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#43614 - 03/18/09 08:42 PM Easy Yosemite leads?
KG Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 10
Loc: NJ
I'll be out in CA in May, and I'm hoping to spend a week climbing in Yosemite/Tuolumne. I already have a partner lined up... he's a very strong climber but with little trad experience so I'll likely have to do most of the leading. I currently lead 5.5 in the Gunks and will probably try some easy 6's soon.

I want to go for some long multi-pitch routes while I'm there. I've been eyeing the usual suspects like Snake Dike and Cathedral peak, but I'm a little apprehensive that they're rated as 5.7. Do you think I'll be fine out there?

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#43615 - 03/18/09 08:50 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Cathedral Peak would be a good option. Before getting onto Snake Dike try a few of the climbs on Stately Pleasure Dome (since they are shorter), but check the Supertaco guidebook carefully, since most of them have a mandatory runout section. A good example of West Country (5.7). While the crux is pitch 1 or 2, the runout above is slabby 5.6ish with 30 or so feet between bolts(hence if you fall you probably won't get too hurt but a 60ft slide on the dome would not be pleasant).

While the crux of Snake Dike is a very short section, there is a lot of run out climbing on easy ground (ie: 5.4ish), and you need to cover alot of distance quickly. Along with a long approach and descent, while not hard, you do need to move fast.

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#43617 - 03/18/09 09:23 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: Chas]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: Chas
While the crux of Snake Dike is a very short section, there is a lot of run out climbing on easy ground (ie: 5.4ish)

What Chas means by run-out is expect one bolt at about mid-way on a 160' pitch. Sure, the crux section is short, but you're gonna clip a bolt and then go for 20' or so, the first half being 5.7 friction.

I wouldn't recommend Snake Dike unless you have a couple of big, long routes on your resume. Including the approach and descent, it's a long, high energy day if you do it in a day. In addition to about a 1000' of climbing, there's another 1000' or so of 3rd class slab scrambling on the route, and a total of 15 miles round trip with a 4000' elevation gain and loss.

Also, depending on when you go in May and the Sierra snowpack, the Meadows may or may not be open or accessible. Typically the road is closed from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass (or Lee Vining) from early November till late May. Cal-trans didn't get the road at Olmstead Point (just a mile or two from Stately Pleasure Dome)plowed until mid-June last year.

I'd suggest some of the shorter easy trade routes in the Valley - there's a 6 or two in the Five Open Books (and if you've never been to the Valley before, the descent, a typical one for the Valley, will open your eyes).
- some of the easier stuff on Manure Pile Buttress; After Six (which is a 7) comes to mind and can be TR'd (crux is P1, the rest is 5.4 - 5.5, about 5 pitches), as can Jump For Joy (an heady 8 - there's pro, but distressingly far for a new 8 leader)
- Grack Center on GPA; friction slab but with a finger/thin hand crack for pro

