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Photos by apollodorus

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Base of the Hollow Flake Crack

Average Rating = 2.40/5 Base of the Hollow Flake Crack

The base of the Hollow Flake Crack has none of the sinister characteristics of the upper section. It starts out as 5.5-5.7 hand jamming and liebacking. It's only above, where the Salathe route pendulums over to it, that it widens its fearsome maw and swallows climbers whole.

The lower section is part of the Bermuda Dunes route. You can also have someone lower you off from Hollow Flake Ledge, and TR the entire thing on one long rope.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-29
Views: 2893 | Votes: 5 | Comments: 0
Spike Lowers Out on Pitch 4

Average Rating = 2.75/5 Spike Lowers Out on Pitch 4

This is Spike (Richard Heinrich) lowering out while cleaning P4 of Bermuda Dunes. He and I fixed the first 6 pitches, up and over the big Slack roof. We used one 70m and two 60m ropes to fix to the ground.

The idea was to get up and far enough west (right, in this photo), so that we could haul up that side of the Slack (La Escuela). Otherwise, we would have been dragging bags up the wide Slack Chimney (visible below and right of Richard), knocking loose rock down onto the popular free climbs Sacherer Cracker and La Cosita. Not a good idea.

Richard, PTPP and I were going to go as a party of three up the wall. Richard bailed after we fixed the lower pitches, citing irreconcilable differences between his finite vacation time and PTPP's and my typically glacial pace going up El Capitan. He was right. We were on the wall 13 nights.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1081 | Votes: 4 | Comments: 0
Spike Jugs Up to P5, Bermuda Dunes

Average Rating = 3.67/5 Spike Jugs Up to P5, Bermuda Dunes

This is Spike (Richard Heinrich) jugging up a fixed line to P5. I led the pitch the day before, and cleaned it on rappel. You can see the big, gaping Slack Chimney that we wanted to avoid hauling bags up. The two popular free climbs La Cosita and Sacherer Cracker would be in the line of fire if loose rock was dislodged.

The next pitch traversed west (to the right, in the photo), and we were able to hang fixed lines right of the tree at the edge of the photo.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1355 | Votes: 6 | Comments: 0
The Shark's Mouth, Bermuda Dunes

Average Rating = 2.75/5 The Shark's Mouth, Bermuda Dunes

This is the beginning of P6 on Bermuda Dunes. The route goes up past a shark's mouth worth of loose flakes/teeth, and into the chimney above. Then, a traverse out left inside the chimney leaves the grim prospect of a swinging fall over the roof and into the Shark's Mouth. Great Fun!

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1356 | Votes: 4 | Comments: 0
PTPP at the Dihedral Flats Base Camp

Average Rating = 2.25/5 PTPP at the Dihedral Flats Base Camp

PTPP stands at the flat area at the base of the Dihedral Wall, amid cluttered junk carefully "organicized" for packing into the haul bags.

We were going to be on the wall during Memorial Day weekend, so I figured I'd better get the flag out.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1039 | Votes: 4 | Comment: 1
Machine Gun Bolting on Bermuda Dunes

Average Rating = 2.00/5 Machine Gun Bolting on Bermuda Dunes

This is a shot of some of the aid gear PTPP and I took up Bermuda Dunes.

Note the machine-gun belted bolts. We told some hikers we had a gun that could shoot 250 bolts per minute into solid granite. They nodded knowingly, and then moved away from us as fast as they politely could.

That strange piton to the right of the bolts and hangers is a Bugaboo that had the center cut out with a grinder. The idea of this "tuning fork" was to drive it under the hangers of rotten bolts, and pop them out of their holes. Then, the holes could be redrilled larger and deeper and new bolts and hangers installed.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1222 | Votes: 2 | Comments: 0
Aid312 and Melonhead on the Shield

Average Rating = 3.25/5 Aid312 and Melonhead on the Shield

This is Brett (Aid312) and Jonathan (Melonhead) on the Shield route on El Capitan. They are a bit above Mammoth Terraces, but not yet onto the Shield itself.

I took this photo from near the Hollow Flake Crack, when PTPP and I climbed Bermuda Dunes in May of 2003. I used a 300mm lens.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-28
Views: 1223 | Votes: 4 | Comments: 0
Monster OW leading up to the Alcove

Average Rating = 3.43/5 Monster OW leading up to the Alcove

This is a shot of the 5 to 10 inch (125mm to 250mm) offwidth crack that leads up to the Alcove. This pitch is part of the Bermuda Dunes route. It's also the easy (5.10d/5.11a) free variation of the Salathe that bypasses the 5.13a thin crack above the Ear.

