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El Capitan


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Valley Vacation - Stoner's,Astroman,TTrip,Tribal Rite, Zodiac,Lost Trip ...
Monday September 26, 2011 6:01pm
Once I had arrived in LA, Eli and I quickly packed and drove to the valley. We were going to climb something good, that was the plan, and we had no particular route in mind… when Eli suggested Lurking Fear, I agreed, if he led part of it. He was psyched an we walked to the base first thing in the evening. We wanted to carry everything at once, and only took 2 jackets and a sleeping bag to share along. Bad thing we had no idea what the temps during the night were going to be. I assumed July=HOT and that was wrong. after freezing our arses off for the night we started climbing a bit rustily. After pitch 6 or 7 Eli decides to not to lead anything, and my psych drops a bit,… having a 5.12 climber jug behind me for his 2 only days of climbing in the Valley for that year seems a bit of a bad idea.
The best pitch we did on LF. Awesome 5.9
The best pitch we did on LF. Awesome 5.9
Credit: nopantsben
I suggest we bivy on the ledge of 10 and go down the next morning by rappel. That way Eli could climb the next day, and i would be fully rested before going to hit Lost in America with William. But then our rope got stuck in the offwith pitch! We had to basically cut it in half, and thus had to reverse the traverse.
We were glad that two guys had fixed the two first pitches, and we made it down by only having to leave out 2 short bits, but keeping my lead line. This was my first round of the walk of shame. A large haulbag, a grumpy, depressed face looking at the ground, and a slow pace are the typical signs that you know you're walking the walk you would rather avoid. Smile, be friendly, and a bit ironic if you can, and it does go by. A partner that takes his share off the "we bailed" explanations is helpful.
Bad luck did not stop though… After getting all set up after pitch one on LiA and climbing half of the next pitch, William decided to go home the next morning, for very good, personal reasons … the fact that we had to give up is nothing compared to why...

I went down and wanted to find a partner for the route but no luck. Erik E had just come down from a wall, Dave had to answer tourist questions and was injured. Nanook had no time either... I thought : "This is desperate" Since all my gear, water, food etc. was already up there, I decided to try and solo the thing.It already smelled a bit like another round of the Walk. To prevent this, Dave made me a little drawing on how to solo, gave me some explanations and encouragement and off I went. If you are thinking that soloing because you have no partner, opposed to soloing because you want to, is a bad idea, you are right.
I had like zero fun… On the first day it was okay, I finished pitch 2 , and went back to the valley. the next day i went up there in the morning after getting some more gear from nanook and dave (thanks again guys!) and did pitch 3. For some reason everything I did, I did it super slow. I paused in the middle of leading to look around, and took plenty of time to think. This allowed the little thing in the back of my mind to grow, and the things between my legs to shrink. After having done p3 I set up the ledge and watched it get dark for looooong time. I knew I would retreat first thing next morning. Yes, the next pitch looked fabulous! But I just didn't enjoy climbing without William up there. I have bailed off of a lot of climbs, but this one was one of the easiest in terms of taking the decision. There was not really any doubt it was the right thing to do…
Going down from 3 was already quite a jugging/swinging challenge! I woke up at 6 and was at the bridge at 11. Bail of the Day! I was relieved when Dave said he had bailed off of El Cap solos before too. I spent the rest of the day getting my gear down. I split it up in 3 portions and gradually shuttled them down. I had not eaten anything but 3 cookies and a powerbar all day and by 3pm, I could barely manage to walk uphill for 300ft without a bag. I must have looked pretty cooked, because a family from the Netherlands asked me at the base of the nose if i was okay, and i was like, no, do you have something to drink? They gave me an apple and a smoothie, the best of my life. I was very grateful! A dad and his sons from Indiana that looked like they walked straight out of the movie " The Patriot" helped carry all the crap down, and the dad estimated that my loads must have been 150 pounds… no wonder I was fried. It's amazing how many good people there were around.

Bailing is a lot of work, but then soloing without liking it is too.

Now I was back in the Valley and wanted to climb, but having given up on soloing and partnerless, this was challenging.

