> I am also interested in any info anyone may have on the Salathe. Especially > the hollow flake pitch, is it protectable? If so with what (6 - 8 inch > pieces?) Is there really 100' fall potential on this pitch? More like 200+, ending in probable death. Actually, I don't know if you'ld die, but you can't see where you'ld stop, and it is around a corner, which makes it all the scarier! I believe I had a #2 and a #3 Bigbro, both of which were too small to do any good. Just thought I'd psyche you up for the Hollow Flake pitch ;) Whoever leads it can look forward to having virtually no gear in. You (if you're leading it) HAVE to offwidth at 5.9. Laybacking would be insecure, and you are looking down the lead rope which drops 100 ft away and around a corner without a single piece of gear (except what you can't see, which is around the corner 100 feet below...). You just KNOW that if you blow it you're going to die (cheery, eh?). What makes it ever worse is that you are climbing with your back to the main wall, looking directly out into the valley (and down your useless lead rope), for maximum fear/exposure! I lead this before I really got into OWs, and it was quite scary - really one of the most memorable pitches on the route (the other being, of course, the headwall). My partner and I were behind 3 Italian fellows, one of whom was frozen half way up the flake. The other 2 Italians gave me the go-ahead to climb past him, so I started out and it soon became clear that if I fell, I'd take him with me. Funny how he was really cheering me on when I got above him up on the 5.9 part!
> I am also interested in any info anyone may have on the Salathe. Especially > the hollow flake pitch, is it protectable? If so with what (6 - 8 inch > pieces?) Is there really 100' fall potential on this pitch? With a #7 Big Dude the Hollow Flake pitch is well protected. You can slide it up as you go. A #3 Big Bro will also work although you can't slide it up with you. Liebacking the Hollow Flake pitch is asking for trouble. I managed to lead the whole thing as an offwidth/squeeze chimney. This pitch has a worse reputation than it deserves, IMHO. It is only 5.9 for one 15' section. I'd advise practicing leading other 5.9 OW's and squeeze chimneys before you hop on the Salathe. Then it will seem casual. The other OW pitch just before El Cap Tower is very short and protects well with a #4 Camalot. The squeeze listed in the topo above El Cap Tower is nothing to worry about either. > Just thought I'd psyche you up for the Hollow Flake pitch ;) > Whoever leads it can look forward to having virtually no gear > in. You (if you're leading it) HAVE to offwidth at 5.9. Laybacking > would be insecure, and you are looking down the lead rope which > drops 100 ft away and around a corner without a single piece of > gear (except what you can't see, which is around the corner 100 > feet below...). You just KNOW that if you blow it you're going > to die (cheery, eh?). What makes it ever worse is that you are > climbing with your back to the main wall, looking directly out into > the valley (and down your useless lead rope), for maximum fear/exposure! Here's a good tie in to the "Bolting Underprotected Climbs" thread: Lead the Hollow Flake pitch with no pro like Bruce here with an SPF (sphincter pucker factor) of 38. You'll remember this pitch for the rest of your life and can relate it with gusto to your grandkids (assuming you survive). Or, like me, you can take along a #7 Big Dude and slide it up with you, taking a snooze on the rope halfway if you get too sleepy. Then the pitch will recede rapidly in your memory until, years later you can't even remember which route it's on! -George
> I am a bit confused because you wrote that a Big Dude #7 > would work perfectly, whereas Susan Bolton (in her trip > report) mentions that a 2x4 is necessary in addition, and > Dr OW seems to have even another opinion. What's the > truth ? Well, Tuan, I'm no OW animal, and I led this pitch with only a #7 Big Dude and a #3 Big Bro. You pendulum into the crack, and above you it's a vertical offwidth rt-facing dihedral. I placed the Big Bro and started squeezing up. This is the crux. After about 20 feet the dihedral starts to lean left, and since it faces right this starts making it easier. I put in the Big Dude and started sliding it up with me. It's true that the crack gets too wide for the last 20' for the Big Dude to fit, so I left it behind at that point. I didn't feel bad leading out that 20' as the crack leans maybe 45 degrees left at that point. It is probably only about 5.6 and if you slip you just slide into the crack. DO NOT LIEBACK THE CRACK! That is really scary and if you fall you will really go flying. The way to do it is to get in the crack, right side in, facing out towards the valley. I suppose if you are really worried and not used to OW's you could take 2 #7 Big-Dude's, the #3 Big Bro and a 2x4 for the top. I practiced for a month before on an OW crack on Evans Hall on the Berkeley Campus. It's on the west side of the building and goes between the ground and first floors. At first this crack seemed impossible to make upward progress, but after a buddy showed me I practiced and in a couple of weeks I could race up the thing before class every day in my sneakers. You can also try toproping Chingando, a notorious Valley OW much harder that the Hollow Flake pitch.
: 1) What's Sous le Toit ledge like? Is bivying possible there? Is it better : than The Block? Its a great belay ledge. Its flat and maybe one small person could be comfortable there. Since its only one rope length away from the block you could sleep one at Sous le Toit and the rest at the Block. The route finding to Sous le Toit ledge is difficult. Many parties don't go far enough to the left by missing a pendulum which takes you to the base of the 10b crack. This crack takes you directly to the ledge. Next two pitches to the base of the roof can be done in one long pitch. : 2) Is it 5 rope lengths to haul to Heart Ledges? Yes. Sometimes its fixed for a long time by people working on new routes. : 3) George Meyer's "Yosemite Climbs" lists 1KB and 3LAs in the hardware list. : I am assuming that the whole route goes hammerless, with the KB and LA : placements long since placed with fixed gear. Is this an accurate : assumption? Accurate. However, a hook placement came in handy for me on the Sous le Toit pitch. : 4) Are creeps really stealing ropes dropped from the Heart Ledges jugging : pitches? Happens on the Nose a lot, so assume it happens on the Salathe also.
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