Trip Report
TR pics: AquaChossy (April 2005)
Friday February 22, 2008 12:45am
OK Folks, dying for some photos so I dug up my own.

Breaking off from Upper Yosemite Falls Trail near the rim, beginning the 3rd-class approach to Via Aqua:

Sketchy 3rd-class traverse...

Looking down on lower yosemite falls:

Views from belay at top of P1:

Ritwik following up the awkward OW on the second half of P1:

  Trip Report Views: 1,794
About the Author
nutjob is a climber from Berkeley, CA.

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nick d

Trad climber
  Feb 22, 2008 - 12:56am PT
In the first photo, is that guy wearing a sombrero? Or does he have a super-bad afro?

Either way, I dig it

Thanks for posting up!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Author's Reply  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:29am PT
I loved that hat, and sadly can't even remember where lost it. I could flip it up sombrero style, or turn it down for the cool rice-paddy look. That thing saved my @ss while climbing through the rain and hail half-way up the regular route of fairview dome... I could look up just enough to see where to stick my hands, without getting hail chunks pelting my eyes. And it was only 8 bucks.

The only problem was deciding whether to bring that for sun/rain protection, or the helmet for rockfall protection. Usually the sombrero won. If I find another place to buy them, I might get 2 and chop out the brim to tape onto my climbing helmet.

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Author's Reply  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:35am PT
I found some more pics of that hat... these are from Snake Dike (Aug 2003):


formerly El Portal
  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:36am PT
It looks vaguely like it could be the battered hat we found stuck on the slab off to the right of The Boltway on Stately Pleasure Dome last summer...

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Author's Reply  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:48am PT
The Hat - royal arches (apr 2005):

heavy water flowing, dicey ascent:

I owe it all to the hat:

after this pendulum section in the undercling, water was running up my arms nearly to my chest:

it doesn't look like much, but I had a mini-epic getting across the 1/2 inch thick layer of super-slime. that sheee is nasty:

and after a rap cluster-f# and getting to the ground at 10pm, that hat kept me in good spirits:

I really loved that hat.

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:53am PT
I have a hat like that, you can still find them at music festivals for pretty cheap.

edit, It's actually my husbands hat, we battle over who gets to use it.
Trusty Rusty

Tahoe Area
  Feb 22, 2008 - 02:56am PT
Glad you lost the hat bro, clearly time to redefine your image. Consider the 08 appeal of a leather bonnet or beer can hat.
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
  Feb 22, 2008 - 03:04am PT
You and tarbuster should trade notes on hat lore.

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Feb 22, 2008 - 03:06am PT
I think he looks cute in that hat! They really are great for sun protection..big rim and work pretty good in the wind.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Feb 22, 2008 - 09:21am PT
Looks like the kind of hat worn by the Australian Lifeguards. After the Santa Cruz team went down under they all came back wearing those.

That slime on the Arches can be SCARY. Thanks for the pics.

right here, right now
  Feb 22, 2008 - 09:29am PT
Life is too short to go without a proper lid for any length of time.
Go git' yer bad self another brim,...bro.
Nice pictures; a couple/three more would do nicely.
John Moosie

Beautiful California
  Feb 22, 2008 - 03:02pm PT
Thanks for the trip report.

More pics please......haha..

Aren't we a greedy bunch.

  Feb 22, 2008 - 08:22pm PT
Nice pics. I hope you catch some sun tomorrow so you can wear a hat.
See ya,

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Author's Reply  Feb 23, 2008 - 02:54am PT
I think I'm gonna miss this weekend in the valley :(
... but I'll try to round up a partner for next Tuesday when its sunny and blow off work :)

And for more hat pics, I may have to break out the old pre-digital photos and have to scan... I don't think I have the luxury to procrastinate that much right now... just small doses. Will see if there's any more in the digital catalog.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Feb 23, 2008 - 06:22pm PT
Cool to see this TR along with Overhang Bypass because both routes were recommended grade IIs in Roper's original red guidebook, which I often thought about but never got around to climbing.

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Author's Reply  Feb 24, 2008 - 02:25pm PT
Note this is not for Via Aqua... on this particular day we started with Commitment, then linked to Selaginella, then finished with a hike up the trail to go do Via Aqua, got too sketched out on the approach, and did a first ascent (AquaChossy) instead.

The next weekend we hiked up the trail (didn't link any climbs) and did the real Via Aqua, which was fun but way more mellow. We topped out in mid-afternoon and enjoyed hanging out at the tourist railing on that trip, versus the present report which resulted in us reaching the car at 4am after a "just get through it" cold and wet rap-bail down the AquaMist chimney and cold/wet retreat when we didn't know we had reached a walk-off point at the rim. Somewhere here I think I wrote up the details a while back.