One of the problems with the Valley is that the vast majority of the relatively few climbs below 5.6 are grungy, dirty, and more or less unpleasant.
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#43618 - 03/18/09 10:04 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 364
My experience is that Gunks grades are marginally stiffer than Yosemite grades, but not by much. Counter that against the fact that Yosemite climbs tend to be pure crack or pure slab moves, neither of which Gunks climbers are very good at, especially cracks. So if you have experience on granite, great, give yourself an extra grade vs. the Gunks. Otherwise, eg if your only experience is at the Gunks, take it easy out there.
If your partner is a strong climber but not a trad climber, is your partner just technically strong as a sport climber, or is your partner very experienced and skilled as a climber but not with trad gear? For example, Snake Dike, as mentioned, can have 1 bolt in the entire pitch - and it may be 50' up a 150' pitch. If your partner is a strong and experienced climber from Italy or something where they bolt all kinds of stuff and can handle big routes, they may be able to lead these 100' 5.4 runouts. If your partner is a gym climber or bolt-clipper at sport crags, having your partner lead these may not work out. The 5.7 bits are less runout and more trad (one trad pitch and one bolted slab runout? my memory fails).
Tuolumne would be great, it's got more moderate stuff, so try to go after the road opens. The NPS puts updates on the Yosemite NP site about how the plowing is going.
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm
Don't think that going and toproping some little routes and shopping around for the few decent 5.6s won't make for a terrific trip. You'll still enjoy it. I think there's even a guidebook just for toproping in Yosemite. Throw in a hike by a waterfall and some giant sequoias to round out the week and it'll be awesome.
Cathedral Peak is pretty G-rated so flail away as long as your gear placement is solid - it's a long hike back to the road if you get hurt. And I thought all 3 main routes up the face were rated 5.6 anyway.
The Manure Pile Buttress and 5 Open Books could be very fruitful places to spend some time on great multipitch moderates, and far less committing/dumb places to get over your head leading a 5.7 than Snake Dike.
If you're considering Royal Arches, it's not the greatest climbing, but it's 2 minutes from the car and you'll know by looking at the first moves whether you're going to bail. I'm only mentioning it because it's only got 1 or 2 5.7 pitches and that first chimney is arduous enough to turn you around if you're not smart enough to know you're not ready for the whole route.

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#43619 - 03/18/09 10:38 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: tradjunkie]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: tradjunkie
If you're considering Royal Arches, it's not the greatest climbing, but it's 2 minutes from the car and you'll know by looking at the first moves whether you're going to bail. I'm only mentioning it because it's only got 1 or 2 5.7 pitches and that first chimney is arduous enough to turn you around if you're not smart enough to know you're not ready for the whole route.

Royal Arches: you can bypass the only chimney pitch (P1) via a 5.7 variation around the buttress to the right (East). You can also rap from most anywhere on the route or go all the way to the bolted anchor at the start of the last pitch which happens to be the start of the bolted rap route (ie: you don't do the last pitch if you're gonna rap). But really do your research on this one - it's longer than a lot of folks think, esp. for a 5.6/7 party, and has been the scene of literally thousands of epics.

Snake Dike: a topo is available on Supertopo for free right now (which claims has sections of 5.7 friction on P1, P2, and P3). One other point, the cables on Half Dome don't go up until just prior to Memorial Day weekend, assuming snow and ice allow. The cables are there, but not the uprights and 2x4 cross bars. BRING STURDY LEATHER GLOVES if you descend before it's all assembled for the summer.
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#43620 - 03/18/09 11:11 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: MarcC]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I think the friction crux of Snake Dike will scare the bejesus out of most Gunkies, as will a similar section on the last pitch of Royal Arches, especially when it is covered with pine needles. Not that you can't do it, but be aware that you can find no handholds and it just doesn't seem possible at first. Locals also don't seem to need pro in such areas, but that will take a while for the rest of us.
What was mentioned above plus look at Church bowl area and Swan Slab, maybe for the first couple days. Also worth doing are first pitches on El Cap, but please keep a look out for dropped gear from above. The SuperTopo Free Climbs Guide is very good.

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#43623 - 03/18/09 11:39 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: chip]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: chip
Also worth doing are first pitches on El Cap, but please keep a look out for dropped gear from above.

If you're gonna go cragging on El Cap, scope out where parties are above you, and take the drift radius into account - something can land hundreds or more feet left or right of where you think when dropped from 2000'.
And wear a frickin helmet!
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#43626 - 03/19/09 12:31 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: MarcC]
redtag Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 98
i still havent done much climbing in yosemite but for what its worth i think gunks grades and yosemite grades are apples and oranges...i dont think one is stiffer than the other...they're both fairly stiff as far as _most_ other areas go...

