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Apr 21, 2010
Yargh, Pirate Rob do be in Yosemite
Does anybody have any beta on Liquid Sky (on N. Six Shooter)? (e.g. how small do you have to be?) I've done the harding slot, which was hard, and my impression is that this thing makes the harding slot look like grandma's pudding, yet I am inextricably drawn to it... Robert D.
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 30, 2006
24 points
Apr 22, 2010
I know a guy who did it...he's a tad smaller than me. This guy is the most solid trad climber I've ever climbed with, nevertheless, it's probably not as bad as the hype would indicate.

I always thought it would be cool to climb the roof rather then sneaking around it.
Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Nov 15, 2004
3,094 points
Apr 22, 2010
Yargh, Pirate Rob do be in Yosemite
It would be awesome to climb the roof, huh? How big are you- or how big is the guy you know? I'm 5'11' - 170#. Of course, the problem is that I'm definitely not the most solid trad climber you've has ever met, even if I happen to be a tad smaller than you. But I agree, sometimes these things get over-hyped, when in reality the semi-average Joe with some courage can get'em done. Nonetheless, I think I might wait to head up there, or head up with someone I feel super solid with. Thanks for the reply, I don't think many people know anything concrete about that climb, all I've heard is hype and legends. Robert D.
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 30, 2006
24 points
Apr 22, 2010
I'm 5'8", 165...short and "compact". I think the critical dimension is your chest thickness. Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Nov 15, 2004
3,094 points
Apr 22, 2010
Me, with beard at the base of the yellow spur
Robert, I've been wanting to do Liquid sky. I have a buddy named Doug who lives down in Denver and might want to as well. Lets make it happen Joshua Merriam
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 26, 2007
1,220 points
Administrator
Apr 22, 2010
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
mike, who is smaller than you and the most solid trad climber you know? just curious. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Apr 26, 2010
Rob Miller Mike Anderson
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Nov 15, 2004
3,094 points
Administrator
Apr 26, 2010
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
platinum? slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Apr 26, 2010
Followed platinum rob on Liquid Sky in '95 or so. First route we ever did together. He ran it out from the initial entrance of the slot all the way to the exit / junction with Lightning Bolt Crack. (No choice as all we had was a #5 camalot) Harder, longer than Astroman's Harding Slot. Takes time to figure out the right path for your body size. I remember being in a superman position looking straight down at the talus cone and not being able to turn my head to look up. Good times. mike schlauch
Joined Aug 11, 2004
221 points
Apr 26, 2010
Yargh, Pirate Rob do be in Yosemite
Oh yeah! This sounds "awesome!" I'm getting more and more psyched. By the this fall, when I have the time to get out there, I should be psyched enough to go and superman myself. Robert D.
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 30, 2006
24 points
Dec 6, 2011
Levitating
Has anyone gotten on this thing and have some non-hardman spray they can provide? Would like to know how runout it would be with a rack to 6. Thanks. alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Dec 6, 2011
Levitating
mike schlauch wrote:
No choice as all we had was a #5 camalot


So yeah, I'm asking if it's still runout if you bring a 6.
alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Dec 7, 2011
Levitating
You make a valid point. Guess I was looking for friendly beta from someone who has climbed the thing, and by someone who isn't one of the hardest of hard men that climb today. alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Dec 7, 2011
The fact that Craig Luebben backed off this thing justifies the hype IMO. I believe his reasoning was that if he fell in the "slot" he would become hopelessly stuck in a pinch in the roof with no possibility of rescue.

Anyone know which climbing magazine this specific article was in? I believe Craig also noted the true roof appeared to be 5.13 OW.
Mitch Musci
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Apr 8, 2002
702 points
Dec 7, 2011
Levitating
Sorry, I should have done a better job googling before trolling. These rad mortals did a pretty good job summing up Liquid Sky without hyping it up.

