Tribal Rite A4 5.5
Trip ReportTRIBAL RITE party wall pleasure cruise 2014
This TR will reflect my point of view primarily because im the only one with the amount of time to waste to write it. Having that said, my other two partners were Matt Lambert(Lambone) and Keenan Waeschle.
Keenan and I hiked to the base (Matt still on his way to the ditch) and Keenan lead the first pitch. Always a little nervous at the beginning because its hard to believe that your bigwall skills with just come right back after a year of lying dormant in the back of the closet. But with a little over-confidence we set right off. P1 went smooth, just a few small penji's, more fun for the follower really. I got P2, a fun corner up to a nice ledge. Upon topping out the ledge, It was quite clear PTPP had been here. His junk show was in full effect and ofcourse clogging up the anchors. We pushed on to the second half of P2 and fixed two ropes to the ground. Already passed Pete on day 1!
We shlepped all our sh#t up to the base of New Dawn and re-packed into 2 grade 7 haul bags and 1 piglet to hold all our sleeping bags and some clothes. Pretty impressed with being able to fit about 70 liters of water with all the food and such. We jugged the fixed lines to p1 anchor hauled the two bags individually and then hauled up to p2 anchors. We did this so quickly that our plan to fix another pitch was outweighed by drinking cobra in the meadow so we rapped and did just that.
We drank beer.
Woke up, jugged lines and began the PLEASURE CRUISE TO THE TOP. Matt lead p3 which he said was nbd and we got to listen to Keenan cry a little on the c3 hooks on p4. It was the classic "hey watch me on this one..... but actually..... NO FOR REAL.......PUT THE BEER DOWN AND BELAY ME!!" Looked exciting, hooking directly off a slew of rivets. We set up the junk show at the base of p5 and began the tradition of keenan and matt drinking beer and eating while I end up fixing a pitch at the end of the day when its cold and im tired. I dont remember that pitch being too bad, just a nice rolling corner with many offsets. After I fixed p5 it was back to the ledges to chill and bivy. So began our habbit of sleeping in until around 11 am and BY NO MEANS climbing past 5pm, THIS IS MY VACATION.
Today began with jugging the pitch I fixed last night and hauling the bags, still two separate hauls. Meanwhile Matt jugged the fixed line and racked up to lead while Keenan broke down camp and cut the bags loose. This 3 man system proved to be much more efficient than I had anticipated, also its really nice to have someone to talk to. Matt Lead p6 without a problem and Keenan blasted the last pitch to lay lady ledge before I had even finished hauling the previous pitch. The hauling up to lay lady sucked and required space hauling with me freeing the bags but it wasn't awful. ONCE AGAIN I got to fix a pitch, only this was to be my least favorite aid climbing pitch pretty much ever. After drinking a cobra and celebrating the flat ground we had scored, I headed up p8 the 170 foot 5.9 or c1 with loose blocks. This pitch sucks, just bumping cams forever and doing everything you can to not touch the loose blocks and kill ur partners on the ledge directly below. I opted to free climb over left into a neighboring corner and penji back to the anchors at the top. That 170 foot rappel back to lay lady ledge felt glorious, in the spirit of the climb I played some Bob Dylan and gazed out over the east face of el cap, such a beautiful wall with absolutely nobody on it. We were alone except for Alex Honnold and Dave Allfrey going they're 7 el cap routes in 7 days, but they were usually topped out before we even woke up anyway so whatever.
Today was another kind of "get it done day", in fact, pretty much every day on new dawn was like, okay, this kinda sucks, but we're on El Cap! In my opinion at least. I jugged and hauled the monster that is p8 and I believe Keenan thrutched his way up the wide p9 to the right shoulder of El Cap tower. Keenan got a free pass to chill at the p9 anchors while Matt and I climbed the next 2 pitches to get to the right side of the Texas flake to haul. P10 was all free climbing and kinda scary right under the ECT ledge, no pro and a bunch of slopers and slanted ramps. I had to take my gloves off for a few of the moves. I got to the ledge pulled up all the rope and short fixed the next pitch to the right shoulder of the Texas flake ledge. Arriving at the belay I was a little concerned that there was only a single good 3/8th in bolt and a quarter incher. Hauled off the single bolt backed up by the quarter incher and we added another 3/8th in bolt far right so it would be a good hauling and bivy bolt. For a change keenan was the fixer tonight, he made his way up the Texas flake and took the easier route on the left side like a smart person. Dont follow the bolt! Bivied and listened to more of Keenans podcasts, at this point I am beginning to warm up to them, but only the ones that have female narrators..
On day 4 I got to lead the boot flake which took me longer than I thought it would. I have absolutely no idea how anyone could free the lower section of the boot, so thin! Anyway, at the top of the boot we finally get to start Tribal Rite! We handed the first pitch to Matt, he styled it fairly quickly. Looked really interesting with a few hook moves in between the roof and the c3f corner. Keenan set off to p2 the c2 awk with c3 fixed heads, handled it and all the sudden, we were hanging out watching the sun set. Finishing by 5 or 6 every day was so cool, time to sit and reflect, and remember why you are doing it. Climbing is really fun, but id like to think that I get something els out of climbing walls. I think mostly what might be is perspective, on what work and fun is, but also perspective on that golden ratio of how much work you must do to award yourself this fun.
