The Nose 5.14a or 5.9 C2

 
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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Team mickextreme 2.5 day Nose Ascent (Whitemeat+Jaysen)
Monday July 22, 2013 12:22pm
"Dude, I just got 4 days off work... for no reason... lets do the nose." (joke)

This is how this episode began. Mickey was already in the valley climbing Skull Queen when I discovered that I was to have 4 consecutive day off from work (absolutely never happens working for DNC). We always joked about doing an El cap route but until this point considered it to large an undertaking, but for whatever reason this time it stuck and Mickey slept on my floor for a couple days until it was time.

-Gear
-triple set of cams to 3", 1x 4",1x 4.5",1x 5"
-Nuts, 1 set, 1 offset
-Micro Nuts, 1set, 1 offset
-cam hooks, talon
-water 8 gallons


-Fixing Day
I had to work at 1:30 so we got an early start and attacked what I found to be the most difficult part of the climb.... getting the bag up that awful 4th class step to the base of the first pitch. Mickey and I swung leads to Sickle and hauled our bag there, fixed 3 60m ropes to the ground, rapped and took a rest day. There was 1 team of 3 behind us that was fixing and blasting off the following day so we had a 1 day cushion between us.

-Day 1
Both Mickey and I slept through our 4:30am alarm and woke up at 7am, already starting off on the wrong foot we hauled ass and got to the cliff and jugged our lines. We Immediately muscled our bags about 15 feet up sickle so we could link p4 and p5 to get to 6. I got this pitch and it was a great way to start out, free climbing all but a couple step through's to a sweet handcrack and feeling fast because we linked was good for morale. Hauling was easy (only had an 80 or 90 pound bag) and didn't require any fancy systems other than the mini track. My belay changeovers were slow at first (never really did alot of bigwall anchors) but as we progressed, our changeovers were blazing fast, maby 8 mins or so? Anyway, Mickey crushed p6 up to dolt hole and I was in for what was going to be one of my favorites. Mickey and I were under the general understanding that I would take most of the hard free climbing if he took most of the hard aid. On p7 I did a bolt ladder to a SWEET pendulum into the beginning of the stovelegs and ran out the remainder of the pitch. Took down the next couple pitches to dolt tower (a little fuzzy in my memory) and chilled for a little before we set off for el cap tower. Mickey freed p11 and I got p12, 12 ended up being alot harder than I thought, the liebacks were insecure because the sidewall was so polished and I ended up pulling on my #4 cam alot, regardless mickey took p14 to El Cap tower. Arriving at the tower to see the party that we had fixed with was nice, also that we arrived with hours of daylight left after waking up 2 hours late began spurring thought that we may need to change our conservative goals of climbing the wall in 4 days. Mickey fixed p15 to the Texas flake skipping the bolt and being a badass, thanks Mickey! We hunkered down and spent the afternoon eating oreos with peanutbutter and conversing with the other party about Whitemeat's (Mickeys) supertopo fame while listening to some tunes from the infamous ghetto blaster.

-Day 2
Day two began at about 7 am. The party we caught up to had woken up at 2am and was now just leaving the boot. We jugged to the top of the texas flake and mickey set off up the boot. Arriving at the boot the party ahead of us was just beginning p17 from eagle ledge and we sat up on the boot looking down at el cap bridge where mickey's father was sitting and watching along side eric sloan who had loaned us his #5 and swivel, thanks Eric! We waited for a while and mickey CRUSHED the king swing first go and ran out p17 to the anchors and I lowered out after we lowered out the bag from the top of the boot. P18/19 was the worst section we experienced. I free climbed up the 5.10 to p18 then the 5.10 bolted variation, climbed through this and got the go ahead from the party infront of us to push on the the p19 anchors roughly 50 feet to the left. I arrived to the anchors after a very taxing pitch to find I dident have enough rope to fix to the anchor. I clipped in- direct and untied to fix the line to a far off right bolt that I backed up to the main anchor with a chordalette. Wind was high and Mickey couldn't hear me so the other party helped me communicate. Mickey began jugging and I began hauling, the bag got very stuck and mickey battled the bag over for 20 mins. Luckly I had protected the traverse enough so it was reasonably safe for mickey but skipping the optional belay was a very poor choice and Im sure we could have found a better opportunity to pass. To top things off I had clipped some empty water jugs to the bottom of the bag with a non locker and that had fallen (bigwall gumby move) so its easy to say that this was the low point of the climb. Mickey crushed p20 to camp 5 and the following pitch to the great roof being careful not to knock the loose blocks on the party below. AS SOON as the great roof was in sight we forgot about the whole camp 4 ordeal and off mickey went. Cruising through C2 mickey did one of the most classic pitches in the world in under 30 mins. Cleaning the great roof was somewhat surreal for me, growing up reading books and magazines with endless photos of big walls, this was my mental image of a hardcore climb (obviousley there are more hardcore lines). So climbing it was a pivotal moment in my life for sure. Even more substantial to me was the next pitch. Freeing the pancake flake 2000 feet off the deck was THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER. I was confused why it used to be bolted? But regardless the best pitch of rock climbing ever. Mickey took the next 2 pitches of awkward c1 and I got the last pitch (p26) to camp 6 where we were to bivy. By this point Mickey and I were having 5 minute belay change overs and had been consistently leading sub hour pitches, we felt like we were moving blazing fast. I felt the pressure to speed up my aid to keep up the pace and somehow it just happened. Completely dialed, I blazed up 100 feet of c1+ to another 50 feet of 5.7 lieback and made it to the anchors in under an hour. This was my mental high for the entire climb. I felt like I was a real wall climber because everything just flowed, even the transition to free climbing in my approach shoes with a full rack on and haul line ect... I had finally gotten used to the weigh and compensated. We Bivyed, feeing like we were home free, eating our crushed oreo's and gatorade. We knew at this point we were going to top out the following day and IT FELT GOOD. Camp 6 sucked and I got the outside (I had a tether on each wall and sat in my harness in my bag with my feet in a aider clipped to an anchor to distribute weight off my legs and got no sleep. Mickey on the other hand with his feet hanging 2 feet off the ledge immediately passed out.

