Trip Report
The Bin, Arch Rock (TR)
Friday March 20, 2009 3:31pm
I’ve been wanting to do this climb for a few years now, alerted by a couple posts from Bruce Morris,
who first climbed it with Greg Murphy way back in the Late Post-Neolithic. He surmised
that it may not have had a second ascent. That is probably off the mark, but not by much.

It looks good from the entrance station area, if you have good enough binoculars.
It’s billed as 5.10D with the crux area labeled 5” and a lower section of 5.10B hands.
I thought it would be a good kickoff to my season, so I drove to Arch Rock on Saturday
afternoon, thinking I would scout the approach, maybe even figure the approach to Extra
Credit, then meet up with Ed H. and Gary C. to climb the rig on Sunday.

The approach is not so bad, maybe a bit more than twice the main Arch Rock climbs, a little
brush, some routefinding. I got stymied by one bit of poison oak trying to skirt a little rock
band just below the climb, then did a little climbing that would not be good with a pack (at
that point I knew the best way, but didn’t want to detour over to it) and found myself at the
base of this beautiful crack.

Now, I had been particular about equipping myself for this reconnaissence. I had climbing shoes and a chalkbag.
As I explained to Ron K. who was lounging at the base of Anticipation,
If I were unequipped I would undoubtedly find some climb that looked like a great prospect for
a solo. Having the shoes would disabuse me of this notion.

Well, I decided there was just enough space at the base for me to change shoes, and soon
enough I was doing the hard but solid thin hands sections heading for this pretty flare below
the obvious 5” crack above. The flare had hand/fist jams in the back, so I climbed up until
I could get my knee into it and then climbed back to the ground, 15-20 feet. I knew I was in
for a treat.

Down at the road I ran into Alexey, who was on his way home to Santa Clara with his wife,
having climbed at the Cookie with no other parties at the crag. We decided that he could
stay an extra day and climb with me and possibly Ed and Gary.

This happened that didn’t , etc, and Alexey and I made it to the climb without mishap or
company. I started up, having my foot slip where it didn’t the night before, then having a
foot jam blow out as I was fiddling with cupped hands in the back of the start of the flare
(wtf is going on here?), then I managed to insert myself left side into the flare, which was
obviously better right side in. Especially since I had racked up that way. Actually, the climbing
was fine either direction, save for the rack issue.

The rock is beautiful, did I mention that? It’s in a strip with nearly no lichen, and a golden-
to-red veneer.
At the top of this flare is a little alcove with a rest (and a good spot to turn around) and a
good look at the real reason for being up here. The crack above this is about 6”, narrowing
to 5”, then arching slightly left. There is a small offset, enough to dictate a right-side in
approach. A couple steep moves, until your feet get out of the alcove, then just great old
fashioned ratcheting up, with a superb edge for the left hand and oh-so-solid heel/toes.

And then…and then…

Right about when your hands and face get to where the left edge goes bad, you notice that
there’s a section that’s too small for the knee. Can’t figure it, get tired, take tension.
So I accept my demerit, hang, go back up a few feet, try to work my foot in really high off
an awkward hand/fist stack, blow out of the stack and sail headfirst.
So, I get lowered to the alcove and take a rest. The rope is pretty chewed from running over
the left edge of the crack in my fall, but it seems to be sheath damage only.
So, back up the beautiful OW section to the crux, where I think I hung again, then I crank
really high off a stack and get my leg past the constriction.

And then…and then…

My knee is really stuck. Really.
“My knee is really stuck.”
Talk about an inconvenience.

I tried everything. You don’t have to bother with too many questions, like whether I tried
straightening my leg, or bending my leg, or taking it out exactly the way it went in, because
I’m pretty confident I tried that. Numerous times. It didn’t take long before Alexey suggested
I put in another piece, which, fortunateley, I had, and so I rigged a sling to a good height
And stood on that. Forever. Eventually, after paying proper penance, I guess, my knee came
out and I got to finish.

A bit above the hard climbing is a scary hummock move which included a bush handhold,
then an easy short squeeze to the top.
Slings on a tree. I added two slings and a carabiner (for a total of two) and was lowered off.
Alexey absolutely hiked the thing.

90 ft “rap”
Stellar quality.
Protection to 6”

  Trip Report Views: 1,738
scuffy b
About the Author
scuffy b is a climber from Sinatra to Singapore.

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Gary Carpenter

SF Bay Area
  Mar 20, 2009 - 03:45pm PT
You are THE MAN!!

A pile of dirt.
  Mar 20, 2009 - 03:47pm PT
Sounds killer. I remember DRC getting his knee stuck in generator once.


