Trip Report
The Bachar-Yerian: A Three Year Obsession Comes to a Close
Monday September 30, 2013 8:03am
I became aware of John Bachar in the winter of 2005/06. I had recently started climbing and bouldered poorly but enthusiastically in a Philadelphia gym a couple of times a week. While travelling on business I saw a Rock and Ice magazine in the Seattle airport. It was titled “The Bouldering Issue.” Since I was a “boulderer” I picked up a copy. Through the cover piece I was introduced to John Bachar and although I’d only been climbing a short while, I was attracted to his ideas and attitudes about climbing. The article happened to mention his masterpiece the Bachar-Yerian on which only fifteen bolts (eight for belays) were placed on a roughly 500 foot face climb. Few other protection placements exist. At a rating of 11c X, I remember thinking, “That’s about V3. I climb V3 (in the gym) maybe I could climb that someday.” Since 2007 I’ve rarely climbed in the gym and have primarily focused on traditional climbs. I climb sport routes too, but prefer gear routes.

Fast forward to summer 2011 when I took my first trip to Tuolumne. By this time I was relatively well versed in the history of climbing and awed by the immense talent, refined skill, and mental toughness of the late master, John Bachar. I’d read his piece on the development of the Bachar-Yerian in the April 2009 issue of The Alpinist countless times and studied at the topos in guidebooks thousands more.

One day during that trip, my girlfriend and I headed up to Medlicott Dome to climb some of the routes off the Bachar-Yerian ledge and, of course, to take a look at the route. The wall is imposing, intimidating, and rather ominous. Having climbed a bunch of scary routes, I found the prospect of a clean ascent irresistible. Admittedly, I’m drawn to this type of climbing and decided that I’d tune up and take a run at it in 2012.

I planned to start specific training for the route in June 2012. Unfortunately, I got injured. I limped along for a week or so and realized I needed to take some time off. Over the course of the summer as I was returning to form, I started to think I might be able to pull it off. I was planning to visit my friend Todd in Bishop around Labor Day, so I asked him if he’d be interested in providing a belay. He said, “Sure, no problem.”

I spent two days climbing some easy stuff attempting to acclimate in Bishop Creek (elevation 9000 feet) and then rested the next day. On day four at elevation (I reside in Philadelphia, thirty-six feet above sea level) we headed up to Tuolumne. I remember having a sinking feeling in my stomach when we pulled into the parking area. It was cold and the warm-ups felt hard, not a good sign.

After a short break, I roped up for pitch one. I wandered up fifty feet of unprotected 5.9 knobs to where the wall steepens dramatically. The enormity of the wall set in and I began to feel like a bug. I got a cam in the horizontal at the top of the slab, reached up, and clipped the first bolt. After inspecting a possible path I cranked on some holds and fell. I chalked it up to a false start and tried again. The boulder problem went and soon I was clipping the second bolt. I then fell repeatedly. I eventually pulled through, sucking wind and seriously pumped. Downclimbing was out of the question, and with nowhere to rest I continued on. I over-gripped each hold in response to mounting fear. I found myself too high and right of the flake, got crossed up, and tried to correct my error. I barn-doored and peeled from the flake. I rotated out and away from the wall and crashed softly into the slab thirty-five feet below. I was a bit rattled, but unharmed. I lowered down to rest.

Refusing to acknowledge I was in over my head, I tied in again and climbed back to the headwall on pitch one. I fired the boulder problem and climbed somewhat smoothly to the flake. I placed a couple of cams and soon arrived at the belay, redpointing the pitch. I didn’t admit it out loud at the time, but I was wasted.

Todd came up to the belay, flaked the rope, and I soon set off on the infamous second pitch. The climbing starts up and right, then back left past a bolt four feet off the belay eventually weaving left of the black streak to a stance fifteen feet up. Every move felt hard and I was having trouble keeping my heart rate under control. From the stance there is a hard sequence moving up and right for a few body lengths before arriving at the first real bolt. The bolt off the belay doesn’t count for much other than preventing a factor two fall onto the belay.

I was over-gripping again and not using my feet well. A body length below the bolt I was totally maxed and knew that I was about to come off (not a pleasant feeling I can assure you). I rocketed past the belay, fortunately missed Todd, crashed into the wall, and smashed my right hip in the process. Todd got slammed into the wall as well. He didn’t say a word about it which is but one testament to what an awesome guy he is.