Day by day i got less psyched…

I was hanging out at the slacklines in C4, when a guy with an old down jacket walks by, and I asked him: "Are you a climber" and he said yes, and I said - want to do Stoner's Highways one of these days?
He wants to, and a couple days later we are off! After eating cookies and drinking beers day in day out, this is exactly what i needed…
Turns out Everett is on the SAR, and a really cool person.
While I led the first the pitch, a bear and her cub strolled along the base. They did not seem to be bothered by us that much, and were soon gone.
3rd Pitch on Stoners
3rd Pitch on Stoners
Credit: nopantsben
After the first pitch which has the hardest climbing and is scary for the follower the rest of the route develops along cracks with some great, well protected slab climbing on very featured rock, until it gets a little headier on pitch 6. Going to the second bolt involves a runout on fairly large holds and from there I decided to climb down and right to what looked like a face with good crimps. Climbing this face, I reached a ramp, and was not sure where to go. Now a ways above the bolt, I carefully "walked" this ramp to some thin gear, and it became relatively obvious where to go. A cool flake leads to the anchor at the end of the slab, from where we, and most other parties I think, rapped.
We had a good day, although climbing on Middle Cathedral with El Cap behind you is a bit like writing an exam with a really pretty girl sitting next to you… We were back at the lodge at around 1 and got some beers going around the pool, which ended in a pretty awesome barbecue dinner with Margaritas at the SAR site. Finally a good day, more of that was welcome.
After another hanging out day - I have lost count how many of these abrading days there were - Allen and I were going to do the Regular Route on Half Dome . It looked like it was too hot for Autobahn, which I was initially more psyched for.
Alan was the only psyched and not perpetually busy climber i met in all that time at the bridge! When we realized we had too little water, and were already pretty late, we changed plans to climb Astroman. With a party ahead of us, that bailed below the Harding Slot, progress was pretty slow…
Allen sends the Enduro
Allen sends the Enduro
Credit: nopantsben
Such a good, classic, climb - but burly! It just doesn't let you walk out easily until after the last pitch. One splitter is stacked on top of the next - with super varied climbing. At the move into the Harding Slot, my onsight ascent was over. I tried multiple methods, but to no avail. Looking up into the slot i wondered if I really wanted to lead that thing…. I asked Allen if he wanted to lead, but he said he could probably not send this mouth of a monster either… a sling for my foot clipped into the cam helped. I got in there and immediately got claustrophobic! I wanted to get out as quickly as I could. I moved towards the edge, which scared me because there was not much but a lot of air below my feet. I struggled up and finished one of those leads that make you really tired but I still could not use any climbing skills. That part is more like a mix between crawling and wrestling with my brother - although my brother has never been as bad as the Harding Slot. Another pitch and best pitch came along: the changing corners. This pitch is almost too good to describe, you have to see for yourself. Varied and very splitter!
My favorite pitch on Astroman
My favorite pitch on Astroman
Credit: nopantsben
We raced the shade which was slowly approaching the base of Half Dome, and went as fast as we could and did the last two pitches pulling on every piece there was, which was scary on the last one, but it worked. I would like to go back earlier and in better temperatures, and send these pitches in good order…
We made it to the top with an hour of daylight left, and got back to base as it got dark. I was really trashed the next day…

The next weekend was rather uneventful, a scary climb of the very wet Northwest Crack on Lembert Dome, when the thunderstorms approached us faster than we wished…. Another full value climb, even if we did not anticipate that!

Back in LA, and ready to leave for Wyoming to climb in the Winds and the Tetons with Jim Donini and my dad, which I was looking forward to.


Driving through the nothingness of these huge plains I had read about in Karl May's Old Shatterhand books as a kid. Sometimes the nothingness was interrupted by the occasional town.
Organizing...
Organizing...
Credit: nopantsben
After walking in to the WInds with Llamas carrying most of our gear, it became apparent that the unreal masses of mosquitos would make this trip memorable in an annoying way. Even the joy of Darren's truly awesome cooking and Jim's and his friends' company was disturbed by these bugs.
Midsummer Dome
Midsummer Dome
Credit: nopantsben
After a climb on Midsummer Dome, where we climbed a potentially unclimbed dihedral, that was a lot scarier and harder than it looked, my dad and I left the next day and packed everything out without the Llamas, which was easier than going since we could go our pace. We were bummed that we did not get to climb anything further north than Midsummer Dome, but relieved to not to have to use that disgusting bug spray for a while. Thunderstorms in the Tetons meant we were going to check out the City of Rocks, a crag neither of us had been to before.
my favority city, along with Vienna
my favority city, along with Vienna
Credit: nopantsben
Credit: nopantsben

We had a lot of fun! We expected it to be a bit like Joshua Tree, but it was a lot better! Tribal is one of the best face climbs I have ever done… Unfortunately it rained every day for a short time in the afternoon. Still we climbed a lot of good meters in 2,5 days. We then left for the Valley because we could't wait to climb a wall.

