Trip Report
Windjammer to Wind Chill
Monday June 9, 2014 3:21pm
It's said that good things often come from failure. There are parables about it, and this TR could qualify as one as well. We had failed two weeks earlier - here’s that TR:; - now we were back to collect the good things: linking into Wind Chill (~8 pitches, .10c) from Windjammer, a 3-pitch .10c that takes the western side of the Tower of the Cosmic Winds on Stanford Point.

Windjammer starts left of the two pines at center-bottom of this pic, just right of the sun/shade line, and goes up to about 30% height of the buttress ending on a cool pedestal. Wind Chill then follows the sun/shade line just about perfectly for another 8 or 9 pitches to the Valley rim.

Not a shabby looking line, right?

Wawona Tunnel’s eastern end - nice place to start a big day again.

My partner is wearing his gf’s glasses for the day because he lost his many months ago.

Upper buttress, which we failed to crack the routefinding code on two weeks ago.

Nice things to look at up high and down low. Lots and lots of flowers up this way near the base.

Behold: Windjammer (stout .10c, .10b hands past roof, .10a excellent and wild OW), our first climb in the linkup, showing its corner-roof-chimney-roof combo. Bit intimidating when we stood underneath it!

This is P1, a stiff start to the day with several cool sequences, some powerful pulls, and some crux climbing a moderate distance above small gear. P2 roof looms above like a beast about to step on us.

P2 is a classic pitch with so many perfect hand jams that you start to laugh and hoot. Go ahead, there is no one around! It traverses out a big roof with good exposure and position before punching up an overhang, through a slot, and into the main chimney – 90% on sinker #2 hands. Looking down at the p1 belay from below the roof.

P3 is a clean, wavy, and polished chimney that leads inexorably toward a very mean looking roof capping the right side of the tower. “Surely there must be an escape?” To me, this pitch wasn’t too far behind storied pitches like the Ear and the Narrows in terms of memorable, unique climbing. No pics - go see for yourself! My favorite pitch on Windjammer, though each pitch is great.

At the top of p3, Windjammer is done, Wind Chill begins, the views begin to open up. I was breathing heavy from the OW finish but felt properly fired up to make right what once went wrong (Quantum Leap great series still holds up) on Wind Chill.

Loving this rope, first PMI I’ve had, won’t be my last. We had a good run, Beal, and your price was always right, but I’m just not that into you anymore.

Wind Chill has a lot of different types of climbing, some of it pictured here:

Footwork is a much different undertaking when lichen is abundant, especially on laybacks and smears.

Hard not to keep looking over your shoulder at the view. So many formations with so much good climbing… Psyched men and women are on all of these formations pushing their own limits and pulling hard every minute of every day.

I think about that when I look out from whatever scary pitch I’m clinging to. Tacit, remote, intangible Valley camaraderie flowing like a river between the Valley walls, always there, I just reach out and take a ladle full to lift my psych when I need it.

NutAgain and I once tried to do the Bridalveil East line which goes up the left side of the falls in just about these exact conditions. We are not clever men.

The Widow’s Tears amp is a nice place to gaze and gaze.

Not much potential though.

Blue skies above.

We’d left two cams to escape from a ledge last time – here goes the partner to fetch ‘em. We fixed a line, did a rap, traversed an exposed ramp and 5th traverse all over again. Cost us an hour but so worth it to recover a .75 and a 1. I’d have gone to much greater lengths in a heartbeat.

Back on route and onto new ground for us. In the first 10 feet of new climbing, we trundled a pretty big loose flake. Bit higher we found some righteous and unexpected tree climbing.

Who left this tree in the crack we are trying to climb:

Got some belly laughs out of my pard’s work on this trunk-mounting maneuver. I’m sure I looked the same when I did it, but no one saw or photographed me. It looks a bit to me like he's desperately + cartoonishly trying to pry the tree out.