Have fun, kids.

I led this fine section (C1, with Valley Giant cams) in the dark, with no headlamp or flashlight. There was no possible way to get off-route. All I had to do was finger-feel that the cams were seated properly. BETA: the crack gets small enough for fists for a short section near the top. Moving past a bush growing in the same crack below this photo is the crux of that pitch.

This photo was taken the next day, when I had to rap down to free a haul pig that got impossibly stuck below a small roof. The other haul pig came up cleanly. Guffigure.

Notice the use of the big cams for the belay. We replaced one of the bolts there with a new one.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-27
Views: 1456 | Votes: 7 | Comments: 3
El Capitan Dawn Wall At Dawn

Average Rating = 4.00/5 El Capitan Dawn Wall At Dawn

The Dawn Wall, at dawn. The Wall of the Early Morning Light, in the early morning light.

This part of El Capitan is home to the Nose, Mescalito, Reticent, Pacific Ocean, North American, etc. I took this photo from high up on Scorched Earth, which is near the Tangerine Trip.

The climbers in this photo were probably on the Sea of Dreams, but I can't remember.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-27
Views: 3035 | Votes: 13 | Comments: 6
Froggy Style

Average Rating = 3.75/5 Froggy Style

PTPP does it his favorite way on Bermuda Dunes: Froggy Style. Using a Basic or Croll ascender clipped low on the harness and a single jug above is the best way to ascend a free-hanging rope. Use a chest harness, or a bungy cord around your neck to keep the Basic/Croll moving up with you. The key is to minimize slack and dead space in the setup. You want to stand up on the upper jug, and have the lower ascender slide up just below it. That way, you maximize each stroke up the rope.

Middle Cathedral Rock is in the background.

"A journey of 2900 feet begins with a single slide of the jug" - johnhenry

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-07-27
Views: 904 | Votes: 8 | Comments: 2
Who is this guy? And why does he have my #16 cam?

Average Rating = 3.56/5 Who is this guy? And why does he have my #16 cam?



This is photo #2 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

Here's a shot of Steve Gerberding, graciously posing in front of his nemesis, El Capitan, with my #16 Valley Giant cam. I was just about to head up to the base of Scorched Earth, when I ran into Steve standing on the bridge at El Cap Meadows.

He'd just come off his one-hundredth ascent of the Big Stone, climbing the Dihedral Wall for his first time, in record speed, with Hans Florine, who was also making his hundredth ascent of the Stone. Steve and Hans have many speed records on El Capitan, but I think that was the first time they'd teamed up to do one. You can click here to open another browser window and read about El Capitan speed ascents.

Steve doesn't need any such giant cam to go up anything. He is a Big Wall Master on at least three continents. He was just being a good sport for the camera.

I did my first big wall with Steve back in October of 1983. We swung leads on the Lost Arrow Direct. It took us two days after fixing two pitches.

Please click here to proceed to the next photo.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-28
Views: 3155 | Votes: 9 | Comments: 9
Union Jack on Mescalito

Average Rating = 3.50/5 Union Jack on Mescalito



This is photo #29 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This photo was taken from about P12 on Scorched Earth with a 300mm telephoto lens. Oddly enough, while Pete and Tom were on Scorched Earth, Pete and Tom (mrhardgrit) were on Mescalito. We all topped out on the same day.

In this photo, Tom is one pitch below Bismark Ledge, while Pete is cutting loose the pig. [Note: Their pig doesn't fly. Clearly the Better Way. - Pete] Tom's Union Jack (British flag) ledge is flagged above the pig, as it should be. Notice Tom's no-hands hauling technique. Or is he doing yoga to warm up?

The next photo is Pete in action on the hook traverse.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-25
Views: 1157 | Votes: 2 | Comments: 0
PTPP on the Awesome Ledge of P2, Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 3.69/5 PTPP on the Awesome Ledge of P2, Scorched Earth



This is photo #6 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

PTPP soaks up sun and hot coffee at our stylin' Advance Base Camp, the ledge at the top of P2 on Scorched Earth. This ledge is a full 60m free-hanging jug from the El Cap Hilton at the base. It's about three feet wide, thirty feet long, flat and almost level. It was a nice base of operations for the crux third and fourth pitches.