-Day 2.5
We woke up and after some route finding (topo for the changing corners sucks) mickey handled the trickey aid up to p28. It was my turn and attempting to match my speed from the previous night I moved through p28 at a similar pace. Mickey took p29 with the aukward trough and I made it up to the base of p29. P29 had this wild stance as c-mac states in the topo and exits the corner system. Leaving the corner system was surreal in thinking that there was only 2 pitches left and up to now there was literally only a single pitch that we even had a minor issue on. Not once did we got our ropes stuck, bag wedged into a flake, shutdown pitch or any other common difficulty. It was literally, too easy. For the climb that I had revered for such a long time, it was crazy to think that we had just taken it on so easily. Anyway, I lead a short c1 pitch and mickey took the bolt ladder to the top. Topping out and seeing the El Cap tree was another nostalgic moment for me, if I hadn't been so hungry for a can of spaghetti-o's I may have even shed a tear. We ate our summit mnm's and prepared for the descent.

-Descent
Did it in 2 hours, thanks for the fixed lines on the east ledges whoever you are.



After making it down I began to understand something Eric Sloan had told me about the nose. He said something along the lines of this "With most wall routes once you get down you would be disgusted with the thought of climbing it again, but with the nose, it just not like that." I refused to believe him when he told me this but after such a cruiser route up such an amazing rock, I cant help but to agree.

Photos below! would have taken too long to order them with the text so here we go.

Side note, looking for a partner to do more walls with! (zodiac, lurking fear, any column route, leaning tower ext...)


The beginning!
The beginning!
Credit: Jaysen
fixing to sickle
fixing to sickle
Credit: Jaysen
jugging our fixed lines to sickle
jugging our fixed lines to sickle
Credit: Jaysen
mickey lowering out into the stovelegs
mickey lowering out into the stovelegs
Credit: Jaysen
mickey taking a short break on dolt
mickey taking a short break on dolt
Credit: Jaysen
mickey leaving dolt
mickey leaving dolt
Credit: Jaysen
fixing to texas flake, skip the bolt!
fixing to texas flake, skip the bolt!
Credit: Jaysen
king swing!
king swing!
Credit: Jaysen
RRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!
RRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!
Credit: Jaysen
lowering off the boot
lowering off the boot
Credit: Jaysen
heading up to camp 4
heading up to camp 4
Credit: Jaysen
we quickly regained stoke after our camp 4 hauling issues
we quickly regained stoke after our camp 4 hauling issues
Credit: Jaysen
party below us
party below us
Credit: Jaysen
cant pull this roof like we did at the gunks!
cant pull this roof like we did at the gunks!
Credit: Jaysen
mickey chilln on the thank god ledge (our wall seat) after the...
mickey chilln on the thank god ledge (our wall seat) after the great roof
Credit: Jaysen
mose sane ive felt in years...
mose sane ive felt in years...
Credit: Jaysen
death block on p 17 is easily avoidable
death block on p 17 is easily avoidable
Credit: Jaysen
doin some afternoon cleaning
doin some afternoon cleaning
Credit: Jaysen
changing corners
changing corners
Credit: Jaysen
freeing the pancake flake, crazy exposure!!!
freeing the pancake flake, crazy exposure!!!
Credit: Jaysen
The bag is getting light!
The bag is getting light!
Credit: Jaysen
The farther up we went, the safer i felt.... wait..
The farther up we went, the safer i felt.... wait..
Credit: Jaysen
leading p 28, whitemeat not looking so white at this point!
leading p 28, whitemeat not looking so white at this point!
Credit: Jaysen
really starting to feel like a hippie with this crazy stache
really starting to feel like a hippie with this crazy stache
Credit: Jaysen
jugging up 29, ALMOST THERE!
jugging up 29, ALMOST THERE!
Credit: Jaysen
topping out, i dident even know what to do once i hit the anchors so i...
topping out, i dident even know what to do once i hit the anchors so i just stood there for like 5 mins.
Credit: Jaysen
summit mnm's!
summit mnm's!
Credit: Jaysen
Credit: Jaysen
Credit: Jaysen

  Trip Report Views: 2,134
Jaysen
About the Author
Jaysen is a trad climber from NY working the the park for the summer. A burrista at the pavilion coffee corner, come say hi!