I’d previously taken a number of falls in the thirty foot range, but none were as fast, hard, and long as this one. There was no friction in the system to slow me down. I remember watching the rope at the belay paying out at high speed. It seemed it was happening in slow motion and I felt like the rope would never come tight. The result was a spectacular fifty foot free fall. I came to a stop dangling twenty-five feet below the pitch one belay.

I clambered back to the belay and took a breather. My obsession with sending the route was clouding my judgment. I headed back up. Again, Todd didn’t say a word. I quickly got to the stance out left and proceeded to shake out trying to get something back for what seemed like an hour. I cast off, stabbing at holds and squeezing them with everything I had. I arrived at the bolt shaking like a leaf. Selfishness had gotten the best of me. I was far from solid and if I’d fallen, I would have landed on Todd from thirty-five feet above. There are actually some good holds here, but I could barely hold on. I managed to clip the bolt and promptly took. I had nothing left and my muscles were reduced to non-responsive slurry. I finally came to my senses and we bailed. Upon reaching the ground, Todd dubbed the experience a “reconnaissance mission” with his usual dry sense of humor.

I was drained and depressed, but as early as the next day I still wanted to try again. Todd’s first email the following week ended with “BY 2013!”. I knew I’d need significantly more time at altitude and lots of time climbing knobs.

Throughout the winter of 2012 and well into 2013, I often replayed the first pitch moves in my mind while out for a run. If I could top out pitch one without expending too much energy, my chances would greatly improve. I imagined myself feeling solid on the second pitch. If I could make it up the overhanging sea of knobs intact, I knew I’d be able to send the final two pitches no matter how drained I was.

In July through mid-August of 2013 I tuned up at my local crags, climbing continuous laps on overhanging endurance routes as well as stacks of shorter power endurance routes. I pushed myself hard. I wanted to avoid getting pumped on the second pitch. In addition I wanted to have enough power on reserve in the event things got desperate.

On August 16th, I flew to Las Vegas with my girlfriend and drove to Bishop the next day. We spent a week in Tuolumne climbing knobs and acclimating to the altitude. She flew home on the 24th and I spent the next week commuting to Tuolumne from Bishop to climb more knobs. The attempt was planned for the following week.

Knob climbing is very specific, somewhat odd, and insecure. Route finding can be particularly challenging because everything looks like a hold. There are an infinite number of knobs, some of them can break, and many of them aren’t as good as they first appear. As a result, most of my time was spent at Medlicott and East Cottage Domes. I climbed the first pitch of the Bachar-Yerian a total of five times on two separate visits. At East Cottage Dome I climbed as many pitches back to back as I could handle.

My girlfriend Nancy, as well as new found friends Michael and Bibler, provided awesome belays and support during this time. Bibler delivered what I found to be a particularly amusing quote. Upon taking my 5.10 Moccasym slippers (not necessarily lauded as edging shoes) out of my climbing pack he said, “You’re going to climb the Bachar Yerian in those?!”
It’s steeper that it looks.  Pitch two overhangs by a couple of degree...
It’s steeper that it looks. Pitch two overhangs by a couple of degrees.
Credit: Jon Clark
At the end of the first two weeks I had the first pitch wired and was as fit as I’ve ever been. The time was well spent. I felt comfortable with the subtleties of knob climbing. I had three rest days planned which led to a fourth due to weather and smoke potential from the Rim Fire. Those four days dragged on and provided ample opportunity for doubt to creep into my mind.

The morning of September 4th finally came and I woke after a good night’s sleep. I was amped. We got to the parking area about 8 a.m. and were warmed up just shy of ten. There were a lot of darker clouds in the sky appropriately framing the task ahead, but no smoke to speak of. I tied in and quickly arrived at the boulder problem feeling fresh. There was a slight chill in the air, the crimps felt sharp, and some of the knobs felt slick. It didn’t matter. I had the moves wired and made it to the first belay moments later.
Pitch one
Pitch one
Credit: Jon Clark
Todd came up and we got situated for pitch two almost a year to the day after 2012’s attempt. Suppressing doubt, I arrived at the stance up and left of the belay. It took awhile to get my breathing under control. I sussed the moves and committed, moving through the difficult sequence and arrived at bolt one. “Breath, relax, concentrate.” I was borrowing Bachar’s mantra described in his Alpinist piece. I found a rhythm for my breath which helped to keep my heart rate down.

