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Author Topic: Brad's Tour of Mud (TR)  (Read 7421 times)
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« on: January 15, 2013, 11:36:58 PM »

A Tour of "All" of The Pinnacles: A day to celebrate a new National Park
(Don't forget to scroll to the right to view panoramas)

On January 14th, 2013 I woke up at 3:30 AM. My level of restlessness was soon to be off the charts. I know that going to sleep at 9PM is rarely a good idea for me, but the night before I was forced into the post-trip immersion back into the often harsh reality of home life. I just  couldnít find anything positive to do with myself after I dropped a friend off at her home after a pleasurable but slightly tense weekend at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City. So here I am awake, I could have made a wise choice to delve into my current reading obsession, Greg Childís ďThin AirĒ or paint, but I made the other choice, grab the iPhone. Iím instantly gratified by the fact that one of my friends was also restless and awake.



I knew I needed to do something all-consuming with my day to push myself through the real reason I was restless. I knew I needed to head to the Pinns, and Brad Young's visionary Conditioning Tour had been on my mind especially with the impending raptor closures only a week a way. For those of you who don't know Brad outlined a day of 13 summits in Pinnacles that would take you to all parts of the Pinnacles; the day promised, hiking, pristine nature, bushwhacking, route finding, and a little 2nd class - easy 5th class climbing here and there.  But it had never been attempted before. The concept can be found here http://www.mudncrud.com/forums/index.php?topic=1769.0



There is nothing like soloing choss to clear your mind. I knew it seemed like a lot of work but what was the other option, go work on my ASCA re-bolt Resurrection Wall project while icicles pelt me from above? Both options seemed bad, so I tried to go back to sleep. An hour or two passed with almost no sleep and some extra internet surfing and no reading.  I knew I had to go for it, so the light came on, I dug out the Rubine guidebook (since my Brad book is MIA), printed out Bradís list, assembled the necessary gear (plus extra gear in case I lost interest), and emailed Brad for some info to fill in the gaps in the Rubine guide.



I left home around 7AM. I was immediately filled with grandiose visions of how I would not only do Bradís tour but also add another dozen climbs along the way.  Ultimately Brad's list seemed too short and easy. everyone had made it sound like it would be an easy jaunt on The Mudín Crud forum. I should have thought twice since I hadnít been on 11 of the 13 objectives.  

I filled the Coffee at a Coffee shop in Aptos, and I wasnít surprised to find that Brad had already sent me photos of the gaps from my Shriveled Purple Book. I wanted to add some other climbs ďin the muddle of the dayĒ, so he provided me with needed beta on these endeavors. The beta was basically, Youíre crazy donít add on Old Original. Forgot the rope its wet on the descent.







I continued on towards The Pinns, and this was a very special occasion, so I bust out the U2 singalong playlist. Before I knew it the volume had increased to 46, which is really loud to the point where everybody I pass also hears the U2. I know its lame to blast the U2, but I have to do it at least once a year.  I usually do this to get me across The Central Valley. Might as well get it out of the way early on this year. To purge my sins I cranked the 90ís grunge revival playlist for the last 20 minutes of the drive. By the time I arrived at Bear Gulch I decided I shouldnít add on any extra climbs and would remain true to Bradís vision, this turned out to be a wise move.

The Straightaway



Some Cows



I left the car at 9:04 AM, with two liters of water, bread, cheese, avocado, 3 Clif Bars, sketchbook and watercolors, puff jacket, etc. It was pretty cold. I pooped but the toilet was frozen and wouldnít flush, sorry to whoever came next...

The bone chilling cold was not welcome. The gloves went on as I hustled toward the sun that was so tantalizingly close on the Ignorable Cliffs looming just above. For some reason my thoughts turned towards my art and how I had been striving to capture not what was on the surface but what lies inside.

My first observation was that everything was frozen, yet was luscious and complete eye candy. But photographing with an iPhone in such conditions requires the removal of gloves. I remembered Havenís suggestion and used my tongue instead to operate the camera. The beauty of the place slowed me down.









At 9:25 I was on top of Tiburcioís X. I had been there many times before so no surprises here.

(Don't forget to scroll to the right to view panoramas)


Icicles at the Upper Crust approach



I moved towards the Sisters and found myself on the right (incorrect) side of the Sisters. I found my way around to the correct side and to the top of Second Sister via one the NW Chimney Routes and than down the other. 9:54 AM





Then I head to the first unknown climb, Gertieís Pinnacle. The 4th Class North Chimney was fun and would set the tone for the type of climbing to be expected, loose and always harder than its rated. The time is 10:24 AM. I descend the easy South Chimney.



I travel the familiar trail along the reservoir towards The Hand and drop my pack before heading away from the creek towards The Frog.





The Class two South Side Shuffle on The Frog was pretty wild. A committing boulder move above a two-hundred foot drop got me on top.  This was the first potential you fall you die move. Seemed a little more like Class 4, which usually means 5th class moves up to 5.7 and almost certain death if you fall. But Iím more familiar with the Sierra Nevada rating system, so I didnít make my judgements yet. Either way the view was awesome and I take note of The Neglected Valley and what I think is Little Flatiron. My first thoughts of ďWhat am I doingĒ start seeping in. My legs are starting to feel tired and I begin to wonder about my sanity. 11:03 AM.



The journey up The Neglected Valley was one of the highlights of the day. That is a really special place filled with special delights.













I finally spot Little Flatiron and end up bushwhacking around the base to get to Northside Chimney.



The route ends up being pretty sketch. I break some knobs off on the upper headwall which thud the ground quite a few moments latter then I expected. Seems borderline, maybe die or maybe not if you die, luckily the aforementioned bushes would maybe break a fall. I focus and climb the choss like there is a tomorrow. This is four points of contact terrain. Iím not psyched to down climb the same way so I down climb some harder but more solid terrain on the Eastside. I think I climbed Little Flatiron but now that I look back on it maybe Iím not so sure anymore. Whatever it was it was close enough. Felt more like 5.5 most definitely the hardest climbing of the day. 12:06 PM.



I start the hike up the ridge towards Beak Peak and Possibility Pinnacles. I end up taking the right side of the ridge and find myself in the bush for a few sections. It sounded so easy in Bradís description, but I had to resort to the brute force, swimming, and raw crawling tactics. My years of bushwhacking experience came in handy for sure. To be a real climber you need to be well rounded and 5.12 bushwhacking skills are often a necessity at Pinnacles. Itís a sport of mind, body, and momentum. I turn on some Ziggy Marley on my iPhone. Keep My Faith is my them song. I pass The Shaft and know i've got to come back at some point.



I email Brad to let him know what I felt of this Tour so far.



Nearly an hour passed before I find the summit of Possibility Pinnacle at 1:10 PM. Killer view up there.

(Don't forget to scroll to the right to view panoramas)


Feeling a little tired



From here I charge through more bush and Iím pleased to see the rest stop at the High Peaks trail.



I charge along the trail towards Spikeís Peak and thoroughly enjoy the Kermit Route. It was super fun and finally some solid feeling rock. 1:44 PM





I look at the book and Bradís list and assume that Frothy Flake will be a quick tick since its not far away. But I crest the hill near Smokestack and read Rubineís description of the approach ďapproached via roundabout gulliesĒ this took a while and I ended up spending some extra time in the scarred and confused mindset.