[I'll say, mate! What a great place to hang out and drink another cup o' joe. With any luck, I won't have to start climbing til afternoon. - Pete]

The left-facing open book behind and above PTPP is part of the Tangerine Trip route. The start of Zodiac is the flat talus area below the rainbow. The near skyline is the East Buttress, a popular 5.10 free route.

You can click here to move to the next photo, another shot of ABC by Pete.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-24
Views: 1723 | Votes: 16 | Comments: 4
Traffic Jam on the Nose

Average Rating = 3.88/5 Traffic Jam on the Nose



This is photo #23 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This is a shot from Scorched Earth looking west towards El Cap Tower and Texas Flake on the Nose route. It was taken from the P7 belay.

El Cap Tower is the middle of three prominent ledges, and Texas Flake is separated from the Cap by the chimney above.

Notice the traffic jam, with parties on both El Cap Tower and Texas Flake one pitch above. The route above Texas Flake goes up and left to Boot Flake (you can just see its base) and from there follows the infamous King Swing penji.

You can also see a climber in red on Mescalito. From a full-size image, I could see that it was Pete Davies from England, who was doing Mescalito with Tom Randall, MrHardgrit, also from England.

You can click here for the last shot of Pete looking happy.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-24
Views: 1674 | Votes: 9 | Comments: 3
El Cap Hilton, base of Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 3.80/5 El Cap Hilton, base of Scorched Earth

Please title this page. (Page 2)



This is photo #3 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This is a shot of the world-class El Cap Hilton. For a minimal fee [a twenty-minute hike from the road - more when carrying a pig], you get a roomy, soft and flat area to prepare your gear. It's high enough above the river and marsh grasses that the mosquito problem is negligible, at least in the late summer when we were there. Bears and other odd creatures of the night like ringtail cats and spotted skunks will get your food, though, so make sure you hang it from the trees or your fixed lines.

"Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok, [PTPP] still groggy from lack of coffee, is pondering how to get all our gear into two pigs, a piglet and a Blue Whale. This was our blast-off point for Scorched Earth. Not shown is most of the climbing gear, already up at our Advance Base Camp at the top of pitch 2.

The bags in the tree at the far left edge of the photo are hanging from the haul line, which goes straight up to the P2 ledge, 58 metres above. You can see from the position of the rope that the wall starts off very overhanging, and it never lets up until the last two or three pitches. It's the steepest part of El Cap, between Native Son and the Tangerine Trip.

At the middle right of the photo is a 16-inch (400mm) plywood cam I made for the Leavittator, the notoriously WIDE offwidth pitch that follows the right side of the enormous Golden Finger of Fate, a four-hundred-foot high rather detached pinnacle.

[What a load of crrrrrrap, eh? "You must alvays have a vell-organicized belay." I'm doing my best to minimize the clusterf*ckage, and somehow make our loads ready for hauling. This always takes ya longer than ya think, eh?

[Just to the right you see the blackened wall next to the fireplace. According to Chongo, Scorched Earth is so named because the original start [which we did not attempt] begins in the fireplace[!] Campfires are no longer permitted at the base of El Cap, and neither is camping. While you're fixing, you need to either bivi on the wall, or return to the Valley. Technically, this could mean hanging your ledge from a rivet five feet off the ground, though I'm not sure this BWT has yet been tested with the rangers! - Pete]

You can click here to move to the next photo in the show - hope you're not afraid of snakes!

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-24
Views: 2255 | Votes: 5 | Comments: 4
Above the Roof on P5 of Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 4.00/5 Above the Roof on P5 of Scorched Earth



This is photo #17 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This is PTPP above the roof, and nearing the top of P5 on Scorched Earth. The pitch starts by going left, then over a fifteen-foot roof and then up and right on the overhanging wall above. This area is roughly at the same height as the notoriously steep Wing pitch on Native Son. You can judge the angle from his hanging Zip Line. I was glad I only had to clean that pitch, and not jug a free-hanging line.

As Pete approached the fifth belay, he suddenly erupted into Diabolical Doctor Evil Laughter. The next photo will make you laugh, too, when you see the sight that greeted Pete at Cape Wild Bivi.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-23
Views: 1326 | Votes: 11 | Comments: 3
PTTP on Scorched Earth Roof - Pitch 5

Average Rating = 3.55/5 PTTP on Scorched Earth Roof - Pitch 5



This is photo #13 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

PTPP, in an action sequence moving past the large roof of P5 on Scorched Earth.