Always love tree climbing on route, and nothing compares to the Chockstone Chimney in that category.

Back to pulling on stone.

We kept finding more good stone and good climbing, with some awesome chimney and some manzanita swimming mixed in.

Slow moving clouds over the Sierra all day.

Still a ways to go, but getting there.

More of an aerodynamic look to the Cap from this angle.

Up high, there is some DFU climbing protecting the summit. And then a final short but high quality headwall and you’re home free, on long granite slabs that lead up to the rim trail.


The Valley puts on a suit of gunmetal grey at about this hour every day.

Headwall in last light.

Wish this one wasn’t blurry.

Time to get home.

We topped out a bit before dusk and hiked the 4 mi back, mostly a gradual descent through peaceful forest in the warm dark.

Between the end of the work day the day before and the arrival back home after the climb:

7 hours of driving no traffic.
6 hours of cave sleeping.
2.5 hours of hiking, 1 in the morning light and 1.5 in the peaceful dark.
12 hours of climbing.

The day is done, the feeling is good. Point the car west and turn up the music – new Beck CD just right. Back to Oakland 27.5 hours after leaving, missing the targeted 24 hour door-to-door by a slim few. The dog was wagging her tail at the door when I pushed through at 2am, everybody else out like lights. Win some, lose some.

Credit: le_bruce

Best to focus on the wins.

  Trip Report Views: 3,495
About the Author
le_bruce is a climber from Oakland: what's not to love?

Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
David D.

Trad climber
  Jun 9, 2014 - 04:32pm PT
So. Awesome. TFPU!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Jun 9, 2014 - 04:45pm PT
This might be the most wonderful and glorious formation I've ever seen. At least since the last one. Truly an amazing spot to be blessed to climb. It has the wild licheny feel of grungy adventures, but also the sweeping clean formations of the majestic big routes.

Thanks for the pics.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Jun 9, 2014 - 05:20pm PT



San Jose, CA
  Jun 9, 2014 - 05:50pm PT
Brice, p3 on Windjammer is my favorite too, but I never went up for Windchill.
Do you think I missed some good climbing?
in other words- if you go there again would you better do both Windfall and Windjammer in the day- or climb Windchill again?

and thanks for report with photos..
Since you did two weeks ago Windfall- what would be your and your partner rating of Windfall 5.11a roof? ( sandbag of the century for me)

Social climber
  Jun 9, 2014 - 07:25pm PT
Way to go back and get it done! Excellent TR.

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
  Jun 9, 2014 - 09:02pm PT
nice TR, with good to great photos and just enough narrative

are you the guy with the A5 shuttle to the Valley? that's probably the best ride I can imagine

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
  Jun 9, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
Great TR and pics.

If at first you don't succeed.........
Finish it with good ole follow through and post up.


Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 10, 2014 - 11:22am PT
Do you think I missed some good climbing? in other words- if you go there again would you better do both Windfall and Windjammer in the day- or climb Windchill again?

If I hadn't yet done Wind Chill, easy call: could not pass up on the long, excellent line and the Valley-to-rim experience of linking into Wind Chill.

Now that I've done Wind Chill, though, if I go back I'll do Windjammer, rap, then go after Windfall again. Reasons:

-Better pure climbing on Windfall and Windjammer (though more adventure and better position on Wind Chill)
-I'd like to get both WF and WJ clean and lead the pitches I didn't get the first time on each.
-I don't think I'd want to lead the DFU bit up high on Wind Chill again.

Since you did two weeks ago Windfall- what would be your and your partner rating of Windfall 5.11a roof? ( sandbag of the century for me)

Didn't get it without French, so can't really say. But my own take on these pitches:

Windfall (pitch count by Reid - best to link at least 1+2, maybe link 1, 2, + 3):
.10 layback
(.11? .11+?) roof
.8 impish traverse
.11- steep
.10 wavy splitter

.10+ stiff
.10 roof
.10- chimney to OW

I thought one maybe two pitches on Wind Chill were harder than shown in the guidebook, the rest dead on or easier than listed in Reid.

