/ NEWS: VIDEO: Dawn wall project, a status update

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UKC News - on 08 Jan 2014
Mescalito/Dawn Wall project topo, 2 kbAfter having invested a total of eight seasons in the Dawn wall project on El Capitan in the Yosemite valley, "the hardest route never climbed", Kevin Jorgeson talks about the status of the project at the end of the 2013 season.

Although they have yet to redpoint two of the three crux pitches,...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68633
Franco Cookson on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to UKC News:

"probably the most difficult trad pitch ever climbed..."

Really? Seems like a bit of a wild assertion. I suppose we're only talking about physical difficulty here? Physical difficulty is not the only factor that contributes to a trad pitch's difficulty however..
remus - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to Franco Cookson:

Doesn't seem too far off the mark. I can't think of much else that's in the same ball park.
1poundSOCKS - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to remus: Off the top of my head Century Crack and Echo Wall could be comparable, maybe harder?

The Pylon King on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to UKC News:
Weird.

Isn't 9a a french sport grade?

Is that what they use for trad in the states now?
Post edited at 19:14
1poundSOCKS - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to The Pylon King: Yes. No.

Kemics - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to The Pylon King:
It's because the Americans and the Yds focus on the climbing rather than the gear :)
Post edited at 20:35
manwithacam - on 08 Jan 2014
In reply to UKC News:

They like SO need to get Ondra on the job.
Ramon Marin - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Kemics:

I assume they give a french grade as they climb with pre-placed gear. I think, but 100% not sure, century crack was settled at 8c+ and was Echo Wall given a grade at the end? I think it all depends if they are placing the gear on lead or not. If they are not, then surely Century crack is harder, I would assume?

Regardless, it's an amazingly committed project that no other hard trad route goes near it, they've got that going for them for sure. I mean, it's totally stacked with hard climbing....
Ian Parsons - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> I assume they give a french grade

If by "they" you mean Caldwell and team, do we actually have any suggestion that they have ever applied French grades to this route? Every topo that I've ever seen has used normal American ratings. Is it not more likely that Pohl - who wrote the piece (and is Scandinavian, I believe) - simply applied one of the omnipresent grade conversion rates to an original given grade of 5.14d/5.14+ and used the result - 9a - as being more immediately familiar to readers on this side of the Atlantic. Bear in mind, though, that modern guidebooks to trad Alpine areas frequently use French grades without any implication that the gear should be pre-placed.
robin mueller - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Ramon Marin:

> I think, but 100% not sure, century crack was settled at 8c+

Tom and Pete suggested 8c for Century Crack.

http://wideboyz.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/century-crack-grade.html

willworkforfoodjnr - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to Ramon Marin:

I would be very surprised if they were stripping the gear for each attempt at a pitches redpoint - the logistics would be ridiculous!
Rest Jug - on 09 Jan 2014
In reply to UKC News:

Not all pitches in that project are protected with gear. At 03:09 in the video you can clearly see Tommy climbing on a bolt. Given that the route is renowned for "addressing a section of the wall that doesn't have a clear system of cracks/chimneys" (if I remember well, somebody said that in Progression), I wouldn't be surprised if they relied on bolts quite a bit, especially on those crux pitches.
Hence, using a "sport grade" is probably a sensible approach and since the YDS doesn't account for gear placement and all afaik (unlike the British system), converting to French sport grades is not an issue.
willworkforfoodjnr - on 10 Jan 2014
In reply to Rest Jug:

In one of the videos somewhere I'm sure Tommy was talking about trying to keep it 'interesting' with the bolting - you can see him taking some huge lobs trying the face pitches! I wouldn't call it sport climbing. More mixed trad with a french grade
Rest Jug - on 10 Jan 2014
In reply to willworkforfoodjnr:

I remember those falls pretty well. I wouldn't even dream of detracting anything from what he's doing because the route is not completely on natural gear, I'll leave that to the trad talibans ; )
I was just trying to rationalise why certain grade systems were used over some others. Also, afaik, Tommy came to Europe only once and climbed in the Swiss and Italian Alps, so I reckon that British trad grades are probably just something he simply doesn't quite know about and/or has no reason to use : )
1poundSOCKS - on 10 Jan 2014
In reply to robin mueller: Maybe Century is 8c/+, but the main difference is you can hit the ground head first if you fall out of the crack (as Pete and Tom did it anyway, or you can carry a few more massive cams, your choice!). These pitches might have some runs outs, but it'll likely be bolted where the hardest unprotected sections are. That is what makes Century potentially harder, not just the physical difficulty. Obviously no one really knows.

The 9a grade is just a translation from 5.14d, it's likely just a decision by the person who wrote the piece to do this translation, based on the expected audience.

yankeedoodle on 12 Jan 2014
In reply to UKC News:

The comments here are making me cringe, so here is my two cents, sorry, tuppence.

The pitch Tommy freed on the dawn wall proj is NOT a trad pitch. Its is primarily protected by bolts, and fixed pins, so the claim that this is one of the hardest trad pitches in the world is both absurd, and false.

Grading. Any american who uses french sport grades in the USA is a goddamn traitor! Seriously tho. its YOSEMITE, where the YOSEMITE decimal system is used.

Century Crack. Granted these guys trained hard to do this crack, and it was an impressive effort, but it only took them a couple sessions to climb it. Tommy has been training, and attempting this route for years, and for techy granite, he is #1. How, then, could anyone possibly argue that Century is harder? Hogwash!

E grades. I'm sure Tommy has a basic understanding of E grades. Unlike the UK however, here in 'mericu we have enough rock so that we can happily bolt climbs that don't have any gear :-O
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r0x0r.wolfo - on 12 Jan 2014
In reply to yankeedoodle:

Haha that made me laugh. Whoever made this account own up!

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