| Home/Mountaineering/Yosemite Rock information|
Zodiac VI, 5.8 A3: beta
By Bradley R. Carlile,
and Evan Bigall
"Great climb", "It's steep", "No crux to prepare for - it's consistent",
"Memorable pitches", "Haulings not bad due to slight continuous overhang",
"There will be enough suffering...".
The route is enjoyable. It is consistently steep
(slighly overhanging) with many traverses and a couple of wild
spots. The climbing offers a lot of variety, from wide cracks to thin
seams, and all the techniques (free, hooks, clean gear, nailing) have
to be used.
The route stays in the shade for most of the morning, and goes in the
shade relatively soon in the afternoon.
There might be a crowd on this route, which I heard is the second most
popular after the Nose. Be ready to wait in line and deal with lots of
people/haulbags at belays.
Following the base of El Cap is a good trail.
1 hour from the El Cap Meadows with a load.
I am not sure whether the Zodiac gully is faster or not. The base of the
climb is rather rocky, but there are some bivy spots in the forest at
the base of Tangerine Trip.
Now at least two bomber bolts at all belays [EB]
Cruxes: p1, p3, p7, p9, p10, p11,
- bomber hook to first bolt, Leeper nice top of pitch. Sawed off angles
- aid under roof (don't space to far apart otherwise hard to clean) to
free moves. Might be expending. One rope length to ground from anchor.
haul from here.
- nice pitch (look for bat hooks - cuts down on nailing).
It is one rope length to pitch 2, so you can fix two to the ground.
- Some loose stuff at the top, also hook move at top, need some large
a friends at top (#2.0-#3.0). Hanging bivy possible here.
- 5.8 traversing
moves to a arching rivet ladder. back clean entire rivet ladder
except the few last pieces (have to do hook moves to reach belay)
and join pitches 5&6, one rope length if backclean. Ledge bivy here.
- should join with 5.
- gets thin after black tower.
some fixed rurps have broken slings. Not that much fixed gear.
Goes clean with 2.5 sets of HB Brass Offsets.
"ledge for one" here.
- traverses to left, watch rope drag. Goes vertical at the Great
Circle (also called Grey Circle or Zodiac). Rivets to anchor.
Blown rivet as of 10/18/97.
The route gets steep here - slight overhang till p14.
Hanging bivy here.
- nice pitch, lots angles and aliens. Leeper cam hook very useful.
Lots of fixed gear.
Hanging bivy here.
- Nipple pitch, lots of aliens and small pins. #3 friend, #4 friend,
and #4 camalot needed to get to the bolt at the nipple, near the
middle of the pitch. hanging bivy here.
- Mark of Zorro. wild. may need some copperheads on upper part. There is
a bivy ledge on the left near the end of the pitch, don't be fooled,
it is not the belay. Reachy. Maybe best for a tall person.
- need large friends for the middle of the pitch.
Hooking traverse left before the belay and
then up. Watch for rope drag since the pitch has traverses.
Sharp edges might have to
be taped. hanging bivy here. [
Not sure how this is supposed to go. We hooked left to a bomber belay
at the base of the rivet ladder. This was hard, but went. Seems like
there is another belay at a ledge off right, but this can be skipped.
Avoiding a dicey traverse to the rivet ladder? EB
- back clean entire traverse left and back right at the start.
Peanut ledge here, narrow, but sleeps two (no porta ledges required)
- #4 friend walk (use 2 #4 friends and leapfrog - or can use the
#4 camalot in addition to always have two pieces in), protected
with rivets bolts every 4-5 placements. You want to tape or pad
sharp edge at the top for hauling and for the fixed rope. hanging
bivy on a sloping slab.
- hook traverse left to vertical(slightly right traversing) crack,
watch out there is a oven-door size loose flake directly above
belayer when the next left traversing hooks moves are started.
Bomber chouinard hooks and fish hook moves. Climb a short (30')
vertical broken-up section and then look down and to the right for
the anchor. It's almost straight above the last anchor. We've
seen a lot of people wander all over the place on this pitch. small ledge.
- short pitch to the top 80', get under overhanging boulder and
traverse to the right to find the anchor rivets and bolts at the
top. Watch old copperheads -try to equalize them. Might want to
send on lead the lightest climber.
The route doesn't require much nailing (much less than The Shield, for
instance). As of 6/96,
it can probably be done clean using fixed gear
with a very long cheater stick and a potential for long falls on
sketchy placements. It is however very nice to have a pin rack. We have
used about 15 to 20 pin placements, from Birdbeaks to saw-off angles.
[as of 10/97, Not too hard to do it clean. EB].
- 50m 11mm lead line
- 50m haul line
- Lowering out is not essential. A tail of about 10m on the haul line is
plenty. The worse swing is on pitch 4.
- 50m 7mm zip line (nice not to have to carry the big stuff all the time)
- used 1 RURP, and Birdbeaks at least 3 times. They can be hammered into
copperheads with broken cables. Some fixed rurps are broken.
- 4 KB (2 short, 2 long)
- Lost Arrows, mostly short thick: not used. I would take only
#2, #3, #4 x 2, #7
- 2 Pika Z': small & Medium:
not used maybe because we had many sawed-off angles
We had a total of 7 sawed off (all sizes)
, and used them almost all. We used only
one non-sawed off 3/4 angle. I would take only the sawed off, and 1 of each
non-sawed off angle to 1 1/4.
- few #2& #3 copperheads: all the necessary heads are in place but
some cables are very bad
- 2 Fish Doublons: technically not necessary, rivet
hangers work fine too
- 8 rivet hangers [I'd bring way more than that. EB]
- 8 1/4" wingnuts (for bolt studs - then loop rivet hanger on):
- 2 chouinard hooks
- 2 talons
- 1 leeper pointed hook
- 1 fish hook (2" hook)
- 1 captain hook (3" hook)
- 2 leeper cam hooks, very useful. There is even one which is fixed (!)
on the A3+ pitch
- 3 sets of nuts
- 2 sets of micronuts (RPs & HBs) [Key, I'd bring more. EB]
- set of small tricams (used only one)
- we had a set of Lowe Balls, but were able to use only one time
the #3. They work very poorly in pin scars and tend to pop when tested
hard. [We used the smallest two a couple of times. EB]
- 4 #1 aliens/TCU (the more the better, since they
are useful on traversing pitches)
- 3 #2 aliens/TCU
- 3 #3 aliens/TCU
- 2 #0.5 - #3.0 Camalots
- 1 #4.0 Friend
- 1 #4 camalot (needed for nipple pitch, #10)
- 1 #5 camalot (useful for nipple pitch)
- about 90 ovals/d' biners for lead
- 8 locking biners
- 10 pin tie offs
- 12 quick draw length slings
- 8 shoulder length slings
- 2 double length slings
- botswains chair (can make out of a plastic seat bottom of a sturdy
folding chair), most belays are hanging...
- cheater stick (to go past broken fixed pieces)
- duct tape (to protect the rope against sharp edges)
First version: Brad Carlile, Brian Baker, 6/94
First update: Quang-Tuan Luong, 6/96
Second update: Evan Bigall, 10/97
View or add comments