Yosemite.

A bit smoky when we arrived, but still… There is no place quite like it. This time, everything went smoothly, and we immediately started racking and fixing.on Tribal Rite

We chose the New Dawn start, because it seemed like the most straight shot to the summit, and we wanted to be on the right side as much as possible.
Dad on new dawn
Dad on new dawn
Credit: nopantsben
I had never climbed to the right of the Nose, and was afraid that having the sun first thing in the morning would make the heat a lot worse, but with cool temps in the 86es it was not the slightest problem, and I am now a convinced Dawn Wall fan. It is hard to beat the feeling of getting woken up by the first sunrays on a portaledge 2000 feet of the ground.

This was the most fun I have ever had on a wall. We had Pizza for the first night!
After a couple terrible hauls and mediocre climbing on the New Dawn, it was glorious climbing from El Cap Tower to the top. There is some strange engineering on the route, but that doesn't distract from its classiness.
f*#k yeah!
f*#k yeah!
Credit: nopantsben
Credit: nopantsben
Credit: nopantsben
The pitch above the Carrot and the Rurp pitch are the best aid pitches I have ever climbed.
Above the Carrot
Above the Carrot
Credit: nopantsben
above the carrot
above the carrot
Credit: nopantsben
Not C2, but great Arrows...
Not C2, but great Arrows...
Credit: nopantsben
On the same pitch
On the same pitch
Credit: nopantsben
Bomber Hook
Bomber Hook
Credit: nopantsben
The ledge below that hooking
The ledge below that hooking
Credit: nopantsben
We always fixed a pitch in the afternoon for a more relaxed start. Lot...
We always fixed a pitch in the afternoon for a more relaxed start. Lots of fun swinging!
Credit: nopantsben
the rurp pitch in the morning - not boring! Many beaks, lots of fun!
the rurp pitch in the morning - not boring! Many beaks, lots of fun!
Credit: nopantsben
We enjoyed every bivy to the max. A ledge to stand on, a couple beers, a great portaledge, plenty of food!
Credit: nopantsben
Credit: nopantsben
Had someone asked me if I wanted to add another 300m to the route, I would've said yes at the last anchor. We topped out after 5 days, and were even more psyched about El Cap then before we started!
yeah!
yeah!
Credit: nopantsben

We carried everything down at once, which immobilized us for a couple days.

After a climb in Toulomne, Oz, we went back to the Valley so I could take revenge on Lost in America. This would be my dads last route before he had to head home, After the usual pre wall procedure of humping and fixing a pitch we started.
Badlands the easiest pitch on LiA we did, apart from the free one. Gre...
Badlands the easiest pitch on LiA we did, apart from the free one. Great fun
Credit: nopantsben
Surfing El Cap
Surfing El Cap
Credit: nopantsben
We climbed to below the free climbing the next day, where you are really close to the Trip. My dad was not psyched on the aid on Lost in America, and wanted to finish with the Trip, which was cool with me. The climbing on LiA had been fun, but not like I expected. It was either straightforward or fixed, which was quite a bummer. Since it was so steep it felt a lot like sportclimbing in Ceuse, which was not a bummer. While we climbed it, I read the Unbearable Lightness of Being, which is an awesome book by Milan Kundera, but I liked how the activity and the title had an ironic relation. We topped out after 3 days on the wall, with a lot of beer left.
TTrip part
TTrip part
Credit: nopantsben
Credit: nopantsben

We met 3 russians that had done the nose in 3 days whith 15l of wather between them, and gave them some beer. They liked it! After this route I felt very much done with wall climbing, or aid climbing for that matter. Huge racks had lost their appeal, and I was ready for some sportclimbing. After my dad left, I was in the Valley by myself and not being psyched to climb, it looked like a long, dire time before I could go home to my friends and climb normal stuff again.