I summit the very exposed Frothy Flake at 2:16 PM. This is a potential you fall you die route. The drop is over 100 feet off the fright at the crux and off the left it is a break most of your bones situation. Iím glad I didnít fall, Brad was the only person that knew what I was up to and I  didnít want to subject him to another heinous Pinnacle rescue. The interconnected chasm and chimneys around Frothy Flake could have easily consumed my body never to be found. But as a reassurance I did have the foresight to bring a down jacket in case I did break myself and needed to spend an extra night out in freezing temperatures.



Iím getting nervous about time and the potentially lengthy and confusing bushwhack towards The Citadel. I begin the descent towards the Westside of the park with the knowledge I'm leaving my car on the otherside and a long hike will be required to return. I only end up getting into one icy-moss down climbing pickle. But all in all it wasnít too bad getting to The Citadel.



I took Bradís advice to heart and make it to The Citadel without much trouble. There is a cool view but The Balconies and Crowley towers look really far away. I enter an animalistic mode knowing Iíve got to power myself with some extra determination and desire to make it to the end. I convince myself that  I wont fail unless I fall, no time for distracting thoughts about Haven now. the effort has wiped my mind and reduced me to a raw organism only concerned with survival, which means staying alive and avoiding embarrassment in front of The Crud Heads.  



Feeling pretty worked



I find that the summit book has been destroyed and keep find pieces of it surrounding all sides of the rock for the next 20 mins, but am moving with too much urgency to collect trash. I thrash my way down wet and icy slopes to the base of the rock. I went around to climbers right but in retrospect left might have been a better way to get to the base. Oh well, more scratches on the arms and possible Poison Oak.





My legs feel thrashed as I work down the very welcome Juniper Canyon Trail. I hit The Citadel Boulder, drop the pack, and hustle up the side drainage to Penny Pinnacle.  I canít find the supposed Penny that Rubine talks about, and I really donít have any time to look. But I do note Iím feeling unfocused when I know Iíve go to stay in the game. Itís 3:33 PM, I tell myself Iíve got two hours before complete darkness. Keep it together, Damn it Brad, this is a Pinnacle Marathon!!!



Icicles near bouldering rock.



As I near the Balconies at 3:55 PM I question, who in their right mind would be starting towards Crowley Towers at this time. But I know the beauty in this Tour is the journey. The climbs are insignificant, the challenge lies in the required endurance and then keeping the focus to not plummet off some class 4 bump. I was also really motivated by the view and the late day sun that was illuminating everything with an ethereal glow.



I drop the pack and brag the headlamp and an extra layer of clothing and hurry off of on the pleasantly well beaten trail into the golden light. I feel weightless as I pick a fast rhythm to hold over each unpleasant rise of the land. I know this was the make or break moment. Having been there countless times before I know this is just a mind game. The body tells you it wants to stop, but just turn it off and let desire take over.



Eventually Crowley Towers came into view.



I spent a good deal of time trying to climb Tower 1 thinking it was Tower 2. Eventually I just decide to climb whatever tower I could. So I moved on and climbed what I now think is Tower 2. Once again I didn't want to down climb the same way and head down some slightly more solid other way. It was a by the skin of the teeth kind of moment. I really should check out all sides of a rock before I decide to head up. I thought Iíve learned this before, most recently on Little Flatiron. 4:31 PM



I was so confused about Crowley Towers that I decided to skip Tower 5. I took JCís advice to skip one step to avoid the unlucky 13. That was all the justification I needed, since I had already determined this was about the journey and Tower 5 just felt too close to be a real objective since all the other climbs were at least 30 mins apart. I cruised back down to the trail feeling suddenly hungry but not guilty about the missed Tower 5.







But there was one more objective, the only Class 5 on the Tour, The Smiling Simian! And it finally came into view.



I became a Smiling Simian at 5:08 PM just as the sun left Machete Ridge.

(Don't forget to scroll to the right to view panoramas)


I descended with much care and wasted no time cracking my motivation for the long hike back to the car, The tall can of BLL I had been carrying all day!  I never thought I would be so happy to drink BLL, consequently it gushed uncontrollably down my face and wetted multiple pieces of my clothing. But it didn't matter, I was now officially conditioned!





I decided some motivational music was in order as I hiked a solid 3.5 - 3.75 MPH pace down Chaparral Creek Trail to Old Pinnacles and then back up the road to the car. I peered over at the Old Original Descent of Machete Ridge and see that it would have been a quick descent down that Ice Chute, thanks Brad!



It was a trudge but I stayed motivated with Pearl Jam, Alice and Chains, a little Nirvana, and even a little Bush. My arrival back at the car happened at 6:34 PM. Car to car it took 9.5 hours. It ended up requiring a  Sierra Peak skill set (minus the altitude) and less of the climbing mindset.



Iím not sure what was in Bradís head when he envisioned this tour or how much thought he gave to the creation of it. But the more I think about it, the more I know that for many reasons this is a brilliant tour of Pinnacles created by a real ďMaster of MudĒ. It truly is a visionary journey thorough all of The Pinnacles. I really hope that I am not the only person to ever do this. I would like to know that there are others who are as crazy if not more so than me.  

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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 07:51:19 AM »

That's one of the finest trip reports I've ever read. Adventure, uncertainty, and enough humor to almost make me lose my Cheerios a few times.

Although I've done all these summits, and I've done all the cross country movement, I've never done the tour. You took my idea and turned it around to inspire me. Thanks.

I'm planning on it in November for sure.
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 08:13:04 AM »

Sik!
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 08:17:59 AM »

I just had to Lime myself at the end. The guy at the gas station gave me a pretty weird look when he sold me the BLL at 8AM.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 08:26:06 AM »

He'll get used to it.  Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 08:33:21 AM »

I haven't been home since yesterday morning, so I haven't checked email. Did you get me an address - 'cause we really really need to get you a book.

If I read your report right and you went down around the east side of The Citadel, all I can say is "holy sheep dip!" I did that descent once, when I was looking for a reported Richards' route (I never found it and don't believe it exists). That way is nightmare of brush (hands and knees type brush).

Check out page 266 of the '07 book regarding the descent; it's easy around the west side of the formation (Katie and Tricia have done that descent with Bob; it was easy enough that they just left me in the dust, coiling the rope).

As loathsome as the substance is, I have to admit that the BLL was a nice finishing touch.
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 08:50:36 AM »

I believe that if a party was to take a rope for this adventure it should be done in old-school Smoke Blanchard style, bring only a short shoestring and tie in with a bowline on a coil.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 08:53:24 AM »

address sent
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 09:11:56 AM »

I believe that if a party was to take a rope for this adventure it should be done in old-school Smoke Blanchard style, bring only a short shoestring and tie in with a bowline on a coil.

good idea!

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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 11:14:42 AM »

Amazing Adam. What a treat to read. Thanks!
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 11:56:11 AM »

nice
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 02:59:30 PM »

I love it. As I was saying to Munge last night at the gym- what seems great about this is it might be as close as we can get to a High Sierra day without leaving the area. Way to get out and get some.
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 05:08:46 PM »

This is Vicki: Now I can tell you "Welcome to a Walk in the Park with Brad." ( A "Walk in the Monument" just doesn't have the right ring.)
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 05:32:44 PM »

So why go to the sierras??

