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El Capitan Base Routes
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Bluffer, The 
Captain Hook, Left 
Captain Hook, Right 
Delectable Pinnacle, Right  
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Footstool, Right, The 
Hardly Pinnacle 
Indubious Battle 
La Arista 
La Cosita, Left 
La Cosita, Right 
La Escuela 
Little John, Left 
Little John, Right 
Mark of Art 
Masquerade/Call Me Ishmael 
Moby Dick 
Moby Dick, Left 
Party Mix 
Peter Left 
Peter Pan 
Pine Line 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Left 
Pterodactyl Terrace, Right 
Reeds Leads 
Sacherer Cracker 
Salathe (pitch 1) 
Seedy Leads 
Short But Thin 
Slack ( center), The 
Slack, Left, The 
Sparkling Give-away 
West Buttress (pitch 1&2) 

Masquerade/Call Me Ishmael 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Charles Cole and Rusty Reno, 1988
Page Views: 877
Submitted By: Rusty Reno on Mar 31, 2007
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Don Reid's guide calls this route Masquerade, but when Charle Cole and I did the first ascent, we named it Call Me Ishmael, picking up the Moby Dick theme.

The first pitch works up a thin crack (we put in a piton on the first ascent) to some bolts. The crux is a set of very indistinct moves over a bulge to gain some more moderate face climbing to a belay. The second pitch move up right and then arches left on bullet proof edges (continuous but not as hard as the crux) to a belay just right and above the top of the Moby Dick pillar.

When Charles Cole and I did the first ascent, we planned to come back and push the route higher. But I had to go back to the East Coast for grad school, and we never came back in good enough shape to do the extreme face climbing necessary. There remains potential for further development.

The route is rated as an R. As I recall, there are some severe moves fairly far above the bolts on the second pitch. On the first ascent I ran out of gas in the lead and could not let go to pound a bolt. I was frozen, and Charles yanked me off with a vigorous pull of the rope -- 40 feet, but clean. I shook it off and went back up and pushed above my high spot to a stance and put in the final bolt before the run to the belay. But don't be scared off. The lower crux is well protected, and while the route will test any leader's mental control, it is basically a clean line that is not dangerous. The real question is whether the route is 5.11d. Let's just say that Charles and I were feeling pretty good in 1988.


The route begins just right of Ahab.


Bolts, but check the opening moves. You may need to put in a knifeblade, or there may be a bolt there now. There migh also be one or two thin placements up high, but I can't remember.

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