Click here to see a BIGGER IMAGE FROM MY WEBSITE IN A NEW BROWSER WINDOW. This bigger image is HUGE and takes a while to download. Since it opens in a new window, you can come back to this one to continue the slide show while it does its thing.

Next up: an amazing photo taken from El Cap Meadows.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-23
Views: 1270 | Votes: 11 | Comments: 2
PTPP at the Poison Pill, Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 4.00/5 PTPP at the Poison Pill, Scorched Earth



This is photo #24 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

PTPP waves, "Later, eh?" (Hoserspeak, for bon voyage) from the Poison Pill ledge at the top of P6 of Scorched Earth.

The portaledge is clipped to cams placed downward in the crack behind the ledge, which is hardly visible here.

I went up the fixed line to the P7 belay, and hauled Pete's pig and Crab-O-Ledge. As he cleaned up the belay, the expando Pill closed up on a #4 Friend. Pete couldn't get the cams to move. I came back down the haul line to see if I could get it, but it was solidly stuck. It's now Booty for the next party who hangs their pigs from this expanding anchor and opens it back up with the weight.

This is the last photo showing the Cratered Pig and the Amazing Flying Whale before they slipped the noose and got away. It was lucky for me that I took my camera bag with me, and didn't leave it clipped to the top of the Pig.

I took this photo while dangling about thirty feet from the wall on a fixed line to P7. You can see someone on Sea of Dreams below and left of PTPP. If you look closely, you can see two guys on Mescalito, too. El Cap Tower and Texas Flake are on the skyline behind him.

You can click here to see disaster at the Poison Pill!

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-23
Views: 1608 | Votes: 13 | Comments: 4
All-Time Copperhead Crack, Aurora

Average Rating = 3.58/5 All-Time Copperhead Crack, Aurora



This is photo #26 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

Dr. Piton transmogrifies into Mr. Hyde (AKA Pound the Pitons Pete), attacking the All-Time Copperhead Crack on Aurora with heads, hammer and chisel. Actually, most of the heads were fixed. The flared splitter also took Hybrid Aliens

We were forced up this diversion around the Leavittator crack on Scorched Earth (visible to the left of PTPP) when we lost the Amazing Flying Whale and my mutant rack of monstrous Valley Giant cams.

[Geez, I wish he'd quit talking about that all the time. Sheesh. - Pete]

The notorious Leavittator crack goes from A3/A4 knifeblades to Lost Arrows to tips to fingers to hands to fists to offwidth to off-offwidth to squeeze chimney in one big, unbroken swoosh. It looks like the big brother of the Outer Limits crack on the Cookie Cliff. It goes free at hard 5.11, but I was going to C1 it with the big cams. I even made a special #16, just for that crack.

[Uh, like sorry, eh? - Pete]

Click here for a Pete's-eye view of the ATCC.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-23
Views: 1535 | Votes: 12 | Comments: 2
Pitch 7 of Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 4.11/5 Pitch 7 of Scorched Earth



This is photo #22 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This is PTPP in action, going up the A4 loose rock of pitch 7 of Scorched Earth.

We fixed this pitch, and spent the night at P6, the Poison Pill block (scene of the infamous Cratered Pig Incident the next day). This overhanging pitch traversed to the right. The next day when I lowered out to jug the fixed line, I found myself thirty feet from the wall and fifty feet east of where I started.

[The steepness was the least of my worries! See that flake all my gear is stuck in? It's not expando, it's loose. You could likely pull it off with your hands. Ripping to the belay is possible, though hopefully not probable. - Pete]

From the top of this pitch the next day, I took a telephoto shot of a traffic jam on the Nose.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-21
Views: 1382 | Votes: 10 | Comments: 9
Heinz57 Jugging on the Tangerine Trip

Average Rating = 4.15/5 Heinz57 Jugging on the Tangerine Trip



This is photo #5 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

This is a shot I took from the second belay of Scorched Earth on El Capitan. "Heinz57" is jugging three ropes he used to fix the first four pitches of the Tangerine Trip (ed. note: Heinz said he fixed the first five pitches).

This is the steepest section of El Capitan, and his fixed lines hit the ground about 70 feet from the base. Fixed ropes here have been known to fail, and two people have died on this jug.

Spooky.


[When I introduced myself to Heinz at the base, he instantly recognized me from my writing here at RC.com. But when I asked him his user name, he didn't have one - he was a lurker. Heinz was struggling with the traditional Yosemite system of jugging, until I fixed him up with the Petzl Frog System.