See Mr Mud is right....
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 06:43:03 PM »

that was a good read.
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 07:34:36 PM »

very cool
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 09:40:02 PM »

Adam, in response to your sense that South Side Shuffle was harder than class 2, here's a correction from the sticky thread "Author's Corrections to the New Guidebook:"

13. Correction, Page 137 (route 337, ďSouth Side ShuffleĒ): This route ends on a high point just north of The Frogís highest point. The formation high point isnít accessible by class two (the highest point is the part of the formation that looks like a frog from the north, that is, from on the approach). The farther-north high point where South Side Shuffle ends is a ďgathering spotĒ where walk offs from almost all Frog routes join before moving down this route to the ground. For some forgotten reason, there are two old bolts here.


And here's a related post from the sticky thread "Newly Established and Found Routes (Since the '07 Guidebook):"

336.9  The Frog - True Summit  5.4   The Frogís actual summit appears to have been climbed (probably years ago, to reach the high point).  Move 75 feet up South Side Shuffle to an oak tree.  Twenty feet farther look for a slot on the left.  Walk up this slot 20 feet to the base of a bulge.  A few moves of fifth class up and left across the bulge and into an obvious, watermelon size hole lead to easy ground.  No summit anchor.  FA Party: Unknown.   FA Date:  Unknown.  Source(s):  Brad Young, Bob Walton, Josh Mucci, Jennifer Wang, inspection and ascent of route, November 15, 2008.


So, actually, you went above and beyond!

I'll be in the office tomorrow and send the book then. Well deserved.

P.S. I think I've got Gavin talked into doing this tour with me in November, wanna join us?
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 10:02:22 PM »

At this point I don't want to join you, but ask me again this fall and I'm sure that the pain will have faded enough to give it another go around.

Thanks for the extra beta. It would have benefited by having a copy of your book along. It's funny now because the difference between your beta and Rubines became blurred in my head somewhere midway through the day.
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 10:04:13 PM »

Why not just go for the tour this weekend?
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 06:46:11 AM »


At this point I don't want to join you, but ask me again this fall and I'm sure that the pain will have faded enough to give it another go around.


Yeah, good point.
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 06:50:05 AM »

Why not just go for the tour this weekend?

I was at Pinns Saturday and Sunday, and then Tuesday and Wednesday. Now I'm leaving this coming Wednesday for a week in Joshua Tree. I desperately need a weekend at home with the family in between.

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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 08:25:30 AM »

J-tree? That sounds nice. If the weather stays good I may be open to the idea of meeting you down there. I've been wanting to do some paintings there.
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 08:46:07 AM »

Now I'm leaving this coming Wednesday for a week in Joshua Tree.

Killin' me! I wanna go!! Unfortunately I have this 4 letter word that prevents it.
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 02:33:29 PM »

Killin' me! I wanna go!! Unfortunately I have this 4 letter word that prevents it.

Pins
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 03:28:13 PM »

lol!
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 08:24:12 PM »

I think I know which 4 letter word you refer to, but there are some others that might fit too...
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 12:56:01 PM »

Holy crap, man. 

We're lucky someone of your story-telling caliber was the one to tackle it.

Nice.
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2016, 02:41:20 PM »

Quote
Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

Yes, I am sure I want to reply.  Tongue

Phenomenal adventure bump. I have a nice, new, sticky pair of approach shoes that are itching to do this. How many times has it been repeated?
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2016, 03:51:04 PM »

Yes, I am sure I want to reply.  Tongue

Phenomenal adventure bump. I have a nice, new, sticky pair of approach shoes that are itching to do this. How many times has it been repeated?

I don't think it has in its entirety unless Atomizer did it - as far as I'm concerned he did. He did say he skipped one summit at Crowley. He wasn't sure he climbed all the right stuff but he probably did. Toadstool is the only thing near Little Flatiron and it is way harder. No way I would free solo some of the stuff Brad has listed. Climbing up isn't usually that bad but downclimbing some of that stuff - no thanks. Adam suggested carrying a light cord. The good news is I rebolted and put chains on the summits that didn't have them - e.g. Little Flatiron. I'd never make the mileage much less the climbing and a lot of that supposedly 4th class stuff is not. Make sure your life insurance is up to date and a sufficient amount  Yikes  
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« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2016, 06:05:21 PM »

I did the whole thing but when the days were longer. I have also done days that follow pretty much the same route where I have tractioned a dozen routes along the way. I did not have the means then to track the hiking with gps but I think it is around 15 miles.

Carrying a cord and having to manage it would have slowed me down big time. Looks easy has it right, wear a pair of approach shoes that you are familiar and comfortable with. Down climbing skills are crucial.

Some down climbing highlights that I remember are Little Flat iron, frothy flake, and the back of the citadel.
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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2016, 06:50:48 PM »


Phenomenal adventure bump. I have a nice, new, sticky pair of approach shoes that are itching to do this. How many times has it been repeated?


I actually haven't done it and would like to. You got a day in November? Move fast and light.
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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2016, 07:03:35 PM »

Hope he takes you up on your offer. Having you along would be a great asset. I think at the time I was about 75% familiar with the location of all the routes.  The unknown 25% and the bushwhack from below the dragonfly to the back of the citadel really cut into the time.
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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2016, 07:42:02 PM »

I actually haven't done it and would like to. You got a day in November? Move fast and light.
Hope he takes you up on your offer. Having you along would be a great asset.
I dunno, I'm 35 years old and my mom still gets nervous when she hears I meet strangers from the internet. She might straight have a heart attack if she finds out how far into the bush I'd be going with one for this.  Cheesy

But if you're offering, and a day coincides, I'd love to partner with you for it. My wife's schedule isn't finalized for November yet, but tentatively Sunday the 6th, Saturday the 19th, or Sunday the 20th look open.
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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2016, 08:15:01 PM »


...but tentatively Sunday the 6th, Saturday the 19th, or Sunday the 20th look open.


Lemme check my calendar (it's at work) and let's see if we can work it out  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2016, 08:21:40 PM »

Go get it! I remember the day i did this very well, maybe one the most awesome days I've had in the Pinns. Good to have the beta for getting to The Citadel and to be ready for some pretty committing moments. There some real 4th class out there!
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« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2016, 10:04:24 AM »


Go get it! I remember the day i did this very well, maybe one the most awesome days I've had in the Pinns. Good to have the beta for getting to The Citadel and to be ready for some pretty committing moments. There some real 4th class out there!


Once you've done the descent from the High Peaks down past The Citadel, it's pretty easy and pretty brush free. But if you get off track - yikes! You'll be swimming in brush.
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« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2016, 10:05:43 AM »


But if you're offering, and a day coincides, I'd love to partner with you for it. My wife's schedule isn't finalized for November yet, but tentatively Sunday the 6th, Saturday the 19th, or Sunday the 20th look open.


I could make any of the three of those work. I'll keep them open and let me know if they work for you.

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« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2016, 10:46:02 AM »

Fantastic! Thanks Brad. Unfortunately it will probably be a couple weeks 'til I can lock in any of those days for sure, but as soon as I know I'll be in touch.