Thanks all for the comments.

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jun 10, 2014 - 11:33am PT
Totally awesome, thanks for sharing!
G Murphy

Trad climber
Oakland CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
Nice! I'm tempted to go back and do it again.

Trad climber
  Jun 10, 2014 - 01:18pm PT
Wish this one wasn’t blurry.

Whew! Thought it was me.

Nice TR and cool photos
Big Mike

Trad climber
  Jun 10, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
Very cool Le Bruce! Love your reports and your photos! Keep up the good work!

  Jun 11, 2014 - 06:01pm PT
Very Nice!
E Robinson

Trad climber
Salinas, CA
  Jun 11, 2014 - 08:09pm PT
Multiple trip reports of obscure psyche...too awesome. Here's to the liking of lichen!

Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 28, 2014 - 08:24pm PT
Recently heard that someone had gone up and replaced (or placed? not sure) bolted rap anchors from the top of the Tower. Anyone know if that got done?

We never rapped, but Alexey and others have said that the rap from the top of Windfall/Windjammer was sketchy. Wondering if that's still the case.

Doing Windfall and Windjammer with a rap in between would make for a great summer day with lots of shade.

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Sep 4, 2014 - 04:35am PT
Excellent TR.


Hugh of Lincoln

South Carolina
  Sep 4, 2014 - 06:18am PT
Nicely done. Thanks for the report.

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Sep 4, 2014 - 07:02am PT
thanks for participating!

Trad climber
  Sep 4, 2014 - 07:17am PT
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Sep 8, 2014 - 05:41am PT
Awesome stuff! Glad you went back to top it out, windjammer looks good too!

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Sep 8, 2014 - 06:43am PT
Nice work! No crowds there, for sure.

Trad climber
  Sep 9, 2014 - 07:37pm PT
TFPU - great take home pt re: the shared location (the valley) but different experiences(diff climbs and people all around). Pretty awesome stuff!

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Sep 10, 2014 - 08:04am PT

loved it all...the flowers, cracks, tree wrestling and your views!

  Sep 10, 2014 - 09:08am PT
Very cool!

Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Sep 10, 2014 - 12:08pm PT
Nice, glad this TR caught a second life. Thanks for all the nice comments. Though I feel if there were some sh#t talking going down maybe it'd get more hits? Anyone?

are you the guy with the A5 shuttle to the Valley?

I don't think so, because I don't know what that is. The car? That's my friend's beater old Volvo. If it's cold out the passenger uses a sleeping bag because so much air gushes in.

A few people have pm'd to asked about this line - wondering if it's seeing a resurgence after Vitaliy's TR? Would like to hear about folks' impressions of the DFU section up high.

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Sep 10, 2014 - 12:49pm PT
My impression of the DFU section was that it is DFU. But also NTB, for me. If .10a was your limit it would be pretty scary. The fact that my pard was belaying me off of that tree offered little in the way of consolation.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Feb 14, 2017 - 03:21pm PT

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Jul 24, 2018 - 11:05am PT
And another bump- this report is probably one that made me feel the most jealous that I wasn't there! So beautiful, such a cool angle to see the valley.

Trad climber
  Jul 24, 2018 - 02:34pm PT
Definitely a nice TR. Missed it the first time around.
E Robinson

Trad climber
Salinas, CA
  Jul 25, 2018 - 06:38am PT
A good re-read. Brought back good memoroes...always have loved climbing on licheny, jungly, adventure terrain. Went out to re-check out Cold, Rain and Snow the other month. Similar stuff...good position through a vertical garden...but stopped at pitch 5. Now I kind of want to Wind Chill again...hmmmm.

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
  Jul 25, 2018 - 06:43am PT
That's amazing! You relaced a pair of Mythos?
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report