climb a pin scarred 5.10 yos crack and its going to feel _A LOT_ harder than any gunks 10 where you make big moves between positive crimps and jugs...if thats what you're used to

the rock is different, crack and slab climbing are different...
long routes are very different from one or two pitch gunks route...the approaches, descents, and general route logistics are much more involved

remember eddies rules:
have fun
dont die
(also ice is for drinks)
(and dont climb on his land)

and put your post up on supertopo or mountainproject for more beta

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#43628 - 03/19/09 12:37 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: redtag]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: redtag
climb a pin scarred 5.10 yos crack and its going to fell _A LOT_ harder than any gunks 10 where you make big moves between positive crimps and jugs...if thats what you're used to

It goes the other way, too. I recall a Yosemite hard man visiting the Gunks for the first time (1980 or so) and swearing that Shockley's (5.5 in the guide of the time) was at least 10b. Of course he jammed his way through the ceiling.....
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#43629 - 03/19/09 01:22 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: MarcC]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 364
OK, I'll propose that Yosemite grades are slightly softer than grades in North Conway. And that Gunks and Cathedral grades are similar, although the climbing is utterly different.

And the original poster is wondering about climbing 5.6 and 5.7 in Yosemite, where the cracks tend not to be so pin-scarred as the 5.10s and 5.11s. So I'm talking about comparing a Munginella to a Thin Air, for example.

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#43631 - 03/19/09 01:59 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: tradjunkie]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: tradjunkie
OK, I'll propose that Yosemite grades are slightly softer than grades in North Conway. And that Gunks and Cathedral grades are similar, although the climbing is utterly different.

And the original poster is wondering about climbing 5.6 and 5.7 in Yosemite, where the cracks tend not to be so pin-scarred as the 5.10s and 5.11s. So I'm talking about comparing a Munginella to a Thin Air, for example.

Yep. Makes sense. Especially since YV and NC are both granite, a very different animal than Gunks conglomerate.

Regarding North Conway old school grades - there is nothing more daunting and possibly terrifying than a late 70's Jimmy Dunn "5.9+" - could be anywhere from 10a to 11d.
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#43633 - 03/19/09 03:13 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
KG Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 10
Loc: NJ
Thanks for all the advice. I don't know my partner very well (a friend of a friend who lives in SF), but I get the vibe he's a sport clipper (FWIW he's French!).

I've TR'ed granite once in Icicle Creek Canyon in Leavenworth WA, and I felt reasonably comfortable on 5.7's, but I guess leading will be a different kettle of fish. I've done quite a bit of alpine/mountaineering stuff so I'm not totally out of hiking shape :P.

I guess I'll just spend the first couple of days climbing more moderate stuff and seeing how I feel before making a decision.

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#43634 - 03/19/09 03:16 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
 Originally Posted By: KG
Thanks for all the advice. I don't know my partner very well (a friend of a friend who lives in SF), but I get the vibe he's a sport clipper (FWIW he's French!).

I've TR'ed granite once in Icicle Creek Canyon in Leavenworth WA, and I felt reasonably comfortable on 5.7's, but I guess leading will be a different kettle of fish. I've done quite a bit of alpine/mountaineering stuff so I'm not totally out of hiking shape :P.

I guess I'll just spend the first couple of days climbing more moderate stuff and seeing how I feel before making a decision.


Good call.


Edited by chip (03/19/09 03:16 AM)

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#43635 - 03/19/09 03:34 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Snake Dike runout (1970's)


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#43638 - 03/19/09 04:19 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: rg@ofmc]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2468
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Super Topo's Good Climbs for Your First Week in Yosemite lists a 5.6, three 5.7's, two 5.8's, and three 5.9's. There's hardly anything there worth doing at 5.6 and under; Yosemite climbing basically starts at 5.8. The Snake Dike Topo is free. The included picture looks pretty much the same as the one I just posted.

As for grades, I don't think climbers unused to granite will find them in any way soft. Perhaps a 5.7 pitch won't have individual moves of as hard as you might find on a 5.7 crux in the Gunks, but it will make up for that by having far longer sections without the kinds of secure pauses that are typical of Gunks routes. The need to keep things together is far greater than anything you'll find in the Gunks at similar grades.

