Tangerine Trip A2 5.8

  • Currently 3.5/5

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Tangerine Trip - 3 guys seen slowly crawling up El Cap
Saturday May 21, 2011 11:27pm
May 1-6 2011 I got sidetracked by an unplanned work trip to Mississippi the day I got home, so here it is a bit late:

After a long and rainy winter in the NW I was beginning to itch for some good stone and the local forecast continued to look soggy. I tried heading to Zion for some sunshine and rock but only made it halfway up Moonlight Buttress before we got rained on. Maybe an early trip to El Cap?

Moof and I had a good time on WA Column last fall so I gave him a call and found out that plans were already brewing with his friend John but they wouldn’t mind a third. I’d never climbed in a team of three but I though perhaps it would be a good excuse to take extra beer and only have to lead a third of the route. We settled on Zodiac as a nice moderate choice and headed out early in the morning on April 30th from Portland.

Moof snagged a cancelation from the campground for the first night and we managed to get there and hump a load of water and stuff to the base that evening before dark. We couldn’t get anywhere near the base of Zodiac without getting wet from the falls at the early date but we were hoping it might dry out some in the morning.

After a pleasant nights sleep we hauled the rest of our gear up and found the wall still looking rather soggy. We made a last minute decision to head for Tangerine Trip instead which fortunately we had made an emergency topo copy of. Moof went down for a final food carry while John and I started up Pitch 1. I managed the 5.9 start in my aid boots and slowly got into the rhythm of things. John joined me and too P2 and then I headed out to link P3 and 4. The C3F section wasn’t bad with a clean fall and some newish looking cables on some of the old fixed beaks. Some silly pendulum shenanigans under the roof got me to the belay and our planned bivy anchor. We had all earlier agreed that it would be way more fun to camp instead of fixing so we tied together two lines for a long haul and for Moof to jug up to join us.

Some how our plans of two small bags and a sub bag turned into two medium bags and my giant haul bag plus a train of two portaledges and other misc stuff. Even with the 2:1 hauling was a bit of a pain at the hanging stance but sometime after dark we managed to get the bags (and Moof) to the anchor. Water was copious for the first 4.5 pitches of this route as well but we found a mostly dry place for the double ledge and put the fly up for the single. We unanimously agreed that sleeping in sounded like more fun than getting up early.

Eventually the sun roused us from our slumber and we began the slow process of packing up. John called “no lead” and volunteered for cleaning duty so Moof headed out on P5 up the drippy C3F jungle. The hammer was used to gently reset a couple of the loosened pins and then dragged uselessly up the rest of the route. I got to have the longest lower out of my life with nothing but air underneath.

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I headed up P6 with a little bit of fun hooking and easy rivets and then Moof led P7 which ended us at a small (1 ft) ledge and the impending sunset so we camped there. Who’s in a hurry when you’ve still got plenty of beer and water?

We slowly gained speed the next day as we grew more comfortable in our tasks and as a team. I headed out P8 and avoided both nailing and cam hooks with some interesting offset alien placements and then some good hooking higher. This was somehow one of my favorite pitches to lead. John was feeling a bit better so he headed up P9 which ended on top of a flake where we found some stashed water and mystery items that we let be although probably should have hauled up (what we would later learn was from the rescued party in December). Moof headed up P10 to our next bivy site where we enjoyed an even earlier bed time and barely needed the headlamps. Looking up at P11 we pondered why there was so much gear in it and what sort of interesting moves might be required to bridge the blank looking section before the rivet ladder.

In the morning I headed up marveling at our good booty luck until I got to the second bolt where the booty gear ended and wondered what the heck to do next to reach the bottom of the rivet ladder still a good 8-10 feet away. The rock looked fairly clean but clearly never nailed with only thin cracks straight up. I placed a #2 ball nut, a small brass offset, and then a black alien to reach the bolt and from there it was smooth sailing up the rivets (Holly says it was expando). We would later learn this was where a flake a pulled in December removing what had been a precarious but easy cam placement. The rivets above are no longer scary at all and I was even able to top step in my Russian aiders and skip every other one. Moof climbed the thin corner and then easier ground on P 12 and I got the “C1 and 5.7 loose” of P13. At the top of 13 we decided to camp again but psyched John up to fix the next pitch. We still had time to enjoy a plastic mug of wine in the evening.

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This time the birds woke us up, wanting back into their nests which we may have been blocking with our hanging encampment. We got everything up the next pitch and Moof enjoyed the tricky bits of P14. The wind picked up here and I got to struggle to jug through the bags while spinning in space with much exposure below. Some kind words drifted over on the wind from the Nose, something to the effect of “yer gonna die!” and I was encouraged. Rivets again greeted me on P15 until I realized what I thought was a foot traverse was a hand traverse through a blank spot and then some fun big flake pulling up the 5.7 R to the C1 corner and our first taste of flat ground in many days near the belay. John and Moof both helped nudge the bags past the flakes and John proudly led the final bit of 5.6 to the top.

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We got everyone and everything up by mid-afternoon and celebrated by lazily feasting on all the extra food, 4 beers, and 2 liters of wine we still had left. It was a beautiful evening. The D5 even came out one more time to bask in the glory of flattening my empty cans.