After a deep breath I started climbing again. Somewhere between bolt one and two, while in search of a foothold, I looked down and caught sight of the first bolt. It was waaay down below and made me shudder for a moment. The potential for a sixty foot fall was nauseating. One mistake and it would be reality. I didn’t allow my focus to drift. Instead I only looked a few feet left, right, up, or down in search of holds. This helped me create a comfortable zone to climb within and reduce the sequences to a move at a time.
Pitch two
Pitch two
Credit: Jon Clark
I encountered some decent holds to shake out on before coming to a thin section ten feet below bolt two. I couldn’t hang out forever, but the sequence wasn’t entirely clear. Precise deliberate movement was an absolute necessity. With anxiety churning in my gut, I made a series of irreversible moves with no time to test the holds and was rewarded with a half pad incut hidden behind a knob. Grinning, I clipped the second bolt.

Eight feet higher I slipknotted a bomber knob and was able to shake yet again. I was actually able to enjoy the climbing at this point. However, I’d been on the pitch for nearly an hour and the pump was starting to build. The third bolt leads you back into the black streak occupied by a jumbled mix of solid and suspect knobs.

After another thirty foot runout and one last tricky sequence, I clipped the third bolt. Relief and excitement replaced fear and dread. The climbing eases a bit in the final ten to fifteen feet due to the appearance of some larger knobs. I reached the belay somewhat overwhelmed at having pulled off the best lead of my career. The elation would soon subside as more difficult and dangerous climbing lay ahead.

The third pitch starts off with a few thin, hard edging moves right off the belay. I thought there were supposed to be four bolts on the pitch, but there are only three. Similar to pitch two, the first bolt protects the belay. As a result, the first bolt is effectively forty feet up. Wandering 5.10 climbing got me there.

The sun had crested the west facing dome and was directly overhead making it difficult to scan for holds. Fortunately, clouds frequently provided cover. The climbing stiffened again as I approached the final bolt. Flaky rock was encountered in this section rattling my confidence a bit. My feet had been hurting for some time now and I was feeling worn down. There is a hard and insecure series of moves fifteen to twenty feet above the last bolt before you encounter better holds and a bomber cam placement. I bore down, cranked hard, and mercifully reached positive holds.

From beneath the horizontal I spotted a very old carabiner. I pulled up and saw two ancient opposed nuts. The humor of someone trying to place those nuts in the funky, flaring, knobby horizontal while likely gripped was not lost on me. I easily placed a few cams along the traverse enjoying the mellower climbing.

Looking up at the fourth pitch I was ready for some easier climbing as was advertised. Unfortunately, the first fifteen feet of the crack were awkward, harder than expected, and foreshadowed the nightmare finish that was to come.

After the initial difficulties, the crack does indeed ease up. Sixty feet higher the crack peters out and so does the pro. I was at a comfortable no hands stance fifteen feet out from my last good piece at a small left facing corner/flake. It would take gear, but I’d already dumped that piece forty feet lower. I tried to jam a carabiner in the crack with the idea of slinging and clipping it, but I couldn’t get it to hold. Instead, I mined out a cam placement in a sandy, shallow, and flaring horizontal to my left. I knew it was effectively worthless, but at least I didn’t have to carry it.

Unsure of where to head on the expansive upper dome, I climbed up and down, out right, back left and finally settled on climbing straight up from the corner/flake. Crumbly rock and highly suspect fractured knobs were encountered and avoided. I reached one final section of difficulty eighty feet out from my last piece. Wiping the grit from my feet after each step and using the most secure looking sloping knobs inset into the rock, I smeared and scratched my way to easy ground. I was at the end of my 70 meter rope (literally) and body belayed Todd up while positioned behind a medium sized, flat rock. Reaching the belay, we shook hands and regarding the final runout he remarked, “Holy mackanoli, what a cruel joke!”
My trusty belayer
My trusty belayer
Credit: Jon Clark
Todd and I drank from pools of rain water on the summit and began the hike down soon after. We were both trashed and I was particularly fried from the non-stop climbing over serious terrain. I’m quite proud to have made a clean ascent of what I believe to be John Bachar’s signature test piece. I am humbled by the experience and by adding my name to the list of far more talented climbers who climbed this route before me.
Beginning the descent
Beginning the descent
Credit: Jon Clark