I have to dash, but I'll pm you additional contact info when I get home this evening.
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« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2016, 11:09:34 AM »

Quote
Make sure your life insurance is up to date and a sufficient amount

Suicide is not covered for at least the first 2 years,
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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2016, 12:18:43 PM »

 BTW I am insured for a substantial amount and figure as a climber with dependents it is responsible.This is my 9th or so term policy. I kept upping the value as the family grew. Then i shopped for the best price, the last change was to get into a 30 year term before turning 49.5 y.o.a. So now i have 2 policies, first because of the 2 year probation period and secondly for the next decade i will still have annoying people who depend on me other than my extraordinarily beautiful and patient wife.

  Loose Screw-route word.
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« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2016, 04:50:53 PM »

The dad's reply in this reminded me of something Brad would say, although with his smart daughters he won't ever have to reply so.

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« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2016, 06:45:15 PM »

I'd be game for this endeavor.

Clink my policies are current.
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« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2016, 07:21:26 PM »

I could make any of the three of those work. I'll keep them open and let me know if they work for you.

For me this one is covered by the Chance Brothers. No Nod Frown Too Yawn Sleep
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2016, 07:43:31 PM »

It's a conditioning tour. And don't forget that "death" is nothing but a condition  Grin
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« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2016, 07:46:34 PM »

Not inspiring confidence, Brad...

 Tongue
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« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2016, 08:06:14 PM »

You know, since we're actually talking about doing this thing, I should make three things clear:

1. I "created" this "tour" on a whim, as a response to Munge's "tours" thread.

2. It was Adam who then breathed life into the idea - he took it and ran with it, which I'd never thought about doing.

3. We should think of it as nothing but a hike. Maybe a hike with benefits. We'll do just fine. And who knows, maybe the weather will turn crap on us (always a good excuse to cancel)  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2016, 08:07:25 PM »

Rereading this TR again, I came across this Freudian Slip for the first time:

Quote
I summit the very exposed Frothy Flake at 2:16 PM. This is a potential you fall you die route. The drop is over 100 feet off the fright at the crux

 Shocked Cheesy
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« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2016, 08:13:13 PM »

Also, since we're discussing it, here it is as originally proposed on Rob's thread:

Here's a "conditioning tour," for a day when you need exercise, you need some time outdoors, but you don't have a partner, and/or don't want to rope up:

Start on the East Side:

1. Hike up Bear Gulch to the reservoir. After reaching the dam, turn to the right and climb the class four route on the back side of Tiburcio's X;

2. Descend and move to the dam and then up the Chalone Peak Trail. Take this a short distance to The Sisters, move up to their north side and ascend Second Sister by way of one of the class four Northwest Chimney routes;

3. Descend back to the Chalone Peak Trail, continue a very short distance to the climber trail that leads to The Hand and The Frog. Go partway out this before moving left up the climber trail to Gertie's Pinnacle. Climb the class four North Side Chimney on this formation;

4. Return to the trail that leads to The Frog, hike to that formation and climb the class two South Side Shuffle;

5. Descend back to the creek that leads into the reservoir, but do not turn right to return. Instead, hike up toward Knuckle Ridge, continuing to Little Flatiron and ascend that (class four);

6. From Little Flatiron continue up the ridge toward Scout Peak. Continue past this formation to Possibility Pinnacle and a superb class three to a great summit;

7. Continue to the High Peaks Trail and then hike north on that to Spike's Peak. Climb Kermit (class four);

8. Return to the High Peaks Trail, move just a little further north and then leave to trail to ascend Frothy Flake (class four);

9. Return to the trail and move to Dragonfly Dome. Descend between this and Sidehorse to Egg Shell. Continue downhill on the west side of Egg Shell, cross country to The Citadel (with care and some study, this cross country route can be done with very little brush - I've done it three times). Climb the class four route on The Citadel's south side;

10. Descend and then move around to the north side of The Citadel. Take the climber's trail toward the West Side, but divert up and left to class four Penny Pinnacle;

11. Return to the climber's trail and take this to the Balconies Trail. Take this trail past The Flumes and almost to The Balconies before taking the climber's trail to Crowley Towers. Climb the class three Tower Two;

12. Move over to the class two Tower Five;

13. Descend back to the Balconies Trail. Take this to Smiling Simian. Climb the 5.0 Easy Route on this (the only class five on this tour).

Return to the Balconies Trail and take this to the Chalone Creek Trail which can be followed to the Chalone Creek maintenance area on the East Side. Continue back to the east side parking areas.

EDIT:

After actually doing this tour in November, 2016, I'd edit the list as follows:

1. Climb #5, Little Flatiron isn't class four. The "class four" North Chimney route on Little Flatiron is really 5.3 R. That means that there are two 5.4 routes on that formation. Climb either one as part of this tour.

2.  Change the introductory comments about not wanting to rope up: take a 100 foot rope. It's just the right length for making rappel descents from a few formations. These rappel descents are, in each case, faster, easier and safer.

3.  After finishing The Citadel, make sure to descend around its west side (the side toward the West Side parking area; this is left as one is looking down at The Citadel from above its back side). Then, to approach Penny, rather than going all the way down to the climber's trail at the base of The Citadel, hitting the stream that drains below Penny, and then hiking back up to it, cut right down to Penny from the northwest side of The Citadel. Cut down where the descent off The Citadel has reached a low point at which, to reach the climber's trail at the front/north side of the formation, one would move east 100 feet, up and over the gap between The Citadel and Whitetail (and then would go down between the two from the same gap). In other words, don't go up and through this descent gap - skip it in favor of cutting down to Penny early (the top of Penny can be seen from parts of the descent off The Citadel).



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« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2016, 09:10:07 PM »

How about (F) under "tours" in the Roper guide:

"Struggle up No Holds Barred, then thrash cross country to the Yaks.Head for the High Peaks and two "nightmare" climbs- Jubillation Pinnacle and Lower Teapot Dome.  Do The Egg fifth class,  then head cross country for the Old Pinnacles area, where one must do the Torso.  After these warm up climbs are out of the way, one should be anxious to get onto the Premeditated or the route on the front of the Balconies.  This circuit is given somewhat in jest, although in the future it will undoubtedly be an "easy day for a lady"
 
Option (E) is pretty good too:

" A hard day involving many miles of hiking and many pitches of 5.6+ climbing can be done in the following manner-  do a hard route on the monolith, climb the Hand and the Snail, walk up to the Neglected Valley, doing Triple Decker, the Toadstool, and the Outcast, head up the hill and do the Shaft, then proceed North along the Upper Trail, finishing the day on Freedom Dome, Jam Crack Rock, and Doodlin Dody. This day should help one to get into shape."

I'd take a photo of the pages from the book but I'm afraid to open it too wide and break the spine.
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« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2016, 09:19:51 PM »


I'm going bowling.
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« Reply #50 on: October 25, 2016, 09:28:00 PM »

In Soledad? East Siders vs. West Siders or Stance Bolters vs. Hookers?
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« Reply #51 on: October 25, 2016, 09:34:03 PM »


How about (F) under "tours" in the Roper guide:

"Struggle up No Holds Barred, then thrash cross country to the Yaks.Head for the High Peaks and two "nightmare" climbs- Jubillation Pinnacle and Lower Teapot Dome.  Do The Egg fifth class,  then head cross country for the Old Pinnacles area, where one must do the Torso.  After these warm up climbs are out of the way, one should be anxious to get onto the Premeditated or the route on the front of the Balconies.  This circuit is given somewhat in jest, although in the future it will undoubtedly be an "easy day for a lady"
 
Option (E) is pretty good too:

" A hard day involving many miles of hiking and many pitches of 5.6+ climbing can be done in the following manner-  do a hard route on the monolith, climb the Hand and the Snail, walk up to the Neglected Valley, doing Triple Decker, the Toadstool, and the Outcast, head up the hill and do the Shaft, then proceed North along the Upper Trail, finishing the day on Freedom Dome, Jam Crack Rock, and Doodlin Dody. This day should help one to get into shape."