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#43643 - 03/19/09 12:43 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: rg@ofmc]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
GRACK GRACK GRACK center one of my all time favorite days ever.
if you the snow allows it, cathedral peak.
and there's a mellow 5.6 on lembert dome.
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tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#43646 - 03/19/09 02:57 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: rg@ofmc]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
As for grades, I don't think climbers unused to granite will find them in any way soft. Perhaps a 5.7 pitch won't have individual moves of as hard as you might find on a 5.7 crux in the Gunks, but it will make up for that by having far longer sections without the kinds of secure pauses that are typical of Gunks routes. The need to keep things together is far greater than anything you'll find in the Gunks at similar grades.

The premiere example is Reed's Pinnacle Direct. The classic P2 is rated 5.9, but actually has no single move harder than 5.7 - it also doesn't have any moves easier than 5.7, for 140'.
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- Marc

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#43653 - 03/19/09 11:18 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: MarcC]
AOR Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 392
Whatever you do, I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT do the Great White Book (5.6R) on Stately Pleasure Dome in Tuolomne. Although 5.6, with breathtaking scenery and a great route, it is definitely not for the beginning leader...especially one just breaking into those grades. Its 3rd pitch section is scary, committing, pukingly runout (I think I placed a small TCU in 100') and slick as glass in places. Having done this route after climbing for 20 years, it had me whimpering. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by its grade. Stay with the aforementioned recommendations.

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#43655 - 03/19/09 11:57 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: AOR]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: AOR
Whatever you do, I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT do the Great White Book (5.6R) on Stately Pleasure Dome in Tuolomne. Although 5.6, with breathtaking scenery and a great route, it is definitely not for the beginning leader...especially one just breaking into those grades. Its 3rd pitch section is scary, committing, pukingly runout (I think I placed a small TCU in 100') and slick as glass in places. Having done this route after climbing for 20 years, it had me whimpering. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by its grade.

Typical Tuolumne. Never be surprised at a big run-out on 5.8 & 5.9 and positively huge run-outs (like possibly entire pitches) below that. But one example: the pitch after the 5.9 crux pitch of The Coming is 5.6 knobs with no cracks for 160'. Your rack for the pitch is a single quick draw for the lone bolt at 80'.
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#43657 - 03/20/09 12:11 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: AOR]
jdw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/25/01
Posts: 219
Loc: Connecticut
As a mostly Gunks climber who took his first trip to Yosemite last summer, I can vouch for the advice you're getting here. I specifically agree with:

- Gunks grades vs Yosemite grades: both are a little stiff, but the climbing is so different, so it is hard to know how you'll do.

- Snake Dike: my friend calls it Snake Hike, we climbed it, it was a very long day. One of our parties missed the one bolt on a pitch - 120' with no pro!

- Royal Arches: You need to be fast on this one, its roughly 15 pitches, and you don't want to do the ten rappels in the dark, or the North Dome Gully walk off, or the eight mile trail walk to Camp 4.

- Highly recommend a lot of prep time on New Hampshire granite routes - about as similar to Yosemite as you'll find in the northeast.

One more thing - DOUBLE ROPES!!!

JDW

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#43674 - 03/20/09 02:26 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: jdw]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I had forgot about a couple of areas. For a moderate leader, check out Manure Pile Buttress. The most popular route there is Nutcracker and justifiably so but check the topo. Not one for a leader breaking into the grade because of the last pitch (has a funky mantle) but there is a bunch of other stuff. The Five Open Books with Munginella, Commitment...... Also on the other side of the Falls is a couple of good stuff. To get a hnag of the rock there is a cliff next to the roadd between Camp 4 and the Yosemite Falls.

Tuolumne, while amazingly beautiful, is not nice for the below 5.9 leader. Below 5.9 things tend to be runout. From 5.9 to 5.12 things "tend" to be fairly well protected, with very important deviations.