Additional thoughts:
• The first pitch is closer to 12a than 11c. I’d split the difference and call it solid 11+
• While there is probably no move harder than 11a on the second pitch, the sustained difficulty is much harder than 11a (again more like 11+)
• Despite the moderate rating, the final pitch should not be taken lightly

Articles:
The Alpinist 29, April 2009
John Bachar’s account of the first ascent

Related links:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1045687/Bachar-Yerian-timelinep-who-did-which-ascent-and-when

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/375380/Bachar-Yerrian

Cool videos:
Ascent by Andrew Rock and Jan McCollum
http://vimeo.com/14878084

Ascent by Hayden Kennedy and Ivo Ninov
http://vimeo.com/6102968

  Trip Report Views: 8,978
Jon Clark
About the Author
Jon Clark is a climber from Philadelphia.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
eKat

Trad climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 08:31am PT
WOW!

TFPU!

P.S. WOW! Not only for the climb. . . but for your outstanding work writing this TR, as well.

VERY NICE!
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
  Sep 30, 2013 - 08:29am PT
Fingers don't slide properly on trackpad, too sweaty. Thanks for the great TR!
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
  Sep 30, 2013 - 08:40am PT
Awesome, way to get after it.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
  Sep 30, 2013 - 08:52am PT
Great story! Got my adrenaline going just imagining what it was like.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:11am PT
Nice! TFPU.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:17am PT
your piece
represents the spirit
that claws about
within many of us.

thanks, and i
commend your enduring
contribution to the
life-beat of our passion.

some days,
the son smashes
into the infant horizon,
growing it up real quick.
FrankZappa

Trad climber
Hankster's crew
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:04am PT
A send to be proud of.
Deekaid

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:15am PT
now this is the kind of writing that I come to supertopo for. Sounds friggin gripping ...thanks for the write up

edit :
no pun intended
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:15am PT
Congratulations. Nice trip report. I think it is pretty cool that you live in Philadelphia and climb in Tuolumne Meadows.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:22am PT
G-Dang! VERY Nice job!!!!!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:28am PT
Excelent!
Matt's

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:29am PT
great report

i'm mostly impressed that you did this in mocassyms, perhaps the worst shoe for this type of climbing...
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:47am PT
Sweet!
TFPU
Sketch

Trad climber
Not FortMental
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:49am PT
Awesome climb. Great story. Thanks.
MH2

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Worth every word.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Fantastic. Way to get it done and great write up
Friend

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Congratulations! I can only imagine what a buzz that must've been. Great writing too. Thanks!
Jay Hack

Trad climber
Detroit, Michigan
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:04am PT
Great writing! Nice job on the climb.
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Nice work dude. Proud.
And thanks for the TR.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:20am PT
the value to you of an ascent like this cannot be overstated.

well done!
10b4me

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:20am PT
What others have said.
An excellent trip report.
My hands are so sweaty, I almost dropped my coffee cup.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Outstanding....

Way to go.
WBraun

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:35am PT
Congratulations .........!!!!
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Great job
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:37am PT
Damn dude, way to commit to your dreams. Super inspiring & exciting TR. good stuff.


Somebody should put more bolts on that thing so everyone can try it.


















Joking!!!!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Wow, that is freeking awesome.

Congratulations man.

John is smiling.
Seth

Trad climber
New York, NY
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Thanks for this excellent report, very exciting!
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
  Sep 30, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
what a superb TR , congratulations on the send .
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Sep 30, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
That was quite a journey, the essence of climbing is that it can compel us to address and overcome a host of fears.

The longer the journey, the bigger the mental battle can become. You did a fantastic job of dealing with your head, even more so in light of your earlier 'failure' (in itself more gripping to me than the success!)

Fantastic stuff, it will probably stay with you forever.

Steve
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Sep 30, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Congrats! Yup, getting the vibe of the knobs is critical before pushing any limits. For that matter, getting the vibe of the runout counts too.

Scary mon!

Peace

Baba
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Dedication and courage! Nice stuff.
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Sep 30, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
Well done Sir!!!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Sep 30, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
A Gneissly Granetic story. You write quite well and the photos are a bonus. Probably should have tried submitting it to the climbing mags!
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Sep 30, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
Eggzellent work! Way to pinch those "peanuts"!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
Thanks for posting one of the best trip reports I've ever read. You really captured the feeling of climbing with scant protection on difficult terrain. (This occurs for me these days at a much lower difficulty than that present in the Bachar-Yerian).

