Lost Arrow Chimney 5.10
Trip ReportYosemite Rim to Rim to Rim + Rim & Booty (TR)
Moved to TR's
It all started back in 2006 when my buddy Cliff and I got psyched on linking big climbs back to back.
This summer was time to bite off more than we could chew..
(this was the end of this August)
So I called Cliff (who worked in Wawona) and we decided on an epic 3 day adventure. We'd climb from the floor to the valley rim each day for 3 days.
I packed up my gear from the Tuolumne Sar Site on Friday and drove to Porcupine flat wtih 3 ropes and a double rack of cams including a #5 and 6, and a 4 big bro. It was a nice 70lb load to hike 10 miles down the falls trail that afternoon. This might be the crux I thought heading downhill, as my knees have not always loved me in the past. Luckily I got to the Yosemite Point by about 3PM. Where I fixed 2 ropes down to the notch and cached 2 liters of water. I decided to rap down and make sure our ropes were in the Lost Arrow Notch for the escape and tied the end to a large boulder.
Onward I headed down the trail to camp 4. I was super psyched to see Cliff running up the hill to meet me and carry most of the weight the last mile or so of those endless stairs. We cached some of our gear with friends in camp, then loaded up and hiked up the death slabs to the base of half dome, arriving at about 10 pm at the base.
We just brought sleeping bags and pads and cached them at the base of the route. On we went up Halfdome. Cliff was climbing like a mad man as we short fixed and pushed up the face. At the top of pitch 6 I looked at my watch and we were on the wall only 1 hour so far! I took over and and we simul climbed from there, through the pendulum, then I fixed the rope at the end of the swing and started short fixing. Things were good, we were at pitch 12 in what seemed like no time.
Here we had a mini clustfrig that cost probably a half hour as cliff didn't tie back up knots in the rope and it was hanging down far catching a flake back at the start of the pitch. One of my french free placed cams was fairly tight too so Cliff just dropped the rope, came on up and started organizing the rack to take over on shortfix again, while I rapped to the base of the pitch got the tangle and the cam he was whining about (good ole move the lobes with your fingers trick). Cliff blasted on from here to the base of the zig zags. Where I started aiding again. Things went well until cliff was following the pitch after Thank God ledge and dislocated his right shoulder while batmanning the rope. He was able to get it back in violently after about 15 minutes, but was screaming like a dieing madman the whole time. We slowed down drastically from there to the top taking several hours to get him up the last 4 pitches. Topout watch- 8:58 time just under 9 hours witch I felt good about giving the near epic so far!
I wasn't sure cliff would be able to continue the next couple days, but we continued on. BTW hiking down the cables with no hiking shoes is a bit of pain we would switch between being barefoot or wearing climbing shoes when one would start to really hurt. Maybe carry flip flops or something light in your pack?
Back down to Camp 4 by 7PM, ate at Degnans and crashed in camp.
We woke again at 4 the next morning and Cliff decided he could at least move his shoulder, and that if I would lead the cruxes we would continue on with the Lost Arrow Chimney. We brought almost a double set of cams from the yellow alien up to #3's plus the 4,5, and 6, and a 4 big bro. A fairly hefty rack for any climb.
We soloed up Sunnyside Bench where I found a fixed #2 camalot in the crack and quickly removed it with my nut tool.
Cliff toughed it out and started leading from the base. This guy only ate instant powdered oatmeal packets all day taking them like a shot the whole time?!
The first few pitches of the Arrow Chimney were pretty easy, although cliff pulled off a B Ball size rock falling 3 feet from my face off of pitch 2. I dodged it luckily as it was bouncing. The Safetyvalve pitch proved challenging but protected with a 4 big bro. If that bolt were replaced it would be super bomber. As cliff lead pitch 5 he said he saw something shiny back in the crack. I agreed to investigate (hmm I already bootied a cam that morning..) In I go squeeze chimney style to this little crevace. Woh man 2 cams! Wait a sec no theres more I found 4 cams in this hole, no over on the other side 3 more! WTF 7 cams!? ( They were it looked like 3 different racks, this hole had evertyhing from back packs to ball caps to busted digitalo cameras in it years old, some of the cams were C4s, metolius range finders, and aliens, mostly in good shape, although a couple had probably been there a few years.
So I strapped on our 3rd rack and continued climbing.. ;)
I believe it was pitch 8 where the climbing got really nasty, I was looking at about a 5.10c move on rotten overhanging pin scars protected by 2 original quarter inch bolts placed as a old 2 bolt anchor that were hanging out of the rock about a half inch and bent already. Maybe they'd hold body weight? Then no pro down below except the 4 big bro a ways down, then a sharp flake to land on. That move isn't terribly hard, but it is committing and powerful and the holds are soo rotten, again with good bolts replaced this crux would be bomber.
The 9th pitch is like the narrows on the Steck, but more sustained and incredibly vertical squeeze chimney/OW for 160 feet, would suck without the big cams. We placed the #6 on six different pitches on the route btw. Looking up at the harding hole we opted out of doing a squeeze chimney you have to take you clothes off for with our "tripple" rack and did the 5.9r face option. Not a bad route, but man it sticks it to yah higher up. All the cruxes protected with only the 4 big bro for the most part. 3 bolts replaced and this route would be safe. Someone should replace these old bolts..hmm also the 2 on the Steck Salathe on the pitch below the narrows... and these old dad climbs wouldn't be bad???
Glad to jug the fixed lines up (leading another hard ow pitch would have been proud though hard at that point) then back down to the valley. Cliff was bumming with his shoulder at this point, so I called my GF Ann to meet us in camp and continue on the last day up Royal Arches to North Dome's South Face and back to the meadows. She brought us Jamba juice smothies from Fresno that night :) Ann doesn't like chimneys so it was going to be a big thing for her too. I was so sore that next morning I didn't want to get up and go all the way back up all that vertical again, so..we slept in till 6 am and got on with it..Ouchie!
It went good, although North Dome was a bit challenging for Ann especially up higher. I wondered if she was giving birth, losing her virginity, or perhaps having twins as she got up the upper chimneys, but she kept going. Exhausted we topped out a 9pm. I wanted to whine like a girl leading the last 50 feet or so of runout 5.7 after all that rock, have to finish with a final heady move exhausted in the dark yeehaw! Out of water again, started hiking back to the car. I could barely put my legs in front of each other, like I'd had 10 beers or so it was pretty funny. Ann was trooping it out though. I was soo glad to see the car. I had preprogrammed in the CD player with Celine dion opening line "Your here!!! There's nothing to fear!!!" Haha lol we laughed pretty hard and downed the 2 litres of H20 left in the car. Getting back to camp and not passing out driving was looking to be final push!
We just crashed hard at camp that night, getting up at like noon, then eating for 2 hours, then crashing, I could barely move that day to open car doors or walk to the bathroom! I got Ann to at least give me a back rub- ooh that hurt so good.
It all did, what a blast :)
Continued 2008 in Cliff+Ryan- Nose, Salathe, Blondes, Monkeys,& Pain (lots!)TR : http://www.supertopo.com/tripreport/tripreport.php?articleid=96
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