[If you are interested, you can click here to open a new browser window and read Heinz' testimony as Dr. Piton's Wall Patient. Heinz most assuredly "gets it. - Pete]

Tired of hanging around at the base? Itchin' to get on the wall? You can click here to jug to Advance Base Camp.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-21
Views: 2428 | Votes: 28 | Comments: 15
Scorched Earth Hook Traverse - P13

Average Rating = 3.17/5 Scorched Earth Hook Traverse - P13



This is photo #30 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

PTPP has safely navigated the ten-odd hook moves in a row to traverse a blank section high on Scorched Earth. You can use the Zip Line to judge the steepness of the rock. The W-W belay anchor is made from two cordalettes, each equalized to at least three pieces.

[Scarrrry stuff, Count Floyd! Nothin' but air for two-thousand feet beneath my heels, nothing but the bite of the hook on the rock holding me there. (Voice of Maxwell Smart) "And loving it." - Pete]

I was originally going to take over most of the leads from here, as they were relatively easy. But I was still reeling from having just lost $2000+ worth of cams, all my food and water, all my warm clothes, my sleeping bag, my headlamp and my storm gear. My heart just wasn't in it. Pete and I also realized that we'd get off the wall faster if he led everything. Since we were running on half rations, and were going to run out of water, that was our only choice.

You can click here to read Pete's explanation of how we made it to the top alive.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-21
Views: 1251 | Votes: 6 | Comments: 2
Flag on Scorched Earth - P2

Average Rating = 3.17/5 Flag on Scorched Earth - P2



This is photo #9 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.


This is a shot of my portaledge at P2 of Scorched Earth. People say that PTPP's Crab-O-Ledge looks like a Hoser flag from the ground. [Can you imagine?! Sheesh. - Pete] So, I figured I should put an American flag on my ledge to balance things out. Coincidently, MrHardGrit had his Union Jack British flag flying on Mescalito at the same time we were on Scorched Earth. El Capitan is quite the cosmopolitan place during Wall Season.

Please click here to see the next photo in this series, another shot of my ledge taken from the top of P3, which Pete managed to lead without dying.

[Not dying is a VGT! - Pete]

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2003-01-21
Views: 1424 | Votes: 6 | Comments: 0
PTPP Hauls P5 of Scorched Earth

Average Rating = 3.57/5 PTPP Hauls P5 of Scorched Earth



This is photo #19 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

Another 1000mm telephoto by William Zittrich shot from El Cap Meadows, this time of PTPP hauling P5 of Scorched Earth. My haul bag and flagged ledge are being raised. I'm on Pete's Crab-O-Ledge below the large roof. Once Pete raised the first bag, I flagged the Crab-O-ledge above the second pig and lowered it out.

The bag doesn't leave a shadow because it was so far away from the wall. That pitch was STEEP!

From top to bottom on the haul line is PTPP, my flagged portaledge, the (soon to be) Cratered Pig, and on Catch Lines beneath, a five-gallon bucket of oranges, avocados and bananas, the Amazing Flying Whale, and my sleeping bag.

Notice that the U.S. flag is backwards from what it should be. I neglected to research how to properly fly the flag as a banner. The blue field of stars belongs at the upper lefthand corner. At least the flag is not upside down, which might have looked like a Distress Signal to people on the ground. Unless you're in need of a rescue, the last thing you want to hear on El Capitan is YOSAR and the Park Rangers calling up to you with bullhorns.

The next photo shows my arrival at Cape Wild Bivi.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2002-10-25
Views: 1495 | Votes: 7 | Comments: 3
Scorched Earth Advance Base Camp

Average Rating = 3.33/5 Scorched Earth Advance Base Camp

Please title this page. (Page 2)



This is photo #10 in a series of 32. You can click here to return to Photo #1.

Since PTPP and I were going to "flag" our ledges above the pigs, I figured I should put a real flag on mine. I'm standing on the ledge at the top of P2 of Scorched Earth, which is a free-hanging jug 200-foot (60m) above the El Cap Hilton. This was our Advance Base Camp for the next two pitches.

Pete took this photo while returning to ABC after knocking off the crux A4+ fourth pitch.

Please click here to jug up to P4 with me.

Submitted by: apollodorus on 2002-10-17
Views: 1466 | Votes: 6 | Comment: 1
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