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#43678 - 03/20/09 03:49 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: Chas]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
If you are looking for sport clip ups, there is a fun day out at Schultz's ridge/Dan and Jerry's playground. Super short approach, nice soft grades, plenty of bolts. Quite unlike Yosemite. If you find yourself hiking hard up a steep trail, you missed the bolts and are heading for the Moratorium, which is quite another matter.


 Originally Posted By: Chas
I had forgot about a couple of areas. For a moderate leader, check out Manure Pile Buttress. The most popular route there is Nutcracker and justifiably so but check the topo. Not one for a leader breaking into the grade because of the last pitch (has a funky mantle) but there is a bunch of other stuff. The Five Open Books with Munginella, Commitment...... Also on the other side of the Falls is a couple of good stuff. To get a hnag of the rock there is a cliff next to the roadd between Camp 4 and the Yosemite Falls.

Tuolumne, while amazingly beautiful, is not nice for the below 5.9 leader. Below 5.9 things tend to be runout. From 5.9 to 5.12 things "tend" to be fairly well protected, with very important deviations.

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#43680 - 03/20/09 07:02 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: Chas]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: Chas
To get a hnag of the rock there is a cliff next to the roadd between Camp 4 and the Yosemite Falls.

Swan Slab
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#43686 - 03/21/09 02:41 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: MarcC]
KG Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 10
Loc: NJ
Are there any particular pieces of gear I should add to my rack before I head out there? I'm looking to add a couple of pieces soon anyway.

My current rack looks like this:
Camalots 0.5-2
TCUs 0-2
Tricams 0.5-2
BD nuts 4-11
Link Cam #1

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#43689 - 03/21/09 12:56 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
You can use all of that and more. You will want at least one larger cam, depending on what you tackle. You might want several. Again, the superTopo gives you a recommended rack for every climb.

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#43741 - 03/23/09 08:33 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: chip]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
As Chip says, look at Supertaco. Its easy to use a larger cam in Yosemite on moderate routes (the 3.0 Blue Camalot gets a lot of use). Some routes you'd want more then one of each size of cam. When I was living in the Bay Area I'd generally use doubles on moderate stuff, and triples or sometimes even more on harder routes). I never found tricams to be of any use out here (except for ice climbs) but to each their own. The nuts will be used a lot, especially the 4-7 BD nuts.

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#43742 - 03/23/09 08:59 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: Chas]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Agreed. Supertaco is usually pretty conservative and the gear guides are fair. Having blundered up Moby Dick Center with only a #3Camelot and a smattering of small gear, I can say from experience that you should read these carefully and not skimp. If you know this climb, you'll know just how much I wanted mo' bigger gear or just to be plain elsewhere..
Even on short classics like Bishop's Terrace, you'll need the #3 and probably the next size up. Don't miss Jamcrack on Sunnyside Bench. Good place to practice jams.

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#43743 - 03/23/09 09:33 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: ianmanger]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Originally Posted By: ianmanger
Agreed. Supertaco is usually pretty conservative and the gear guides are fair. Having blundered up Moby Dick Center with only a #3Camelot and a smattering of small gear, I can say from experience that you should read these carefully and not skimp. If you know this climb, you'll know just how much I wanted mo' bigger gear or just to be plain elsewhere..
Even on short classics like Bishop's Terrace, you'll need the #3 and probably the next size up. Don't miss Jamcrack on Sunnyside Bench. Good place to practice jams.


I've seen a lot of people do that only to wimper that they want several of the greys and the purples (of the bigger BD's not the smaller). Chris Mac, Greg and company pride themselves on the accurate and reasonble informationin their guides. I've seen them decline an entire guidebook to an area just north of Yosemite since it wasn't up to their standard

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#43744 - 03/23/09 09:36 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: ianmanger]
wombat Offline
member

Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 147
Loc: gardiner
my calves still hurt from slabaneering in tuolomne a few years ago. i would say cathedral would be the easiest transition for a moderate gunks leader. there was an arching crack dihedral across the road from Tenaya Lake that was pretty straight forward as well. dont recall the name.

i havent got a chance to climb in the valley, but up in tuolomne keep telling yourself that the knobs will hold and bolts are overrated.