Trad climber
the jeep
  Mar 20, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
Awesome Scuffs!!!!!!

always sucks to get a knee stuck.........

This is why I come to the Taco!!!!!

thanks for posting up!!!!!!!!!111


sounds like an awesome climb

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Mar 20, 2009 - 03:59pm PT

Headfirst whipper! Egads!

Thanks for telling the tale. Helluva good job on that one.


Social climber
London, Paris, WV & CA
  Mar 20, 2009 - 04:05pm PT
Nice one, hearing about getting a knee stuck always makes start sweating thinking about when it happened to me last year. Good on you to get it out without too much pain ( I hope)

scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2009 - 04:19pm PT

I can't wear shorts in polite company for a while.
I no longer have a full-length rope.
It's going to be weeks before I can go back and do this
classic again.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Mar 20, 2009 - 04:22pm PT
5" crack? Blargh!!!! Sounds like a fun time - hope the knee heels quickly!
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2009 - 06:17pm PT
My psychotherapist and I got a lot of laughs out of this one.
It was the most enjoyable failure I've ever had climbing.
Mighty Hiker

Outside the Asylum
  Mar 20, 2009 - 06:20pm PT
scuffy b: "My psychotherapist..." Do tell more. Some believe that psychotherapists and OW climbers go together like peas and carrots.

Sounds like a stout early season climb - any photos?

  Mar 20, 2009 - 06:26pm PT
Hey there Scuffmaster. Thanks for writing up that TR. You are a wordsmith, and my knee hurts now.

Gym climber
  Mar 20, 2009 - 06:42pm PT
Nice TR. Sounds like a full-value pitch. Video?

San Jose, CA
  Mar 20, 2009 - 07:03pm PT
when Steve said "my knee is stuck" I did not truly believe it serious because of his calm voice. I was thinking he just have trouble at crux. Than after few minutes of his struggling in the same place ( he was ~35 ft up)- I realize that worse possible happen..
Difficult to say about time , but I think it took 25-30 min ( can be more) for him to suddenly release it . I was amazed how calm he was all this time.
The photo of The Bin is here
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2009 - 07:07pm PT
Thanks for the kind words.
sorry, but we had no camera.
I've only seen one picture of it
which I believe came from somewhere in

that picture shows the climber near the top of the flare. It's
nice climbing with heel/toes and hand or fist jams way in the
back. Not grunty. What looks like a roof above doesn't really
seem like one from up close. The off width climbing is above
the climber.

Another EDIT
I see the picture is from Bruce Morris and that it is called
a second view of the Bin, so there must be another one on
the site.

A pile of dirt.
  Mar 20, 2009 - 07:25pm PT
Ok that thing is beautiful - must go flail on it! Thanks for the pic.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 20, 2009 - 07:56pm PT
Nice, Scuff!

здраствытии, Aleksey, if that is appropo, excuse my cyrillic spelling!


Trad climber
  Mar 20, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
Sounds like quite a way to start the season!


thanks scuffy!

Russ Walling

Social climber
from Poofters Froth, Wyoming
  Mar 20, 2009 - 08:09pm PT
scuffy = wide king
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Author's Reply  Mar 20, 2009 - 08:12pm PT
Yeah, that's why I hung on the rig and fell and ended up using

San Jose, CA
  Mar 20, 2009 - 08:15pm PT
Здраствуй Jaybro

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Mar 20, 2009 - 08:25pm PT


  Mar 20, 2009 - 09:08pm PT
Hey scuffy,
That was as fun to read as it was to hear wednesday!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 20, 2009 - 10:02pm PT
Glad you two малодец's are good and well, (I would kill for a cyrillic keyboard! if I could see the keys I could just make my normal spelling mistakes.) Ochen cool effort none the less! I'd go back there with you guys, Anytime. Somehow this one never appeared on my radar.
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
  Dec 16, 2012 - 02:11am PT
"The Bin" Arch Rock:

Mike Hernandez follows Elliott Robinson up "The Bin" on the second asc...
Mike Hernandez follows Elliott Robinson up "The Bin" on the second ascent
Credit: Bruce Morris

Definitely not a slab!
Definitely not a slab!
Credit: Bruce Morris

Back in the late Neolithic!

Trad climber
  Dec 16, 2012 - 10:37am PT
Credit: mctwisted

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Dec 16, 2012 - 11:13am PT
Nice....just added to my tick list!
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
  Dec 17, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Such a beautiful clean crack, but such an OWfull size is way too long for it to be fun. I still think the best is at the end though: crawling sideways into "The Bin" cave and squeezing up through the bat guano to emerge on the top of the pedestal covered with goo!

