/ Yosemite: mini adventures
I'm traveling to California next May/June and am going to have 4 days in Yosemite.
Now, I'm a pragmatic kind of chap, mindful of my limitations, but it seems rude to go all that way not to climb something. And that something looks like Lost Arrow.
So it's 5.8 which is roughly HVS right, but there are some techniques I'm not so hot on, so does anyone know of any local guides, or should I man up! My concern is that with multiple pitches and a very long day this is a little outside my skills set.
Thoughts and advice gratefully received, but do please ignore my profile: it's totes out of date...
It was quite a few years ago but I thought it went clean at about 5.10 d for some pitches. You prob can bring it down to 5.8 if you aid a lot of the pitches, but get an early start, make sure you are sorted with your rope work for the tyro lean traverse back to main cliff once you reach the top of the spire. It is a good route with plenty of exposure. Both lead and second should be cruising hvs e1 and be reasonably swift clean aid climbing to ge t the best from it.
Have fun, S
I believe the traditional response at this point is "Yer Gonna Die".
If your logbook is an accurate representation of your climbing I think the Lost Arrow Tip would be ambitious. Take your UK trad. grade, convert to US grade then subtract one for exposure and another for the unusual climbing style. You'll be comfortable leading about 5.6.
Lost Arrow tip is mostly an aid route and rope-access puzzle at your grades. I'd practice these skills before you head up there.
The YMS http://www.yosemitepark.com/rock-climbing-guides.aspx charges $330 (+tip) for a full day. This seems a great bargain to me.
East buttress of Middle Cathedral may suit you better?
Lost Arrow from the ground is not 5.8. It's an aid route for most people.
climb Royal Arches walk over to north dome, bivvy, climb north dome, walk out and get bus from T. meadows road. Or walk down north gully back to yosemite.
Next day climb snake dike.
In Yosemite on Aid routes, the second normally climbs the rope on mechanical ascendeurs and to get off the top involves a Tyrolean which is great fun but veeeery exposed and interesting if you cock up the rope work.
Other fun days out in the valley that we climbed were Snake Dike (a couple of HVS bits but mainly V Diff/Sev) on Half Dome and Royal Arches - about 16 pitches, most of which were HS/VS ish and the 5.9 crux had an insitu rope on which you could pendulum past the hard bit.
> I'm traveling to California next May/June and am going to have 4 days in Yosemite.
> Now, I'm a pragmatic kind of chap, mindful of my limitations, but it seems rude to go all that way not to climb something. And that something looks like Lost Arrow.
> So it's 5.8 which is roughly HVS right, but there are some techniques I'm not so hot on, so does anyone know of any local guides, or should I man up! My concern is that with multiple pitches and a very long day this is a little outside my skills set.
> Thoughts and advice gratefully received, but do please ignore my profile: it's totes out of date...
The tip or the whole thing?
The tip is usually entirely aided and has some C2, you need a pair of bigish cams (size 3 camalots?) and there are some bolt heads that you can zip a wire over. The climbing is pretty straightforward stuff, but there's an 80m ab from the rim to contend with which usually involves passing a knot and a retrievable tyrolean to rig, so three ropes! I worked it all out from forum posts and the like, but I had a clear plan before I went and I'd been on similar adventures. The crux was the walk in.
EDIT: I think you're talking about the whole thing at 5.8 C2, 16 pitches? Not done it, sounds like fun, but you don't get to do rope tricks in an insane position.
The North Dome Gully descent has a reputation (lots of accidents) and is therefore best avoided, The Royal Arches Rappel route (starts at the end of pitch 14) however is as big an adventure as the route itself. 10 or so 45 to 50m abseils down some impressively steep terrain with several hanging stances but all bolt protected.
Hi - I went to California on a climbing road trip when I was climbing a bit harder than you but not a lot (had led quite a few E1's onsight, a lot of HVS). I was fine on 5.8 territory (theoretically only VS) which wasn't too demanding but I recall thinking about Lost Arrow and deciding against it. I think I would have come properly unstuck on it but I see why you want to do it :) Have you looked at some of the stuff on the granite domes up at Toulumne Meadows - cool place and some easier angled stuff. Anyway, there is stuff to do but I would agree you may be pushed on something like Lost Arrow. It will all feel adventurous and a great experience anyway :)
I can see the attractions of Lost Arrow, but what others have said about re-calibrating one's grades in Yosemite seems sound.
How about a day or two in the valley on 1-2 pitch routes and sussing out the best place for monster pizzas, then head up (alpine) early for Snake Dike? Finding the bottom of the route can be a mini-adventure in its own right and it's beautiful, too. The climbing itself is wonderful, it takes the most amazing natural line, and the views from the summit are worth the air fare. A uniquely unforgettable day.
This was my Yosemite five day trip climbing at HVS/E1.
Day 1: Harry Daley, Goodrich pinnacle on the Apron
Day 2: Arrowhead Arete (brutal)
Day 3: South Crack
Day 4: The Grack and Pine Line (rest day)
Day 5: Snake Dike
Many of the routes were harder and scarier than we expected or tediously long and hard work. On our last day we did Nutcracker before leaving and were starting to come to the conclusion that, far from being peicemeal, the smaller, more featured crags were a lot more fun to climb on. Plus of course, we came away with half a dozen good ticks rather than one big one...
Seems like reasonable suggestions all around …but to play a devil’s advocate…the only truly mandatory free climbing on the Tip is the last 20 feet of low 5th class slab at the top. The rest of it can be aided at C1/C1+ (much of it is on fixed gear). Other than that, it’s about keeping the logistics straight: passing a knot on the way down into the notch (or get a long >250foot static line), setting up & executing the Tyrolean, and – most importantly – not dropping the fixed line you’re dragging up. You can dial in C1 aid (& jummaring) at a local crag & can practice setting up the Tyrolean (& aiding & jummaring too in fact) using 2 large/sturdy trees. This is one of the more memorable climbs for me but I think it would’ve been less mind blowing had I done it later in my climbing “career.”
Thank you everyone for your responses: I've been down a rabbit hole at work and so haven't been able to read everything properly yet, but:
A/ thanks for comments about the grades: I want to enjoy it not hurt myself, so I'm not touchy!
B/ alternate route suggestions are great, as mentioned I think just doing something will be awesome.
I'm off to bed to have sweet dreams about insane traverses!
Loved doing Nutcracker on Manure Pile buttress (never has such a cool crag had such a rubbish name) - great climbing, easy access, great views, great history. Lots of VS with one pitch of HVS, following good cracks pretty much all the way.
If you don't have it, most of the routes mentioned above are in this guide.
Agree with a lot of comments. Some of the smaller crags will give you a great day out. Manure Pile Buttress has some good solid classics. For a long day out, however, I would go for Royal Arches. Only 5.7 but it's quite long at 16 pitches. 17 if you reverse the last pitch to get back to the rap bolts. Make sure you get the pendulum pitch it's good fun.
Another crag worth a visit is Church Bowl. Have a go at Bishop's Terrace and Church Bowl Lieback, two classic 5.8s.
Just outside the main valley is the Cookie. Outer Limits is out of this world. A must if you can get on the 5.10s.
While most of the guides are great, I highly recommend Mark Grundon. Enjoy!
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