And well, if I didn't troll, I wouldn't have gotten the beta that a valley giant #9 and a BB#3 will protect the route. Thanks, GM!
alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Dec 7, 2011
Mitch, I think this one is it. “Liquid Sky,” North Six Shooter, UT
“Still Standing,” Feature (182)72;
correction (185)24. It was an Achey article from the FA, da? I got this one from the Climbing Index.
climbing.com/print/index/150th...
Happy hunting. I think I have this one, but it's at Kips place in Pb.
scott
smassey
From CO
Joined Dec 2, 2008
374 points
Dec 7, 2011
alpinista83 wrote:
Sorry, I should have done a better job googling before trolling. These rad mortals did a pretty good job summing up Liquid Sky without hyping it up. And well, if I didn't troll, I wouldn't have gotten the beta that a valley giant #9 and a BB#3 will protect the route. Thanks, GM!

Alpinista, I wish! that tr of mine you point to is just LB cracks :) cheers.
rpc
Joined Dec 5, 2005
690 points
Dec 7, 2011
Levitating
Ugh, forgive me, I have no sense of reading comprehension.

Something tells me this guy has a hardman background, but he mentions having used 3 big bro #3s.

Not implying that I'm thinking that it's not as hard as people make it out to be. I'm just looking to hear about more experiences, which I'm gathering are very few, so that I potentially have the gear to check it out. Looks wicked and more probable for a pair of climbers in the 110 - 115lb range.
alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Administrator
Dec 7, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
having climbed with him, i can assure you that he pretty much eats nails and shits chains. pretty tough dude, and a really good guy. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Administrator
Dec 7, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
alpinista83 wrote:
Sorry, I should have done a better job googling before trolling. These rad mortals did a pretty good job summing up Liquid Sky without hyping it up. And well, if I didn't troll, I wouldn't have gotten the beta that a valley giant #9 and a BB#3 will protect the route. Thanks, GM!


i think the folks in this TR climbed lightning bolt cracks (not LS). the description of the weird dihedral to the chimney sounds a lot like LBC. you get a good look at LS while climbing LBC.

if i were racking up for LS, i would bring (1) new #5 camalot, (1) new #6 camalot, (2) 9" and (1) 12" VG, but i'm a pansy.
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Dec 7, 2011
Levitating
slim wrote:
if i were racking up for LS, i would bring (1) new #5 camalot, (1) new #6 camalot, (2) 9" and (1) 12" VG, but i'm a pansy.


Thanks, Slim. I remember reading that Chuck Pratt put up the crux pitch of Twilight Zone with 3 piss poor, at best, pieces of gear. Back in the day, you had to know how to climb or else there was zero hope. I, for one, welcome the pansy wide and walkable gear. 2 VG9s? Landing the rack might almost be as improbable as the climb itself.
alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Administrator
Dec 7, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
if yer ever in the boulder area i could loan some to you. or, if you're desperate i could send a care package. also, if you are looking for a partner i have a friend who really, really wants to do it and he is pretty solid. slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Dec 7, 2011
Levitating
Thanks for extending such a generous offer to a compete stranger. I won't impose, but feel free to have your friend get in contact with me if they're interested in giving it a try this year. If the weather holds, I'll be heading back in two weeks.

I've been wanting to check this thing out for more than a year. Had a partner equally psyched last month, but he had to go and bust his kneecap. Another was all in and he just had to go and get the Mrs. all knocked up. The cartwheeling and horizontal squeezing are of great intrigue.

Do you think you could get away with 1 VG9? I finally got to use one on Brother from Another. I couldn't pull the trigger with one hand. I can only imagine how massive the 12 must weigh. You could murder two headed desert bears with those things. Where else in god's name are you placing a 12?
alpinista83
From Boston, MA
Joined Jul 9, 2009
623 points
Dec 8, 2011
Hey - just noticed this post. I see that it's old, but just in case you're still interested, Robert D, here's some info from the FA of Liquid Sky:

The roof isn't really very hard, if you fit. It's a chimney, not an offwidth, and very easy to wedge with the usual heel-toes, T-stacks, and arm-bars. The problem is un-wedging, if you are too thick in the chest or ass. Chip Chace, admittedly a very good wide-crack climber, but more importantly very slim, led this pitch in about 5 minutes, barely breaking a sweat, and thought it was "maybe 5.10."