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#43748 - 03/24/09 01:21 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: wombat]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Originally Posted By: wombat
there was an arching crack dihedral across the road from Tenaya Lake that was pretty straight forward as well. dont recall the name.


West country (5.7), maybe?



Nice route.

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#43755 - 03/24/09 03:34 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: tokyo bill]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2359
Loc: Boston
Here's how I'd plan your week if I were you: Spend the first day toproping. Focus on crack routes around the 5.7-5.10 range, and really force yourself to learn how to jam (and move off your jams) as efficiently as possible. After that, start leading shorter easier routes, like The Grack, which have good jams, easy routefinding, and excellent gear. Work your way up from there.

Another possibility: spend your first day with a guide if you can afford it. The guide will be able to give you tips on jamming and on gear placement that will allow you to get a whole hell of a lot more out of the rest of your week. I spent my first day ever at Yosemite in a class on crack technique, and it turned me on to crack for the whole rest of my climbing career!

I fully believe that Yosemite is the best place I've ever been to learn how to climb crack.

Last thought - if you have time to play on granite before your trip, whether it's Adk or North Conway, I'd highly recommend it. Of course they're not the same as Yose, but close enough to pay some dividends when you get to the Valley.

Have fun!

GO

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#47279 - 08/01/09 02:22 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: GOclimb]
KG Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 10
Loc: NJ
So I just got back from a week in Colorado where I did some routes in Lumpy and RMNP. I felt comfy leading White Whale (5.7) apart from the fact that I was running out of gear at the top of pitches due to my wimpy little Gunks rack wink. Also TR'ed a 5.9 crack (George's Tree) with a bit of dogging.

Are Yosemite climbs comparable to Lumpy?

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#47285 - 08/02/09 04:04 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
Alex Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
There are some fairly good cracks at Lumpy. But Yosemite has much more pure crack climbs; nothing to climb but the crack. Your "wimpy little Gunks rack" will be sorely tried in Yosemite. Many Yosemite cracks (even for a 1st timer) are actually fun if you have plenty of gear that fits. Then you can sew it up with gear (just like a sport climb) and its easy to be brave.
My advice: practice at Lumpy, etc. will not help you as much as increasing you firepower (amount of gear available). Also, some of the classic Yosemite cracks have gotten very slippery (polished) from use. If you don't use tape they are harder than their original rating.
A 1st time Yosemite trip is always fun!!

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#49941 - 12/05/09 11:27 PM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
KG Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 10
Loc: NJ
So I just got back from a work visit to CA and got to spend last weekend in the valley. Spent Saturday toproping at Swan Slab near Camp 4, including Grant's Crack (5.9). On Sunday I led After Seven (5.8).

I've been leading 5.7 in the Gunks in the latter part of the season, and I usually start falling on 5.8 (got my ass handed to me on Arrow just 2 weeks ago). In Yosemite I managed to TR 5.9 without too much trouble although I still didn't feel too secure. On After Seven I was grovelling a little on the 5.7 crack, not from the moves but from the lack of rests, and I ended up plugging almost every cam on my 1+1/2 rack. The 5.8 face crux, on the other hand, felt easier than a Gunks 5.5 face move smile.

Thanks for the prior advice, and by the way November is a great time to visit Yosemite. It was freezing at night but was 50+ degrees during the day, and we had the entire Manure Pile Buttress to ourselves all day.

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#49942 - 12/06/09 12:13 AM Re: Easy Yosemite leads? [Re: KG]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Great to hear you had such a good trip. Having Manure Pile to yourselves is nearly a miracle.

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