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West Face Leaning Tower
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fern


Jul 11, 2003, 11:16 PM
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Registered: Dec 29, 2002
Posts: 60

West Face Leaning Tower
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I climbed my first Yosemite wall. yay me! Here is a trip report:

A Proven Plan for Climbing the Leaning Tower West Face

Day 1 - Spend most of the day wandering around yosemite village buying tins of chili and such, add these to jellybeans and granola bars found in random bear boxes around Camp 4. Organize the rack. Choose the oldskool approach thus eschewing all modern trix like aliens and offsets and ballnutz in favour of plain nuts and rigid friends slung on faded, tied 8 mil. (hint: throw a few small aliens/TCUs in to save time and stress). Calculate water rations of 11 litres, pack 16 instead. At approximately 5pm hitch a ride to the Bridal Falls parking. Locate the well cairned approach trail about 50m from the toilets. Lose the well cairned approach trail about 100m from the toilets. Thrash uphill through big boulders talus until you reach the base of the wall. Continue until you reach a nice bivy site, well marked by a stash of 20 litres of water and a gallon of lemon Gatorade. Drink a gallon of Gatorade! Go to sleep, wake up 5minutes later and pee, repeat several times.

Day 2 - Hike haulbag and gear along the 4th class approach ledge towards the base of the bolt ladder. Pull 5.6 moves to get off the 4th class approach ledge. Base of bolt ladder is well marked by a stash of 4 litres of water. Also bolts. Climb the bolt ladder. (hint: persons under 160cm in height will likely need to 2nd step most placements and top-step 1 or 2). Reach first belay. Fix and haul. Organize belay. Flake ropes. Reflake ropes. Look down and notice partner has by now successfully cleaned the 2nd bolt. Reflake ropes and eat a candy bar. Look down and notice partner has by now successfully cleaned the 3rd bolt. Get tired of hanging in harness, climbing is more fun. Short fix and start soloing P2. Clip clip clip clip. Anchor, fix, haul, organize. Sit on BELAY SEAT(hint!!!), belay partner up p3, dum de dum, eat candy bar, belay partner up p4, drink ice tea, dum de dum, take off t-shirt to sun tan, dum de dum. Jumar, clean, up up up, sketchy polished slab moves to bivy ledge. Sit on ledge and belay partner up p5, rebuild belay to free ropes (hint: cordalettes are very tidy and convenient ways of building belays, using the rope can lead to complication). Jumar and clean, lower out from pretty much every piece. Up, up, up. Rack for p6, free up 2 moves above belay, run out of holds, decide free climbing is better done in rock shoes than approach shoes. Swap rope ends and rack with partner and belay instead. Jumar and clean. Rap to bivy ledge. Eat chili. Sleep.

Day 3 - Eat tinned fruit. Repack haulbag. Jumar fixed rope to top of P6. Lead P7, mostly medium nuts and cams and fixed pieces. Take a big whipper when a poorly placed cam pops. Free last moves to belay. Fix, haul. Lead P8 (probably more sensible to link 7 and 8, since P8 is about six feet long). Use tiny nuts to avoid super loose block. Fix, haul. Sit in belay seat, belay partner up P9, take shirt off and work on tan. Take pictures of partner on supercool roof moves. Put shirt back on, jumar, clean awkward steep pitch with many lower outs. Leave a cam behind because you can't reach it. Arrive at nice, though sloping, ledge. PLace bet with partner about who will lead the final pitch. Win bet. Lie down on ledge with shirt off to belay. Put shirt back on. Jumar, clean. Leave ANOTHER STUPID CAM behind because you can't reach it. Clean awkward roof, topstepping off your jumars to reach cams clipped with shoulder length slings , get cranky at end of awkward roof when facing a long pendulum around a corner once the last piece is unclipped. Faff about. Finally get all the gear cleaned. Hurry up it's getting late and you have to go down and you forgot to look at the descent beta! Pull up manky fixed rope to the summit ... whoa steep down the backside! Uh-oh, notice storm clouds over El Cap. feel rain drops. Get more cranky about maybe getting caught in a storm. Sort out rappels. One, two rappels to the bottom of the slab. Scramble into gully. Rappel, rappel, abseil, rappel, abseil, abseil etc. into the sunset. Reach base of the wall again about 1hr after darkness. Drag haulbag 100m down scree back to nice bivi site well marked by a stash of 20 litres of water and an empty gallon Gatorade bottle. Share one tin of salmon for dinner. (hint take more food!) Sleep.

Day 4 - eat half a granola bar for breakfast. Repack haulbag. Hike down well cairned trail to parking lot. Hike out to road. Stick out thumb. Watch many septuagenarians in RVs drive by. Finally catch ride back to Camp 4.

Congratulations you are done!


epic_ed


Jul 11, 2003, 11:39 PM
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Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4723

Re: West Face Leaning Tower [In reply to]
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Hey, congrats! Nice TR. Too bad about the cams. I'm sure Pete will chime in eventually and berate you about the better way. I'm just disappointed I wasn't a couple of pitches behind you to snag the booty. ;-)

How were the crowds? Temps?

Epic Ed


iamthewallress


Jul 14, 2003, 7:15 PM
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Registered: Jan 1, 2003
Posts: 2463

Re: West Face Leaning Tower [In reply to]
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Congratulations, Fern!

Thanks for the TR. I'd love to see your pix too!


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