I'd take a photo of the pages from the book but I'm afraid to open it too wide and break the spine.
 

I had no idea that his book had any recommended tours!  Shocked

And be careful, discussing "hookers" and "in Soledad" might get you banned from this site.
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« Reply #52 on: October 25, 2016, 09:46:18 PM »

Maybe you can include some "Tours" in your new edition.
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2016, 02:27:09 AM »

Quote
Maybe a hike with benefits.

 Smiley


 I gave this kinda thing up at the age of 19. The questionable holds on the 5.8 section of last pitch of the West Face convinced me it was a bad idea. The down climbing you guys do is the most freaky.
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2016, 05:47:09 AM »


 correction; The most freaky of you guys, down climb what you 3rd class.
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2016, 07:34:02 AM »

considering the admins on this site it is not likely you will get banned for hooking in Soledad.
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« Reply #56 on: October 26, 2016, 07:46:59 PM »

Noal, that's about what my old partner and I schemed up 20 yrs ago. All climbs @ 5.10 or so.

Essentially, a route on each major formation in the monument (Disco wall, monolith, coyote ugly, balconies, muchshitty ridge, condor crag and citadel to name a few).

The goal is the most formations.

The hard part is getting a partner.

Side note: my 1st outing with Mr. Mud was about 15 routes on various formations on the east side.
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« Reply #57 on: October 26, 2016, 08:20:20 PM »

In Soledad? East Siders vs. West Siders or Stance Bolters vs. Hookers?

I wanna be on the Happy Hookers team although I am just a slingin' slut. Laugh Out Loud Big Grin
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« Reply #58 on: October 26, 2016, 08:34:02 PM »

I'm always up for doing a roped version.  Up thread I mentioned that I have followed a similar path to Brad's Day out microtraxioning. The hiking was as much importance as the climbing hence some big gaps where more routes could be added. Here's the routes from one of those days:

Start on Condor Gulch Trail
Don Genaro Slab 10a x2
Little Javelina 5.9
Babies on the ceiling 5.7
The Back Nine 10.b x2
Keller ArÍte 5.8
The 800 club 5.7

Hike back over High Peaks back to the Frog
The Fast Lane 5.8 x 2

Back to the reservoir

Coyote Ugly 5.9
Alibaba 10.b

The nice thing about traxioning is you can get past the hurdle of finding a partner that is equally motivated/glutton for punishment.

I took two trips to the north east frontier/yaks last month and had a lot of fun before 2pm (the frying hour).  I was even home in time to watch the debate!

Pit Viper 10c x3
Liebackers Lullaby 5.8 x 2 top two pitches
Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dust 10.b top two pitches
Shoot the Tube 10.a x2
Beast of Burden 10a x2
Wizard's Wall 10.a x2


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« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2016, 08:46:39 PM »

But I have social skills!
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« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2016, 08:49:22 PM »

You could have fooled me.
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« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2016, 04:11:15 AM »

Quote
You could have fooled me.

 Smiley


 Do you tie a knot in the end of your rope on "top pitches" of routes Liebackers Lullaby? What length rope?
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2016, 05:13:54 AM »

Noal's traxioning days sound pretty long. And they aren't even circles, they're more like zig-zags! I recall when J.C. and I saw him on one such day, trotting (not walking) along the trail to his next crag. Nice.

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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2016, 07:30:18 AM »

Quote
Do you tie a knot in the end of your rope on "top pitches" of routes Liebackers Lullaby? What length rope?
For The Yaks I use a 70 meter. On Liebackers it will get you to the big ledge at the top of the first pitch with about 20 or so feet to spare.  It would be difficult to rap off the end of the rope.
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« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2016, 08:19:11 PM »

Following up because of Adam's inspiring trip report, "looks easy from here" and I did the whole tour today.

Upthread I said to J.C. "...don't forget that 'death' is nothing but a condition." I thought I was being fairly clever.

Today's effort made me realize that "pretty f#cking hammered" is also nothing but a condition.
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« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2016, 08:27:38 PM »

Total blast. My recommendation is leave the guidebook, bring the guide. Wink

For the curious, Brad and my times:

Leave car - 7:05
Tiburcio's X - 7:35
Sisters - 8:05
Gertie's Pinnacle - 8:30
The Frog - 9:20
Flatiron - 10:15
Possibility Pinnacle - 10:55
Kermit - 11:55
Frothy Flake - 12:20
Citadel - 1:10
Penny pinnacle - 1:30
Crowley Tower 2 - 3:00
Crowley Tower 5 - 3:10
Smiling Simian - 3:50
Arrive at car - 5:29

Leave and arrive at car are exact, summit times are plus/minus 2 minutes.

More to come when I'm coherent again...
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« Reply #66 on: November 07, 2016, 12:50:35 AM »

Quote
Today's effort made me realize that "pretty f#cking hammered" is also nothing but a condition.

Quote
More to come when I'm coherent again...

 Substantiate abuse guys, congrats your grand tour of the Park!
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« Reply #67 on: November 07, 2016, 04:50:42 PM »

Cool
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« Reply #68 on: November 07, 2016, 06:52:56 PM »

10 1/2 hours on the go. You guys earned your Masters of Mud merit badge and a lot of respect.
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« Reply #69 on: November 07, 2016, 08:05:44 PM »

As we crossed below The Balconies, we saw what's left of some other guy who tried it:


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« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2016, 08:24:17 PM »

Coming up Second Sister (does it look easy from here?):




On top of Gertie's:




Ready to rappel off Little Flatiron (thanks to Adam's comments we brought a short rope for rappels - wouldn't have liked downclimbing this one, and I'll be "changing" the tour's recommendations to include a 100 foot rope):



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« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2016, 08:28:19 PM »

As we crossed below The Balconies, we saw what's left of some other guy who tried it:

Heehee, stacking this expedition on top of two previous days of climbing I had Brad so beaten down that by the end I was able to get him to pose for a selfie:

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« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2016, 08:36:47 PM »

Downclimbing Kermit:




On top of Frothy Flake:




Descending the class four off the back side of The Citadel:




Class three on Tower Two:




End of the day on Smiling Simian:


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« Reply #73 on: November 08, 2016, 01:54:08 AM »

Quote
As we crossed below The Balconies, we saw what's left of some other guy who tried it:

 I believe that was Looks Greasy From Here, he was reported to be a slippery fellow.
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« Reply #74 on: November 09, 2016, 07:09:03 AM »


Here is the wonderful old single bolt rappel anchor for Little Flatiron.
So sorry you guys didn't get to enjoy that...well...Brad would have been using it again Yes Nod Laugh Out Loud


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« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2016, 04:29:33 PM »

We appreciated the new ones. Thanks. Brad was pretty good about pointing credit for new stuff where it was due.



Just for a little more bookkeeping, we rapped off Gertie's (sorta: Batmanned down just holding the rope), Little Flatiron, Frothy Flake, and Smiling Simian. 30m rope was perfect.

