Ten Day's After A3 5.8

 
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Washington Column


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Ten Days After
Monday June 21, 2010 8:29pm
Sometime in the first few days of June Zac called me up and said he had some days off coming up, the following week to be exact. After a long spring of no climbing for me I was obligated by my own conscience and desire. I pulled a few strings at work and had the days off work in to no time at all. There... all those feelings of being over worked quickly turned to feelings of guilt for bailing out on a few gigs to go suffer on the wall with Zac. Let it be known, those feelings of guilt were quickly remedied when I realized, this is only a job putting out lights and sound for winery parties... they will survive with out me. Even if they don't, I don't care... I'm going climbing!
Over the next few days we figured out the details hatched a plan to get to the top in style and good time. The dates we had set were June 11th to the 15th. We’d fix to top of two the first day via the Prow start, blast the next day and spend 2 nights on the wall. The 11th couldn’t come quick enough, in fact Zac and I both decided we would drive to the Valley on the 10th. Seeing as how I wasn’t off work until 930pm it was a late night driving from Sonoma County. Zac Drove in during the day and was sending me text messages telling me he was at the base while I was stuck at work! (thanks Zac) The next morning we met at the café, packed the pigs and headed to the base.





We were soon climbing the first and second pitch headed to the rivet traverse to get us on TDA proper. By the time Zac was fixed at the top of the second we both realized there was plenty of time to hightail it to the pizza deck for some last minute comforts, COLD BEER and PIZZA! It was really good! The walk back to the base was somewhat slow because of the self induced pizza comma.
The next morning came quick, we were soon at the top of 2 with the pigs ready to stay on the wall.
(Picture)
The 3rd pitch was a sweet C1 splitter. I used 2 link cams on my aid ladders and was off and running, well climbing rather, plugging in gear every now and again.







Zac took the next pitch which was the first A2 pitch. He cruised it with style, placed a few arrows and it was back to thin clean aid. We decided to set up the ledge before the traversing pitch. We had sweet little spot in the dihedral that was pretty well protected from the wind.



The traversing pitch was intimidating on paper but was actually pretty mellow. Although half way through the pitch Zac informed me I had left the haul line at the belay, so after a little bit of…down climbing… no, reverse traversing Zac was able to lasso me. About that time I could see a large crowd of people gathering on the bike path wearing bright colors. I figured it was my Grandparents, Dad, and Brother. After a quick phone call at the belay my thoughts were confirmed. They had drove in from the G-parents house in Oakhurst to check out the whole process of walling. They said it looked slow and tedious. I thought, that’s funny cause I felt like Zac and I were putting the pitches below us in good time. I guess the wall has a way of slowing down time when there is nothing to do but climb.



Zac was up again on the sharp end for the second A2 section. The expando! How would you explain that pitch Zac? I could hear an arrow move while he was on it. So I’m guessing it was at least a little bit spicy.





That next pitch that takes the route to Tapir Terrace and rejoins the Prow has terrible rope drag! That pitch was frustrating to me to say the least! I did take a 6ft. daisy fall trying to reach the 3 three bolts going to Tapir. I was on a hook trying to gain that little ledge when it slipped off and I fell. There is a fixed piton there that I found afterward. It was pretty well buried in some brush.





We got to Tapir Terrace with plenty of day light left to set up the ledge and enjoy some beers with the guys on the Prow. We sat there for about 2 minutes before we decided we should keep climbing to prevent the cluster that would be sure to slow us all down the next morning. So we decided to go another two pitches. We arrived atop the “Haulbag Eater” pitch at midnight and were ledged up by 2am. That was a long day of climbing.

Awe yes… 2 pitches from the top! We stayed in the ledge a little later the next morning. We started climbing about 9am, soon after the helicopter started hovering around us. We thought they were doing training or something. We had no idea what they were doing. Turns out they were there trying to figure out how to rescue the party that was on the Prow. The lead climber had fallen that morning, climbing off of Tapir Terrace and broke his femur. The Yosar guys were soon hoisted to the top on a long line to set up a rappel to get down to them, and then rap all the way to the ground with both climbers.
I have spoke with both climbers since the climb. Turns out Evan (the lead climber) fell after blowing a cam and bouncing off the ledge just below him. I had blown that same exact placement the evening before but fell back onto my daisy… luckily. Makes me think I was a little too close to a broken femur myself. On the bright side, Evan is healing well and in good spirits.
(picture)
Anyway, the top out for Zac and I was still great! I guess knowing Evan and Matt were in good hands with Yosar it made it easier for us to just keep climbing.







Man these trip reports always start with great idea's and motivation, but as the day wears on I realize how slow I am with a computer.
Consider this a work in progress


  Trip Report Views: 1,286
waulrat
About the Author
waulrat is a big wall climber from Santa Rosa, CA.

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survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 21, 2010 - 08:52pm PT
Beautiful man, keep it coming!

Washington Column is near and dear to so many of us.

My first two walls, SF and Prow were in 77 there. A magic place to me. Thanks for taking me along!
Zander

climber
  Jun 21, 2010 - 11:57pm PT
Oh yeah, so nice!
Thanks for posting,
Zander
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 22, 2010 - 11:55am PT
Fantastic TR!
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A series of steep corners lead to an exposed face.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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The steepest route on the Column.
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