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North America, United States, California–Yosemite, Yosemite Valley, 1984

Yosemite Valley, 1984. Information about new Valley routes is not always that easy to come by, especially when one spends as little time there as I did in 1984. Most of this info was supplied to me by Don Reid of the Yosemite Mountaineering School; apologies are due to anyone whose name or route is inadvertantly omitted. The following short climbs were reported: Inchworm (5.11 - ) is a one-pitch climb which parallels the second pitch of New Dimensions and leads directly to the base of Klemens’ Escape, climbed by John Bachar and Rick Cashner. Opposition was also climbed by Bachar, with Werner Braun. It is a 5.11 + thin crack on the face of a right-facing comer to the left of Happy Days. People’s Court (5.10) is a bolted face between Trough of Justice and Desperate Straits, climbed by Paul Crawford. Wart Hog is a 5.8 route to the right of Babble On, done by Grant Hiskes and Nadim Melkonian. Above Babble On is Poker Party (5.11 - ), knob climbing leading to a rappel station, climbed by Dave Schultz. On the extreme left side of the This and That Cliff (and approached from above via rappel) is Agent Orange, a 5.10+ fist crack climbed by Hiskes and Don Reid. On the same cliff to the right of Tips is Back in the Saddle (5.11), a straight-in thin crack done by Dimitri Barton. Also climbed by Barton is White Owl, a 5.11 crack on the left side of the Owl Roof formation. On the extreme right of the Reed’s Pinnacle area, Bachar and Cashner did two predominantly face climbs on the knobby wall above the eastern tunnel. The left-hand route, Fasten Your Seatbelts, is 5.10- and has one bolt. The right-hand route is Free Ride (5.9) with no bolts. Both routes are three pitches. On the right side of the Little Wing cliff, Schultz climbed Crash Landing, a 5.10 route which faces east. Say Momma, Say Daddy (5.10 - ) is a two-pitch climb in the El Cap Amphitheatre, leading to a walk-off, done by John Mittendorf and Scott Cosgrove. On The Footstool, to the right of The Promise, Bachar climbed The Believer (5.11 +). Bottom Line (5.10) is the crack immediately left of Rock Bottom, done by Barton. Lightweight Guides ascends the right side of the Guiding Light formation. It is 5.10- and was done by Hiskes, Tim Noonan and Neal Newcomb. Fire Fingers is a 5.11 face climb which starts to the right of Maxine’s Wall, and crosses that route for its second pitch; it was climbed by Charles Cole. Peeping Tom is a thin lieback past a bolt leading directly to Devil’s Bathtub (5.9). It was done by Hiskes, Noonan and Newcomb. Hiskes joined with Sean Plunkett to climb Fresh Squeezed (5.10 - ), a flared chimney left of Ape Index. Blockbuster is a four-pitch route above Short Circuit, climbed by Barton and Jim May. The second pitch has some aid (bolts), while the third is the crux free pitch (5.11, A1). Sub-Mission (5.10) is a left-facing lieback between Beggar’s Buttress and North Buttress on Lower Cathedral Rock, done by Reid and Hiskes. The same pair climbed Crack The Whip, a 5.11 thin crack left of the cleft on the left side of the Rostrum. The Smith-CrawfordRoute is the longest free climb reported here. It starts right of Mother Earth on Middle Cathedral Rock, crosses that route at its crux, and finishes left of it. (Twelve pitches, V, 5.11 + .) Two formerly aid routes were done free last year: Barton and Dave Nielsen climbed Arches Terrace Direct (5.11-), using piton protection, though it has since been done all nuts. Finally, Schultz free-climbed the old Lost Arrow Tip route (5.11 + ).

A number of excellent big walls were done last season. Steve Grossman and Sue Harrington climbed a direct finish to the Horse Chute. Rather than returning to the Dihedral Wall, the pair did eight new pitches to Thanksgiving Ledge. Grossman also soloed Turning Point (5.11, A4+ ) which starts right of Salathé Wall and finishes left of the Muir Wall. He then teamed with Cole to climb an unnamed route (5.11, A5) which starts off Armegeddon, climbs the center of El Cap Tower, and breaks off of the Nose at the Grey Bands before rejoining the Nose at Camp 6. Cole also soloed a variation to the Muir Wall, leaving the bolt traverse above the Gray Ledges and staying along the right side of the Shield, before rejoining the Muir in its final dihedral. Gary Slater and John Barbella climbed Wyoming Sheep Ranch (5.9, A5), a route that starts right of the North America Wall, crosses Sea of Dreams, and joins the North America Wall at the Cyclops’ Eye. Barbella with Steve Schneider also did Bermuda Dunes (5.11, A3 + ), which starts off the Slack, joins the Salathé at Hollow Flake, and exits at the Alcove, staying independent to the top from there. Finally, Jay Smith and Lydija Painkiher climbed Bad to the Bone (5.9+, A4) between Eagle’s Way and Bom Under a Bad Sign. On Half Dome, Cole soloed a new line, Queen of Spades (A 4 or 5) between Tis-sa-ack and the Direct Northwest Face. Another solo Grade VI was done on Glacier Point’s 9 O’Clock Wall, which rises above the first part of the Ledge Trail. The route, The Time Machine, was done by Bob Shonerd and is supposed to be very high standard (A5). Elsewhere on the Valley’s walls, Skull Queen (V, 5.7, A3) was climbed by Chuck Clance and Jeff Altenburg, and ascends the south face of Washington Column above Dinner Ledge, staying to the right of the original south-face route. An unnamed Grade V was also done on the east face of Higher Cathedral Rock by Mike Corbett, Steve Bosque and Freddie Foxx. The climb lies between the east-face route and the northeast buttress (5.9, A3 + ).

Alan Bartlett