<-- Map of summer 2018
     climbing roadtrip 
     (click to enlarge)
JUNE
17-21
2018
Catergory: California
Trip Report #: 286
Partners: John Plotz (Climb(s) 1) / 
Peter Jacobs from Boulder (Climb 2) / 
Val Trenev from San Louis Obispo (Climbs 3-5)
Rock Type:: Granite
Elev: ~4,000 ft
YOSEMITE 2018: 
 Cragging in the Valley
Climb(s) 1: Cragging at El Capitan Base (First 2 pitches of The Nose (twice!), Pine Line, La Cosita Left, La Cosita Right, Little John Left) 
Climb 2: The Moratorium Pitches 1-2, Schultz's Ridge (5.11b, 3-4p, 350-500')
Climb(s) 3: Cragging at Reed'a Pinnacle (Reed's Direct, Bongs Away Left, Lunatic Fringe, Stone Groove)
Climb(s) 4: Cragging at Church Bowl (Bishop's Terrace, Church Bowl Lieback, Pole Position) 
Climb 5: Super Slide, Royal Arches area (5.9, 5p, 500') 
This trip to Yosemite involved moderate cragging rather than hard long routes.
INTRO

This 5-day trip to Yosemite didn't go quite as planned, but it involved at least a few pitches of awesome Yosemite crack-climbing. The trip began with an attempt of the NIAD ("The Nose in a Day") with my friend John Plotz, a lofty goal based upon John and my success in climbing The Nose in 3 days the previous summer and our desire to blast up the route in one push without the annoyance of a haulbag. But 2 pitches up the route, doing the math and multiplying our time by 15, we realized that we simply weren't moving quite fast enough for a successful NIAD, so we decided to bail. We salvaged the day by Cragging at El Capitan Base (First 2 pitches of The Nose (twice!), Pine Line, La Cosita Left, La Cosita Right, Little John Left). This included another lap on the first two pitches of The Nose, getting it more dialed for next time....

Not having climbed The Nose as planned, I had energy to spare and a week before my next trip. I decided to stay in Yosemite and look for partners. Peter Jacobs from Boulder, CO found my "partner needed!" note on the Camp 4 message board, and we went to climb The Moratorium on Schultz's Ridge (5.11b, 3-4 pitches, 350-500'), a route which climbs a giant right-facing corner just below the East Buttress of El Capitan. Pitch 1 went smoothly and the route was proving to be an awesome climb. But midway up Pitch 2, Peter somehow dislocated his shoulder (it wasn't a fall, so probably overextension in a move). Amazingly, he finished leading the pitch, no small feat since the final few moves are solid 10d climbing on small gear. But that was the end of the climb. Peter and I rapped down and parted ways, but I had enjoyed climbing with him, and hope to someday reconnect some day and climb with him in the future. Also, I need to go back and climb the entirety of The Moratorium, as the third pitch is supposedly as awesome as the first two and I cannot claim to have climbed the route until I've climbed all of the pitches.  

The next day I made plans to climb Super Slide with a gal who I had found on the Camp 4 message board, but she never showed up for our 7am meet-up. So I ran off my frustration by running around the Valley Loop twice, and spent the day reading in a meadow. Not a bad way to spend a day, but reading in a meadow is always more enjoyable after a morning climb.The highlight of the day was confirming the rumor that there is indeed a Starbucks in Yosemite (installed in early 2018). My iced coffee Trente hit the spot in the 90° heat.

Just as I was worried that my trip to Yosemite was going to involve hardly any climbing at all, Val Trenev from San Louis Obispo responded to my mountainrproject post, and we met up for a day and a half of fun crack climbing. The first day we did some cragging, spending a few hours in the morning Cragging at Reed's Pinnacle (Reed's Direct, Bongs Away Left, Lunatic Fringe, Stone Groove) and a few hours in the evening Cragging at Church Bowl (Bishop's Terrace, Church Bowl Lieback, Pole Position). In between, during the heat of the day (it was 100° on the Valley floor!), Val enjoyed an afternoon siesta in the Majestic Yosemite Hotel while I went on the hunt for an elusive wi-fi signal. The next morning Val and I climbed Super Slide at Royal Arches area (5.9, 5 pitches, 500'); we linked the five pitches into three and the climb took us only a couple of hours, so we were back at the car by mid-morning, before the sun even hit the route. I had a fun time climbing with Val — more than just the climbing, he had so many interesting stories to tell; I wish I could have connected with him a few days earlier!