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« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2016, 04:43:30 PM »

We appreciated the new ones. Thanks. Brad was pretty good about pointing credit for new stuff where it was due.

we rapped off Gertie's (sorta: Batmanned down just holding the rope), Little Flatiron, Frothy Flake, and Smiling Simian. 30m rope was perfect.

I get credit? Cool. How much?
Surprised you guys didn't body rappel sans harnesses.
Maybe Brad didn't want to get any wear marks on his pants  Laugh Out Loud
I'm not a big fan of Adam West  Big Grin
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« Reply #77 on: November 11, 2016, 04:57:04 PM »

Maybe Brad didn't want to get any wear marks on his pants  Laugh Out Loud

One more wear mark on those pants and... Well, I'll just say I wouldn't have wanted to walk behind him any more.   Ciappa  Yikes
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« Reply #78 on: November 11, 2016, 05:28:20 PM »


One more wear mark on those pants and... Well, I'll just say I wouldn't have wanted to walk behind him any more.   Ciappa  Yikes


HEY!

I wore brand new pants (shorts, actually) on all the other days I was down there. Gimme some credit!
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« Reply #79 on: November 11, 2016, 05:32:08 PM »


I get credit? Cool. How much?


A ton. For all the (huge amount) of rebolting you've done: unlimited free nights at Salsa's B&B, any time you want.


Quote

I'm not a big fan of Adam West  Big Grin


Before hanging out with him, I would have bet that looks easy from here wouldn't get that reference. But when I hummed the tune from that show (as I was bat-manning down Gertie's) and asked him what it was, he got it right away.

Cultural attache Junior?
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« Reply #80 on: November 11, 2016, 05:45:41 PM »

HEY!

I wore brand new pants (shorts, actually) on all the other days I was down there. Gimme some credit!

Ha. I actually just saw them in the Quest for Mud thread. But "all the other days" would have been very little consolation for me.  Tongue

Before hanging out with him, I would have bet that looks easy from here wouldn't get that reference. But when I hummed the tune from that show (as I was bat-manning down Gertie's) and asked him what it was, he got it right away.

Cultural attache Junior?
I think you may underestimate the cultural awareness of that series. For shows from that era I'd say it's probably second only to Star Trek. (Or maybe I'm an intractable nerd and overestimate.)
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« Reply #81 on: November 11, 2016, 05:57:08 PM »


(Or maybe I'm an intractable nerd and overestimate.)


These aren't mutually exclusive concepts.
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« Reply #82 on: November 16, 2016, 10:24:32 PM »

Alright, this has been a long time coming, so here it is - the trip report that nobody asked for:  Smiley

I had Halloween day off and was excited to get back to Pinnacles after a great time at this year's PCAD.  The original plan was to head out with Meg and maybe check out Crud and Mud a little bit more.  But, lo and behold, Meg was unable to attend, so it was just me.  Now, I had been reading Atomizer's report, and a seed was planted in my mind.  I'd just go out to the park and...see how it all went.



A little past 9 o'clock arrival time and I was the first person in the upper parking lot.  After a quick bathroom break and water restock I was on my way.



I knew well the way up the backside of Tiburcio's.  One down, and feeling good!



I made it over to the second sister and thought the second chimney looked easier.  A theme for the day would start to emerge here - not looking closely enough at the topos in my rush to be quick and efficient (irony?).  I made it partway up, saw a move I wasn't willing to make and then downclimbed, calling it good.  Reaching the ground, I looked at the book and realized there was an easier way so, not wanting to miss a summit so early on, I clamored back up.



From on top, the other chimney seemed like it might be an easier way down.  Not only was I wrong, but it was infested with poison-oak.  Ah well, onto objective 3.  I'd climbed the Hatchet before, but never made it all the way out to Gertie's Pinnacle.  Luckily, the way was well marked and the rock quickly came into view.



The route was pretty fun, minus a portion that was overrun by poison oak.  That made for a little bit more excitement when I climbed out of the safety of the chimney to bypass it.



It was a pretty good view from on top, and I was beginning to enjoy myself.  The second sister had thrown me for a little loop, so Gertie's had psyched me back up for the adventure.



Heading out to the Frog I got to finally see the fruits of the PCAD labors for the approach trail.  I was on one of the crews 2 years ago that helped blaze the new trail through the undergrowth, but I hadn't been back this way since that time.  I was happy to see that it was still in tip-top condition!



I passed by the Thumb on the way up to the Frog.  I always thought it would be fun to have a route called Endless Thumber on there, but have no idea if there would be any room/possibility for that.  A short hike later and a mellow romp up the Frog - stunning images ensued.



Looking over at Crud and Mud from up top.



I was really loving life at this point.  I was able to text Meg too and update her on my progress.  I could even see the Little Flatiron from on top and was feeling pretty good and confident about how things were going.  I had a little snack, took the views in one last time, and then off I went.

This is where things started to go wrong.  I have never been to the Neglected Valley so was unsure exactly where to go.  I started up a drainage that I assumed (and still think) might have been right.  The problem was that the only rock that I positively identified was the Little Flatiron, and you couldn't see that coming up the drainage.  All the other rocks seemed alien and unfamiliar to me.  So I was a little anxious, and trying to make sure I didn't overshoot the objective when I saw this rock poke out of the brush next to me.



I thought that could maybe be Little Flatiron, and it didn't seem like there was that much brush in between me and the rock, so I bushwhacked over to it.  Well, it definitely wasn't it, but now I was even more confused and disoriented as to where I was supposed to go.  There was another drainage just downhill from me so I thought I would try and reach that.  At any rate, I kept bushwhacking and bushwhacking, trying to orient myself, trying to see something that I recognized.  Finally, after an exhausting 45 min - hour I finally saw something I could identify.



I had bushwhacked clear across the Deserted Valley.  Knowing that the High Peaks trail was close by, and being so excited to see an actual trail instead of crawling through brush, I decided to hike up to the Outhouse and come back to Little Flatiron from on top.  I just felt like the original challenge was a little too easy I guess!  Wink

I booked it up the trail - hustling because I knew I had just lost a lot of time.  Up to the outhouse, past Scout Peak, and down again.  Delightfully, there was very little brush and no bushwhacking!  Finally, after an hour and a half I made it to Little Flatiron...but was greeted by a soul-crushing sight.



Meg made me promise I wouldn't do anything too stupid.  Well, I had already, I admit, done some "somewhat stupid" things, but this was an entirely different scenario.  There was no way I was going to safely climb up and down this.  I half-heartedly attempted the beginning of the chimney, but knew that it was no use.  I could probably make it up, but I was not willing to downclimb that.  I was so disheartened - I had wasted so much time and energy trying to find this one rock, only to get shot down.  Not wanting to leave completely empty-handed, I saw a 3rd/4th class route on the next formation uphill.  I scrambled up, but morale was low.



Add to that the fact that I was now doing extra uphill that I wouldn't have had to do if I had not gotten off route.  Speaking of which, I misread the topo (again) and wound up back at the outhouse.  This was even more demoralizing although, thankfully, Possibility Pinnacle was not too hard to find in the end.  The view on top was awesome, and the climbing fun.  It was nice to have a quick and positive success after a failure.