John
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
  Sep 30, 2013 - 03:33pm PT
If BY was put up today ; in the usual style (a bolt every 6 feet or so it) it would be just another sport route with a line.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
Great report - thanks for sharing.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
  Sep 30, 2013 - 04:20pm PT
Thanks for the well written and inspiring TR.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
Wow!
Great written account.
You surely have more skills and a bigger pair than I!
Thanks for posting up :-)

Erik
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Holy mole, great job. Thirty-five footer onto a slab, then a 50 footer... and still you went back. True grit. What's the next project?

Neat video of Kennedy on the send. Is there a timestamp in that vid where you recognize the spot you peeled from on your 50 ft fall?

I had nothing left and my muscles were reduced to non-responsive slurry.

"Non-responsive slurry" is going to be a go-to term for me for the remainder of this year.

Bachar lives!
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
  Sep 30, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Awesome. Congratulations!! Having done the route a couple years ago I felt your terror the whole way. We were told to expect to spend an hour on the second pitch but we both did it in about 45 minutes total. We also thought the scariest move was the slab step up on the last pitch, miles from your last pro. We did the last pitch in two pitches though and that helped a lot.
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
thanks you for TR and congratulations!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 06:10pm PT
Great job describing the psychological strain of climbing this formidable route. Thanks for posting.

lars
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Sep 30, 2013 - 07:15pm PT
That 2nd photo sez it all. Outstanding!!!
darkmagus

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
nice work!! really cool TR!! thanks for sharing!!
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
I remember reading that Bachar himself once gave some advice about the route and then added, 'A piece of cake' I guess it's a relative term.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
  Sep 30, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
You wanted it! You got it. Great effort.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:00pm PT
Proud
Great attitude
Randisi

climber
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Going back to for a repeat?

The Germans have a saying: Einmal ist keinmal.

Once is never!

hehe.

Great work!
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:05pm PT
weg summed it up...Good work and thanx for sharing....

Stevo
Synchronicity

Trad climber
British Columbia, Canada
  Sep 30, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
Awesome report! Felt like I was up there with sweaty palms. Like you, I have a great respect for JB and all he has done for climbing history. These are the type of climbs that teach you something everlasting about yourself, if only we could all reach our dreams.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:01pm PT

Great job Jon. Congrats on a great send and a great TR!
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:37pm PT
One of the best, most honest TRs I've read in a while. JB is smilin' down on ya!
Bowser

Social climber
Durango CO
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
Wow, my hands were sweating while reading. Thank you for sharing.
David Wilson

climber
CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
Wow - climbing as a contact sport! Way to engage and thanks for posting
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
Just as I was thinking to myself "I wonder what shoes he decided to wear" you wrote this line :

Upon taking my 5.10 Moccasym slippers (not necessarily lauded as edging shoes) out of my climbing pack he said, “You’re going to climb the Bachar Yerian in those?!”


and I was kind of blown away. I'm just kind of interested in whether you experimented with different shoes during your training runs and what it was about the moccasyms that made you choose them.

Of course I haven't done BY but I have done a number of the other routes nearby on Medlicott and on East Cottage Dome, and I always felt having a great edging shoe made a huge difference. Back in those days I was wearing the black Taos and I loved them soooo much for that micro edging. The Moccasyms seemed way too soft to me. Thus more effort...

Say more if you please...
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
blew chunks reading that one,

not even worthy to wash your car,

Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
Exellent!
Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:43pm PT
Awesome TR and congrats on the send!
Guangzhou

Trad climber
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Wonderful that you met your goal. The route has been on list for awhile too, now you've inspired me again.

Undoubtedly one of the best trip reports I ever read read.

How does someone in Phily get started in climbing?

Eman
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Oct 1, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Dude!
tom Carter

Social climber
  Oct 1, 2013 - 01:21am PT
A tribute to John and to you.

That's what a route of that caliber can do for everybody- whether they ever climb it or not.

You are elevated by your effort ... and John's.

You will not forget.

Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
  Oct 1, 2013 - 01:55am PT
that route may harder nowadays, cranberries broken or eroded,

angle of rock shifts 0.1 degrees more vertical and difficulty goes up again,
msiddens

Trad climber
  Oct 1, 2013 - 03:31am PT
AWESOMME
Jon Clark

climber
philadelphia
Author's Reply  Oct 1, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Thanks for all the nice words. I'm glad you guys enjoyed the TR.

le_bruce asked

Neat video of Kennedy on the send. Is there a timestamp in that vid where you recognize the spot you peeled from on your 50 ft fall?

