Less Than or Equal To
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|Type: ||Trad, Aid, 4 pitches, 300 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.9 A2+ [details]|
|FA: ||James Garret, Kennan Harvey 1988|
|Season: ||Summer is probably best|
|Submitted By: ||Craig Martin on Nov 17, 2007|
Fun mixed aid and free climb up the right side of the Triangle Wall. This is a good Yosemite warm up route.
Pitch 1: Start below a small bulge/roof with a splitter above. There may be a fixed bashie to get you started. Continue up the splitter using small aid gear, passing a few bolts and a hook move. Belay at two bolts below the giant roof. 90' A2+.
Pitch 2: Aid to the right out the roof and then back to the left above the roof. This pitch is exposed. Much of this goes on modern clean gear, but it is tricky to get. Some pretty big pin scars on this pitch. Belay at two fixed pins with back up gear or continue along the traverse to the next anchor, while fighting incredible rope drag. 60' A2.
Pitch 3: Traverse using mostly aid on fixed gear to the left until the break in the roof. Pull a thin free move(5.8 or C2) and it is possible to set up a belay off a small tree and the first bolt of the next pitch. Can be combined with Pitch 2. 60' A1.
Pitch 4: Continue up the last pitch of Stratosphere. Belay at two bolts. 60' 5.9.
Descent: Rappel Stratosphere with two ropes.
This fine mixed free and aid climb is located on the right side of the Triangle Wall. There are a few ways to approach this climb. The start of the route is on a sloping stance below a small bulge/roof, with a splitter crack above. There may be a fixed bashie as your first piece.
1. Scramble up the fern gully to the right of the toe of the buttress. This is dirty, wet and loose and you may want to rope up. Belay on a sloping stance below a bulge/roof.
2. Original start goes up slabs and cracks to the left of the fern gully.
3. Do the sweet first pitch of Stratosphere and traverse to the sloping belay stance. This may be the best way, but not the way I went.
As of Summer '03.
1 set of camming devices to a #3 Camalot, 2 sets of TCUs (offsets useful if trying to get the second pitch with clean aid), 1 set of nuts (offsets useful), assorted LAs, Blades, Angles, 1 Beak, 2 Cam hooks, a few hooks.
|Comments on Less Than or Equal To
|By Craig Martin|
Nov 17, 2007
James, your welcome. I loved this route, and thought it was better than Stratosphere. Unfortunately someone at some point took a heavy hand to the second pitch. It was mostly a LA crack, looked like someone banged some angles or something else too big into it and displaced quite a bit of rock. Still a good line and some of these scars take nuts or cams now.
|By James Garrett|
Nov 20, 2007
For some reason my previous comment disappeared? Who knows?
That is amazing that < actually has pin scars that now accept small cams. Your list of rack recommends is so different than what we used! Many rurps (pre-beak, I think) and KBs. Are those short little 1/4" zmacks still up there on the first pitch?
I love to hear these kinds of updates and certainly very useful for anyone going up in those isolated areas. I remember Kennan asking me if I ever thought anybody would ever bother to slog up there and repeat those routes! Dave Anderson repeated Stratosphere with me (circa 1989) and we replaced some of the 1/4"ers with 3/8" because I had a new drill. The only tat and webbing up there at that time was mine. I also placed a few of these beefy 3/8"ers on the last pitch which ST Shaw had originally climbed without placing any bolts (he just didn't want to hand drill them)!
Do you know anyone who has repeated Ionosphere? That was my favorite up there.
|By Craig Martin|
Nov 22, 2007
The comment you are referring to was under a different route (The Leak). Anyways, glad you liked the route description. Hope you don't mind me posting your routes?
I have climbed Stratosphere twice, first time in about '93. The bolts on Less Than were definitely aging. Especially the first pitch anchor, but it can be backed up with pitons.
I have not nor do I know anyone who has done Ionosphere. But I may have to put it on the list for next summer. Sounds like another pre-valley warm up. Just saw your name in the register on top of Death by Chocolate, man you sure get around.
|By James Garrett|
Nov 22, 2007
I stand corrected about the "disappearing comments"....acute alpenheimers, I guess. I don't mind you writing up routes I have done at all. In fact, you, like Ryan Brough, probably do a much better job of it. If you decide to go up and repeat Ionosphere, I'd love to go up with you....maybe do a little route maintainence, though I think it has better bolts on it from the get go than <.
Still blows me away that pin scars are up there though!
Ben Folsom is the one gettin' after it in the Swell these days. I can't even hold a candle to him.