm PT
awesome.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Aug 16, 2011 - 10:12pm PT
Good on you youth!
Silver

Gym climber
  Jan 30, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
bumped for Zach.
fsck

climber
  Jan 30, 2012 - 05:01pm PT
excellent.

WATCH FOR CYCLISTS

that is all.
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 30, 2012 - 07:42pm PT
Super Cool! It's very heartening to see a new generation of climbers go out and pull off stuff like this. Again, soooooo cool!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jan 30, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
Great TR, thanks!
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Washington Column - Skull Queen C2 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Skull Queen.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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The South Face of Washington Column.
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Astroman takes a brilliant steep and clean line.
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The line follows a series of small features.
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The steepest route on the Column.
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A series of steep corners lead to an exposed face.
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