Trip Report
There and Back Again - Cyclorama Wall
Sunday January 13, 2013 8:07pm
Last 4th of July, my friend Jenny and I headed into the High Sierra for some new routes. We'd read Galen Rowell's writeup on the Cyclorama Wall, and I wanted to see what it was all about. Over the course of about a week we put up 3 new routes in the area, and had a blast in the backcountry. We spent many MANY hours writing this up at pullharder.org. I know some people here don't like it when TR's are just links, but I don't have the time to duplicate the work. To wet your appetite:

Ducky's Wild Ride (5.10d, IV, 1000').  FA buried in the Sierra.
Ducky's Wild Ride (5.10d, IV, 1000'). FA buried in the Sierra.
Credit: Josh Higgins

If you want to read the trip report, please click HERE.

Have a great day!

Josh

  Trip Report Views: 2,174
Josh Higgins
About the Author
Josh Higgins is a trad climber from San Diego.

Comments
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Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Jan 13, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
AWESOME!!!!!

Mysterious and legendary wall guarded by {edit} not 3 but 4 (!!) Sierra passes finally gets a visit and a TR.

Most of us will never lay eyes on the thing, so wonderful you take us there vicariously. Thanks!!

RP3

Big Wall climber
Twain Harte
  Jan 13, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Super cool!
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 13, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
It's guarded by 4 passes:

South Fork Pass
Mather Pass
The unnamed pass west of Mather with the dihedral
The last pass west of Ducky's Wild Ride between Amphitheater Lake basin and Dumbbell Lakes basin, or Cataract Creek Pass

It's quite the proposition to get back there...

Josh
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jan 13, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Way to work for it! Great stuff, but now my eyes hurt from reading. I've been wondering when someone would go there, glad I got to read about it. TFPU
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Jan 14, 2013 - 11:08am PT
Awesome bump.
10b4me

climber
  Jan 14, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Very nice report, and awesome for Jenny not only to get her first trad lead, but also an fa.
Way cool
Loomis

climber
  Jan 14, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
Cataract or cartridge pass?

Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 14, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
SO RAD! Always been really curious about this mysterious area ever since reading Rowell's AAJ blurb years ago as a kid. The lack of photos and other info only added to the mystery. Way to get to it there and explore.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 14, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Loomis,

I'm sitting here with Secor, and it definitely says Cataract Creek Pass. It's west of Amphitheater Lake, and drops you down to the Dumbbell Lakes north of Cyclorama Wall. Cartridge looks like it's about 4 miles south of the region we visited.

Josh
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:14pm PT
Sweet awesomeness.

I sure wish people would build TR's here instead of just linking to their stuff elsewhere though.

It would get you more looks and posts here, trust me.
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
...so...the old Rowell AAJ write up says Cyclorama wall sound as steep and tall as The Diamond on Longs Peak. Those photos do not show this. Over hype, or is it that impressive?
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Survival,

According to our statistics plugin, we had over 400,000 visits to our site last year. I've gone to the trouble of posting full trip reports with pictures here, but they often fall off the front page quickly and sometimes just result in nonsense comments. I don't have the incentive to post it here anymore considering the large amount of time I would have to put in to duplicate the work. I'm glad that many people appreciate it when I link here, and so I continue to link the trip reports that I think Supertopoians will appreciate.

By the way, the amount of FA potential back there was truly stunning... Who's heading back there next?

Josh
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Sewellymon,

The wall is truly steep and impressive. It's probably about 1000' tall, and nearly a mile wide. Picture 33 of 51 in the gallery at the end of the TR shows only a part of the right side of the wall. Having read Rowell's comment, I believe he climbed just right of the center of the picture taking the "king line" up the wall. It looked steep enough that freeing the line would be quite difficult since the cracks did not appear to be continuous. I've never stood under the Diamond, so I have no comparison with that. I'd say that the size of the wall is impressive, but the free climbing potential does not sound like it is as good as The Diamond. That said, I didn't try, so it may be better than I thought. I'd still like to head back there someday with a solid partner and give it a try.

Josh
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 14, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
According to our statistics plugin, we had over 400,000 visits to our site last year

That's great, but I wasn't talking about hits to your site. I was talking about the pure attention that your TR gets HERE.

How many visits did Supertopo get last year? How many of your hits came from ST? How many more would you get if you put a real TR here?

If it's too much work for you, then that's how much you value our participation.



Am I too far off base here?
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Josh- this is the pic you are referring to..

Credit: Josh Higgins
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
Am I too far off base here?


I don't see how hard it is to click? Yeah, it would be nice to have the content here, it's not debilitating though, and he ultimately gets more control of his content by basically just advertising here which is something I applaud.