The next morning we slept in and packed up our three bags, still entirely too heavy and trudged down the east ledges . Another first for all three of us as John went the long way the last time, but armed with the Supertopo and PTPPs beta it was relatively uneventful (but still soul crushing under our heavy bags). Pizza and beer for all!

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Afterthoughts: Moof posted some beta on the route page. We climbed the route clean without anything too tricky (not counting the taps on loosened fixed pins). This does rely on some fixed gear especially P4 and P5 but 5-6 pins, a few med-lrg heads, and a light hammer should be plenty for this route. Lots of rivet hangers! The newly cleaned P11 takes thin gear and may be a bit expanding, good ballnut there and over a nice bolt but don’t pull a flake off. An extra #0.75, #1 and #2 camalot size would have been handy since we only had 2 of each having racked for Zodiac. Fun route with some cool spots, but a lot of rivets, great camping once you get past the wet bits although I’ll note that we felt drops from the falls at least once or twice at every bivy (including the one on the summit ABOVE the falls).

More pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/matthiesen/YosemiteTangerineTrip

  Trip Report Views: 8,419
About the Author
OlympicMtnBoy is a climber from Seattle.

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la la land
  May 21, 2011 - 11:59pm PT
Why didn't you make that dude jug the rope so you could get to the party supplies faster? I never knew that people hauled their 3rd member.

  May 22, 2011 - 12:12am PT
Sweet TR!
Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
  May 22, 2011 - 12:15am PT
Good work boys. Looks like you had a good time. Great report.
Pass the Chongo, Chongo

Social climber
  May 22, 2011 - 12:25am PT
instead of the Moof he should be "The Pig"

whats a Moof anyways?

Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  May 22, 2011 - 12:27am PT
I can dig it.....though ya needed another line. Just sayin'.
Gettin' it done, nonetheless.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
  May 22, 2011 - 12:26am PT

There's a smile in every picture. You guys achieved everything a wall can provide !

Big Wall climber
  May 22, 2011 - 12:37am PT
Thanks for writing this up Stewart!

Other highlights:
Chest roller for free hanging jugging was a winner for me. I'm fat and top heavy, and it was vastly less soul crushing to have a rope walker rig than using the other usual methods. I have my system down to just the PMI doubler roller and two pre-tied 7mm cords to go from my russian aider cuffs to my jugs. Jugging the 330' to P4 at night by headlamp was bad enough, so I was really glad to have a nice efficient system.

Stewart was the real champ on this one. I still owe him for putting up with my wigouts (lowering out into space for free hanging jugging just isn't easy of the brain after a winter of couch training).

Crap I wish I didn't bring:
-1/2 the iron. We didn't do much of a culling from our Zodiac pile, so we had tons of beaks for hand placing, a bunch of sawed offs, lost arrows, etc. One each of these just in case some fix gear is missing/rotted would be plenty.
-2nd hammer should have been left, as we had a zip line that could have been used should we have needed to send the hammer down.
-Maybe leave the #5 C4...
-Maybe only should have brought 2 sets of offset aliens (again, we mostly had a zodiac rack).
-2 days of food, I was the worst offender on the leftover food stash.
-2 beers, I only drank 2 of my 4, but I sort of blame that on the copious amounts of wine the other guys brought (loved the pinot noir halfway up).
-Brought too many clothes, but given the season it was better safe than sorry.

Crap we needed more of:
-Another 10 draws (my fault for not bringing more), as we often couldn't really start the next pitch till we got draws from the cleaner.
-More lockers (we always had just barely enough, but frequently had to root around to find them).
-Moses/RP keyhold hangers were awesome, and I wished we had a dozen of them instead of just a half dozen. Only just a few wire hangers were needed.

la la land
  May 22, 2011 - 12:40am PT
Your beers could have been used for breakfast...

Also to control lower out panic attacks...
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
On the road.
  May 22, 2011 - 12:46am PT
Nice! Looks like a good time was had by all!

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
  May 22, 2011 - 12:52am PT
I really liked the photos. You posted a good selection including some artistic ones and lots of human interest ones. Thanks!
Ian Gill

Big Wall climber
Redding, CA
  May 22, 2011 - 01:23am PT

Great TR boys! Great to see a team just having a great time, appreciating the experience and the exposure, and not worrying about the pace. It's all about the climb and the experience.

And yeah, what the hell is a Moof??????

Great job - looked like a blast!!!!
Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  May 22, 2011 - 01:25am PT

Just diggin' it, is all.
wayne burleson

Amherst, MA
  May 22, 2011 - 01:25am PT
Nice! You know you had a good time if you are still taking
photos down the East Ledges...

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  May 22, 2011 - 01:37am PT
good show boys, looked cruiser for you.

Dig that single ledge.....

And the hand sewn bags....can I get one???