But I hadn't yet realized how awesome meeting new people can be, and soon my spirits were high. I did a bit of cragging for a while, climbed Nutcracker, and the East Butt on Middle, which got me super psyched on getting back on the Captain.
East Buttress
East Buttress
Credit: nopantsben
Danny and Paul had planned to do the Nose in a day, but when they told me the forecast was thunderstorms for the days they had envisioned, I suggested we go 3 people on the Trip. At the end Danny couldn't make it, so it was Paul and me. Paul had only done Lurking Fear and the nose before in terms of aiding, and we had only gone cragging together, so it would be interesting to see how it would go for both of us. We liked each others company, which I figured was the most important thing anyways. I hadn't shortfixed before, and totally underestimated how much fun it is, and how much you can climb without ever stopping. We did the direct LiA-Viriginia start, a took off at 11.40 am after a relaxed, large breakfast. Neither of us had climbed in the night, so when Paul started his block after 51/2 h on the 7th anchor, it didn't take too long to get dark, which slowed us down.
Pitch 8 of the Trip
Pitch 8 of the Trip
Credit: nopantsben
The only real problem that appeared was when I dropped my jug, and it took a couple attempts to let Pauls jug slide down the haul line. He did the next 3 pitches, the I took over and climbed the pitches I already knew to 15. On p13 I fell asleep hanging off a bolt in the ladder while waiting for rope. My hips were getting toasted. Pitch 15 is a leftwards traverse, and it was early morning, and I started to get a tired brain. I had to concentrate hard to do simple tasks, and popped out of a pinscar with a C3. I used on offset and reached the next anchor without much trouble as it got light.
I popped there...
I popped there...
Credit: nopantsben
Paul, who apparently does not get tired, took us to the summit, where we got at 9.30. We were psyched on both our first El Cap in a day, and the fact that it had involved so little suffering.
Small Eyes after 22h
Small Eyes after 22h
Credit: nopantsben
We walked down, and the first couple beers sure didn't take long! We stayed up the rest of the day, eating awesome food and enjoying everything.
I was sleepy for many days after that and only climbed Serenity and Crag routes, which was nice.
Serenity Crowd
Serenity Crowd
Credit: nopantsben
I belayed Mayan on the Skinner pitch below the Alcove and saw pert impressive climbing! I had no desire to climb hard or move a lot, I wanted to do one more wall though before I had to go home. I was psyched now! Danny finally got off work, and we planned to do Mescalito with a bivy on Bismark. This would Dannys second aid route after Lurking fear, but somehow we ignored this fact until I had four pitches fixed. That night we talked about how we may be getting in over our heads. We laughed pretty hard when we figured out that we had both been all scared before falling asleep the night before. We decided to recover our ropes and gear and do the Zodiac.
When the weather forecast changed to thunderstorms, we were even more psyched about our choice. Because there were no parties on the route, we chose to start early to avoid having to pass people that come to fix the first four.
Getting to the changeover spot below the Black Tower, feeling fresh
Getting to the changeover spot below the Black Tower, feeling fresh
Credit: nopantsben
Lunch!
Lunch!
Credit: nopantsben

Black Tower, an awesome pitch!
Black Tower, an awesome pitch!
Credit: nopantsben
The nipple. With the gear I had left from shortfixing that one was int...
The nipple. With the gear I had left from shortfixing that one was interesting
Credit: nopantsben
Danny is a super enthusiastic person, and our spirits we sky high until we reached peanut ledge, where we realized how tired we were. My block had been from the base of the Black Tower to there, and I was glad he would take us to the summit. It took us almost 6 hours to get to the summit from there, and we topped out after 23h.
Last move! :)
Last move! :)
Credit: nopantsben
I was so tired, it felt like I was drunk. It was tricky to walk down to the rappels without stumbling. When we made it down, we just wanted to sleep. I felt quite jetlagged…

After to days of hanging out and resting, I now sit in the train to Bakersfield.

This TR is about climbing but what I will remember most is the people i met. Thank you.

  Trip Report Views: 6,678
nopantsben
About the Author

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Sep 26, 2011 - 06:21pm PT
Goddamn!
Gene

climber
  Sep 26, 2011 - 06:28pm PT
So what do you do in your spare time?

Great TR. TFPU!

g
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Sep 26, 2011 - 06:30pm PT
I chase pants, and study physics.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Sep 26, 2011 - 06:34pm PT
Ben, good to see you got out a "little" this summer before and after the winds. You guys will have to come to Devil's Tower and the Needles sometime. You are welcome to crash at my place.
Credit: mike m
Camp at Big Sandy Opening
Camp at Big Sandy Opening
Credit: mike m
Here are a couple of photos from the winds with you or your dad in them.
Jeremy

climber
  Sep 26, 2011 - 06:41pm PT
PIMP!!!!!!!!

