|Type:||Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400', Grade II|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b C1+ [details]|
|FA:||Allen Steck, Will Siri, Bill Dunmire, Bob Swift, 1952|
|Submitted By:||aaron hope on Mar 6, 2011|
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By Osprey Overhang
Jan 21, 2012
El Cap Tree Direct FA: Glen Denny, Frank Sacherer, 1961
El Cap Tree - Regular Route FA: Allen Steck, Will Siri, Bill Dunmire, Bob Swift, 1952
May 6, 2013
Completed the first two pitches of El Cap Tree Route on Sunday May 5th, 2013. Here’s a few notes to help keep the info current on this route:
Pitch 1 Rack:
BD cams C3’s up to #1 C4. Could have used doubles of red #1’s. Only used one C3, forget which one but not the smallest Grey 000. Blue/yellow offset mastercam made getting onto bolt ladder real easy. I recommend carrying a set of offset cams. Only used 4 nuts (regular set would work, no offset nuts required). For the rivet ladder I had 4 RP hangers and 1 Moses Hanger. Only 4 are needed here and you could use rivet hangers instead of special hangers. There is one fixed Al bashie to transition from bolt ladder onto hooking flakes but could be gotten around with some work. For hooks I used the largest BD model, large Petzl Sky Hook, and a giant Vermin V4 which is a little larger than a 3” Fish Hook. Two large hooks make the flake section at the top of the pitch super easy with no chances of popping off like the one guy in the youtube video. I placed two cams during the flake section so there isn’t a real danger of taking a huge whipper. I brought a ton of slings and used almost all of them. I was not top stepping as much as I should and I left a lot of slings on the bolt ladder.
Pitch two traverses quite a bit and can be wet in the spring due to water seeping from the overhanging roof 80 feet above (left of Iron Hawk.) This made the pitch more difficult than it should have been. Larger pieces are needed here to place behind detached flakes. We used the rack stated in Pitch 1 plus BD C4 2 and 3. We also had a Wild Country friend which is between a 3 and 4 BD so doubles of some larger cams make this pitch easy. There are two bolts during the pitch so lowering out if needed to get around a hard to clean piece was easy. Was a very hard pitch for me to clean since I have never had to clean a traversing sloped pitch. Using one ascender and a grigri was very useful instead of the standard two ascenders setup
We reached the top of pitch two and it was getting late since we started in the afternoon. During cleaning the route I had noticed a two bolt anchor below the pitch 2 belay bolts. I decided to rap down and check them out. A small swing back a forth is required to get to the bolts which are 10 feet climber’s left of the pitch two belay station and about 50 feet below. The two bolts were rawl or button heads. One was a rusty old leeper hanger and the other was a SMC hanger. The leeper hanger was spinning so it did not inspire confidence. We placed a nut and a purple C3 to back up the anchor and replaced the sun bleached webbing. This anchor may be for bailing off tangerine trip, not sure. We used 2 60m ropes to reach the ground with this anchor with about 15 to 20 feet of rope to spare. Not sure of 50m ropes would work. The entire rappel was free hanging and quite an adventure as we rapped at dusk barely missing trees as we touched down. I thought we were going to have to be arborists when we rigged the ropes but all was good. If you want a good purple C3 rap off of the 2nd anchor, clean the cam, and jug back up.
The first pitch was excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to hone their aid skills. The second pitch was a pain and I don’t really care to do it again.
Minimum rack for first pitch:
1 set of small cams
1 set of regular cams up to BD #1
1 Blue/Yellow Metolius Offset Mastercam to gain the bolt ladder
1 set of regular nuts
4 rivet hangers (nuts can be used but you’ll have to top step and reach for the next bolt).
26 slings (60cm)
2 double length slings (120 cm)
2 60m ropes.
2 large hooks
1 cordolette for 3 bolt anchor
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