Big Wall climber
  May 22, 2011 - 02:06am PT
Mucci, a bunch of home grown stuff went up the wall:
-Zipline bag (blue with red handles) out of pack cloth and VCN (one of my first sewing projects about 6 years ago).
-Yellow Hook bag out of marine surplus material Stew found
-Added daisies to the Econoledge (and one set of suspension straps I replaced after a buckle started slipping 1.5 years ago, now the other recycled buckle from that set is slipping, ugh).
-all 3 sets of russian aider cuffs, two with recycled Ural Alp hooks, and my set with the wire J-hooks.
-Shorty slings tacked onto the swivel to accomodate 2 haulbags (just spiffier looking than girth hitched ones).
-Bright orange double gear sling (with 2" chest webbing to accomodate the chest roller).
-Storm collar added to my budget Fish bag.
-hybrid alpine aiders with shorty russian aid trees built in
-Some more I'm forgetting for sure.

Good times had by all.

Urban dictionary says moof is the act of scoring with the technology teacher during study hall. It is also what a dog-cow says. In my case I think a Moof is just a fat has-been climber that still occasionally gets hauled up routes by his more skilled partners.

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  May 22, 2011 - 02:21am PT
Nice TR guys and way to get it done!

Big Wall climber
El Portal, CA
  May 22, 2011 - 05:09am PT
Thanks for the trip report and pics Stewart, and gear beta for folks for p11. Glad to see you sending on the Big Stone. I cleaned about 6 HB offset nuts, maybe 2 beaks, a couple of pins and various other "fixed" items this ladt week from the trip portion of the route so I think following w a hammer is a good idea! I was even thinking during my climb that if you used a hammer only for cleaning it might be a "more clean" ascent than a hammerless ascent, if it prevents you from adding to the fixed gear on route! I had 3 .75s which was great and 3 #1s and 2 cams would have been nice and I totally agree w that comment on gear! Nice work and see you sometime this year.

Author's Reply  May 22, 2011 - 09:27am PT
Hehe, thanks for the comments everyone! Just to be clear, there was no riding of the bags, we had a second lead line which the the 3rd team member would jug. You just end up lowering out into the same place as the bags sometimes. We never really got the efficiency possible with a three person team, mostly cause we were lazy, but it worked pretty well anyways.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  May 22, 2011 - 10:14am PT
You can never have enough slings, free carabiners and lockers on a big wall.

It's good to see that the climbers are finally catching onto the cavers' systems to ascend fixed ropes. The ropewalking system Moof describes with the chest roller is a really quick and easy way to get up a long section of free-hanging rope, slightly more efficient even than the Frog plus ankle cam.

You must be a true PTPP aficionado if you found my East Ledges descent beta. I think it appears in two places still.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  May 22, 2011 - 10:18am PT
Good work fellas!!

Wow, climbing content, really? You expect this to turn into a climbing site or some shite?

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  May 22, 2011 - 10:38am PT
Very cool! Thanks for posting.
David D.

Trad climber
  May 22, 2011 - 12:16pm PT
There were an amazing amount of smiles per picture in this trip report. That's how you know it was a good one! Nice job guys!

Big Wall climber
  May 22, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
You guys had way too much fun.

Good pix, good TR....good climb guys !

Big Wall climber
Portland, OR
  May 22, 2011 - 01:21pm PT
Nicely written Stewart. It was funny how, no matter where we were, waterfall spray found us. There were several times when I was cleaning with daylight starting to fade, and I did not try too hard to un-fix a fixed nut or pin. Not surprised that Holly pulled a few with her hammer. I learned a lot from these two guys. Going as a team of three definitely increases the cluster factor. But it worked out really well, and both Moof and Stewart are very solid leaders.

Trad climber
Hustle City
  May 22, 2011 - 01:02pm PT
Cain J Waters

Mountain climber
Ithaca, NY
  May 22, 2011 - 02:21pm PT
Thanks for sharing your TR. You guys are smiling in every picture, which isn't easy to pull off on a big wall ascent.

Great photos. Well done! -CW


Trad climber
  May 22, 2011 - 03:22pm PT
Great TR. Smiling climbers on a big wall. I could learn from that. Your pictures are great and make me want to go get after the Trip even though I already done it.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 22, 2011 - 05:04pm PT
Nice TR, glad you had a great time!

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  May 22, 2011 - 08:25pm PT
Good job with the excellent trip report! How fortunate that you hit a good weather window.

It's so nice to see people having a fun time climbing.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  May 22, 2011 - 11:06pm PT
way to send fellas!

Social climber
Truckee, CA
  May 26, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Great write up and nice work, Stewart & co!

Trad climber
  May 26, 2011 - 05:02pm PT

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  May 26, 2011 - 05:24pm PT
Nice :-)
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
  May 26, 2011 - 09:57pm PT
Proud, topped out with booze left, enough to make the summit bivvy special.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  May 26, 2011 - 11:16pm PT

Whoo hoo!!!!
So how'd you like using those Russian aiders???

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  May 30, 2011 - 01:48pm PT

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Jul 6, 2011 - 01:00pm PT
Yo... enjoyed the TR and expecially the photos... I have seen all the pitches many times but never from the route itself!! Thanks and congratualtions to you guys!

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Jul 6, 2011 - 01:21pm PT
I like your style. 3-4 nights on the Trip is pretty standard I think, nothing to be ashamed of. Party Wallin!
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