I bet if you nose around up above "The Bin" on the next level, Dan, there are some more new climbs in that area. Just have to snoop up there on a warm winter's afternoon when the temps are good and comfy.

From this entry, it sounds as though there have been 3 leads of the thing since the FA in the late 80s:

Greg Murphy, Elliott Robinson (in his OW prime), and now scuffy b. If I recall correctly, the trick is to start the crux off the pedestal right side in and, then, as you pull into the 5" over the roof, rotate until you're left side is in as you finish up the overhanging OW. I remember getting my left knee stuck while trying to do an overhanging OW up by the Owl that Dimitri Barton called "Black Aura". Terrifying to be stuck in that position, unable to move. "Black Aura", to the best of my knowledge, has never had an ascent. Still up there waiting for Da Man, Scruffy.

Happy OWing!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Dec 16, 2012 - 06:41pm PT
2x long approach, poison oak and Burly wide climb that tops out in a pile of bat sh#t.!!!

You, Ed and your posse are perverts for punishment!



David Wilson

  Dec 16, 2012 - 07:48pm PT
On my list too Jim - looks great

How was the walk up there Dan?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Dec 16, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
it's on my list too, but The Bin was a scuffy_b rediscovery...

the only good news is that I know my knee is bigger than Mr. Smooth's, so at least I can't get stuck at the same place.

Not the best image... but it sort of shows you the area...


San Jose, CA
  Dec 16, 2012 - 08:33pm PT
Ed, I think size of the knee is not important to be stuck, but the shape..
Scuffy's knee has a shape of the stopper...

David, - the time for Bin approach is little more than twice longer as to Anticipation corner.

Trad climber
the Box
  Dec 17, 2012 - 05:07am PT
That sounds wild! : D


Trad climber
  Dec 17, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
cool, thanks Bruce. here's a few more shots from up there
arch rock pinnacle's south face ('55 harding, whitmore)
arch rock pinnacle's south face ('55 harding, whitmore)
Credit: mctwisted
west face arch rock pinnacle, you can see the amazing looking 5.10b fi...
west face arch rock pinnacle, you can see the amazing looking 5.10b fist crack (per-spire-ation, worrall, chapman, matt and bruce polluck '74)
Credit: mctwisted
left crack is SAT (robinson and carrick '88), right is ultimat...
left crack is SAT (robinson and carrick '88), right is ultimate emotion (robinson and carrick '88)
Credit: mctwisted
GRE 5.11 cave o.w. (robinson and annecone '88)
GRE 5.11 cave o.w. (robinson and annecone '88)
Credit: mctwisted
Credit: mctwisted

San Jose, CA
  Dec 17, 2012 - 03:08pm PT
the good things about Bin and GRE is that they be open when main Arch be closed due to Birds. Am I right?
thanks Dan for nice photos
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
  Dec 17, 2012 - 05:21pm PT
Awesome. When we did this I figured it would never get another ascent. Glad I'm wrong. I believe Bruce and I did a few new routes that day and ended up doing this one in the dark after a little cleaning. Way to get on the obscure stuff. You might want to start thinking about Vegamite on the Rostrum!
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
Author's Reply  Dec 17, 2012 - 05:23pm PT
The closures have changed from year to year.
One of our recent years had the Bin closed with the main body of
Arch Rock open, one year the Bin was opened later in the Spring while
the main body was closed.
I think in 2012 the 2nd tier, including the Bin, was reopened from
Kindergarten Crack westward.
I would expect everything to be closed starting in March, with parts
opened after a month or two, depending on which nesting site is used.

Oh, Hey, that GRE is one wild looking phenomenon.
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
  Dec 19, 2012 - 12:54am PT
In Dan's photo, GRE looks pretty awesome, but not as intimidating as it looks when you're standing there underneath it. It REALLY overhangs at the bottom. Nice to look at! Now that 10b crack on Arch Rock Pinnacle looks like it would be a nice straight in hands. Wonder if anyone has gone up and repeated it? That orange rock on that side of Arch is really striking. Let's hope someone writes a ST TR on a repeat of GRE this winter. A warm day in winter is the perfect time to be up on that side of Arch.
E Robinson

Salinas, CA
  Dec 18, 2012 - 03:51am PT
Scuffy, need to get in another try on the OW of the Redwoods. Greg man, been talking to Pete Carrick about getting up to the Valley on 12/29 and 12/30. Bruce, would love to read a trip report of a day spent on the Arch Rock obscurities.

San Jose, CA
  Dec 18, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
a lot of FFA team members, and early Arch explorers on this tread ! thanks for proud climbs.
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