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TR - Prodigal Sun
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timpanogos


Sep 1, 2003, 3:48 PM
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TR - Prodigal Sun
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I arrived at Zion Thursday night about 6:58, ran to back country permit office just in time to beat the 7:00 lockout. Permit in hand I shuttle up to Big Bend and got all the gear across the river and to the beginning of the scramble to the base. I Humped one (of three I had gear and water for Ed also) loads to the base and found no one there. Shuttled back out and found camp 4 of Zion (Mosquito flats I think) took a sleeping pill (still on Japan time) and sleep well.

Friday morning, I have a leisurely breakfast and head back up to Big Bend arriving about 9:00am. There are two guys that are already humping gear up to the base. I make my two hauls and enjoyed conversation with the other two climbers as they sorted, geared up and got climbing. Their plan was to bivy at 5. About 2:00pm the Second took off cleaning.

I had hauled my ledge up because the bivy at the base is so poor. I was planning on hanging the edge of the roof and get some practice with a bivy station. Instead, I decided to go ahead on setup at the pitch one anchor. After getting my bivy setup for the night, I went ahead and fixed pitch two. First two pitches are easy aid with only one two lobe blown out pin scar towards the top of 2. I came down and spent a fantastic night on the wall clear skies, 70 degrees Milky Way as bright as I have ever seen it, framed in those incredible canyon walls.

Ed was suppose to be on the first shuttle up (5:45) and so I was up at 5:30 broke down my bivy loaded up the pig and was ready to lower it out when Ed showed up (we hauled water and spare gear in his atom smasher). We were in great shape to get fixed to 3.5 Saturday and shoot the rest Sunday.

I lead the 3.5 to 4 leg in about 1 hour, arriving early Sunday evening. Turns out I did the traverse the hard way, top ringing the aiders to a hook move, then 2nd ringing the aiders on the hook to a 2 lobe hybrid placement in a way blown out pin scar, and finally getting a solid hybrid in a final pin scar before making the mostly blind traversal placement. Turns out I should have traversed before the hook move, but heck then I would not have turned this into a C2 sequence Heck one would assume to climb as high as the highest scar before traversing correct?

Ed lead 3 on Saturday and 3.5 on Sunday.

For being jet lagged, out of shape and not climbing since the end of June, I was very pleased with my self soloed two pitches, set a clean bivy in reasonable time, my head was good and I had some excitement on that traversal sequence.

I am very disappointed to announce that watching the sun go down on the top of pitch 4, our two days of water mostly gone, and not willing to hanging belay for the next 2 or 3 more nights (not sure that would even be enough), we bailed.

Chad


scarecrow


Sep 1, 2003, 4:16 PM
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Re: TR - Prodigal Sun [In reply to]
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Sounds like you weren't in any hurry. A buddy and I are planning a trip to the Prodigal Son sometime in Sept. We're planning on doing it in one push. Have you ever done this climb before? If not was it as easy/hard as you had expected? Any beta would be great!


passthepitonspete


Sep 1, 2003, 5:10 PM
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Hey, at least you had one nice wall bivy for all your efforts, eh?

Chalk it up to experience.


timpanogos


Sep 1, 2003, 6:09 PM
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scarecrow,

First two pitches are easy, 3rd is suppose to be the crux - blown out pin scars, but typically have a bomber piece below each of those two lobe moves. A Provo pro shop owner told me TwoCams where the shit for those blown out scars - I think he might be right. 4 was straight forward - that's all I can tell you. It was not harder than I expected

As far as a single push - lead in blocks, work it out with your partner before hand, knowing exactly what each is going to do when - 9 pitchs - get cooking at 1.5 hours per pitch average - some leader always moving and yea you got it in 13 hours. Take lots of aliens and especially hybrid aliens they will speed you up a bunch over offset nuts. Most placements are flaring cracks or pin scars.

Days will be getting shorter - and watch the weather - later Sept can get dangerous


epic_ed


Sep 2, 2003, 9:32 PM
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Sounds like you weren't in any hurry.

Oh, we were in a hurry. It just didn't translate to much progress. Any of you who were placing bets against us can go collect your money now. Dicks. :wink:

It was a pleasure meeting Chad -- good guy. I take full responsibility for our lack of progress up the route. I completely CF'd the first anchor station and we lost a couple of hours not only working out the belay station, but also discussing the finer points of how to proceed. Still, we were only 1/2 a pitch short of our goal for the day.