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Mar 12, 2014 - 04:42pm PT

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Apr 25, 2014 - 05:07pm PT
I was skimming the trip reports and saw it got bumped fairly recently. I just talked with Ritwik today for the first time in a long while. We both still remember this one!

One of the highlights was a belay in a green mossy dripping cave, with 3 crappy horizontal cams and chest wedged in the squeeze chimney to complete the anchor. We ended up not being able to pull off an overhanging wide fist section after that, and there were some shenanigans learning how to aid climb traverse around it, hanging on questionable opposing horizontal nuts looking at a decent pendulum back into a corner, and groveling up a dirty slippery steep gully while tangled up in slings.

To this day, whenever I feel cold, I think back to belaying Ritwik across the 3rd class water-running slabs sometime after midnight with the waterfall yielding a cold rain across the entire western part of the basin. I've had shiver bivies plenty of times, but this was a different class of endurance. Not outright pain like swimming in snow runoff, just a grinding minute-by-minute survival in life-seeping cold and wet after a full-value day, hoping for my partner to yell Off Belay! so I could start to move again and generate some heat. Playing little mind games like exerting control over the autonomous shiver response. After we got back to the trail, it was still a long trudge, especially for Ritwik with his bum knee that couldn't handle downhill stuff. But the mental pressure, the suffering phase was done, and it was just a casual period of mental wandering while the legs brought us back to the car. In those days, we were too manly to stop and bivy after a hard day. We drove back to SF bay, and that's how we liked it. Of course, we had to stop at Denny's in Oakdale for the obligatory 6am breakfast. That summer I started recognizing the late night / early morning waitresses!

I've worked out some of the kinks in uploading my older pictures. Here we go!

Back when NutAgain tried to look respectable on work days:

My main man Ritwik saved me in the summer of 2005. It was my first weekend warrior immersion in Yosemite:

A few pics going up Commitment:

Somewhere on Selaginella?

Too cool for school. Wasn't there a hero or poser-shots thread? And I do believe that is an authentic Supertopo topo in my hand:

File this somewhere in there too:

You can see the people down on Lower Falls trail:

Based on the order of pictures, this must also be on Selaginella:

The falls are ragin'!

The weather is brisk:

Somewhere in this picture is where I spent my strongest memories of being cold, about 10-12 hours after taking this picture:

Sombrero si, afro no:

This must be taken through the "rock window" that is described in various old online accounts of the approach to Via Aqua:

Committing to some sketchy exploration to find the start of this darned route:

Changing mind:

Dude, do you really think this is where we're supposed to go?

Indeed it was:

And then after that we had another "is this really the way?" moment and balked. The following week we went for it, and kept on a more sketchy traverse and scramble past where he is in the pic above.

But we gave up that day on Via Aqua, and our eyes caught another line. Here's looking down the first pitch of what turned out to be our new route. Lots of standard 5.8 awkward flaring OW groveling, too tight of a flare to face it straight on and get both hands/fists in there:

The next pitch I recall was a slightly wider than heel-toe and involved an insane amount of granite ball bearings. I had big chunks of rocks coming out of my underwear when we got home later. Sorry to spoil the ending, we didn't die. No pics of that pitch. Or the slimy mossy cave pitch.

But outstanding angle to view the valley:

Hoh man, I think this was the part where the wheels started coming off. I think I had just ripped out of a fist jam and chewed up my skin pretty good, slithered back down to the mossy wet alcove, and here's Ritwik giving it his best shot. It's probably not much more than 5.10a, but we were pretty beat by this point in the day, and I was a 5.9 adventure climber at that time with almost no 5.10 pitches under my belt. (Whereas now nearly a decade later I'm a 5.9 adventure climber out of shape with a few handfuls of 5.10 pitches under my belt).


I have a few videos from the dial twisting when I tried to take stills inside the slimy moss alcove. But they are just black and grainy with the loud noise of a waterfall. Well, that's it. Hope it was worth your reading time.


Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Apr 25, 2014 - 05:38pm PT
Wow Nut! This is what it's all about man. Adventuring, and getting to know your home area inside and out!

Oakland, CA
  Apr 29, 2014 - 08:40pm PT
Grippa said it well, man.

Having heard you describe this day many times, it's awesome to see the pics...

I remember this guy:


Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Feb 14, 2017 - 02:55pm PT
BBST - boom! For those looking at Geek Tower Center, you would have fun over in this area too.
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