Awesome TR Dude!!!!!!!

PROPS!


Jeremy
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Sep 26, 2011 - 07:14pm PT
Dang! I'm tired just reading about all those routes!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
  Sep 26, 2011 - 07:15pm PT
Excellent trip report.
Great efforts and fine success on your climbs.
It so good to read a TR when one can tell the climber/writer was having a wonderful time.
O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
  Sep 26, 2011 - 07:17pm PT
A dream vacation! Awesome TR.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
  Sep 26, 2011 - 07:33pm PT
Great read. You have the gift of story telling.

NOW. Go write a book about the physics of chasing pants.
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Sep 26, 2011 - 07:52pm PT
I second the interest in reading about chasing pants. Exhaustingly impressive. Thanks for posting up an honest and entertaining TR.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Sep 26, 2011 - 08:06pm PT
That is some serious getting-after-it during a vacation window!
Sam E

Boulder climber
Malibu
  Sep 26, 2011 - 09:21pm PT
like a boss.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Sep 26, 2011 - 09:43pm PT
You guys are way rad! Way to go with the flow . . . TFPU
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Sep 26, 2011 - 10:30pm PT
chasing pants is metaphysical. books don't help or matter on this subject, it's all about the activity. ;)
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Sep 26, 2011 - 11:05pm PT
really productive!
socialclimber

climber
CA
  Sep 26, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
TR of the year, sorry, this beats out all others, talked about a psyched trip... well done. Remember, while you are out chasing pants, that tequila is the enemy of pants...

Charles
john hansen

climber
  Sep 26, 2011 - 11:31pm PT
Didn't you do the Evolution traverse this year with Donini and your Dad?

Who is your Dad anyway??
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Sep 27, 2011 - 12:19am PT
tequila is the cheatstick of chasing pants! my dad is a psyched climber, and a great partner. I really like climbing with him!
ryankelly

Trad climber
el portal
  Sep 27, 2011 - 12:27am PT
it was fun hanging in the valley!

take care!

-Ryan
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 27, 2011 - 08:11am PT
Ben, great except you were wearing pants, but thanks for that....:)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Sep 27, 2011 - 08:25am PT
You really need to get busy and get some climbing done.

Wow! Btw!

DMT
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  Sep 27, 2011 - 11:58am PT
That was a fun read, TFPU.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Sep 27, 2011 - 12:11pm PT
Four stars for this!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Sep 27, 2011 - 12:15pm PT
Now that is a proper tick list. Goin in the SuperTopo Newsletter
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Sep 27, 2011 - 12:18pm PT
Talk about cramming some people's lifetime goals into one trip!

Nopants=not a slacker

Peace

Karl
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Sep 27, 2011 - 04:05pm PT
thanks for the pics mike...
thanks all...
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Sep 27, 2011 - 04:23pm PT
Talk about cramming some people's lifetime goals into one trip!

Nopants=not a slacker


Truth! What a wonderful vacation, and a fantastic TR. Merely saying "Thank you" seems inadequate.

John
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Sep 28, 2011 - 05:29pm PT
Super cool TR!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Sep 28, 2011 - 06:17pm PT
OMG!
The Alpine

climber
  Sep 28, 2011 - 07:10pm PT
Jesus H Christ. Now THATS a season. How long was the trip?
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Sep 28, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
Epic! Fuking! Ticks!
Zander

climber
  Sep 29, 2011 - 06:57pm PT
Woo Hoo!
Great Trip!
Z
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Sep 29, 2011 - 11:30pm PT
can I call you DUDE??? wish I had a dad so rad;;you got the valley DOSE,,way to maintain
Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
  Sep 30, 2011 - 10:59am PT
I paused in the middle of leading to look around, and took plenty of time to think. This allowed the little thing in the back of my mind to grow, and the things between my legs to shrink.

Absolutely classic.

Awesome TR Ben, thanks for sharing.
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Oct 1, 2011 - 12:34pm PT
thanks!
it was a long trip, almost 2,5 months total.
Prod

Trad climber
  Oct 2, 2011 - 10:24am PT
Wow.