The following page gives some photos from these 5 days climbs in Yosemite Valley. Even though I didn't climb the long multipitch routes I favor, it was still worth it for a few days of high-quality cragging. I'll be back!


PHOTOS and OVERLAYS


CLIMB(S) 1 - JUNE 17 (/w John PLotz)
Cragging at El Capitan Base
(8 pitches)

5-star climbing on the base of the most awesome chunk of rock.
Photos:  Photo descriptions: 
Approach 
Hike trail from El Cap Meadow, ~15 min.

Route 1: First 2 pitches of The Nose (twice!)

5.9 C2, 2p, 220'
(x2)
1.  
2.  
3.  4.   
5.  
6.  
7.  
   
   
   
  
1. Gearing up for the NIAD.
2. Pitch 1 at 3:18am.
3. Pitch 2 at 4:02 am.
4. Pitch 1 again a few hours later. Getting it dialed.
5. Pitch 1.
6. Pitch 2 again a few hours later.
7. Looking up at Pitch 3 as we rappelled. The climber at the belay is part of a team doing a "Dolt Run."
Route 2: Pine Line
5.7, 1p, 70'
8.
8. Pine Line.
Route 3: La Costia, Left
5.7, 1p, 60' 9. 9. This is a full-value 5.7. Pretty much vertical, but enough jugs to keep the grade down.
Route 4: La Cosita, Right
5.9, 1p, 90'
10.  
  
  
  
10. A nice finger-crack.
Route 5: Little John Left

5.8, 1p, 100' 11. 11. A #4 offwidth finish. Seemed a bit sandbagged. But fun!



CLIMB 2 - JUNE 18 (/w Peter)
The Moratorium (first 2 pitches) on Schultz's Ridge
(350-500', 3-4 pitches: 5.10d, 5.10d, 5.11b, 5.9)

Stellar climbing up a giant right-facing corner system to the base of the East Buttress of El Capitan.
Route Overlay
Photos:  Photo descriptions: 
Approach 
~30 min from the road
1. 
1. The Moratorium follows the obvious corner system.
Pitch 
1
5.10d
2.   
3.   
 
   
   
  
 
2-3. Pitch 1.
Pitch 
2
5.10d
4.   

4. Pitch 2. About 2/3 of the way up this pitch, Peter somehow dislocated his shoulder (it wasn't a fall, so it must have been overextension during a move). Amazingly, he finished leading the pitch, no small feat since the final few moves are solid 10d climbing on small gear. But that was the end of the climb

Pitch 
3
(did not climb)
5.11b
5.   
5. Looking up Pitch 3. We didn't climb it since Peter was in a lot of pain and definitely unable to climb any further, probably for several weeks. I'll have to come back and climb this pitch someday. It's the crux pitch and if it's anything like the first 2 pitches, it should be good!
Pitch 
4
(did not climb)
5.9
(no photos)  
(Climbers who don't continue on to the East Buttress of El Cap usually rap the route, and don't climb Pitch 4.)
Descent 
Rap the route from the top of Pitch 3 (double ropes) or climb Pitch 4 and walk off.
     



CLIMB(S) 3 - JUNE 20 (/w Val)
Cragging at Reed's Pinnacle
(4 routes)

Steep and splitter granite cracks above the Merced Canyon.
Route Overlay
Photos:  Photo descriptions: 
Approach 
~10 min above HWY 120

Route 1: Reed's Direct Pitches 1-2
5.9, 5.10a, 2p
1.  
2.  
3.  
 
1. Pitch 1. I led this pitch.
2. Pitch 2. Val led this pitch. 
3. Pitch 2. Easy to see why this route is a Yosemite classic.