Following, I did not have that experience. I'm 5'11" and about 170, and once in the narrow section it was a real struggle. I had to exhale in order to move, and when I inhaled, my chest would wedge, which was nice for resting, but if I hadn't been so young and stupid and determined to follow Chip's awesome lead I probably should have been panicking.

The "path" goes diagonally out the roof, and the crack is narrower above and below. You rotate about 45 degrees so your chest and hips both line up in the "path." I've done the Harding Slot and thought it was strenuous, but not overly tight. I could turn my head. I couldn't on Liquid Sky. I would never go into that crack again.

Since the crack narrows below you, I think it would be impossible to actually fall out. So pro isn't really an issue. Chip placed only one tube chock at the very beginning of the roof, where you can tunnel up a bit, then ran it out almost to the belay. Maybe sliding up a wide cam (bigger than a #5 Camalot) would give you some chance of extricating yourself if you slipped down and wedged.

On a later trip, I was on a rope from above photographing Topher Donahue and Craig Luebben attempting the second ascent. Craig was the best wide-crack climber I've ever known, but he was a big dude. He didn't have a prayer, and was smart enough to see that right away. Topher is slimmer than I am but thicker than Chip, and also saw the real risk of getting stuck. As I thought about it, I realized that even from above I would have a pretty hard time rescuing one of them if they got stuck. Anyway, fortunately, they bailed without mishap.

Hope that helps. I think that roof is actually pretty dangerous because of the way it constricts. If you're thin, the climbing is moderate enough that there should be no problem. I had climbed enough with Chip to know from watching that for him, it really was just 5.10, if that. I struggled hard in the slot, but we both thought that the technical crux of the route, which had been climbed before we did it, was the first pitch finger crack left of Lightning Bolts.

Also, maybe a really good offwidth climber could climb the roof crack on the outside, which flares out again below the constriction. That would be cool.

Here is shot of the original topo from 1984. Enjoy!

Liquid Sky, circa 1984
Liquid Sky, circa 1984
J Achey
Joined Aug 28, 2009
153 points
Administrator
Dec 8, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
so it sounds like the rack list should include some xanax and some baby oil, take maybe 1 9"VG, and leave the 12" at home. thanks for the info jeff.

i saw (AKA stalked) brett ruckman at the grocery store last spring and asked if he had done it. he said no, and we chatted about it a bit. i told him a freind of mine was trying to get me to do it with him, but i was scared of getting stuck. he kind of laughed and said, "well, jeff did it and he's bigger than you". damn, was brett calling me a twig? i knew i had to come up with a better excuse. "fortunately" i had a nagging shoulder injury...

for about a week, i was really considering it, but i would wake up in the middle of the night and worry about getting stuck inside the norht 6 shooter. those of you who have REALLY gotten a knee stuck in an OW, or have gotten pretty welded in a super squeeze chimney can understand this panic. it is pretty dreadful.
slim
Joined Dec 1, 2004
2,043 points
Dec 8, 2011
Being how Craig unfortunately isn't here to explain, I gotta add one more detail to Jeff's story of Craig and I failing on Liquid Sky: It was January and Jeff really wanted to photograph LS, so he told us it would be sunny and nice up there. Instead, it was shady and really cold and a freezing wind was blowing through the crack. Craig and I were wearing heavy fleece sweaters while climbing to keep from freezing. We would get in there and our fleece would stick to the sandstone like Velcro and we couldn't move at all. I'm not saying we could do it easily in better conditions, but I don't want our failure to keep other people from giving it a go. Everyone else who tries it seems to do it without our issues. For Craig and I it was for certain the biggest sandbag either of us had ever experienced.

Jeff loved it because he got photos of Craig and I failing on his route, and then got to rescue us and publish photos of us "attempting" his testpiece. It was all in good fun.

It felt like 5.11 squeeze chimney to me - I just couldn't climb it.
Bigbros were the ticket for pro - #3 or #4 - can't remember exactly. We had two bomber bigbros above us in the roof. Pro wasn't the issue...
topher donahue
Joined Sep 28, 2007
139 points


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