I guess I need to read the TR now though!

I am seeing more random people do the pullharder pose in climbing summit shots. Kinda reminds me of ball walking in highschool or something gimmicky, personally, but I guess the crew's gotta have their sign.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 14, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
I don't see how hard it is to click?


Not hard at all. Shall we just have a site full of links and no content then?
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 14, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Dude made a big TR with lots of pictures and writing. I do not think he has to post a whole thing here and go through the process of uploading 30 photos. If you are interested in Sierra BC first ascents or whatever any author is posting, you will click the link. It isn't a big deal. If not, than I guess it is your loss. Authors don't usually write TRs to get a particular number of hits, I am sure it is just to share the experience, document the experience for own reference, and share the wealth of potential in this remote area in this case.

I was looking at Cyclorama wall, and wanted to go there. But had no partner with available time, and did not have time myself. Can't wait to read the full TR, pictures look great!
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 14, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
Survival,

Supertopo will never be all links and no content. It's my choice to post how I want, and at the moment I've made my decision. Others have decided to post full content TR's here on Supertopo, and that is awesome! My friends and I have been posting at pullharder.org for 5-6 years now, since before there was a TR section of supertopo. I think we created something fun, that many people appreciate, and for the time being I'm sticking with it.

Josh

Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
  Jan 14, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
I used to be of the same mind : "It's lame to just post links on Supertopo" .

But the biggest pain is uploading all the pics on a TR here . I'm sure he could just copy and paste the text , but the pic loading sucks IMO , especially 30+ pics , so I can understand him not wanting to create a new TR for Supertopo ...
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jan 14, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
Whatever, everybody has their "primary" site. I don't want to write up 2 TRs either. I do the same on other sites.

EXCELLENT ADVENTURE! Way to suffer.

And, ah, err, you do have a few things to learn about going fast and light . . . A bolt kit??? Give me a break! ;-)

Good job though!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jan 14, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
My jaded appetite needed WHETTING--certainly no wetting--and you went and whetted it.

Stop bitching, fools. Drop and gimme ten clicks!

Take your first world problem where it belongs.

Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 14, 2013 - 06:43pm PT
Reeotch,

You're right, and I embrace my n00bitude! Hopefully we'll be back harder, faster, stronger, wiser, and LIGHTER! Perhaps then we can put up some harder routes, or maybe more than just one in a day. I've learned how to go fast and light on bigwall, and single day pushes, but week-long FA trips 20 miles back in the mountains was well outside my previous experience... which is EXACTLY why I did it!

Josh
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 14, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
World class write up,
Stellar TR,
Thank You VERY much!!!

Way to go, a lot of firsts on that one!!!
Marshall

climber
bay area
  Jan 15, 2013 - 12:16am PT

kickass trip report.

and bitching that you didn't copy it all to supertopo is ridiculous. post it wherever you damn well please! and keep posting them, they are awesome.
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
  Jan 15, 2013 - 12:37am PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thjh2c7b4KY
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jan 15, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Thanks mate--awesome report. The Sierra is the best.
CalicoJack

climber
CA
  Jan 15, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
Awesome Adventure deep in the High Sierra, throwing up FAs - well done! What a great dose of motivation for the morning. Thanks for sharing!

Andy
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jan 17, 2013 - 08:42pm PT
Rad. Atrue walkabout. Way to apply the three necessary skillz of backcountryness.

1. Moxy

2. Heavy packlitude

3. A stoke that overfloweth


Thanks for the great report and for pullinharder.

Scott
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jan 17, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
Yeah! Adventure, I'm all over it!
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Author's Reply  Jan 19, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
I had to look up "moxy" on www.urbandictionary.com:

Self possessed confidence. An attitude of fearlessness in everyday circumstances. The capacity to stand alone in favor of an unpopular opinion or course of action with a casual demeanor. The word fell out of usage as the character traits it represented both became less common and came to be viewed as unfavorable in others.

I like that term!

Josh
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
  Jan 19, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Great report Josh....I think you should still carry a bolt kit. Rowell was a great adventurer and Fiddler and Clevenger were great face climbers so mixed routes weren't foreign to them. There could be great climbable face links in between cracks up spectacular lines you witnessed. Thank you so much for bringing that special place to us. I trust what Rowell, having seen a great cross section of mountain regions, said when comparing The Diamond to Cyclorama, especially after viewing your photo's. Only those who've seen both can compare. Thanks again!
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
  Jan 21, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Nice! Thank you both.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jan 21, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Great team effort in the Range of Light . . . thanks for sharing the experience(s).
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jan 21, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
bump
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