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El Capitan Base Routes
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Freeblast T 
Gollum T 
Hardly Pinnacle T 
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La Arista T,S 
La Cosita, Left T 
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La Escuela T 
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Little John, Right T 
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Moby Dick, Left T 
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Pterodactyl Terrace, Left T 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Right T 
Reeds Leads T 
Sacherer Cracker T 
Salathe (pitch 1) T 
Seedy Leads T 
Short But Thin T 
Simulkrime T,TR 
Slack ( center), The T 
Slack, Left, The T 
Sparkling Give-away T,S 
TRON S 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) T 

La Escuela 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 220'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Yvon Chouinard and TM Herbert (May, '62) -- FFA: Steve Wunsch and Mark Chapman ('73)
Page Views: 1,070
Submitted By: Bryan G on Mar 11, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (9)
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Mr. Dash

Description 

This is an old aid line that now makes for a stout 5.11 test-piece. It starts about 100 ft up the hill from Sacherer Cracker. Look for the beautiful, left-leaning, shallow corner.

Pitch 1 (5.11b) - This thing is in your face right from the get-go. Leaning, polished, insecure, awkward. Even on toprope I felt like the first pitch was over my head. Knowing how to use blown-out and frictionless pin scars is key here. A severe lack of footholds makes placing gear an energy-sapping ordeal. This first pitch also tends to seep water after rain storms. Belay at the bolted anchor on a small ledge about 60 feet up. Or I suppose, you can link this into the second pitch if you're some sort of superhuman.

Pitch 2 (5.11a) - Fantastic! The climbing is still tough but much more straightforward and fun. Lieback and finger jam up the stellar arching crack. No crux, just endurance. There's a couple fixed pins along the way which help keep you moving. Round the bulge at the top and belay at bolts on a ledge.

There's actually two options here, both are quality pitches:

Regular Finish (5.10a) - Climb up and right, heading up the corner. There's a roof shortly above the belay that is easiest to pass on the right. Then handjam up the corner until it thins to fingers. The final few feet are the crux.

Alternate Finish (5.9) - Follow the obvious splitter straight up from the belay. It varies in size from hands, to fists, and a short grunt section of offwidth. I recall there being some loose looking rock near the end and opted to finish further left up a 5.7 offwidth in a corner. There's a 2 bolt anchor on top of this one too.

Descent: It is actually possible to rap straight to the ground from the top of P3 with two 60m ropes. The climb is more than 60m tall, but the rappel takes you to a point higher up the talus than the start of the route.

It may be possible to rappel the route with one 70m rope (maybe even a 60m?) but swinging over to the anchors at the top of the first pitch would be a pain because P2 traverses so much.

Protection 

Lots of stuff from thin to 2.5", especially in the wide finger sizes (think flared pin scars). Bring some wider stuff if you're going to do the alt finish described above.


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By Bryan G
From: San Jose
Mar 11, 2011

After working my way into the low 11's at Arch Rock and the Cookie, this route was a humble reminder that I won't be climbing 5.11 on the big stone anytime soon.
By stevecurtis
From: Petaluma California
May 1, 2011

Tried the first 30 ft. All of this was wet. (30 April 2011) The first bit is probably 11 a if you don't place pro. I'm not sure what it would be placing pro on lead (I aided to get some pro, and then did it). Above the pin, the locks were wet, and felt improbable. I bailed.
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Oct 18, 2011

The variation on 3-d pitch now have name Mr. Dash after late Micah Dash
supertopo.com/climbing/thread....
By Alexey
From: San Jose
Oct 18, 2011

the first pitch is hard. I remember we practicing aid and pick this route for aid practice .
as we reach the base and start sorting gear- two man show up to free climb it and we let them go. They smoke the grass and than one of them layback first 20-25 feet to the pin without bothering for pro. It was very scary to watch.
We later both failed to TR first pitch without falling.
By Chris Blanchard
Mar 24, 2013

Practiced aid here yesterday. Someone had trouble getting their gear out. I didn't try to hard so the booty is still there.