Scorched Earth A4 5.8
Trip ReportScorched Earth interview with Randy Leavitt
scorched earth interview with Randy Leavitt on 2/22/2011
Rob Slater had scoped it. He actually had the name picked before he saw the line and I liked it as well. (its a civil war reference).
"Lefebure" was hottest woman Rob had seen. No relevance to the route. He just had the name and wanted to use it. so it got used on the first new pitch of the climb.
Big Brother was the hardest pitch which is reference to 1984 Orwell book
Steeper Than God is the steepest pitch i had done on El Cap. Maybe one of the steepest pitches on El Cap. It probably overhangs 50 feet."
The Poison Pill was extremely scary. I was surprised to hear it is still there! I wouldn't aid that pitch these days because i value my life more than putting cams behind a loose block. After climbing Wyoming Sheep Ranch in 1984, Rob went to work at the Chicago Board of Trade to try and get rich. The Poison Pill is a reference to his line of work. It is something you put in a deal to prevent a hostile takeover"
Son of Poison Pill was maybe even looser but it was easier to weight the rock around it.
Walt Shipley and Toy Johnson had started on Native Son right before we started. We had independent starts but we thought we were racing for the upper pitches. Luckily, it turned out we had scoped different lines. They took the Finger of Fate while we went to the right to the Leavittator. It all worked out, but for a moment there we though we were racing for a first ascent.
On the Leavittator my biggest cam was 6" homemade Yaniro cam. I would then put it against wood blocks (something I learned on Excalibur). I would free climb, sometimes up to 5.11, then hang on the cam. I ran it our because didn't have much gear. It was one of my most memorable leads. It was mostly 8-inches - a bit of a scary size. Often the most memorable pitches are offwidths because you can't fake your way up a 8-inch crack when your biggest piece is 6 inches. Today, with monster cams, that pitch is probably C1.
Farewell Yosemite was named because it was Robs last big Yosemite climb. There was nothing left he really wanted to big wall climbing in Yosemite. You spend enough time on the wall and feel like you've done enough. Its not that interesting. Its not new territory anymore. We both wanted to find new territory.
Randy taught rob to BASE jump but they were not big jumping partners because randy was on fed probation for getting busted after climbing El Cap and jumping off.
Lost in American was a great line. If you look at it in morning light, can see the whole thing connect. I like to see a line. Scorched Earth doesn't really have that kinda line, but it has really cool parts of the wall connected to Aurora and Tangerine Trip.
Rob was favorite climbing partner. We just always had a really good time.
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