Route 2: Bongs Away, Left
5.8, 1p, 90'
4.  
5. 
4. Instead of climbing the 3rd pitch of Reed's Direct, we climbed Bongs Away Left, which starts off the right side of the ledge above the 2nd pitch of Reed's Direct. This somewhat obscure route climbs a chimney/offwidth and finishes with laybacking and knobs. It is rated 5.8, but that's Yosemite 5.8. (The 3rd pitch of Reed's Direct is a rather wild chimney climb behind Reed's Pinnacle; it is heady lead, and since I had climbed it in 2007 I was easily convinced to climb Bongs Away Left instead.)
5. Looking up the route from the base of Bongs Away. I enjoyed this pitch.

Route 3: Lunatic Fringe
5.10c, 1p, 140'

6.
  
7.  
 
6. Lunatic Fringe is known to be one of the best 5.10 pitches in Yosemite, a long, steep, and clean pitch featuring everything from with to thin hands to laybacking to face.
7. Val nearing the top of Lunatic Fringe.

Route 4: Stone Groove
5.10b, 1p, 80'
8.  
9. 
8. Looking up Stone Groove, a short but rather burly right-leaning crack. But the gear is good, so it was a fun lead.
9. Val following Stone Groove.


CLIMB(S) 4 - JUNE 20 (/w Val)
Cragging at Church Bowl
(3 routes)

Valley's most accessible crag for modeate routes. A great place to squeeze in a few evening pitches on a hot day.
Photos:  Photo descriptions: 
Approach 
~1 min from road, near Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Route 1: Bishop's Terrace
5.8, 1p, 195'
1.  
2.  
1-2. Val nearing the top of the Bishops Terrace route. The route can be done as two pitches, but the 195' lead from the ground makes for a long amazing pitch of sustained 5.8 crack climbing. Bishop's Terrace is known to be one of the best 5.8 pitches in the Valley, and I would not disagree.
Route 2: Church Bowl Lieback
5.8, 1p, 130'
3.  
  
3. Church Bowl Lieback is a popular 5.8. Featuring liebacking of course.
Route 3: Pole Position
5.10a, 1p, 130' 4.   4. Pole Position follows the bolted face on the right, one of the few pure sport routes in the Valley. We toproped it, but it would probably seem a bit runnout on lead. Not my favorite route of the day.

  

To cap off a day of craging....
meadow across the road from Church Bowl 5.
5. After our few pitches of evening cragging, we capped off the day in the meadow across the road from Church Bowl. A five star restaurant could not have beat my salmon-feta cheese salad while watching the light of the setting sun rise up the face of Half Dome.


CLIMB 5 - JUNE 21 (/w Val)
Super Slide at Royal Arches area
(500', 5 pitches: 5.2, 5.7, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9)

Well-protected and sustained 5.7-5.8 hand cracks with exposed position and an exceptional finish. The first two pitches kind of detract from the route, but nevertheless it's a fun short climb that can be done in just three pitches in a couple of hours.
Route Overlay
Photos:  Photo descriptions: 
Approach 
~15 min from Majestic Yosemite Hotel
  
  
 
  
  
  

Pitch 
1
(we linked with 
Pitch 2)
5.2
1.     
   
   
   
   
   
  
 
1. Starting up the first pitch. Val linked Pitches 1 and 2. A "get you there" pitch. You could solo it if you felt comfortable.

Pitch 
2
(we linked with 
Pitch 1)
5.7
2. 2. Pitch 2.

Pitch 
3
(we linked with 
Pitch 4)
5.7
3.  
4. 
3. Looking up Pitches 3-5 from the base of Pitch 2. These three pitches are the best pitches of the route.
4. Looking up Pitch 3.

Pitch 
4
(we linked with 
Pitch 3)
5.8
5.  
6.    
 
5. Looking down from the top of Pitch 4.
6. Val nearing the top of Pitch 4.
Pitch 
5
(crux pitch)
5.9
7.  
  
 
7. The thin hands crack at the end of Pitch 5, to end the route. This is the best climbing on the route. The rest is just so-so.

Descent 
Rap the route with a single 70m rope.
8.  
8. You can rap the route with a single 70m rope. The crucial rap is to rap off the tree on the right side of the ledge at the top of Pitch 2, as shown in the photo.


Above photo: On my drive out of the park, I stopped at the recently re-opened Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, home to nearly 500 mature giant sequoias.