The bags are getting lighter, but the climbing is getting harder so really excited for these next couple pitches. We dident fix yesterday so I am leading right off the bivy onto p3. The first move on this pitch I think was the worst placement for me on the route. I blew the cable on a small head while lightly bouncing it and had to beak on top of it with a very shallow tomahawk to reach the next rivet. From there is was rivets all the way up a corner to a roof which had some cool moves to a quarter incher splitshank a half inch out of the wall then heads and beaks to the top. Keenan took p4 to the base of the Carrot, basically a rivet ladder with some penji's to a sweet ledge. We set up camp while Matt began up the OCEAN of fixed heads to the base of Carrot, great job Matt! After clipping 20 or 30 heads he arrived at the base of the "expando" carrot and slammed a beak in. Matt seemed to style the remainder of the pitch without much pause. Ironically all three of us climbed relatively fast, none of us spent more than 2 hours on a pitch on the whole climb. Where others climb fast to get more pitches done, we climb fast to get to the bivy ledge EARLIER to drink more BEER. By this point we are all lost in time, not really wanting to get off the wall, nor, stay on it; kindof an indifference.
Today began with jugging and hauling the carrot. I got to lead p6 which was certainly my favorite pitch I lead. Really weird c3+ crack that goes in at 2 different angles and makes for really creative gear placements. Up to a corner with 2 rivets placed to avoid ripping a torso sized death block, up a head ladder with a time bomb head placement that I removed with my hand DIDN'T GET ME THIS TIME. Slammed in a LA and called it even (the only pin a placed all route, except for beaks obviousley) after that is was mixed beaks and offsets to the anchors with a little free climbing. Keenan took p7 to the bivy ledge, I wish I had video taped the whole ordeal. So Keenan romped up the easy corner and hit the rivet ladder. We were mostly using cinch hangers for rivets but had a few leeper hangers for clipping rivets as pro. Keenan was for some reason on 2 shitty hooks and attempted to put a hanger on the next rivet. It dident fit, so what does he do? HAMMERS IT ON! PING! Matt catches the rivet hanger and I try to tell Keenan to calm down, because we caught the hanger. Keenan at this point tells me that he doesn't give a single f*#k about the hanger but is rather concerned that he just knocked out the rivet and is now standing on 2 opposed shitty hooks that are going to blow at any second. He calls for the bolt kit and I look at Matt, we exchange looks of "yeah that will take a while" and look up to Keenan, "you should just skip it"! Keenan screeches back down at us and we tag up the bolt kit. There is now a shiny new rivet for all of you monkeys on p7 of tribal rite! (Keenan replaced all the missing rivets on the pitch totaling 3 I believe). In a frenzy of trying to be quick, I forgot to clip the 40 pound gear/pin bag to the pigs and now I have to jug the pitch with it.... F*#K. Matt fixed 8 right up underneath the rurp pitch. It certainly didn't go down without a fight; I think matt left his giant meat hook and a camhook as pro. It was also quite comical when we were drinking beer on the ledge watching mat fix the anchor 160 feet up and all we can hear is "f*#k you tagline.....F*#K YOU". The last night on a bigwall is always magical, the first time I had ever actually wanted to stay, instead of getting off.
The last day on the wall was so intimidating, WE HAD TO CLIMB MORE THAN 3 PITCHES TODAY HOLY SH#T! I woke up early and coaxed the other two awake. Matt was not having it and remained in his bag well into the morning as the 90 degree sun engulfed the east face of the captain. Keenan racked up and jugged up to the base of his feature pitch of the route "the rurp pitch". Matt and I pulled out his single ledge and CHILLED while Keenan laid siege to the thin seam. Unfortunately he finished it in like an hour and a half and we had to break the ledge down. Matt jugged the fixed haul line and I began releasing the 2 bags (we are doing single hauls now instead of 2 separate). I got p10 which I will tell you now, is much safer to lead than follow! a few bands of rivets connected by solid spoonbill hooks. I reached a ledge which I traversed... and traversed.... and traversed until I rounded a corner and saw the anchors... and what lie between us. I did a few free moves that felt pretty hard and clipped a fixed nut to gain the ledge and once at the anchors I immediately became very concerned that Matt and Keenan wouldn't be able to make the lower-out. This pitch traversed p
It sucked, but not that bad. Thanks Joe Marley for meeting us on top bro!
Tribal Rite was an exceptional route, not very hard and not completely bashed out. There were way too many heads with perfect placements right above or below and all those 1/4in bolts need to go. Going up the true prow of El Cap with 3 good friends was just as good as it sounds. Cant have asked for a better way to end my teenage years, now im 20 and moving into an apartment in NYC and I know that im going to be returning to the valley every season and upping the ante. I dont hesitate to call myself one of the lucky ones.
Dont burn the valley down while im gone.
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