/ McNamaras Big Wall graded list

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robw007 - on 12 Aug 2012
Why is Zodiac so low in the list? Ok so its shorter than the Nose/Triple Direct etc - but its only two up from Half Dome and surely the technical aid on Zodiac is pretty serious?
skygod78 - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007:
The route that is 2 routes down from it is the 'direct northwest face' which looks quite serious, the normal route on half dome is the regular northwest face which is 8 routes down the list. I've not climbed zodiac but from what i can gather it is an introduction to the harder aid climbs on el cap, and so sits quite high up (easier) on the list.
Enty - on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007:

Got a link to the list?

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robw007 - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to skygod78:

Ok - so not sure which list youre using but mine maybe from an early supertopo - but still the Nose is higher in difficulty.

Surely a serious aid pitch or two ramps up the difficulty more than the route just feeling epic due to its length?
robw007 - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to Enty:

Not digital - just from my supertopo guide.
alasdair19 on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007: zodiac was considered a copper head and fixed gear clip up until some nice yanks pulled/smashed/cleaned a huge amount of mank.

It is I suspect now a harder and better route.

Aid climbs change over time and it is short.
robw007 - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007:

Ok - so pitch 14 for example which has a number of bolts shown in Supertopos to protect the pitch now has none?
steveej - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007: correct

after the big clean up, Zodiac is now a lot harder than it was a few years back.

I remember quite a few C3F pitches with absolutely no fixed gear on the pitch. In my mind this is A3 if you hammer or C? if you don't.
steveej - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to steveej:

I think the nose is much easier. Every pitch is C1 which means it goes much faster. Fixing to sickle ledge and spending 2 bivis on the wall is mellow.

Zodiac took me 3 bivis (albeit with no fixing) and the zodiac is half the length of the nose.
robw007 - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to steveej:

Ok - cheers. Not sure I am going to be able to describe the Nose as mellow but we'll give it a go (again).
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steveej - on 13 Aug 2012
In reply to robw007: you just need to approach it with a 'big walling' mindset rather than a 'brit trad climber cragging mindset'.

If you can lead, clean and haul a pitch in 1.5hours, then anything you can free will be a bonus - but be careful - changing shoes and stripping down the rack and vice versus can waste a lot of time. I would only bother changing from aid to free set up if there was a reasonable block of freeable pitches, otherwise just stick to the aiding setup.

I bivied on Dolt tower and Camp IV. From Cap IV we went straight to the top - thats 10 pitches virtually all on aid in a 15 hour day.

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