We further discussed strategy the next morning before ascending the lines to our high point, and the plan was for me to short fix and solo while Chad finished jugging. I managed to move my solo anchor over from the poor spot I had set it up the day before and was two moves up on P4 when Chad arrived and things didn't look right from his stand point. I'd rather he question a set up that is life and death, so I had no problems down-aiding back to the belay to discuss it. By the time we had it sorted out, we decided to move the rest of the anchor over to my new location so Chad could belay from the much more comfortable ledge. Eventually I was back on lead, but it was clear at that point that we had no chance for the summit.

P4 was not necessairly straight forward, especially the way I lead it. :roll: I didn't like the looks of the "mandatory" 5.7 section and instead of taking the time to change out to my climbing shoes, I did some crafty and time consuming aid moves to get past it. There is a nice rap station/anchor about 80 ft up the pitch and It would have been quicker and easier for me to continue the remaining 50 ft to the anchor. But since Chad had now been at the belay for three hours, I gave him the option of changing leads in order for him to get something in other than ass-rash from the days effort. This anchor and change over went much better than my previous fiasco and Chad was jugging up to clean the first half of P4 and then on to finish the lead to the top of 4. We decided there was no point going any further, took a couple of photos, and proceeded to rappel back to the ground.

Chad and I didn't have the benefit of working out the details of how we planned to tackle this climb in advance. Neither of us really has the experience level that we can just hook up with anybody at any time and go and I think we really would do much better if we just had some time to climb with each other to work out the details and get used to eachothers climbing style. As it was, the combination of my CF at the third anchor and our lack of experience as a climbing team kicked our butts.

This one was probably more disappointing than any of my Yosemite stuff this year because I don't feel like I gave it a very good effort. I'm better than my first day effort indicated, and I feel like I let Chad down. This route is well within my ability level. And Chad's. I know I'll be spending a lot of time between now and my next trip setting up aid anchor stations and practicing change overs. I'll also be buying a Petzl Croll to learn how to do the Frog stuff. I'll be back.

Ed


ep


Sep 5, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Any of you who were placing bets against us can go collect your money now. Dicks. :wink:

Ed, sorry it didn't work out. I was hoping that my impression of your readiness was off and you'd do well, or at least a lot better than you did. I think many people fail because they don't allow themselves enough time. And with today's emphasis on fast and light, those without a lot of hours in their aiders can easily be hoodwinked into trying to go faster than they currently can --- with the obvious result.

So go practice some more. Give PS another go! (you already know this)


epic_ed


Sep 5, 2003, 11:21 AM
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Nothing wrong wiith calling it like you see it. It usually turns out the voice of experience is the most accurate, anyway. I think both of us will have success on that route some time in the future. Appreciate your input.

Ed


flamer


Sep 5, 2003, 1:11 PM
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[quote="up2top"]
In reply to:
I'll also be buying a Petzl Croll to learn how to do the Frog stuff. I'll be back.

Ed

Buying a Croll Isn't nessecarily the answer. You just need to get really good and efficient with the method you do use.
You'll be back and hopefully have more fun next time!
josh


rogueclimber


Sep 5, 2003, 1:29 PM
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Good try guys! If it makes you feel any better I bailed off the second pitch last Thanksgiving due to rain. Let's all go back and STICK IT!!


crackaddict


Sep 5, 2003, 2:50 PM
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This one was probably more disappointing than any of my Yosemite stuff this year because I don't feel like I gave it a very good effort. I'm better than my first day effort indicated, and I feel like I let Chad down. This route is well within my ability level. And Chad's. I know I'll be spending a lot of time between now and my next trip setting up aid anchor stations and practicing change overs. I'll also be buying a Petzl Croll to learn how to do the Frog stuff. I'll be back.

Ed

Man don't beat yourself up so bad! At least you made an attempt. I have yet to climb in Zion. Or even aid over one pitch yet.
Sometimes it takes a few routes with a new partner to work out the bugs and get comfortable with each others style.
Keep it up guys and don't give up.


brutusofwyde


Sep 7, 2003, 11:05 AM
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Eventually I was back on lead, but it was clear at that point that we had no chance for the summit.

More often than it would appear so, the capstone of success has its roots in the pyramid and foundation of past failures.

Most of us who have the pleasure of reminiscing over successful walls have put in the same kind of "unsuccessful" efforts. I undoubtedly learned far more from my early "failures" than from my later "successes."

Folks are few and far between who can immediately become efficient in the wall arena without putting in the requisite "time in the gloves"
(Ya can't climb into the ring without expecting to take a few punches.)

Good effort! Any climb where everyone returns home safe is a successful climb.

Brutus


flamer


Sep 7, 2003, 11:53 AM
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[quote="brutusofwyde
Most of us who have the pleasure of reminiscing over successful walls have put in the same kind of "unsuccessful" efforts. I undoubtedly learned far more from my early "failures" than from my later "successes."
The man speaks the truth....
josh


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