Comments
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jul 22, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
Dang, kids these days!

Sweet!
whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jul 22, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
nice TR! that trip was a freaken blast!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jul 22, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
I think you can leave the bags just East of the Pine Line tree and haul them up to the first anchor from there. I did that when I soloed Grape Race but I had a 70m haul line and can't remember if I had extra rope or not. There is a bent over tree part way up the haul path but if the rope goes under it, the bag will follow and not get tangled.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jul 22, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
keep stoke alive!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Jul 22, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
Way cool!
Pancake Flake free, and no duct tape needed on Boot Flake after all! :-)
The reason Pancake (and the upper Stovelegs) used to have a few bolts next to the crack is that the wide pitons they had back in 1958 were so poor (not good enough to trust for a fall...).
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jul 22, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Dang TEAM MEAT is coming on strong!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jul 22, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
Sweet,
glad you kids had fun!!!
TFPU
Tad
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Jul 22, 2013 - 02:47pm PT
You guys are just toooooo much....crushing the King Swing...rock hard! I love love love the spunk every time I read your stuff... And as far as feeling the most sane in awhile...scary stuff there...don't you guys go all mainstream!

The best!

Susan
Macronut

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Jul 22, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
Glad to see you guys getting it dun!
BlueGuy84

climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jul 22, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Way to go fellas! Thanks for the stoke and the great TR! What's next on the agenda?
Jaysen

Big Wall climber
NYC
Author's Reply  Jul 22, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Just went and scowered the base today to find the bottles we dropped! Clean ascent!! hahaha
whitemeat

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jul 22, 2013 - 07:43pm PT
nice jaysen, hope you found the sweat shirt! I think were both itchen for zodiac!
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
  Jul 22, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Are you guys potty trained yet...?
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jul 22, 2013 - 08:20pm PT
"Clean ascent", proud.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jul 22, 2013 - 08:25pm PT
Keep 'em coming . . . you guys are going places.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jul 22, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
Darn kidz these daze just don't respect their elders. Having fun where others have suffered.

And what's a TR without a little agony, even if you have to make it up?

Do you really need a poop tube if you are still wearing diapers?


Nice job guys and thanks for the TR!
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Jul 23, 2013 - 04:18am PT
Nice job, guys!! I see a NIAD in both of your futures.

Look forward to your Zodiac trip report!
fat-n-sassy

Social climber
San Francity, CA
  Jul 23, 2013 - 10:18am PT
I don't know you, but this makes me proud.
snowhazed

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 23, 2013 - 10:38am PT
That stache is way more hipster than hippie- proud send regardless!
rincon

Trad climber
Coarsegold
  Jul 23, 2013 - 10:57am PT
Did you drink all that water?
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 23, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Bump!
steveA

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
  Jul 23, 2013 - 11:14am PT
You guys just look to young!

At 67, and still climbing, most climbers look young to me. In hindsight,

I wasn't much older when I did the Nose.

Now, you guys need to get your buts on the Salathe. That will really make your year!

Nice send!
Jaysen

Big Wall climber
NYC
Author's Reply  Jul 23, 2013 - 11:39am PT
we only drank about half of the water and dumped 3 gallons on el cap tower
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
  Jul 23, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
Glad you had fun on that. Envious.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jul 23, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
[rant]

You DUMPED water on the Nose in July?! Are you f*cking kidding me?!

DUDE! You never ever EVER dump water on a trade route, especially in the summer! Leave it there for someone else! Guaranteed some poor unfortunate trying to go too light and fast will consume it in a very short period of time.

[/rant]

Jaysen was up with me on Waterfall Route helping me to bail, and this was the ONE AND ONLY TIME in fifty plus times on the Captain [counting bails] that I have dumped water on El Cap. The reason I dumped the water is because the sixth pitch of the route has fallen off, and there is no reason for anyone to ever be up there again. Or at least not in the foreseeable future. So we dumped the water [actually, Jaysen dumped it for me while I was up at the high point preparing to rap with the rack] so we didn't have to rap with its weight.

But not on the Nose!

Nice send, by the way, mate. And thanks again for your help, eh?
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
  Jul 23, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
Nice job. I was watching from the bridge along with Mickey's dad. There was a lady there who was more excited than he was for yall. Dad got her number. Hummmm!

Congrats to you both.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jul 24, 2013 - 12:32am PT
Super stoke bump!

So it sounds like you located the Scowering Spot...
Dane Howell

Trad climber
morro bay
  Aug 12, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
Woohoo Mick,seems like just yesterday you were the squirt at the crags and now your squirtin up em! Congrats.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 12, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
Good job guys!
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El Capitan - The Nose 5.14a or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Nose—the best rock climb in the world!
Photo: Mark Kroese
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