Prod.
Alpinist63

Mountain climber
  Nov 3, 2011 - 03:31am PT
great vacation! looking forward to next year!
Prezwoodz

climber
Anchorage
  Nov 3, 2011 - 05:01am PT
Now to go find that thread about Best Trip Report posts of the year.....This one is amazing! Thanks guys for the stoke!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  Nov 3, 2011 - 09:58am PT
Great trip report! TFPU (using my new acronym).
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
  Nov 3, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Your last line sums up much of what is great about climbing, and it bears repeating:

This TR is about climbing but what I will remember most is the people i met. Thank you.

Hear hear! Thanks for posting.
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Oct 9, 2012 - 07:07pm PT
Missed this the first time. That's a lot of sending!!!! Cool TR
eKat

Trad climber
  Oct 9, 2012 - 07:36pm PT
Whoa. . . I missed it the first time around, too.

GOOD ONE!

TFPU!
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Oct 9, 2012 - 07:37pm PT
WOW!
Enthusiast

Sport climber
Port Townsend WA
  Oct 9, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
Looks like such a sick trip! Amazing pics!
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Oct 9, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
F*#king EPIC.

Ben you are a boss at this activity known as climbing.
Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
  Oct 16, 2012 - 06:08pm PT
Wow, that was an impressive trip. Multiple routes on El Cap, Astroman,
+ other stuff on Middle Cathedral etc just casually tossed around like it's nothing. Great Trip Report.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Oct 16, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
This is excellent. Now sure how I missed it the first time around!


Susan
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Oct 16, 2012 - 07:20pm PT
Wow Ben! Did you squeeze in the Nutcracker? Come back to the desert soon!!!
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Oct 17, 2012 - 02:06pm PT
Let's say last week of march first week of April, I think that could work! I'll keep you posted over winter, I really want to come over to the creek...
cheers
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Oct 17, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
your awesome stoke combined with quality and candid storytelling create one of the best TRs i have read recently. cheers.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
  Oct 17, 2012 - 04:16pm PT
Day-ummmm! That is almost a lifetime for most there!

Strong Work!!
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 22, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
again soon....
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Jun 22, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
Hey Ben, nice trip! Do you have the addresss of the company who you hired your llamas from?
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 22, 2013 - 09:46pm PT
WowZA!
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 23, 2013 - 02:13am PT
I don't have Terry's contact. You should send Donini a message, he can give it you. The Llamas are hard to work with though. I'd go with horses...
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Jun 23, 2013 - 07:30am PT
Thanks... I've had a couple of visits to the Winds, but last year Steve A emailed me details of East Fork and its routes and it seemed really attractive. However, heavy loads are getting more of a problem, for me anyway, so I was considering llamas for my next visit. Why do you say they are hard to work with? Why would horses be easier? Do you have to have someone along with you to look after them, or can you just rent the animals? Presumably with horses you need a stockman with them?
nopantsben

climber
Author's Reply  Jun 23, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
a lot of the climbing in the east fork looks like it is not that great, by, say, Sierra standards. i think other areas in the winds have better climbs. i have only been at the east for though. the rock is just not that good and there are not many walls that are steep and have good lines at the same time. what makes it so cool is the camping and fishing and the remote, beautiful and wild location.

Llamas sit down every five minutes, more if the trail is less than perfect, and you have to grab them by their balls and squeeze them (which even hurts your own) so they get back up. also putting the loads on them is delicate because if one side has a pound or two more than the other side then they won't do anything. and they run away if you don't pay attention all the time. They are like the french! strike, strike strike. hahaha.

the horses we saw on the way in looked like they were doing their job without hassles. it looked like someone was along that took care of them. i guess you get to rent the whole package, "cowboy" plus horses. dunno though.

enjoy. it's a sweet place.

jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
  Jun 23, 2013 - 03:12pm PT
OK, thanks for that Ben. Food for thought...
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 27, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
yesh! wreck the discotech bad assery!!
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El Capitan - Zodiac A2 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
1800' of fantastic climbing.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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El Capitan - The Nose 5.14a or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
The Nose, 5.14a or 5.9 C2
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The Nose—the best rock climb in the world!
El Capitan - Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
El Capitan - Lurking Fear C2F 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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Lurking Fear is route number 1.
El Capitan - East Buttress 5.10b - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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East Buttress with top of The Nose on left.
El Capitan - The Shield A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
The Shield, A3 5.8
El Capitan
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The Shield is route number 7.
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