Kennedy is clipping the first bolt at 2:59. It doesn't provide the best perspective, but that bolt is 30-35 feet off the belay. In 2012 I fell from 5-8 feet below the bolt. It was a doozy.

Randisi asked

Going back to for a repeat?

I realize you're not being entirely serious, but if I lived in CA I'd consider it. The second pitch is that good.

phylp asked

I'm just kind of interested in whether you experimented with different shoes during your training runs and what it was about the moccasyms that made you choose them.

I've only ever experimented with buying very expensive climbing shoes and then storing them in my gear closet. I've worn Moccasyms in my street shoe size for my entire career. JB put the route up in EBs which I understand edged well, but left alot to be desired. I've never thought that shoes were a limiting factor in my climbing.

Guangzhou asked

How does someone in Phily (sic) get started in climbing?

I can't believe you didn't already know that southeastern PA is unrivaled as a climbing mecca. I really did train for the route in PA on real rock.
Randisi

climber
  Oct 1, 2013 - 11:44am PT
that southeastern PA is unrivaled as a climbing mecca

Lots of great bouldering in PA.

I lived in State College for almost twenty years. We probably found a great new bouldering area every two years. Really quality stuff.

The western USAnians don't want to believe it.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#199962
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Aurora Colorado
  Oct 1, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
I just watched the Hayden Kennedy video linked above. He seems to be another Alex Honnold. It looks like he just walked up to it and climbed it.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Cali
  Oct 1, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
I just watched the Hayden Kennedy video linked above. He seems to be another Alex Honnold. It looks like he just walked up to it and climbed it.

Actually if you watch both videos linked I think that Andrew led it much more smoothly and was done with the second pitch in 25 minutes and was also his first time on the route.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 1, 2013 - 07:24pm PT
Way to go!!!!
Thank you for taking us along!!!
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  Oct 1, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
“Holy mackanoli, what a cruel joke!”

Holy mackanoli, what a FABULOUS trip report!!!

Many thanks for dragging me up that route with you.
Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Oct 1, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Top shelf!
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
  Oct 2, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
Full of admiration for this feat, and the report. Thanks for posting.

(Also, would love to squeeze some politardness off the first page!)
Powder

Trad climber
the Flower Box
  Oct 3, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
Congrats!

Great report - thanks for sharing.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Oct 3, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
One of the best trip reports I've read and I've read a lot.

Had my palms sweating too.

Outstanding.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Oct 7, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Wow

I crap my pants when my feet get above my last piece.

Great write-up too, only a few pics and I still really enjoyed it!

jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
  Oct 8, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Hands are drenched. Fantastic writing, and great job on the send!!
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Oct 8, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Congratulations. Obsessions can be such wonderful things.
Greg Barnes

climber
  Oct 8, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Nice!

You'll get a kick out of this...
B/Y + Shambles topo, 1983 Don Reid & Chris Falkenstein guide.
B/Y + Shambles topo, 1983 Don Reid & Chris Falkenstein guide.
Credit: Greg Barnes
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Oct 8, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
Awesome ST content.

Excellent Jon!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Oct 8, 2013 - 11:57pm PT
Speechless... 2nd photo.... uh.....
LongAgo

Trad climber
  Oct 9, 2013 - 12:06am PT
Excellent. If this doesn't speak to how/why we need to preserve this old run out route just as it is (and some others), I don't know what does. You worked out, went through a failed start but didn't beat the hell out of it (how can one with big fall potential, though of course one could top rope it repeatedly) got fit mentally too and did it to your highest personal satisfaction which I contend will last a lifetime. Others too can have this experience in years to come if only we keep the flame on this incredible route. Bravo.
Crag

Trad climber
Pennsyltuckey
  Oct 9, 2013 - 12:10pm PT
Great TR, thanks for sharing your story.

Fellow, PA/Philly Climber

Cheers!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Oct 9, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
Excellent dedication, climbing and TR. Congratulations.
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Oct 9, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Now, where's my chalk. Hands are dripping...
burp

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
  Oct 17, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
Sweet!
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Oct 17, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Really well written and gripping!

Thanks!
deepnet

Boulder climber
San Diego
  Jan 9, 2014 - 09:33pm PT
I can nothing that hasn't already been said.
you are as gifted as a writer as you are climber.
Best TR I've read!
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