I ended up hanging out on top for a little bit, trying to rehydrate and restock my calories.  I sent Meg a text letting her know where I was - doubt creeping in as I mentioned reevaluating the end goal.  I wanted to at least do all of the summits in the high peaks, but I was unsure if I could do all of it.

Back off I went, and past the outhouse.  But it wasn't long after that my calf started to cramp.  Not a good sign.  I was able to stretch it out, eat a cliff bar, and drink a little water.  After a bit of massaging I tenderly made my way out again.  Spike's Peak was nice and easy to find, and Kermit was a good climb (Atomizer didn't lead me wrong).  Some hikers saw me climb up and one felt inspired to follow.



It was definitely a little bit hairy having her downclimb the whole thing.  I was very nervous that I was going to be the inspiration that led to an accident and injury.  Thankfully she made it down safely - what a relief!

I'd talked to JC about Frothy Flake before and knew that it might be a little bit hairy.  I took some extra time and really studied the topo and approach directions - they were spot on (thanks Brad)!  Definitely a cool and unique place to be.  I would have enjoyed it more, but my leg started cramping again scrambling down into the gully.  After figuring out where it was from the "meadow in the sky," I set off up a rotten (but easy looking) chimney.  A view from the ridgeline before the summit.



A short bit of exposed climbing later I made it on top.



It was definitely a bit nerve-wracking downclimbing this last section back to the ridge - there were some loose knobs and dirty bits, but I gingerly made it back down.  Reversing the rotten chimney bit, a foothold broke on me and I abruptly crashed the last two feet to the ground.  Making my way back to the trail my legs again began to cramp.

So, this was the moment of truth.  I had completed all of the high peak summits.  This would be a perfect time to call it quits and hike back down to the East Side.  In fact, with the state of my legs and the time on the clock (3:30ish at this point) the sane and smart decision would have been to throw in the towel and come back another day.  But that's the thing, I can definitely be stubborn and, more than anything, I did not want to have to come back and finish this thing...at this point I was quite convinced that I never wanted to ever do it again.  It was all or nothing!

It turns out that the one required bushwacking section on the tour, the section that I had been dreading, ended up going smoothly and easily.  I had no idea where exactly I was going at first.  But soon the backside of the Citadel popped up, and I spied a mostly brush free ridgeline that would take me there.



It definitely seemed like a fifth class move to get up and into the 4th class section.  Up I went, making it to the top.  Pretty worked at this point, but I knew that there were only four objectives left.



I had headed the advice of Brad and gone climber's right around the Citadel.  I was rewarded with a trail that brought my hopes up.  But a moment later I had lost the trail and was boulder-hopping down a choked and overgrown gully.  It was at this point that I realized that I never wanted to bushwhack again.  But on I went, snaking my way around, and over rocks, trees, and bushs.  Progress was slow, and the body was feeling it.  Finally, having had enough, I thought I would try and scramble up the side of the hill and get to higher ground to survey my surroundings.  Right as I did this I struck the trail and immediately realized my mistake and how I had initially lost it.  But, I was too excited to be back on a maintained path to lament the loss of time and energy.

I thought Penny Pinnacle would be easy to find and was keeping my eye out for an obvious climbers trail.  Then I hit Elephant Rock.  Shoot!  Turning around and heading back up, I saw it though.  Not seeing exactly where to go, I cut across the stream where it seemed appropriate.  It turns out I picked the right spot, but instead of seeing the separate stream branch I ended up...back in brush.  If I was sick of bushwhacking before, I was just angry at this point.  But it wasn't far away, I could see it.  I just didn't want to get there...but I did want to get there.  Sigh!  Finally I gave in, and crawled the last bit under bushes to reach the base.



On top, looking down I now saw the easy way to approach.  So it goes.  At least my way back to the trail was easier.  But another problem presented itself - I was starting to run low on water.



Stumbling down the Citadel trail, the best thing I had seen in quite some time came into view: the Balconies Trail.



It was like being back in civilization, though there was no one to be seen.  Again, a decision needed to be made - I could divert to the parking lot, restock on water, and then just call it quits and hike out...but I was too far along to do that now, and too close.  If I just made it out to the Crowley Towers, I could drink the last of my water there, and then it would all be downhill.  Plus, I still had a secret weapon up my sleeve.

At any rate, heading up the Balconies trail, and diverging off, I prayed that there wouldn't be any more bushwacking and that there would be an actual trail out there.  The prayer was answered, and the trail was obvious.  The going was painfully slow, but persistent.  Cramps were coming every few steps now, but I put one foot in front of the other.  I'm glad I didn't know exactly how far back the towers were, because I kept seeing "false towers" that would give me hope, spur me on, and make it seem like I was almost there.

I finally made it to the towers, sat down just shy of them and surveyed the landscape I had just come through.  I took the last sip of water as I glanced at one of the prettiest places I have been to in the whole park.



From the front the Crowley towers don't look that complicated, but once you scramble to the back things just get convoluted and deceptive.  I was able to make out the route for tower two and clawed my way up, my leg mostly locked in place to try and stop the cramping.



Tower Five I couldn't quite figure out.  I think I might have done it, but at this point I just said "screw it, close enough!"  This is what I ended up climbing.



A more artistic look of me on top, rather than another shot of an exhausted face.



There was only one summit left.  And despite the sheer exhaustion I was starting to feel good - like I was actually going to pull this off.  I even stopped and took a goofy picture of myself with the Machete in the background and my tongue hanging out.  This was something I immediately regretted, as my tongue turned to instant sandpaper after contacting the air.  Slowly, but surely the last objective came into sight.



I had managed to mess up the approach to a good majority of these climbs already, so why would the last one be any different.  In my zeal to finish it off, I just made a beeline as best I could to the rock.  Definitely a lot taller than I had anticipated, but the climbing up wasn't too difficult.  And then, I was there!



Downclimbing was quite the adventure, especially with the sun beginning to set.  But, after some long and worried moments feeling around on the rock, I set foot back on the ground.  It was time to unleash the secret weapon!



I was going to try and replicate the Bud Light Lime experience, because it seemed appropriate, but the gas station I stopped at in the morning was all out.  Let me tell you though - that PBR was a lifesaver!  The bubbles burned my parched mouth, but oh did it taste so good!

Thankfully the hike back is pretty flat, which gave reprieve to my legs - they finally stopped cramping.  So I slowly sipped my beer, smiled at the quail running to and fro, enjoyed the quiet sounds of the park, and watched the light fade to dark.  The hike back went pretty quickly.  I had the Disney song "I Won't (Say I'm in Love)" stuck in my head, and that helped power me through (probably a far cry from Atomizer's motivational music).

There was something magical about walking up the road the last bit, coming up on Bear Gulch.  I definitely felt like a marathoner or gladiator or something, but no one was there to witness the event; it was just me and Pinnacles.  I must say, when I rounded the corner and saw the first parking lot I let out an audible whoop!  I refreshed my water bottles and set out for the last little bit.  Coming into the upper parking lot, I saw my truck and let out an even bigger yell and pumped the air with my fist.  I had done it!  Not quite the last car in the parking lot, but close.



The ending time.



Honestly, when I first set out, I had ambitions of trying to best Atomizer's time.  It was definitely a hard and humbling experience.  Good sir - the record is still all yours and well done!  In the end though, it was definitely not about time - more than anything I am just stoked that I was able to get it done!

In summary: would I wish this tour on anyone?  No, no I would not.  But, for the person who gets it done, the feeling of accomplishment is immense!  Again, I can't say I have the desire to ever do this again, but I sure hope more people give it a shot!

One final shot of my victory feast at burger. in Aptos.  I felt like I deserved two after an ordeal like that! Smiley

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scotticusmaximus
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« Reply #83 on: November 16, 2016, 10:36:51 PM »

Hmmmm...the photos seemed to work for me, but don't appear to work anywhere else.  I'll have to fix that, but at the moment it's too late and is time for bed.  Stay tuned! =)

***Edit: Alright, I lied - it bothered me that the photos weren't working.  Hopefully it's all remedied.  Now I can go to bed =) ***
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Brad Young
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« Reply #84 on: November 17, 2016, 06:41:47 AM »

Good news and bad news:

Good news - the photos are fine.

More good news - the trip report was fantastic - we had no idea you'd been out there six days before us (but ask looks easy from here - I told him a few times that I thought I saw footprints where there shouldn't be any)   Wink

Bad news - that pinnacle that you decided not to commit to? That was Toadstool and not Little Flatiron. Toadstool is about 150 yards uphill from Little Flatiron and approaching it from above you must have naturally just assumed.... Skipping it was wise; its start is 5.8, and so the downclimb is also 5.8.

More bad news - you'll have to go do it again to include Little Flatiron  Roll Eyes

I can't believe the amount of backtracking you did!!! Tough, tough dude. Great job and thanks for sharing.

Oh, and I'm going to edit the report again regarding moving from The Citadel to Penny Pinnacle. Rather than going all the way down to the climber's trail, and then back up, we were able to cut right down to Penny from the northwest side of The Citadel (before moving up and over it and Whitetail).



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mynameismud
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« Reply #85 on: November 17, 2016, 07:22:32 AM »

Good TR.  I agree you should do it again, you can probably cut your time in half with your new trail knowledge and just a bit of information on some better approaches.  Good times.
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« Reply #86 on: November 17, 2016, 10:21:17 AM »

That was fun.
It looks like you went to Little Mustaugh the first time you got off track and eventually ended up at The Unmentionable. That bushwhack to Little Mustaugh is bad.
Nice job on downclimbing Frothy - I wouldn't do that and also didn't think the chimney was easy.
I agree that the moves up that 20 foot face to the 4th class on Citadel are easy 5th class.
Been a while since I have been up there but Tower 5 didn't look right - sorry dude.
That in no way diminishes your accomplishment. You won't see any TR's from me on this thing.
The beer at the end was a good laugh.
Nicely done!
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Brad Young
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« Reply #87 on: November 17, 2016, 10:41:29 AM »


Been a while since I have been up there but Tower 5 didn't look right - sorry dude.


I agree; from the photo I think he went up a slab that is 50 to 100 feet northwest (climber's right) of the "real" route. Still an impressive feat.

I wish we'd taken of photo of that route up Tower Five - a photo would make it much easier to identify.
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Brad Young
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« Reply #88 on: November 17, 2016, 10:44:59 AM »


...you won't see any TR's from me on this thing.


I'll bet he eventually comes around. He'll realize that he knows every move on the tour and give in and do it  Evil  Tongue
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looks easy from here
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« Reply #89 on: November 17, 2016, 11:10:23 AM »

Awesome!

It looks like you hit the end of your water right about where Brad and I did. But I decided I'd rather be more tired than more thirsty and scooted up to the east parking lot for a refill. Hustling there and back actually ended up being the most exhausting past of the trip for me; I got serious jelly legs heading up the Balconies Trail and the climber's trail above the Flumes after tacking on an extra quick mile. But I was glad I did it.

And, c'mon, it's not that bad. It's been less than 2 weeks and I'm already looking at my calendar and trying to figure out a day I can wrangle my cousin out so I can give it another go.  Cool

(but ask looks easy from here - I told him a few times that I thought I saw footprints where there shouldn't be any)   Wink

Yep, multiple times. I was quite impressed by his tracking skill.

I wish we'd taken of photo of that route up Tower Five - a photo would make it much easier to identify.

I'm planning on taking Calvin out that way next time we go (he's never been to the West Side), if we're able to get down there before the boids get too territorial. If I do I'll get a snap of it.
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« Reply #90 on: November 17, 2016, 11:24:37 AM »

View from summit of Tower 2


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« Reply #91 on: November 17, 2016, 11:28:00 AM »



Standing at the base of Tower 5 Class 2 route






Class Two for you


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Brad Young
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« Reply #92 on: November 17, 2016, 11:29:50 AM »


View from summit of Tower 2





Yes, although your label of Sub-Three is on the wrong formation, it sits over the top of it (which is what I think you intended?).

I can't determine what is Tower Five in this shot, or even if it is visible (I don't think it is visible).

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Brad Young
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« Reply #93 on: November 17, 2016, 11:30:40 AM »



Standing at the base of Tower 5 Class 2 route






Class Two for you





Yes. Those photos are perfect.
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« Reply #94 on: November 17, 2016, 11:37:16 AM »

Yes, although your label of Sub-Three is on the wrong formation, it sits over the top of it (which is what I think you intended?).

I can't determine what is Tower Five in this shot, or even if it is visible (I don't think it is visible).

I corrected the labeled pic caption.

Whaddaya want for free?

I'm still waiting for my royalties!
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Brad Young
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« Reply #95 on: November 17, 2016, 12:26:13 PM »


I corrected the labeled pic caption.

Whaddaya want for free?

I'm still waiting for my royalties!


I don't see any change in the caption?

For free? Why the usual near-perfection that you bring to climbing, posting and almost all endeavors you participate in.

And as for royalties, how about being exposed to and allowed to hang out with three wonderful women who share the last name of Young. Priceless, that.



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« Reply #96 on: November 17, 2016, 04:20:04 PM »

I don't see any change in the caption?

The caption - not the labels on the picture.
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scotticusmaximus
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« Reply #97 on: November 17, 2016, 10:58:04 PM »

Brad - your and looks easy from here's pictures definitely inspired me to finally post up about my adventure.  I have to say, that makes me feel better that I didn't try to do that climb knowing now that it is 5.8.  I swear though - I walked around that formation and studied the book so hard trying to make sure it was Little Flatiron!  I even picked out the other route on the formation (or so I thought).  I guess Little Flatiron will just be my "white whale."  And I figured I probably didn't do the real Tower Five, but I was quite alright with the fact at the time.  Looking at JC's pictures it is definitely evident that I missed that one now.

And looks easy from here - I was originally intending on writing the TR up soon after doing it, so everything was fresh.  If I had done it then, it would have been a much harsher review on the experience as a whole.  I have to say, with the extra time having past in between when I did it and when I finally wrote everything up, the whole thing seems to have gained a certain positive luster.  Who knows, give it enough time and I very well might take back all my words and be right back out there again! =)
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« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2016, 11:09:55 PM »

Toadstool isn't just 5.8 - it is BURLY 5.8
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Brad Young
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« Reply #99 on: November 18, 2016, 06:31:23 AM »


...I have to say, with the extra time having past in between when I did it and when I finally wrote everything up, the whole thing seems to have gained a certain positive luster.  Who knows, give it enough time and I very well might take back all my words and be right back out there again! =)


Don't they call that Second Degree Fun? I'll bet that if you ever do it again it will seem easy (well, sort of easy).

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